Well, 8 hours and 6 cans of frosting later, I had a Princess and the Pea birthday cake. And it almost turned out the way I envisioned it. My original plan included buttercream frosting made from scratch, but I quickly realized my frosting recipe would not yield the amount I was going to need: this cake was 6 layers (even though the mattresses give the illusion of only 4 layers), so that ate up a great deal of frosting. Plus, I had to put a few coats on the outside, before tinting it different colors and making the mattresses. Quite the project, I tell you.
I was pretty nervous about the chocolate scrollwork for the headboard and footboard, but using cocoa melting candies instead of just melted chocolate chips really made it more sturdy. Although, I did resemble one of those chefs on the Food Network Challenge shows (you know the ones that make those fragile, elaborate cakes that run about 5 feet high?) when I carried the cake from the refrigerator to the table, as the crowd assembled to ooh and ahh and keep the path clear of any obstacles.
In the end, I had one very surprised girl (it wasn't easy working on my confectionery masterpiece without her seeing it -- I told her she mustn't see it beforehand). It's important to keep the birthday cake a surprise, I think. So, she cutely covered her eyes with one hand while feeling around blindly with the other, every time she passed through the kitchen -- which happened often because, as I mentioned, this cake took me 8 hours over the course of 2 days to finish. Totally worth it. Thank goodness for video cameras, because I didn't get to see the look on her face when I brought it into the room. I was too busy trying to sing "Happy Birthday" and not drop the towering inferno onto the carpet (no one else wanted the responsibility of carrying it, lest if fall apart from point A to point B).
Roo's real birthday is this week, and we will celebrate with just the four of us on that day. I will be making a second cake for this second party. No, I'm not crazy enough to try to pull off another themed cake. In fact, cupcakes are sounding pretty good (and easy!).