20 answers

3Rd B-day Cake Ideas

Hi Ladies! This is a 2-part question. First, my son will be turning 3 at the end of this month and I'm at a loss as to what themed cake to make him. (I made a baseball for his first b-day and a 3D truck for his 2nd. He's still into cars/trucks, but I really wanted to do something different this year.)
Second, I've seen a lot of cakes with fondant icing that are absolutely gorgeous, but I have NO IDEA what fondant is, where you get it, or how you use it. I'd like to give it a try, if anyone has any advice (or recipes, if I have to make it myself). Thanks!

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thank you all very much for your ideas and fondant knowledge! I still haven't completely decided on a cake, but from what you've told me, I think I'm going to wait on the fondant until next year... maybe play around with it in the mean time to see if I can't find one that tastes decent and works well. Thanks again!

Featured Answers

Fondant doesn't taste too good. my son is into cars and trucks too and for his third birthday, I cleaned his Lil Tykes dump truck and made mini muffins (chocolate and banana) and put them in the truck so that they looked like rocks.

1 mom found this helpful

I've heard that fondant is beautiful, but no one actually eats it (so i was told by a bakery) bc it doesn't taste very good. =(

1 mom found this helpful

More Answers

J., your are asking the right people. One year I did a figure 8 cake for my older son. You bake 2 8-9 inch round cakes slicing the rounded top portion off both and side aside, place the cakes upside down on a tray or cake stand of your choice, take the biggest (or what ever size you want) circle cookie cutter and cut the middle out of both cakes (make sure the 2 cakes are touching), cut a strip out of the top of the cakes that you cut off earlier and place diagonally across the cakes to make a figure eight race track, spread icing (I use chocolate icing to look like mud, and decorate with Hot wheels cars which your son will get to keep and trees etc. I used the two cookie cutter cut outs as special cakes just for the birthday boy. I wrote in icing on one happy B-day and my son's name on the other.

You can get fondant at any grocery store or craft store. It's just a pretty thick icing that you roll out like pie crust and you place it over a cake smoothing it around the edges. It gives cake a professional look.

I know you'll get a lot of good advice and good luck

2 moms found this helpful

J.... what about a Veggie Tales theme or 1,2,3 Penguins or a Bug theme. J. we actually did a Blue's Clues theme for my daughter's 3rd birthday and did everything BLUE. I bought blue Hawaiian Punch, bot some chip dip and added a few drops to it to make it blue, blue cotton candy, I think you get the idea. It was FUN!

1 mom found this helpful

My SIL recently discovered fondant and has loved working with it so much (and her cakes have been so beautiful!) that she's thinking of starting a cake-making business from her home. Anyway, if you click on this link (http://delicious.com/katsyfga/fondant) it will take you to my bookmarks of web pages she has given me about fondant, including the recipe for fondant (although you can buy it) and how to make the cake heavier so that the cake doesn't collapse under the weight of the fondant.

She says the fondant is very sweet. A previous response said something about the fondant being not good and people setting it aside. She says that most people do that with hers, but because it is usually too sweet/rich and people get enough good flavor, richness, and sweetness from the cake and the frosting (apparently, you spread fondant over frosting for the best smoothness?). I wish I could show you the pictures of the cakes she has made because they're just beautiful. She says the fondant is like play-dough -- you can mold it, sculpt it, cut it with cookie cutters -- your imagination is the limit! A couple of our mutual friends have also made fondant cakes, and posted pictures on facebook. Even though it was their first effort, they looked very good as well. But google "fondant" and look at the pictures and you'll get tons of ideas.

I'd like to do some fondant cakes, but so far I've just decorated sheet cakes -- if I have more time, I make them more detailed; if not, oh well. We moved into our house the weekend my older son turned 2, so his birthday cake was a sheet cake with white frosting and red sprinkles with a Thomas the Tank Engine toy put on top. My younger son's first birthday was a Little Bear cake -- I found a picture online and printed it out (it was one of those "coloring book" type pages, so just black outlines on white paper), and used that as a template to decorate the cake -- you know, with the "decorating tips" and an icing bag. It was *very cute* but took a long time. Then the next birthday, my son was into Bob the Builder, so I printed a picture off to do the same thing as the LB cake, but this one was a color picture and looked pretty good so I stuck the paper on top of the cake and iced around the edges (so you couldn't tell it was paper stuck on top of the cake at first, and in pictures), then when I cut it I pulled it up. MUCH easier than the other cake. Both my boys are into Thomas still, and my older son has already requested a James cake (because he's turning 5 and James is #5) for his birthday several months from now.

