Today I'm going to share with you this Lumberjack Tree Stump Cake that I did last weekend. But first, I've gotta ramble for a few minutes.
You guys. I have not blogged in 6 days. I know that probably doesn't sound like a big deal, but if you work, can you imagine just not showing up for 6 days? It was not a scheduled vacation or a planned break - I just haven't had the mojo to get myself over here and write.
I'd open up my blog and stare at a blank page. I'd moderate some comments and sorta-kinda keep my email under control, but other than that - I just could not make myself write. It wasn't that I didn't have hundreds of cakes I could share (because I do)... but my motivation just wasn't there.
The good news is - I'm my own boss. Nobody will fire me for not showing up - but I still feel pretty crappy about it. I don't like leaving my blog unattended. I don't like not sharing pretty cakes or a great deal.
Just yesterday I was telling my husband how much I love what I do. I love cake decorating and I love blogging. I love helping other cake decorators and wanna-be bloggers. But speaking of my husband - I'm blaming the lack of writing partially on him - or rather, his schedule.
He's working yet another funky evening shift that totally has me out of my normal routine. We're not homeschooling at the usual time. We're not going to bed and waking up at our usual time. The whole family is just "off". And he still has a few days left on this shift.
And yet while I'm still sort of in a funk, I'm making myself write tonight. Because if I wait one more day - it'll have been a whole week and there's just something about knowing I took a whole week off that really scares me.
What if I lose my drive altogether? What if my traffic tanks or I lose readers? All the questions just kept coming... so I'm back.
Lumberjack Tree Stump Cake
And since I really don't want to dig through my old backup hard drive looking for content, I'm going to just share the cake I did last weekend. It was this adorable Lumberjack Tree Stump Cake!
Along with the cake, I also did a little Tree Stump Smash Cake and some matching cookies:
Now... for a few details 🙂
I covered the top tier with Satin Ice Red fondant, then I stenciled/painted on the plaid. This did not turn out as neat as I'd hoped - I need a lot more practice with stenciling obviously. Thankfully, the cake was overall a rustic look, I still thought it was okay.
We made the characters on top with Satin Ice Brown Fondant mixed with a little white homemade marshmallow fondant to get the different shades. The trees were Cocoa Rice Krispie Treat squares shaped then covered in green buttercream.
Chocolate buttercream covered the bottom tier of the cake on the top and sides, then modeling chocolate on the top for the tree rings. On the sides, I added cracked chocolate curls to the sides to get the bark texture. It's really easy and fool-proof! I used a silicone pastry brush and some melted chocolate chips to add a little more texture and I thought it was perfect!
For the board, I used come crumbled cake mixed with frosting (like cake pop dough), to make a rough texture, then covered it in green fondant. I sprayed on some black edible spray then blotched it up with a paper towel to give it texture. Then I wrapped the board in a black ribbon (see how-to here).
The smash cake was a 5" round cake sitting on top of a 6" round cake. I carved it to the stump shape, then added ivory gel to the vanilla buttercream for the top and made chocolate buttercream for the sides. I used a fork to texture the top and my off-set 9" spatula to do the sides. It was so easy and so cute!
And then there were the cookies. These were nearly the death of me. I put the base-coat of royal icing on them the night before, as I always do, and then went to bed expecting to wake up early and decorate them with the final details.
But when I got up to start on them (almost 8 hours later), the red and green cookies were still really tacky. Soft and sticky like marshmallow creme from a jar (that's the best way I know to describe them). In the pic below you can see how the brown ones are dry and matte - the red ones are still glossy and wet:
It was all the same frosting from the same batch, so my only conclusion was that somehow the red and green coloring changed the icing. That doesn't make sense to me, because I've used red and green before, but this time - something went wrong and I panicked. I only had less than 7 hours before the cookies were to be picked up and I had to start over on some of them.
To save a little time, I added green non pariels to the tree cookies so the tackiness wasn't so noticeable. For the red ones, they were not going to work at all. When I tried to use the stencil and spray on them - it was a HOT mess!
They just had to be re-done. This time I made fresh icing and was really careful with the red coloring to not add too much. Then I put them under a fan and prayed. They did dry with time to spare and I was able to use the stencil to spray the plaid on, but gosh - I'd never want to do that again on such a tight schedule!
Here are a few more details for you:
- All of the cakes were butter cake primarily with chocolate buttercream. The big cake had 5" and 8" tiers baked in Magic Line pans.
- The ax was made out of modeling chocolate.
- The bear cookies were done with a cutter from this Autumn Carpenter set. The tree cutter was from this set. I ordered the "1" cutter from an Etsy store.
- I used a wood grain stencil to do the tree stump(ish) cookies.
- See my tutorial for how to stack cakes here.
- For the cookies, I used this Roll-Out Sugar Cookie recipe and this Royal Icing recipe.
And that's it, I think! Do you have any questions? Leave me a comment! And please, pretty please PIN these images!