My 3 Monsters: MIni Succulent Planter Cakes

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5.05.2016

MIni Succulent Planter Cakes

Darling Mini Succulent Planter Cakes in mason jars from my3monsters.com
A couple of years ago, I was given a little succulent in a mason jar as a thank you gift for something or other.  It was adorable and totally brightened my day.  Naturally, when I needed a few little thank you gifts recently, that idea came back to my mind.  And then I thought (a direct quote from my inner dialogue}, “You know what this idea needs?  More chocolate cake.”  There’s not much, in my opinion, that isn’t vastly improved by the addition of chocolate cake.  So I decided to fill the mason jar with chocolate cake and make little faux succulents out of fondant for the top, thus combining the two brilliant ideas into one super thank you gift.    These would be great as end of the year teacher gifts and they’re really, honestly, so easy to make.

Darling Mini Succulent Planter Cakes in mason jars from my3monsters.com

You will need:

Mason jars – I like the little squatty ones for this.
Fondant – store bought or make your own
Gel frosting color {if your fondant is not already colored}
Petal Dust and a small paint brush
Small cookie or fondant cutters
Chocolate cake mix
Chocolate frosting
Crushed Oreos

First, bake your cake according to package instructions.  I baked mine in a 9 x 13 pan – you can do smaller round pans or cupcakes.  It won’t make a difference.

While your cake is baking and cooling, make the fondant succulents.  Bear in mind that I am by no means a professional cake decorator, so my methods may be completely “wrong”.  I just do what works for me. The fondant, gel frosting color, petal dust, and shape cutters can all be found in the cake decorating section of any craft store.  I used store bought fondant when I made the succulents in the finished pictures, but it seemed very dry to me.  I decided to make my own marshmallow fondant when I photographed the steps to make the succulents below and I like it a lot better because I could control the color and consistency a little more.

Knead a hunk of fondant until it is soft and pliable.  Be sure to only work with a small piece of fondant at a time and keep the rest wrapped in saran wrap to avoid drying out.  Roll the fondant out to approx. 1/8” thick.  Use small cookie cutters as shown below to cut out the pieces for the smaller plant.

Darling Mini Succulent Planter Cakes in mason jars from my3monsters.com
Form the succulent by stacking up the layers of fondant from largest to smallest, staggering the leaves on each layer.  

Darling Mini Succulent Planter Cakes in mason jars from my3monsters.com
Press down in the center gently to stick all the layers together and start to give it some shape.  Curve and shape the leaves until you are happy with the look.  

Darling Mini Succulent Planter Cakes in mason jars from my3monsters.com


For the larger plant, begin by rolling out your fondant to approximately 1/8" thick, then cut two larger flower shapes and two smaller flower shapes.

Darling Mini Succulent Planter Cakes in mason jars from my3monsters.com
Use a knife to cut a small slit in the fondant in between each petal.

Darling Mini Succulent Planter Cakes in mason jars from my3monsters.com
Shape each petal into a more "pointy" shape as shown below.  You'll have to work fairly quickly so the fondant doesn't begin to dry out.

Darling Mini Succulent Planter Cakes in mason jars from my3monsters.com
As with the smaller plant, stack all four layers from largest to smallest, staggering the leaves so they don't overlap.

Darling Mini Succulent Planter Cakes in mason jars from my3monsters.com
Press down in the center gently to stick all the layers together and start to give it some shape.  Curve and shape the leaves until you are happy with the look.  To form the centers of the larger plants, roll a small piece of fondant into a ball.  Cut an X in the top of it with a knife and gently spread open slightly.  Place in the center of the plant then set aside.  

Darling Mini Succulent Planter Cakes in mason jars from my3monsters.com
It may be helpful to place your little plants in a mini-muffin tin to help them keep their 3 dimensional shape as they dry.   

Darling Mini Succulent Planter Cakes in mason jars from my3monsters.com
Use a dry brush to lightly dust the edges of the leaves with petal dust to give them a more realistic two-tone effect.
  
Darling Mini Succulent Planter Cakes in mason jars from my3monsters.com
If you don’t have cookie or fondant cutters, you could sculpt your plant out of the fondant, just like you would with clay.

Assemble the planters by scooping chocolate cake into your mason jars.  Make sure to gently pack it in so there are no air pockets.

Darling Mini Succulent Planter Cakes in mason jars from my3monsters.com
Top cake with a layer of chocolate frosting.

Darling Mini Succulent Planter Cakes in mason jars from my3monsters.com
Sprinkle crushed Oreos in a ring around the outer edge of your frosting, leaving the center free.

Darling Mini Succulent Planter Cakes in mason jars from my3monsters.com
Arrange fondant succulents on top, using a dab of extra frosting to stick them in place if necessary.

Darling Mini Succulent Planter Cakes in mason jars from my3monsters.com
To finish them off tie a ribbon around the rim of the jar and possibly attach a cute little fork and a tag.  They’ll be a huge hit with their recipients, guaranteed.  

Have a great day, friends!

Amy


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