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.


  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.

  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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