Sunday, June 15, 2003
LOTR Themed Cake - Xoanon @ 20:50 PST
Chef to the White Lady writes: Hi, love the site! I’m from Minneapolis and this past February I baked my girlfriend a birthday cake. I had never baked before and after seeing a cake posted on your site several months ago I decided to throw my hat in the ring.

I thought the one posted was a fun idea but wanted to try and make mine even more like the book/movie. I work two jobs so time was a huge factor in this creation. First, I made the tree form paper mache’ and some plastic plant parts. This was initially going to be the “Party Tree” with a sheet cake field next to Bag End complete with little tables and the like.

Well, as usual ideas outgrew time and level of difficulty estimates. So, the night before the party I began baking my first two of four marble cakes. I almost scrapped the whole thing when the cakes came out of their dinosaur shaped cake pans in chunks. I chose the Dino-pan because of the interesting terrain like shapes it created if you trimmed off the face layer. The second two came out perfect so we were back in business. I used the two good cakes for the foundation and the chunks to construct the hill. The tree was also originally supposed to be sticking out of the cake but due to time constraints I couldn’t figure a way to secure it without the risk of it tipping over. I opted for a sprinkler spike turned upside down and taped to the table to hold it down.

I also was originally planning to move the cake to a nearby roller rink for a good ol’ skating party but quickly realized how difficult that would be without damaging the cake. Buying materials for the cake took some time, about an hour the previous night. I couldn’t find green frosting in a large enough quantity so I opted for green sugar over chocolate frosting (her favorite anyway). Looking back green food coloring in white frosting might have worked. So, back to the time line…I laid the foundation then took a long very sharp bread knife and began to shape the hill, path and windows.

After the carving I frosted the entire cake in chocolate-not easy over the cut edges – the frosting wanted to stick to the knife more than the cake at that point. I just used more frosting and that worked. There are two full cans of Betty Crocker frosting on the cake. I used crushed walnuts for the path up to the slivered almond steps. I used a vanilla wafer with green frosting from the small tube I did find-this frosting also worked well for some shrub/grass lining the path and hill. I used a toothpick to give it a grassy texture.

I took a picture of the inside of Bag End from the net and photoshoped it behind a window frame I made in photoshop and printed several of them to scale on one page. I used Brazil nuts for rocks and searched forever for a toy animal farm set (you’d think they’d be easy to find here in Minnesota!) to use a couple of the bushes in it and the fence. I didn’t have time to make the gate and “no admittance…” sign. The frosting held the windows perfectly. I made the birthday banner in photoshop with the Tolkien font I found on the net. Here we are about 7 hours later…time for bed. The next day I had about two hours before the party and still no fireworks wagon.

I bought several packages of different cake candles to be the fireworks and then cut up a cardboard box, broke out the glue and paint and set to work. The wagon is stuffed with cake to hold the candles. I used easter grass to hide the base of the tree and extend the green of the cake a bit further to the Gandalf and Bilbo Burger King characters. All in all after 9+ hours of work and nearly $100 worth of supplies (including party favors and decorations) the cake turned out pretty well for a first baking attempt. My girlfriend loved it (being new to the books-after meeting me-and a fan of the movies) She said it was the “Best Birthday Ever”. It took her a couple hours to get up the nerve to make the first cut. It took about three weeks to get rid of all the cake.