1 mom found this helpful

I made a train cake for my son for his 3rd birthday. I found the recipe on the SaraLee website. It involved freezing 3 premade poundcakes and doing some light carving. They were cleverly decorated with cookies and other such items to make it look like a train. It didn't take long and was pretty inexpensive since I already had many of the decorations. I made it the center piece on a long table and added trays of snacks around it. He absolutely loved it.


1 mom found this helpful

I have recently read amd seen on TV were you can use candy (such as starburst, tootsie rolls) and warm them in your hand and then you can shape them. I believe it would be similiar to fondant. You can usually buy fondant at a cake decorating store.
Maybe this year you could make the larger cupcakes. That is what I am going to do when my daughter turns 3 in Sept. Kids this age seem to LOVE cupcakes!
Good Luck!

1 mom found this helpful

No specific ideas about the actual cake but I work with fondant all the time. You can get it at Walmart for a really good price. If you are around the clarksvile area, I am more than willing to help you learn how to work with it.

As for cakes these are what I have made my boys: Rocket ship from Little Ensteins, Grave Digger, Cars theme, Bear, and Elmo (cupcake cake).. All of them were 3D and most with fondant.

I will be making a Veggies Tales, Sonic and possibly a dirt bike cake this year... I have 3 little guys with birthdays from end of Nov thru the end of Dec.

Good luck!

Oh I wanted to comment on the one comment you got about the taste... it does not taste bad, its just a sweeter taste than buttercream, and kits love it (and less mess).

1 mom found this helpful

I thought kids were into dinosaurs at this age. Balloons are always bright and happy, and the colors can be all bright. Take him to a party store and look at the themes they have and let him choose!

1 mom found this helpful

Hi J.,
There is a place by Opry Mills called Sweet and Wise that has fondant already made up. Their fondant is suppose to taste alittle better than others. I haven't tried their fondant but I have used the wilton fondant and everybody at my house will take the fondant off the cake. It doesn't taste very good. I found it better to use buttercream icing. To get the smooth look after you icing your cake let it set out maybe 10 or 15 minutes and use something flat to press gently on it but make sure to put alittle powder sugar on the flat object so it doesn't stick to you cake. My son has had batman, starwars, power rangers, ninja turtles, bob the builder. We hired batman and others from Copy Cats for Kids you can find their number in the monthly parent book. He loved it. They bring games for the kids, so of the actors also do flips. Spiderman was great and so was Batman & Robin. Hope this helps some.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi J.,

I'm going to guide you to www.sugarcraft.com
You should be able to come up with some ideas there.

Also....wilton books should have a recipe for the fondant in it....I don't recomend it though. So many people complain how awful it is and you usually have to peel it off the cake to eat the cake.

Hope this helps.

1 mom found this helpful

i just received a Wilton e-mail today, and sure enough, it was about the fondant! here is a link that may help you:


they have wonderful decorating ideas, as does betty crocker.

1 mom found this helpful

I've heard that fondant is beautiful, but no one actually eats it (so i was told by a bakery) bc it doesn't taste very good. =(

1 mom found this helpful

I personally do not care for fondant (it is not the greatest), but you can buy it whereever cake decorating items are sold (wal-Mart, craft store, etc.)

One year, I made a 'dirt cake' for my little boy and it was the BIGGEST hit of all. There are several recipes on line, but I prefer the one that uses cream cheese (if you have never had dirt cake, it is more of a custard made with with instant chocolate pudding, cool whip, cream cheese, crushed oreos and powdered sugar.) I decorated mine with a real Thomas the Train (I picked one who's number corresponded with my son's year), but I debated about using Tonka contruction trucks and making it a construction theme. Since the top is covered in crumbled oreo's, you have a good 'canvas' to work with. Of course, since your boy's b-day is in August, you could sub vanilla for chocolate and decorate as a beach!!

