My last day of work was Wednesday, June 2. I chose to make a going away cake--I looked into buying one, but having one decorated the way I wanted was just going to be more hassle than it was worth. It was a crazy weekend of packing some of my stuff into a moving trailer, taking care of the lawn, working late, and, on the night before my last day, making my cake. I took some pictures along the way, so you could see the steps. I feel like it turned out pretty well--not to be boastful or anything.
I started with a quarter sheet cake, which is 11 x 15. Because it takes two cake mixes and I am trying to clear things out of the freezer, AND I'm a people pleaser, half of the cake was milk chocolate and the other half is white. You can see where the line is in the first picture, though I tried to marble it a little bit (did I mention the people-pleasing part?).
I did make some cut marks on the surface of the cake to give myself some guidelines as I frosted--they show a little in the photo below. Then, I started frosting the ground--chocolate frosting was perfect to represent Illinois farm dirt.
I was worried about blue frosting being unappetizing, but how else do you make sky? So I took a container of white frosting, set some aside for other colors, and tinted the rest of it with sky blue coloring. It sure didn't take much to make it blue--they mean it when they say use a toothpick! Then I frosted the sky area, going around the barn area.
Next was the red frosting for the barn. That was a frosting mix that I tinted with no-taste red coloring. To get the barn THAT red, I used the entire container of coloring! I had actually mixed the frosting earlier in the evening while the cake was baking when I still hadn't decided how I was going to decorate it. So I got carried away with how much red frosting I made--WAY too much, as it turns out. But I did figure out that the angled spatula is the key to decorating this kind of cake--I was able to use it to frost right up to the line. Here's a shot of the barn mid-coverage.
Then it was on to detailing the barn. I had used a coloring image I found online. It had barnboard-lines, so I figured I could add those with a toothpick, but the details would need to be added with frosting. Into the next container of white frosting I went. Couldn't find the outlining tip anywhere (I found it later that night in the cabinet I thought I'd packed), so I added the barn trim with the small star tip. I also tinted some of the frosting I set aside earlier with yellow, and put it in the hay mow, then sprinkled some yellow Jimmies on top to look like hay.
Then it's on to the details. The rest of the set aside frosting went to greens. Not sure if it was supposed to be a crop, a garden, or just grass, but it needed something.
And finally, the words. Though I'm very excited about my impending move and changes, I will miss my former job, my co-workers, and even my apartment, so "greener" pastures seemed inappropriate. Here's the finished cake.
And it was a lovely farewell celebration. So many of my coworkers stopped by to get some cake--so much so that at the end of the day, there was only one piece left--a top sky corner that I ate while I was still at work around 6:45 that night.
Now I'm looking forward to being closer to family and friends. For the hundreds of reasons I'm looking forward to it, there's one more--the chance to decorate more cakes! I've always wanted to learn to decorate cakes, so maybe there's a cake decorating class in my future....