A Topsy-Turvy "Precious Planet" Cake

Andria and Staci contacted me a few months ago about a Precious Planet-themed cake for their son Steven's first birthday. They were sold on the idea of a topsy-turvy cake, in shades of blue and green, with edible decals inspired by Steven's quilt and a cereal-treat replica of his favorite stuffed monkey toy.

So, I set about carving three extra-high tiers of cake in the classic wonky-cake style, and hand-painted the chocolate fondant cutouts to resemble the Fisher Price lion, polar bear, and penguin.  I also added a sun, some clouds, and purple icebergs to mimic those on Steven's quilt.  The monkey was modeled from Rice Krispie treats and chocolate, complete with a blue bow around his neck and 'stitching' details on his body and limbs.  My customers also really wanted a banana tree shaped like a "1" sitting on the cake -- done!  I made the tiny yellow bananas one by one from gumpaste; I used a bubble-tea straw as the internal support for the tree, and floral wire as support for the gumpaste banana leaves.  Finally, I painted some grass along the base of the top two tiers using petal dust, and added more dimension and texture by piping the foreground grass using a small petal tip and some bright green buttercream. 

The 14-inch bottom tier was chocolate cake with strawberry buttercream, the 10-inch middle tier was white-chocolate pound cake with white-chocolate cream-cheese filling, and the 6-inch top tier was carrot cake with white-chocolate cream-cheese filling.  The photos (below) were taken in the cake studio before I left to deliver the cake, and so I hadn't added the banana tree or "Happy Birthday" banner yet (Eugene's potholed roads are notorious for shaking delicate cake decorations loose...).  The (blurry) phone pic at the very bottom shows the banana tree on the cake, at the venue.  Happy Birthday, Steven!