I finally managed to get a tutorial put together for the Circus Cake I made for my son's 2nd Birthday party!
As far as specialty cakes go, I would rate this in the "beginner" category...so don't be afraid :)
Click below to view the tutorial and details!
Circus Tent Cake
You will need...
*4 baked 8" round cakes. You can use a box recipe or favorite homemade recipe. (if you don't have any 8" cake pans, I would recommend the Wilton brand. Walmart carries them for about $7 a piece.)
*1 1/2 - 2 batches of buttercream frosting, (depending on how thick you put on the frosting, and if you want to do a "crumb coat") I use THIS buttercream recipe.
* Red and Yellow food coloring (or whatever color you want for the tent stripes). If you want to do red stripes, I would highly recommend the gel Wilton food coloring. You can buy it at Walmart for about $1, and you will need to use at least 1/2 the container to get a "true red" instead of dark pink.
* A large basket-weave icing tip (Wilton #789)
* Large 16" icing bag
* Serrated knife
* Cake stand
* Card-stock, scissors, tape, and a toothpick (for the flag topper!)
Step 1. Begin building your tent cake by placing one 8" round cake on the center of your cake platter. Frost the top of the cake and place the 2nd cake layer on top. (refer to this post for more detailed cake building instructions).
Step 2. Using the same process, stack the remaining two cakes together.
Step 3. Using a serrated knife, begin to cut the sides of the cake into a "cone-like" shape. You don't need to make the cake perfectly pointed, I left the top a little flat. This may get a little messy :)
Step 4. Add this piece to the top of the cakes already on the cake stand. Make sure to add another layer of icing in between.
Step 5. THIS STEP IS OPTIONAL...
Add a thin layer of icing around the whole cake (also known as a "crumb-coat" -THIS is a pretty good tutorial). Since the cake will be frosted using an icing tip instead of a spatula, you don't really need a crumb coat. I just added one to the sides because I wanted my cake to look a little fatter.
Step 6. Place your # 789 decorating tip in the 16" icing bag. Then fill the bag with red buttercream frosting.
Step 7. With the flat edge of the icing tip facing toward you...frost thick stripes around the edges of the cake. I find it easiest to work from the bottom up. Stop your stripe when you get just a little more then halfway up the cake. (do you like my crooked stripe?...woops :)
Step 8. Add the top stripe of frosting by overlapping the bottom stripe just slightly. Instead of frosting a straight line up to the top, gradually curve your icing tip as you move up, so the line gets skinnier at the top (this just makes the tent look more realistic.)
Step 9. Repeat these steps until all of your stripes are complete, then do the same for your 2nd color.
Step 10. You can either leave the cake like this, or you can add a little topper and flag. I made mine by making a cone shape out of card-stock (tutorial HERE). Then I made the flag using paper, tape, and a toothpick!