When my little niece Bella’s 2nd birthday started to approach, I offered to make her birthday cake. My sister would typically buy birthday cakes or stick with cupcakes and I wanted to do something special for my niece. When I found out that her theme was frogs I was immediately excited and looked over Wilton.com for some frog cake ideas.
While I do love the 3-D cakes, I knew I would be doing a 3-D dinosaur for my son’s 3rd birthday was just a week after her party. I decided to stick with a 2-d cake to avoid over doing it and because frankly, I thought the Leap Frog Cake, shown first above, was the sweetest looking of them all. Perfect for a two year old! I laugh now because this cake was just as time consuming as the 3-D dinosaur cake I made for my Warren.
The results were so worth it!
While this cake isn’t extremely difficult, it does have the extra step of creating a sugar cookie face, which I did two days before the party. This is made easier by the printable frog face pattern included at wilton.com. I stuck with the recommended roll out cookie dough recipe and it worked like a charm. After rolling out the dough simply use a sharp knife and printable pattern to trace the outline of the cookie. You can place the pattern directly on the dough as I did or use a toothpick to outline first.
Normally I would say with a cookie as large as this it would be easier to do the cutout directly on the cookie sheet to avoid moving it at all. I wasn’t willing however to risk cutting marks in my Wilton cookie sheets so I was forced to transfer it. What worked best for me was using a cake lifter to give it more support with one hand and a large cookie spatula with the other. You will definitely want to make at least a few faces to be on the safe side. Because the cookie does expand as you bake it, I recommend not putting more than one frog face on a single sheet to give it plenty of room. I used these Wilton bug metal cookie cutters I had on hand that worked well with the frog theme. The ladybug cutter worked perfectly to create turtles.
I also used my small fondant circle cutter to create circles as toppers for our cupcakes. This cutter is a quick and easy way to use the excess dough without having to roll the dough out numerous times.
The day before the party I covered every nook and cranny of the butterfly cake pan with Wilton cake release using a silicone pastry brush before pouring a single prepared cake mix into the pan.
After it was finished baking and it had a chance to cool a bit (about 10-15 minutes), I leveled off the top so the cake would sit flat on the cake board.
For decorating projects like these I like to use Wilton’s Ready-to-Use Decorator Icing. Before you rake me over the coals for not making a homemade icing, I do this because not only does my family really like the taste, it is one less thing for me to have to make and I can concentrate on the decorating. The bonus is I don’t have to worry getting just the right consistency.
After getting my work area ready with filled decorating bags and proper tips, I followed the Wilton decorating instructions for this cake. I outlined cookie and facial features with tip 3 before pipe in whites of eyes, pupils with white and black icing the and nose with tip 3 (smooth with finger dipped in cornstarch) using my darker green color. I then outlined his mouth with tip 3 in black and outlined and piped in nostrils with tip 3 with dark green.
I then covered my cookie with tip 16 stars in the lighter green.
And before I knew it, I had a frog cookie face, just begging me for a body!
To start the cake, ice sides of cake smooth with blue icing. This took a bit longer than I expected simply because of all the curves found in the butterfly shape.
I then outline frog’s body with tip 3 in dark green before I covered his body with tip 16 stars. Be sure to create some spots for your frog by outlining in dark green with a tip 3 and filling in with dark green tip 16 stars. I added some leftover white icing to the back of the frog cookie head and attached him to the top of the cake.Overpipe legs with tip 3 and cover with tip 16 stars to build up. Use the 233 grass tip to add pull-out grass bottom border. I had fun pulling mine in every which way to create a natural grass look. This was one of my favorite parts of the project!
Before I knew it, I had finished and had to take a step back. I’m still a little amazed that I pulled off this cake given I was forced to ignore the butterfly on the cake and draw in the frog myself. It was actually a lot easier than I thought but it did take some time and patience!
In the end, it was all worth it because I created this fun cake table for my darling little niece who couldn’t have been more thrilled!
To see more, including how I created the mini cupcakes with sugar cookie tops and the happy birthday girl, see my post on Baby Loving Mama.
Be sure to enter to win this Wilton Leap Frog Cake prize package which includes everything you need to make this frog cake yourself! Giveaway ends 4/5/11.