So, my grandmother's (a.k.a. Nan) birthday was over the weekend, if you can call it that. See, she was born on leap year, so her actual birthday/date is February 29th, which only comes around every four years...and this was not one of those years. Not that it means that we can't celebrate! And we did with some delicious food and of course cake, provided by myself. Now, she loves cardinals...seriously everywhere you look in her house, you'll see one. It's like watching a movie again and noticing something you didn't before. Look around her house and you'll see more cardinals every time! Not that that's a bad thing, really Nan.
Okay, so this is where my cake inspiration came from. Searching for cardinals online, almost all the pictures have them sitting in pine trees, hence the rest of the cake. I had fun making this one, and even more fun eating it!
I started with 3 layers of marble cake, filled with ganache. Then I added a ganache crumb coat. As I'm crumb-coating, my daughter was telling me she wants to make her own cake with orange buttercream. What a little genius I have! So, I made orange flavored buttercream and covered the cake in that. YUMMY! What better combo is there than chocolate and orange, I ask you? Hmmm...can't think of one right now! Then I decorated with buttercream cardinals, tree branches, and snow (sprinkled with sanding sugar for some sparkle). I had made pine cones out of fondant and royal icing, also sprinkled with sanding sugar. I thought they came out fairly well.
And a close up of the pine cones...
With left over cake batter (yellow cake) I made mini cupcakes and iced some with the remaining ganache and others with the orange buttercream and topped them all with maraschino cherries. I can't believe (well, really I can...they were delicious!) how fast these got gobbled up!
Hope you had a great birthday Nan!