This year, we were flying back from Florida on Hendrik’s birthday – so his party got delayed a few weeks. A February party turned into a March party and, since Hendrik is so excited to plant the garden with me in the spring, I settled on a gardening party (not to be confused with a garden party!).
I took my pinspiration from Amy over at Mason Moments, but did the veggies my own way – I didn’t have time to be so fidgety with two little ones running around! This cake is incredibly easy for those of us not skilled at fancy cake decorating with icing, fondant, and the like. It takes a wee bit of time (the longest task is pressing all the pretzels into the icing, and that is certainly not a skilled task!!), but not a lot of effort – and, if I do say so myself, the end result is pretty darn impressive!
What You Need
I used the Gluten Free Chocolate Cake recipe from our blog over here, though you could use a boxed cake mix or any other scratch cake. I baked 2/3 of the batter in a 9×13, then the rest in a round cake pan, since we had 16+ people to serve and I wanted to ensure that we had enough cake to go around. You don’t need to use chocolate cake, but I think that it helps contribute to the whole dirt thing.
Chocolate frosting: you want to have enough to cover the cake with a luxurious amount of icing – you’re going to be using the icing on the sides of the cake to hold up the pretzel sticks, and you’ll be pushing the candies into the icing on top.
Oreo Cookie Crumbs for the soil on the top of the cake (I used about 1/2 cup)
Candy for the vegetables – I paid a quick visit to the Bulk Barn for this and scoured out candies that could represent veggies. Gourmet orange jelly beans became the carrots, green jelly beans became the zucchini, light green jelly beans became peppers, Swedish Berries became red peppers, and strawberry Runts became strawberry plants and lime Runts became lettuce. I used pretzel sticks for the trellis for the peas (which I just used icing for)
Toothpicks, dyed green with food colouring for holding the red & green ‘peppers’
Pretzel Sticks for the picket fence around the garden (and for the pea trellis)
KitKat bars for edging the strawberry & zucchini gardens
Very green icing in a piping bag (I used a disposable plastic one with no tip, just a very tiny hole cut in the end) for adding greenery to your garden and fence.
What You Need to Do
1. Bake your cake in a rectangular pan.
2. Turn cooled cake onto flat surface for decorating (I bought a cake board for $3 at the Bulk Barn)
3. Ice cake with generous amounts of chocolate frosting.
4. Cover top of cake with Oreo crumbs.
5. Line edges with Pretzel sticks (I left opening at front of garden).
6. Lay out your candy vegetables.
7. Add greenery to veg with your green icing in piping bag.
8. Add greenery to the fence here and there. Make sure that your piping bag only has a very tiny hole in it, the icing will curl and loop more as you squeeze it out and look more vine-ish.
9. Add sign for garden, if desired.
10. Show off to your friends and social networks, bask in the much-deserved compliments.