There's a bear in there...
Posted Dec 19th 2013 by Lena
This cake was almost as cute as the little girl it was made for. When my beautiful friend Ali asked if I would make her daughter Ayla's 2nd birthday cake, the answer was of course yes.
Ali was a great client and gave me a photo for reference of Ayla's favourite toy, Nanna Teddy, but let me have free reign over the style of cake. My head started swirling with ideas - a flat cake cut into the shape of a teddy bear, a simple cake with fondant decorations... a delicious 3D replica of Nanna Teddy? While being slightly nervous about carving 3D cakes, the last (but most attractive option) was probably a little scarier than I cared to admit, but I thought that Ayla would love it.
So that was it, the seed was planted and I began trawling Pinterest and other cake blogs for 3D inspiration. I found a few ideas and adapted the design until I found the most user-friendly option.
After baking the butter cakes (sorry Ali, they were supposed to be vanilla flavoured but apparently my brain doesn't comprehend the word vanilla!) and stacking Bear Mountain one night after work, I stood dumb-founded - how on earth was I going to turn this mountain of cake into Nanna Teddy? The cogs in my brain must have been turning pretty loudly as just when I was about to throw all in, the boy came in to rescue me. He drew me templates on baking paper and explained the best way to start. I began to carve and instead of a nice curved line to create Nanna Teddy's round little belly, I cut a triangle! Now, geometry has never been my strong point and if you have read my About Lena page, you know I'm not the best carver, but seriously - a triangle!
Half delirious, I think I started laughing - the boy then came to the rescue (again) and somehow transformed Bear Mountain into a cute little bear (my hero).
I quickly covered Nanna Teddy in a crumb coat and stuck her in the fridge - maybe a good night’s sleep would help me see clearly.
The next day after work, I got to work on making the buttercream icing for the fur, royal icing for the features and a little yellow t-shirt. Using a Wilton 233 tip to create the fur was a little difficult and I burst a couple of piping bags because of the built up air pressure, but I soon found my rhythm and Nanna Teddy came to life before my eyes. I was so happy that my cake actually looked like Ayla's favourite toy. I added the little nose, eyes and little yellow daffodil on the foot and covered Nanna Teddy up for her last night in our house.
Unfortunately the boy and I were unable to join in the fun at Ayla's party so off we went bright and early to deliver Nanna Teddy. The look on Ali's face when we arrived on the door step was such a relief. Beautiful Ayla came and gave be a cuddle and whispered 'Nanna Teddy' in my ear - the fact that she recognised who her cake was made my carving fail all worth it.
A few days ago Ali sent me the sweetest message thanking me again and to share a video of Ayla talking to cake Nanna Teddy at her party - totally melted my heart.
It was such a pleasure making this cake for such a beautiful family.
*Photos below supplied by talented mummy Ali.