Recently, our school librarian asked me to make a cake inspired by the “Punk Farm” books, written and illustrated by Jarrett Krosoczka. The author would be making a trip to our school, and several students had won the opportunity to share some cake with him during their lunch break! So I got to work with step 1: research. Armed with both “Punk Farm” and “Punk Farm Goes on Tour,” I sat down to read. And read. And read. I’m happy (and somewhat embarrassed) to admit that I read each book several times, my mind going a mile a minute thinking about both the cake, as well as how I plan to incorporate this book into my elementary music classroom. I chuckled aloud at the chicken who says, “I’m scared!” and the pig who’s afraid to get dirty, for nothing escapes me when it comes to jokes intended for small children. Luckily I have the sense of humor of a small child, so I enjoyed myself immensely. (It must also be said that his presentation to our students was not only a heartwarming explanation of the background of a few stories, but a kid-friendly lesson in perseverance and following one’s dreams.)
So after I finished my very serious “research,” I set about brainstorming a way to recreate these funky little dudes. I finally settled on trying to capture their personalities with fondant. Here is the method I followed:
1. I drew each animal on a cardboard cake board and then cut it out. They are each about 4-5 inches tall. I made photocopies of the cardboard cutouts:
2. I covered the front of each animal with the base color of fondant and wrapped it around the edges, gluing the edges on with a bit of gum glue adhesive (gum paste mixed with water). You can see below that I had already wrapped the white base color around, and had just cut out the red feathers and was about to wrap them around, as well.
3. Once the base color of fondant was attached to the cardboard, I flipped the face over and added all the features, like sunglasses, hair, mouths, etc. Since I had a photocopy of the drawings I had made, I knew how big to cut these features. Here is a photo of each fondant-covered animal:
If you enjoyed learning a bit about “Punk Farm,” you can find Jarrett on all the usual social media places (@StudioJJK). And here’s some inside information: he’s a cake-decorator as well. Check it out on his Pinterest wall!
Which other children’s books would look good as a cake? I’ve done only one before (a “Five Little Monkeys” cake, complete with jumping monkeys!), and am counting down the days until December so that I can complete the “Polar Express” idea one of my good friends suggested. (I’ve worked out how to make it have smoke, I think!) I’m always looking for more project ideas, so comment below if you have thoughts!