(note - click on any pic to see even MORE pics at flickr)
One of my favorite kids asked for a cake for her birthday. Her eighth, obviously. All she said was "Strawberry!" ... So the cake itself is strawberry cake, with buttercream frosting.
The strawberries are strawberry flavored fondant. The dirt is crushed Oreos.
There's an additional personal story, behind the figure 8.
When I turned eight, I got a cake shaped like an 8. I loved it. In fact, it is the only birthday cake I have an actual memory of, from my childhood. We didn't finish it all, an 8 cake is actually quite large - so the rest went into the freezer.
Less than a month later, the whole family went to Scotland for a year. That whole year I remembered the cake in the freezer.
Someone watched the house, maybe rented it, I have no clue - I was eight - and I'm sure my parents must have cleaned the fridges out before we left. But I didn't know that.
When we got back to California, one of the first things I wanted was some of that cake. It was, alas, long gone. I was seriously miffed. This is a surprisingly strong childhood memory.
Thank you, Miss Chiff, for turning eight, and allowing me, some umpty-ump years later, to have some more 8-cake!
I made a 9" and a 10" round cake, cut a bit off one edge, and used cookie cutters to make the holes. Voila! Figure 8!
A first crumb coating, and then in the fridge for a bit.
A second frosting coating makes it all clean looking.
With the frosting setting in the fridge, I worked on the strawberries. I colored some fondant red (well, pink) and green, and added some strawberry extract to the pink. I made a bunch of little pink balls, and used a tiny cutter to make the strawberry calyx (the green part).
Lots and lots of little strawberries. I anticipated lots of kidlets wanting their very own strawberry patch. I wasn't far off!
A toothpick is a remarkably handy tool!
I had been dying to use my new grass-like icing tip. So a quick layer of icing, covered in crushed mint Oreos for dirt, and then a bunch of green grass frosting all around the base of the cake! I whipped up a few more of the strawberries for the base of the cake, and plunked 'em in!
With a little more time, I'd have made leaves the correct shape for strawberries - this isn't the right shape at all. But I don't think anyone cared, or noticed. There were several little patches all over the cake. It's just a mound of frosting, with some leaves, some grass, and the strawberries gently pushed on top.
Edit: How could I forget a pic of the birthday girl???
This cake was really a joy to do, and while I'm sure that I wasn't truly traumatized by the loss of my own 8-cake, this cake really WAS extra-special for me to make