When I asked my soon to be 5 year old son what type of cake he wanted for his party he was adamant that he wanted a cloud cake, a cake that looks like a cloud. What follows is the result of what I could conjure up with my amateur set of cake decorating and cake sculpting skills to satisfy his request. In the end he was happy so I was happy :).
I found the biggest challenge was figuring out an easy way to get irregular knob like bumps onto a cake whilst still being able to pass it off as a cake. I considered using Griffins Mallowpuffs, marshmallows, gobstoppers and Giant Jaffas but in the end I decided to use cake pop mixture shaped into random ball like shapes. An added bonus of making cake pop mixture was that I could use up cake off cuts.
I am definitely no expert when it comes to using fondant and it shows with the cracks in the fondant of the final cake. This is not helped by the fact that this cloud cake is a ridiculously complex shape to be covering in fondant in addition to my obsession to roll fondant out as thin as possible before covering my cakes with it. You see, I like the look fondant give to cakes but I do think it is not the greatest tasting stuff. However, I did managed to figure out a secret to covering up those big nasty cracks that seem to follow my escapades with fondant and that is to just add a patch and use a fondant tool or smoother to carefully smooth it out until it blends into its surrounding fondant.
I used a basic butter cake recipe coupled with an equally simple buttercream recipe; both of which are provided below. For this recipe I like to use a stand mixer to make sure the mixture is well creamed before adding the dry ingredients, however it is perfectly OK to beat the mixture by hand.
In addition, the following is a quick 360 degree view of the final cake just before it was devoured at the big event.
Preheat oven to fan bake 160 degrees celcius.
Grease and line a square 20cm x 20cm cake tin.
Using a stand mixer, cream butter vanilla and sugar until light and fluffy.
Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Sift flour and baking powder and fold into creamed mixture with the almond milk.
Spoon mixture into prepared baking tin, spreading out the top.
Bake for 35 minutes until lightly browned and an inserted skewer comes out clean.
Leave in tin for 10 minutes before placing onto a wire rack to cool.
Using a cake leveler or serrated knife, slice cake in half through the middle.
Using a stand mixer, cream the butter and icing sugar together to make the buttercream. Add some almond milk if the consistency is a bit thick to spread.
Spread a thin layer of buttercream in between the two layers of cake.
Cut the cake into an irregular shape – I shaped mine into a cartoon cloud shape.
Make cake pop mixture with the cake off cuts by crumbling the cake into a bowl and adding enough buttercream so a ball of mixture sticks together.
Use buttercream to stick the balls randomly around the main cake. Crumb coat the whole cake using buttercream. Chill for at least 30 minutes in the fridge.
Spread a thin but even layer of buttercream over the whole cake and return to the fridge for another 30 minutes.
Roll out the white fondant using icing sugar to prevent sticking then use it to cover the cake and all its crevices.
Place on a cake board or plate and serve.