Anyway, my mom gave me some flack for not making a real cake, but this was the only year that ALL the 'cake' was gone at the of the family party. :-)

1 mom found this helpful

Fondant doesn't taste too good. my son is into cars and trucks too and for his third birthday, I cleaned his Lil Tykes dump truck and made mini muffins (chocolate and banana) and put them in the truck so that they looked like rocks.

1 mom found this helpful


1 mom found this helpful

you make the fondant yourself and can probably find a recipe online. Fondant is easy to decorate with but is really, really sweet. Not everyone likes it but it is pretty. Is there a tv show he likes? My son's 1st bday was Dr Seuss, 2nd bday was Elmo,3rd bday was Shrek and his 4th was Spiderman. You can do Blue's Clue's, Diego, Max and Ruby, etc If you don't want any theme at all, you can do blue polka dots....you can do pirates, go to a grocery store bakery and look in their idea book. You can also buy the plastic props and designs from them to place on your own cake. A friend's son's 3rd bday was John Deere tractors. You can do football, soccer....maybe this will spark some ideas.

Have fun!

1 mom found this helpful


I have decorated a lot of cakes and although fondant is very nice looking, it is almost tastless (unless you get the expensive kind) and hard to work with if you have not done it before...mainly the kneading it and rolling it out. I would not do it for a 3 yr old justb/c it really has no flavor in my opinion and it is very chewy. Fondant cakes make great cakes for dispay purposes, but as far as eating it I would rather have icing...and I think a 3yr old would too. Good luck on whatever you decide to do. I am sure it will be great!

1 mom found this helpful

I have done Puppy Dog theme with a bone shaped cake & little plastic dog dishes filled with snack (peanut butter pretzels, chex mix, cereal, etc..) I made rice crispy treats & cut them with a bone shaped cookie cutter and placed it in the dish, as well. I found doggy themed fabric & made simple bean bags as party favors (filled with split peas - cheap & easy & well received)

Barn yard theme is a good one. We had a chicken cake - it was very funny. Again, you can do matching bean bags as favors (and paint a themed bean bag toss board - very easy. Or just put out buckets to toss them in.

Ocean or Shark theme is popular with the boys too.

Fondant is a dough like material. Store bought is made from a variety of sugars, fats and stabilizers to help the texture. It does not taste very good (in my opinion) but can be purchased at Michaels Crafts, Wal Mart, any store with a craft/baking section.

IF you use it, ice the cake first with a really good icing like a home made buttercream with real butter, to compensate for the taste.

Go to the craft store & thumb through their cake making books. You can get a good idea of what it will entail. Or google it, there are lots of resources on line about cake decorating.

One thing i like to do is google images for cakes to get inspired. Like "shark cakes" to see what else others have done.

Good luck & have fun!!

P : )

1 mom found this helpful

Try this http://whatscookingamerica.net/PegW/Fondant.htme............. My grandson will be 3 on Aug15 and they r going with Scooby Doo. Was a toss up with that or the movie Cars

1 mom found this helpful

We did dirt cake too this year. We put gummy worms in it and served it with the worms sticking out. It was great!

Hi there! First of all, I LOVE to bake cakes, and I have a small business out of my home if you are interested in having someone else bake your cake for your son's birthday. Please visit my website at www.angelabartonscakes.blogspot.com to find out more. BUT to answer your questions...
Fondant - is a stretchable, edible, "clay" that is used to cover cakes. You see this a lot on wedding cakes and now more lately on children's cakes to get that really smooth look. Fondant is easily purchased or even made. You'll probably find the Wilton brand in most stores. There are other brands out there on various cake websites that you can purchase fondant from that taste better, and work better but tend to be a bit expensive. You can purchase the Wilton brand at any local craft store in the cake aisle and I believe even Walmart has some too in their cake section. You can make it using various ingredients as well. I don't like the taste of it, but some people do. Children probably won't like it either. When I talk to clients I tend to encourage buttercream cakes, b/c you'll eat more or it and not spend as much money on the cake. Fondant does costs extra. I use Marshmallow Fondant when I decorate cakes, I don't cover my cakes in it, but I will decorate with it. It taste sweet and not as bland as regular fondant. Go to www.cakecentral.com and check out their recipe selection you'll find just about ANYTHING you need there, even pictures of ideas to make. If you live in the Charlotte/Matthews/Stallings area, please look at my webpage and I'd be more than happy to help make a cake for your son.

A. B

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