Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The Corn Snake Cake

For my Sons 9th Birthday, he begged, and pleaded for a corn snake.
When I said NO, he wanted a turtle, or a baby lobster, etc... Telling everyone that asked what he wanted that he just needed a PetCo gift card with enough money to buy a corn snake.

After having a baby gecko die the past fall, I said NO to all of the above.
In fact, I even made the request for ANYTHING from PetCo, OFF LIMITS.

But, the one thing I do each year, as time allows, is make my kids a one of a kind birthday cake. Since, I won't let him have a corn snake for real, I decided it would be a great idea for the cake.

So, I browsed youtube for instructional videos, and snake cake pictures. I browsed Pinterest for corn snake images. I watched a video for a Cake Boss audition showing how to make a rattlesnake cake, 4 times to glean some firm, and feasible ideas.

Then, I estimated what I did not have, that I may need, went to Micheal's, bought Duff white buttercream fondant, and Duff orange cake graffiti, and wilton black edible perls. At the checkout I asked for a coupon, and they had an extra, taking $8 off the $20 tub of fondant.

I went to WinCo, and purchased bulk chocolate rocks, and pound cake mix, also butter, powdered sugar, and heavy whipping cream for the buttercream icing. I knew I already had a number of things at home, like crisco, vanilla, and milk, as well as cake shimmer, and eggs.

Then, the night before my Sons party, I made the cakes. I used 2 boxes of pound cake mix, making a 6" cake, and 2- 9" cakes. I left them to cool overnight, open to air with a towel to cover them after taking them out of the pans. I did go ahead and use some fondant I already had in green to cut out a message.

 It was too late to create.

The next morning by 9 a.m. I began to cut the 9" cakes to make rings for the snakes coiled body. The pound cake held up very well, it did not fall apart at all. I carefully carved the center out, then rounded the edges.
The 6" I used to make the 3rd coil, the tail and head were made from the scraps.

Just eyeball it.

I dirty-iced every piece seperately, then placed the coils offset on top of eachother, the tail was then placed beside the topmost coil, and this main part of the cake was then covered in a thin layer of the white fondant, gently, careful not to tear the fondant, and smoothed into the creases,  over the "coils", tucking it in at the bottom as best I could.

(*My Favorite Buttercream Recipe is "Buttercream Dream"...just google the recipe, it's enough for 2 cakes, or 4 dozen cupcakes)

I coated the head seperately in fondant, then used a paring knife to gently poke holes to place the eyes, which were black pearls. (You could use red hots instead.) I also used a small paring knife to create the mouth and nose holes. Then, the head was placed on top of the cake, with the neck just slightly beneath the top coil to hold it in place.

I took the orange mesh net that comes with clementine oranges, held it over the cake, and sprayed it with the orange cake graffiti spray. It created a scale-like, diamond shape pattern.
An albino corn snake still has a white belly, so I left some of the white visible. 

I tucked the bottom edges in neatly, and spread buttercream on the cake board, then added crushed graham crackers for sand, candy rocks for decoration, and floral grass tucked in random areas for decoration.
I filled in some white areas of the snake with yellow cake shimmer, and covered the whole cake in pearl cake shimmer for shine.
I then made a very small amount of pink fondant by adding red wilton icing color and kneading it in a sealed plastic bag to prevent my fingers turning red too. This is what I used to make the tongue.
My son wanted some design on the head, so I looked at a few more images, and found a simple head design, then used a food writer in orange to make the design on the head.

Then, the cake was finished! ( It was done by noon or 1230, and my Son's party was at 230 so, it only took bake time, and a few more hours.)

He was so happy, and surprised, as he had no idea before I made it, that he was getting a corn snake cake!

I hope this is helpful to anyone out there that has a Boy that likes snakes,
 and is NOT a professional cake maker!
I am NOT a professional. I do this for fun, for my children, and sometimes for friends.
I want to prove to YOU, that no matter your confidence or skill, YOU CAN DO IT TOO!