This is the story of how mommy is a sucker...
All year long Isaiah has been talking about his Big Thunder Mountain Railroad cake, but the more and more I looked at pics I worried that making a good looking and good tasting cake would be very challenging. So he moved on to Palpatine's Shuttle. OK, this would be easier, but getting enough cake for my little socialite's birthday while making the wings structurally sound...hmmm...
On try three he decided on Toy Story and he picked out a design inspired by his Google image search. I was happy with the idea, and said we would try to borrow some plastic figures to put on top. Then he declared he would make them with Legos. Fantastic! I would love to get his creative self involved. But he decided he wanted everything edible. "Let's make heads, and put them on chocolate lego bodies." OK - I can do that. So I made some heads, but again a snag. Apparently Lego changed the body design for Toy Story characters.
So...after swearing that I wouldn't even attempt to make edible figures, I started off making Jessie and Woodie. Hey this was fun! I wasn't going to be hired by Pixar any time soon, but it inspired me to move onto others... Aaron and Isaiah were fans of Lotso. My favorite part was the little Mr. Potato Head parts, and the moon.
The full cake is both edible and gluten free. The sand is made from peanut butter cocoa powder (ala maltodextrin) nested on buttercream. The bottom tier is made with chocolate cake, peanut butter filling, and vanilla buttercream (a homage to Isaiah's favorite ice cream flavor - Mousse Tracks). The middle tier is a vanilla coconut cake with chocolate fudge filling and vanilla buttercream. Top tier, is chocolate cake with fudge filling and vanilla buttercream. Most of the fondant is marshmallow fondant, which my kids absolutely love. The figures are traditional fondant (not so tasty) and modeling chocolate.
Two cakes down one to go...
Vanilla Cake using GF Bisquick
Adapted from Dorie Greenspan
- 1/2 cup coconut flour
- 1 3/4 cups GF Bisquick
- 1/2 t baking powder
- 1 1/4 cups buttermilk
- 4 large egg whites
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
Stir together together the flour and baking powder and salt.
Whisk together the buttermilk and egg whites in a medium bowl.
Put the sugar and lemon zest in a mixer bowl and rub together with your fingers until the sugar is moist and fragrant.
Add the butter and beat with the paddle attachment at medium speed for a full 3 minutes, until the butter and sugar are very light. Beat in the vanilla extract, then add one-third of the flour mixture, still beating on medium speed.
Beat in half of the milk-egg mixture, then beat in half of the remaining dry ingredients until incorporated. Add the rest of the milk and eggs, beating until the batter is homogeneous, then add the last of the dry ingredients.
Finally, give the batter a good 2-minute beating to ensure that it is thoroughly mixed and well aerated. Divide the batter between the two pans and smooth the tops with a rubber spatula.
Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the cakes are well risen and springy to the tough – a thin knife inserted into the centers should come out clean. Transfer the cakes to cooling racks and cool for about 5 minutes, then run a knife around the sides of the cakes, unmold them and peel off the paper liners. Invert and cool to room temperature right side up. (The cooled cake layers can be wrapped airtight and stored at room temperature overnight or frozen for up to 2 months.)