Not having a 4 year old, I didn't know much about the Avengers, so I was glad Laci had pinned a few cakes she thought Berkeley would like. I decided to feature 3 characters - Captain America, the Hulk, and Thor (or more specifically, his hammer). The cake needed to feed 25-30 people (10 of which were under the age of 5), so I made the bottom later an 8" cake, the top a 6" cake, and baked a dozen cupcakes.
I thought it would be fun to show the step-by-step process with this cake. What you'll probably learn from this is that cake decorating is mostly finding creative ways to cover up errors! If I didn't show you the holes I left (or made...) as I went, I bet you'd never known they were there!
The moral of this story - don't let cake decorating scare you! When in doubt, just add a flower...or star...or cute garnish, and no one will know you didn't mean to do that.
To make the hulk head first I leveled and iced two 6" cakes.
1 - Roll out green fondant and wrap it around the edge of the cake.
2 - Put a little cap of fondant on the top so the green edges don't show through his hair too much later.
3 - Roll out some black fondant large enough to cover the top of the cake and hang down about 1" on all sides. This is the hulk's hair!
4 - Give him a haircut! (I used my kitchen scissors.)
Then give him a face! I laid the face out on the counter and worked on the "angry eyes" and "angry teeth" until it was juuuuust right before putting it on the cake. Any time you're attaching fondant to fondant, you'll want to do so with water and a paintbrush. Don't overdo it with the water (it doesn't take much), or the water will squirt out and stain the fondant. Once the hulk was done, he went back into the fridge to "set". Always keep your cakes in the fridge if you're not working on them.
Next up was the Captain America tier.
Start by rolling out and covering the 8" cake with blue fondant. Since I was going to be putting red and white rectangles around the bottom 2/3 of the cake, I didn't mind the blue didn't meet the bottom of the cake. Again - it'll be covered up! :)
Next, roll out red and white fondant and use a embossing/cutting tool to cut 2.5"x 2.75" rectangles. You can buy these tools at Michael's or AC Moore - they come in handy!
Once you have all the strips cut, it's time to put them around the cake. Turn each rectangle over and brush water on the back before sticking it on the cake. You may have to trim the last rectangle a little so it will fit - just make sure that one lands on the back!
Once all the red and white stripes are on, take your scissors and trim the bottom edge so it's even.
Then it's time to stack. When stacking cakes, it's important to add support in the bottom layer, so it doesn't "poof" out from the weight on top of it. I keep wooden skewers with my cake gear and cut them the appropriate height, which works nicely. It's also important to add a layer of "glue" before you stack cakes, so smear a little icing around the skewered area too. The last thing you want is for the top layer to slide off your cake when you're taking it to the party!
The last hero to be represented was Thor. Since Thor's hammer was going to be pretty small, I decided to make it out of Rice Crispy Treats instead of cake.
Once the treats cool...
1 - Press some into the shape of the hammer head.
2 - Carefully ice with leftover buttercream icing. This should help fill in holes and make the object more smooth. Fondant will show every bump, so you want to make sure it doesn't have any (many) krispy bumps! Then stick the iced hammer head in the fridge for 30 or so minutes so the icing starts to set.
3 - Roll out grey fondant and cover the hammer head! Since the ends of Thor's hammer have some texture, I just wrapped mine like a present, folding the edges over themselves. Super easy. Then I stuck a half skewer in the center of the hammer head and wrapped brown fondant around it. No need to make the brown perfect...just even, because you're going to make it look like it's wrapped in leather.
4 - Roll out a long, thin strip of brown fondant and wrap the handle from bottom to top.
5a - Cut two more long strips of fondant. Starting at the bottom, wrap up on the diagonal, criss-crossing the strips so they make an X. For the tassels cut two (even smaller) brown strips. Twist them so they curl a little and attach them to the top of the handle with a dab of water. Then shape a brown "button" with fondant and attach it to the end of the handle.
5b - I had some Wilton Pearl Dust, so I decided to give the hammer head a metallic look. You do this by just brushing on the dust with a clean, dry, paint brush!
Then it was finally time to put it all together. At this point, I realized I'd forgotten the star on the bottom layer, so cut one out with a star cookie cutter and stuck it on.
Laci had their house covered in Avengers gear and had games prepared like "pin the star on Captain America" - what an awesome mom. She had the best area prepared for the cake. If you look closely at the picture below, you'll see Laci decoupaged Berkeley's name with Avengers comic book pictures. So awesome!
Just for kicks, here are a few pics of the awesome Gentry family. You can see more pics of the cake and party here!