This is the volcano cake that a friend and I made for my son’s 4th birthday dinosaur party. It took us a couple of hours from start to finish, and it really isn’t that hard to do. We did cheat and buy shop bought Madeira cake (5 in total). This type of cake is great because it is quite dense and this makes it easier to cut into and sculpt with out it giving or denting. If you fancy making one for your little dino fan take a look below…
First take some brown fondant icing and roll it out on a flat surface sprinkled with a little icing sugar (to stop sticking). If you don’t have brown you can mix green and red together as we did. Try to make it an interesting shape with curving edges and roll it so it covers a large area of your lard. Leave a corner of your board bare where you plan to put the volcano.
Next roll out some blue icing in the same way to create a lake. Take a thin slice to create a river and place it so that it leads off to the edge of the board. Take your Madeira cake and lay it out in layers like building bricks so that each layer faces the opposite direction. Use either buttercream or fudge icing to stick the pieces together, and to stick the bottom layer to the board. Cut a single block for the top of the cake and use a sharp knife to carve a hole out of it all the way through. We used two cakes for the bottom layer, two for the middle, and part of one for the top. (Take a look below to see the icing glue sticking the pieces together).
Take your sharp knife and slice at angles down the cake to create sloping sides for your volcano, don’t worry if it looks very angled. Use cut off pieces to create small mountains or boulders placed around the board (icing stick pieces to the board and together).
Using a palette knife or rigid spatula spread chocolate buttercream icing over the volcano (including inside the hole, but don’t worry about getting right to the bottom) and mountains. It may be quite tricky at first but if you cover all of the cake with a fairly thin layer first you can go over it again to make it thicker, then scrape down the sides to make it look more volcano like.
Spread more buttercream icing around the volcano and mountain bases and as far as you want the rocky ground to spread. Next take some chocolate biscuits (we used bourbons) and put them in a plastic ziplock bag (or a normal bag and hold the opening tightly closed). Use a rolling pin to bash the biscuits until they are quite well crumbled but with some slightly larger pieces. Sprinkle carefully over the icing base being careful not to get it on the volcano. Now take some red fondant icing and mix in a little yellow, rolling it together until it appears marbled. Roll it out and cut a long lava shape with a sharp knife, making sure the end widens out to form a pool of lava. Place the thin end into the hole on top of the volcano and press it against the volcano edge and smooth down.
Add some plastic trees and foliage, mine is from my son’s playmobil set. You could make them from royal icing, but that was beyond the call of duty for me! Make up some more buttercream icing and add a little green food colouring to make it look like grass. Try to keep it fairly stiff as this makes it easier to pipe. Cut a hole in the corner of a plastic bag (I reinforce my corner with Sellotape before chopping) and insert a fluted piping end (sorry, not sure on the real name for these. You could try without but they do give a great grass effect). Use this icing to cover any areas left where there is bare board. Simply touch the board while squeezing the piping bag then lift up quickly – it may be worth a quick practice on a plate first.
Now stand back and enjoy the view! A few strategically placed plastic dinosaurs finish the effect. Just add candles, a sparkler in the volcano hole, and a very excited group of children!