The dinosaurs themselves are plastic, but everything else is edible. And I apologize for the bizarre light quality in these pictures.
But enough of that stuff.
To make this one, I made very orange flavored pound cake with an orange-flavored simple syrup, which I painted on each layer as I built this little scene. I used two 13 x 9 inch pans, a small bundt pan, and another high-sided cake pan (used to be Bill's mom's) about 6" in diameter. The bundt pan was for the upper portion of the volcano.
As you can see, the volcano is currently at rest. Inside, however, the lava is red and, interestingly enough, looks a lot like 3 pints of mashed up strawberries macerated in a little bit of sugar. The "lava" is layered between the two rectangle portions and the mountain/volcano sections, with the remaining strawberry mixture in the hole of the bundt cake. There's also some chocolate icing here and there, because hey - chocolate and strawberries, right?
I dug a little depression out of the cake for the little pond. Then I painted the whole thing with strawberry jam, colored and rolled out the fondant (that tan color was supposed to be brown - I should have added more color. Oh well.) and draped it over the cake and patted it into place. I trimmed it along the bottom in a free-form pattern.
To make the water, I used clear piping gel and blue food coloring.
BUT - that didn't work - the blue looked black against the green fondant. So I scraped most of it back out and then just put stirred-up CLEAR piping gel in there - the traces of blue beneath gave the rest of the gel just enough color without becoming too dark.
I added a bit of black to the blue piping gel and figured I could use it as some of the lava.
I used green royal icing and the little grass or fur tip (Wilton #233) to edge the fondant with tufts of grass, and also added it around the pond and here and there on the rest of the green.
I used black royal icing and a #9 (I think) tip to do some of the lava, and the black piping gel for the rest of the lava and the "Happy Birthday Alex" part.
Why two kinds of lava? Funny you ask. Because there ARE two kinds. Or, rather in Hawaii they have two names for the two above-ground forms of lava flow. There's a'a (prounced ah-aah, if I remember right), which is kind of rocky and chunky...and pahoehoe (I think that's prounouced pa-hoy-hoy, but it's been a while since I've heard it spoken so my memory could be faulty), which is smooth and kind of pillowy to look at. From a safe distance.
Anyway, I used the two forms of "lava" and then used the piping gel version to write the "Happy Birthday" message.
When it came time to bring the cake out and sing, I put the candles (appropriately) at the top of the volcano.
Alex loved it. And everyone else seemed to like it also. And it tasted pretty good, too. Nice and moist and orangy. Oh - why orange? That's what the birthday boy requested.
And for your entertainment, here are a few more photos of the cake, from other angles.
And that's about it.
Well, except for the most important part...
I can't believe he's six.
(Cue orchestra: "Sunrise, Sunset")
This is his third dinosaur cake.
I think he may be asking for the same theme when he's twenty.
My little guy.