Hot Air Balloon Cake



This fun, colorful, and unique cake is actually pretty easy to make!
(accidental rhyme there)
I made this cake for my little sister's birthday, and she loved it! We got the idea on a road trip after spotting a similar balloon in passing. This one serves six and tastes like chocolate!

Step 1: Things Needed

-One 9" cake layer (whatever flavor you want, you can also use two layers and double the rice treats accordingly)
-1 loaf pan (9x5") rice treats (about 6 servings)
-Colored licorice strips
-Fondant (any color, enough to cover the cake + a bit extra)

Wax paper
Display tray
rolling pin (+ powdered sugar for rolling)

Step 2: Build It

    First, bake and cool the cake layer and make the rice treats. It's helpful to have the treats still a bit warm, so that you can mold them slightly to fit to your cake.
    Position the cake layer and one half of the treats (cut width-wise) on a display tray, the treats touching the bottom of the cake.
    Cut off parts of the treat and push in the sides to make it look like the bottom half of a balloon. 
    We're going to use the rest of the rice treats for the basket- cut it slightly wider at the top to make it look like one.
    Tuck pieces of wax paper around the cake layer and treat so that frosting doesn't get on the tray- this makes for a nicer presentation ;)

Step 3: Frost It

    Tuck pieces of wax paper around the cake layer and treat so that frosting doesn't get on the tray- this makes for a nicer presentation ;)
   Frost the cake and the half of the treat that makes up the balloon shape. You don't have to make it picture-perfect- the frosting won't even show when you're done. Leave the basket part plain for now; since it already has a woven- looking texture. You can take off the wax paper here, too.
    Here's where the fondant comes in-- roll it out on a flat surface that's been dusted with powdered sugar to keep it from sticking. You  may need to knead the fondant, if it's been refrigerated or is a store-bought kind, to get it soft enough for rolling. Make an oval shape that's about 1/4" thick, and then, carefully, roll it onto your rolling pin and back off onto your cake, on top of the frosting. Smooth it out over the top and sides of the cake with your hands, getting rid of any folds. Cut off the excess fondant. 

Step 4: Decorate

    Attach licorice pieces with a bit of  frosting to make the cake look like a hot air balloon! This is where you can get creative:
  • Lay strips, slightly curved, on the balloon to make it striped, or curl up pieces to make polka-dots.
  • Use a few strips as ropes to connect the balloon and basket.
  • You can use licorice to outline the balloon or add some curled-up pieces to the basket for extra decoration.
  • I didn't think of it before, but you could even make the background (the tray) look like the sky with a blue tray and marshmallow clouds %o
  • Use sprinkles, candies, or anything else to decorate it how you want!
Present your cake with pride!



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