Cake Bawse - Irish Dance Birthday Cake

It's time for Lord of the Dance! And by dance, I mean the Cakewalk! I never liked that silly dance show anyways. My oldest daughter is having an Irish Dance Birthday Party and wanted a cake to match. Well, there are no dancers, and no shoes on this cake, because I haven't gotten myself up to the task of learning fondant work. I chose to learn about royal icing instead.
First, let's talk about plans. I'm not even going to show Lina's, partly because I don't know what she did with it. It was four tiers, with fondant irish dancers on the top and a second cake sculpted in the shape of a hard shoe on the bottom. Time, skills, and small children notwithstanding, it was a little much for a party of 10 girls to eat.
Later, when I realized what size the cake actually would be, I scrapped any notion of irish dancers on top. I put Irish lace on the bottom tier, along with the words, Happy Birthday in uncial script (it's the same kind of calligraphy used in the Book of Kells). I drew out my design on regular paper, then placed that under waxed paper and piped the royal icing directly on top of the waxed paper.
 I made lots and lots of lace and played around a bit with the frosting to see what it could do. I made a painful but important discovery. Gel food coloring works much better with royal icing than regular food coloring. The orange came out nice and easy. It was a gel. The green I mixed from kelly green gel and blue food coloring. It was a lot stiffer and really hard on my hands. I was shaking and in a lot of pain by the time I made enough to go around the cake plus extras in case of breakage. As it turns out, I didn't break any, because I'd given them plenty of drying time.

They just peeled right off all by themselves.
The next tier I made in a classic border design used in a lot of illuminated manuscripts. It's not perfect, and not perfectly Irish, but pretend you don't notice.
On the top I put an Irish love knot. Honestly, I was being lazy and wasn't physically up for anything more challenging than that. But it looked kind of lonely up there by itself, so I added three more and a few decorations. (There are lots of groups of three all over this cake: 3 words, three small knots, three dots by each flower...)
And at the last second I decided to put Celina's name on there. It barely fit, and you can tell it's sort of an afterthought, but she likes it.
And to top it off, I sprinkled silver glitter stars on the top of each tier and put rose pink luster dust on Celina's name.
I wish I had been able to make the green more of a turquoise color. And had I thought of it, made a darker and a lighter shade of green, just so it wouldn't look so one-dimensional.
It's a little lopsided, and far from professional. But I don't think any of the kids will notice.

Comments

  1. I say that every year when I do the girls' cakes, but no one ever notices. We were just talking about how when you spend so many hours working on a cake, you start to see every flaw, yet no one else would ever notice the thigns you do! The cake looks beautiful, and I'm sure Celina loved it.

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  2. That is so true! The longer I stare at my cakes, the more I see wrong with them. Thanks for the kind words, and yes, Celina LOVED it. So much so that she never even noticed that I made it without any sugar (bwahaha!)

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