Hot Air Balloons

Hot air balloon fullI was determined to take some time off from decorating.   My birthday was coming up and graduation time was right around the corner and my eldest child was graduating from high school.  I wanted to be SURE that her graduation and her party had my full and undivided attention.  That is, until my mom called me and asked if I could make a baby shower cake for a special woman in her church.  “Sure mom.  When did you want the cake?”  She told me the date…she needed the cake on my birthday.  WHA??  “Mom, really? That day?  Yes…I’d be happy to do it.”  (What else can you say to your mom?  Especially one who had given selflessly of herself to me and to anyone else around her for her entire life?  Of COURSE I said, yes.)  Here’s the funny part.  As always, she said, “You can just make it something simple.”  Now if you’ve been decorating for ANY length of time, you know, as a decorator, that we…just…can’t…do…”simple”.  So, I came up with this after seeing a few cakes online and some scrapbooking paper that I thought was super cute.

Here’s some tips on how I made the cake.  I wanted the balloon to be gravity-defying.  That meant that I needed it to be lightweight…Styrofoam.  I used a 4″ Styrofoam ball and covered it in modeling chocolate.  I could’ve covered it in fondant, but I wanted extra time to manipulate the balloon if I needed to (which I did). Hot Air Balloon

Once the ball was covered in modeling chocolate, I let it sit upright on a Styrofoam block to harden up a bit since I wanted to paint the balloon (hence, the toothpicks at the bottom of the balloon in the picture above.

Next, I needed the clouds.  Again, Styrofoam since I knew that the clouds would not be eaten.  I used a square cutter to give me a guide of where to place the clouds, then adhered them together with melted chocolate.  Then covered everything in fondant.

Hot Air Balloon CloudsHot Air Balloon Clouds2

Once my tiers were covered, the balloon was made, and the clouds were finished, I could add the height measurements up to know how long of a threaded rod was needed.  The picture below was the cake drum with the threaded rod AFTER my mom had returned it to me.  I forgot to take pictures of the base before I assembled everything…sorry.  However, you can still see the threaded rod and washers/nuts that were used to help hold the rod steady as well as elevate the balloon.  Be sure to make your threaded rod food safe.  As well as washing the rod with warm soapy water, I poured white vinegar over it to kill any germs.  I then wrapped it in aluminum foil, and finally covered the foil in plastic wrap.  At no point, should your rod touch the actual cake without being covered.

Hot Air Balloon Base

Hot Air Balloon with photobomb

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