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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Ugly Christmas Sweater Cake

The Ugly Christmas Sweater trend shows no indication of slowing down. One no longer has to hunt through the racks at Value Village to find a second hand ugly Christmas sweater. Manufacturers are producing them and flooding the market. They are at Walmart. They are at The Bay. You can order an ugly Christmas sweater with your favourite NHL team logo. Still, it is not the same as finding a one-of-a-kind treasure.

Oh, how I wish I'd kept the sweater that an elderly neighbour knit for me years ago. It had a big green Christmas tree on the front, wrapped packages under the tree, and - the best part - there was a little battery pack and a string of tiny lights sewn inside the sweater. At the press of a button my sweater would light up and start playing Jingle Bells.

But, I digress. The purpose of this post is to reclaim my Ugly Christmas Sweater Cake!



This is a cake that I made for my daughter, Jayna, back in 2010. Her birthday is just four days before Christmas and I often joked that I was going to buy her an ugly Christmas sweater for her birthday. Then I thought, why not make her a sweater cake? So, I did and she loved it. I posted it on Cake Central (under my pseudonym - Martha) and then I kind of forgot about it.

I was searching around recently on Pinterest and found a pin of my cake. I followed one of the links that took me to someone's blog. There are almost 15,000 pins of that cake! There are hundreds of other pins directly from Cake Central. Flattered! I have even had people post the picture as their own. That's where I draw the line. So, I am here to say, "That's my cake!"

It was a simple 9 x 13 vanilla cake with a dark chocolate-mocha whipped ganache filling. I assembled all of my tiny cookie cutters and set to work without much of a plan. I used an impression mat (the basketweave mat from CK Products) to give the look of the knitting and then patched the different coloured pieces of fondant together. The yellow "rick-rack" is just royal icing. To make the zipper, I cut a strip of black fondant and pressed a real zipper into it for the impression and used a snowflake plunger/cutter for the zipper pull. Mini cookie cutters helped form the gingerbread people and the lights around the neck of the sweater. The snowman was free form; the trees were royal icing with metallic looking dragees for lights.  As a finishing touch, I added a little "Jayna" tag at the neck.

This cake was a hit at Jayna's birthday party back in 2010. And, from the looks of Pinterest, Ugly Sweater Cakes at Christmas parties are the "thing" again this year!