Campfires and rabbits and Smokey the Bear, oh my!
This is probably one of my favorites cakes that I've ever done! My dad recently retired after 39 years in the US Forest Service and he's had a lot of cool jobs over the years, including being a park ranger and a wildlife biologist. It was definitely a challenge to try and capture all of that on one cake!
For the cake itself, it was both white and chocolate cake. I made the layers to look like the different layers of soil, so the dark chocolate layer was on top to represent the surface layer, then a milk chocolate layer for the top soil, a beige colored vanilla layer for the subsoil, and a white vanilla layer with Oreo chunks to represent the bedrock.
As I've not done a lot of fondant sculpting before, all of the decorations were definitely a challenge! I had a lot of help from my wonderful bakery co-workers, who crafted all of the animals except Smokey the Bear. It took me 3 times as long to make him, but thank goodness he turned out recognizable!
For the river rocks I used chocolate rocks that I found at Lolli and Pops. I also used Swedish fish painted with edible silver lustre dust, and I tinted clear piping gel blue to make the river.
The biggest challenge with this cake? Transportation! We were only flying in to Montana for the weekend, so most of the cake had to be assembled ahead of time. After McGyver-ing a Styrofoam cooler so the cake would fit (and not slide!) we packed it up in the 4-seater airplane for a 3-hour flight over the Rockies! By some miracle it made it completely intact, and I assembled the decorations and river moments before the retirement party. Phew!!