Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Ambulance Cake

For the last year, I have constantly heard from A's mom how much she was looking forward to retiring. Her enthusiasm for retirement was matched by her determination to NOT have a party.

We received the printed invitations a month before the party.

I took a cake decorating class this month so I asked if she would like me to bring her a cake. She had enough on her plate with organizing sandwiches, drinks, snacks, mass in the house and following evening at the pub, so she said she would let me take care of that. I talked about the cake with A and he thought that as she worked on the ambulance service for years that it would be a good idea for a cake. A little ambitious, but it was worth a go.

First step was doing a bit of research to find out what they actually looked like. The ambulance A's mom worked on is different than the fleet in use in Ireland today so it took a little digging to find the right model. I found a link here and worked off that. Take a look at that link before going down to see what I did.

Did you go look at the link?


Cause you won't know how awesome my representation is unless you can compare it to the real thing.



So the technical stuff. I made 2 each of chocolate and vanilla Madeira/sponge cakes. I split them all in half to get 8 layers. Then I made 2.5x Whisk Kid's (totally-unbelievably-awesome) Swiss Meringue Buttercream recipe, which just barely filled the layers and covered the cake. Then I covered it with sugar paste (or fondant, depending on which continent you live on) and added the detail. Oh - and I made rice krispie squares into wheels. Rice krispie circles into wheels? I ran out of time so I missed a number of details but it had to go to the party so I got as far as I could. Here's how it turned out:

The back view
I snuck it into the pub before all the party arrived so there was a bit of surprise when I brought it out. A's mom was delighted with it and she knew what it was, so my mission was accomplished. A few ladies actually started shouting 'Nee-naa! Nee-naa!' trying to sound like ambulances. It was great. But the hardest part of my evening was about to begin.

I know it looks really rough but I spent a lot of time on that cake. The bones of 2 days! So I wasn't at all prepared for when I was asked to cut it. I didn't even think about the fact that it was meant to be eaten in all the time I was putting it together. I felt blindsided. Seriously, I was near tears. All that work to disappear into people's bellies. But I did feel a little better when I saw how the inside looked:

I thought it looked pretty good.

And everyone loved it. Which was the most important part.

So did you put a lot of work into something only to despair at its short life-time?


Jenn x


  1. Seriously that is incredible! Such a thoughtful gift too, and it looks delicious :)

  2. Wow! What a creation! I can understand wanting to cry. Happens every once in awhile when I make an elaborate type supper for a party and the guests just eat it like it's no different than mac n'cheese.