A Birthday at the Movies!

For Boden’s 12th birthday he chose to have a Jumanji: The Next Level party at our local Regal Cinema in Ithaca. As is her custom, his mom sent me the invitation to use as a design base. I love making Boden’s cakes because of this creative element. It is a small tweak from the norm. Instead of getting several pictures of cakes to springboard from, I get to start with a two dimensional inspiration. It is a lot of fun to decide how to make the invitation come to life as cake.

Popcorn time

Boden wanted half chocolate and half vanilla cake with mint frosting. The party was for about 20 kids, so we didn’t need a lot of cake. However, we did need a good sized “canvas” for the design. I chose to use a 1/2 sheet size, opting to trim some of the cake off to make the popcorn bucket pop a bit. After splitting and filling the sheet cake with mint frosting and adding the popcorn bucket sculpted cake, the cake had a nice presence. It would be the perfect centerpiece for his party. I put it in the fridge and headed to work where I’d have more time to consider how I’d be creating the finished product.

Boden’s invitation and a little peek at the finished cake.

What about the popcorn?

I decided I’d use real popcorn to come out of the bucket like I had in another movie themed cake I did. For that cake I made caramel corn so that the popcorn wouldn’t melt in the cake or turn stale. I had brought all our popcorn to school with me for an upcoming event day. I made a note to bring the popcorn home so I could pop just a little to use for the cake. It would be perfect!

Using real caramel corn worked great for Samara’s 11th birthday!

Making the night sky

I love this new style that I have started using. It works very well for intensely colored cakes. The method is simple; make your final coat of frosting in white on your cake and chill the cake. Then, put the coloring right on the top of the cake. Use a spreader to spread the color around on just the top layer of frosting. It gives a very intense color and it is only on the very surface of the cake. I used this technique on the cakes shown below.

I left the popcorn at school

After I had the night sky complete and the popcorn bucket made I was pretty pleased with the results. Now it was time to make the popcorn. I had decided to go for a lightly candy coated popcorn so that it would be a more neutral color. The invitation had popcorn in a pale yellow color, and I knew the caramel color would be too much. I smiled and thought, “let’s pop some popcorn.” Then I gasped. “I forgot the popcorn!” Yes, everything was at school. It was evening and I don’t live far from school (or the grocery store for that matter), still I had this nagging feeling in my head the entire time that I should be using fondant popcorn. It would be cool and it would match the whimsical nature of popcorn bucket on the invite. Thanks to Rose Bakes for her fondant popcorn tutorial. It was fun and I love the way the cake turned out. My daughter is home from college and she said, “I meant to remind you about the popcorn when you left for school but I forgot.” I assured her it was ok because I liked how it came out with the fondant popcorn even better!

The finished cake


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