Along with the Victorian Sponge cake I made for my brother, I made a cake for myself! This one was a Tangled inspired, cookies and cream mud cake. It might help if I explain the significance of Tangled in my life, and why I chose to decorate my cake as such.
I hope I can assume that you all know what Tangled is about, but just in case I will give a brief summary: basically, a young girl was kidnapped for her magical hair and has been trapped in a tower for almost eighteen years by a villain.
Nice summary? No? “Where’s the happy part?!” Well, I’m not going to spoil the rest for you. But that premise I just gave you explains how I’ve been living my life.
All those days watching from the windows
All those years outside looking in
All that time never even knowing
Just how blind I’ve been
Now I’m here blinking in the starlight
Now I’m here suddenly I see
I’ve been trapped in a tower my whole life (myself as the tower; and more literally, my house was a tower too) by my own Mother Gothel (the villain in Tangled). The name of my villain however, is Anxiety. Another difference with my story is that my “Flynn” isn’t a thief at all – He is God; and He has rescued me from my tower, and from Gothel.
Now I’m here, blinking in the starlight
Now I’m here, suddenly I see
Standing here, it’s all so clear
I’m where I am meant to be
Anxiety may still plague me from time to time, but God has helped me to cope, work with and accept it… Much like how Rapunzel will need to accept that Mother Gothel was her mother for the first 18 years of her life – she may have her biological, loving parents now, but she can’t change the past. And I can’t change my genetic make-up.
And at last I see the light
And it’s like the fog has lifted
And at last I see the light
And it’s like the sky is new
And it’s warm and real and bright
And the world has somehow shifted
All at once everything looks different
Now that I see you
~ Mandy Moore, I See The Light
So, as a result of that analogy, Tangled has been my favourite movie since, as it’s just so darn relative to me. I have many geeky items related to that movie – pop vinyls, goof gifts (from a close friend: a purple mini-frying pan; sparkly hair-spray with Rapunzel on the bottle; a purple candle; and a Tangled birthday card), and even a Rapunzel Pez dispenser!
So when my birthday was coming up, I just had to make a Tangled cake – I didn’t care that it wasn’t a significant birthday, nor that we wouldn’t be having a party with enough people to warrant the size of the cake… but I didn’t care – I just had to make it! I thought about making it a chocolate mud, but I wanted to step it up a little!
I knew I wanted the mud, to make it more stable while decorating. Maybe with a little more practice, I might be able to decorate a sponge… but for now, a mud is best for a beginner such as myself. So, rather than chocolate, I looked up white mud recipes and decided to incorporate crushed oreos into the mixture.
Once baked, I levelled off the tops of the two cakes, and kept them in the freezer. The night before serving, I made up a batch of buttercream, and coloured a small portion yellow, and the majority purple – attempting to match the colour of Rapunzel’s dress. I then sandwiched the two cakes with butter cream, and began to frost the outside.
I started with a crumb-coat – a thin coat of butter cream to catch any crumbs, that would otherwise show up on the outside of the final product. After that coat, the cakes went back into the fridge and I filled up a piping bag that had a star tip attached.
I applied the final coat and attempted to smooth the butter cream – unfortunately, I had made the butter cream way too stiff, so I wasn’t able to get it as smooth as I was hoping. But I figured that the rough job made it look rustic – so I certainly wasn’t disappointed! Then came the braid; I marked out the spiral that I wanted the braid to follow, and then piped a braid following that guide. It wasn’t perfect by any means… especially when I was trying to pipe on the side of the cake!
But it turned out alright, and I was extremely happy and excited… and I must say proud of that cake! The cake was finished with Hayley adding flowers onto the braid and at the end of the trail to hide the remaining guide line (to be honest, I ran out of butter cream!).
I honestly loved this cake, and I am so glad I pushed myself to create it!
Things to do differently next time:
- Improve butter cream’s consistency
- Practice smoothing butter cream
- Practice piping