We recently had a joint birthday party for my oldest two kids. My daughter turned 5 in December and my son turned 3 in February. Since they’re so close in age and have many of the same friends, we opted to have a joint birthday party with their little buddies rather than our usual family-only party.
We wanted a fun co-ed theme that they would love, so we chose a Woody & Jessie theme and had a Toy Story cake! My kids love Toy Story, and they even wore the Toy Story costumes I made to their party.
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I would love to tell you that I’m this awesome at decorating cakes, but I’m not. I wish I were. With my son’s food allergies, we have to make all of our own cakes to avoid the presence of nuts. I love to bake, so I baked the cakes while my mom and sister drove 5 hours to decorate it. Here’s a break down of the essentials, in case you want to try something similar.
The weather was really bad the weekend of the party and my family almost didn’t make it here. Fortunately, I had already purchased the toys to top the cake with, and I knew one little secret about little kids and cakes: I could make a basic sheet cake, but as long as these little toys were on the cake, they would be happy about it. Kids don’t care about fondant or pretty butter cream embellishments. They just want it to be something they love. You can buy the toys here: Disney Toy Story 3 Heroes Figure Play Set — 8-Pc.
Cereal Treat Base
Three layers just looks better, but we didn’t want that much cake! By mixing up a couple of batches of cereal treats and pressing it firmly into the bottom of the cake pan, we were able to make a firm base layer for such a huge cake. We then coated it with buttercream frosting.
It’s easy to make and gives the cake a nice and smooth appearance.
Sugar Sheet Embellishments
This is one of the few things I made on the cake. Sugar sheets come in various colors and are just what they sound like–edible paper made from sugar. The sugar sheets are stuck onto a clear plastic sheet, so I used a pen to draw my designs on the clear sheets. I drew clouds on the white paper and amoeba-like shapes on the black paper to make cow print (Wilton Sugar Sheet, Black).Then I cut out the sugar sheets/clear paper and removed the backing. Using a small dab of water, the sugar sheets adhere to the marshmallow fondant quite easily. By the way, this brought up an interesting discussion. My mother insisted that there are certain “Toy Story” clouds that are unlike the typical white puffy clouds I wanted to make. After much Googling, it turns out that she is right! Toy Story clouds have a flat bottom.
Note: I always use AmeriColor food coloring because it’s not processed with nuts, unlike other options.
My mother did the rest! She made a cowboy belt out of fondant and decorated the yellow middle layer with stitching similar to Jessie’s shirt. Then she wrote my children’s name on the cake with the classic backwards N, just like Andy wrote his name on Woody’s boot. It’s all about the details!
Do you make your children’s birthday cakes? What has been their favorite so far?