Step 9: Making the Tree Stump Cake
For the tree cake, I baked 2- 8" rounds. I cut my cake board so that it would have 3 points in order to hold the fondant "roots" when transferring it over to the cake board.
After leveling both layers of cake, I put them on the cake board and carved in some "v" shapes between each root. (a real tree isn't perfectly round, right?) I used maple butter cream icing for the filling and then put a thin (1/4") coat all over, except for the top. Next, I added rolled pieces of black fondant to create the tree roots. (the fondant was left over from the cauldron and witch)
Next, I put another layer of icing on all over, including covering the roots and the top. Once the icing started to crust over, I began making my bark by carving in lines with a fondant tool. Then I took a piece of parchment paper and laid it on the top of the trunk. I flattened the icing a bit with a fondant smoothing tool and then traced around just the inside edges of where the bark lines were.
I used that piece of paper as a pattern and cut out where I had traced. Then I rolled out some white fondant and cut out around the pattern. Next, I applied what was now to be the "cut portion" of the trunk and laid it into the butter cream icing, smoothing it and pushing it down into the icing. I want to point out that you could just cover the whole tree with fondant, carve the bark marks into the fondant then air brush. But I was testing the effects of a using a crusting butter cream. The top piece of fondant is necessary either way, because otherwise, the fondant do-dads would be too heavy and would have sunk into the trunk.
I left the paper on while I airbrushed the tree. I did a coat of a reddish brown first, followed by a coat of black. Next, I removed the paper pattern and airbrushed a little color of the brown and black and before it dried, I used a wet flat brush to remove some of the color, this created the growth rings in the cut tree.
When finished with the painting, I used a large heavy cake knife, slid it under the cake board and transfered it to the cake stand. I had to at the same time use a smaller knife to hold one of the heavier limbs.
To top it off, I added the do-dads....the frog (and his cut leg hehehe) book, mortar and pestle and then just leaned the ax beside the tree.