Don't be fooled...this post is not about a man-eating plant (although that would make a really cool cake). Rather, it's about a cute little imaginative boy named Liam and his special birthday request. When Auntie Melissa asked him what he wanted for his birthday, little Liam's response was "a Spider Cake!" Melissa contacted me, and we made this boy's 3-year-old wishes come true.
A Spider Cake. Perhaps Liam was inspired by the fun spider web decorations his mom put up in their home, an eight-legged creature he saw crawling up a tree, or maybe from their evening walks in their Halloween adorned neighborhood. Whatever the inspiration, Liam is truly an October baby. And this post comes just in time for this spooky season. Keep in mind that there are numerous ways of creating these creepy crawly cakes...this happens to be how I created this one with the resources I had.
|AHHH!!! There's a BIG SPIDER in my fridge!!!|
I started off by finding cake pans that resembled the form of a spider's body. I wanted this cake to be anatomically correct. You know, two body segments, fangs, four pairs of legs, four pairs of eyes. For the cephalothorax (or the spider's "head" in layman's terms) I used one-half of a ball cake pan. For the abdomen (or butt), I used two different sized oval pans.
It's been a while since I've created a sculpted cake, so I was excited to bust out my serrated knife and carve away. For Halloween, people carve pumpkins, while I carve cakes. Go figure.
|The makings of the Spider's abdomen.|
|Your scraps can be turned into cake pops, or fed to some sweet-toothed scavengers.|
|Can you see the fangs?|
Melissa requested for a vanilla cake with strawberry filling, so once I was happy with the carved forms, I still needed to cut through each in order to fill. After the filling was added in each segment, they were masked with buttercream and chilled in the fridge to allow them to set.
|The strawberries macerated in sugar would become the spider's "bloody guts" when cut and eaten.|
|A buttercream dam is necessary to prevent the filling from oozing over the sides.|
The spider's body was now taking form. Next step was to cover the cake with black fondant and add the details. I used a number 6 tool to create a hairy texture and placed these layers on specific parts of the spider like its back and face. For the eight legs, I used armature wire for the skeleton and covered them in fondant. (Disclaimer: armature wire is NOT edible, but was used for the legs to create a stable dimensional effect without falling over).
Once all eight appendages were covered and textured, I added spider web designs to the cake board, eight red eyes to the head, and a special birthday message for Liam.
|Strawberry juice was splattered around the webs to create a subtle bloody effect.|
Liam was super stoked to see his Spider cake! I wasn't sure if it was his sheer excitement to see the spider, the sugar high from the spider's eyeballs, or just his three-year-old hyperactivity, but this boy was HAPPY and it totally made my day!
|Straight for the eyeballs!|
Liam has a way with names, and thinks my name is "Avenue"...which I kinda love by the way. He also named his spider cake...."Shop"....Shop the Spider...."because him happy!" But for those that fear these venomous creepy crawlers, he's the "Little Shop of Horrors!"
~Avenue of Cakes~