There was lots of inspiration for this cake to be found on Pinterest. These two were my favorites:
|via Shower of Roses|
|via Hostess With the Mostess|
Instead of candy or cookie, I used fondant to make my logs and fire. The rest of the cake (two stacked 9" rounds) are covered with chocolate buttercream icing. To make the logs, I baked a box of Betty Crocker cake mix (my cake making go-to) in my meatloaf pan. I am sure there is a more technical name for this pan, but you get the idea.
After taking the cake loaf out of the pan, I cut it in half - lengthwise. Next I trimmed the edges with a serrated knife to round it out a bit. I cut four 3 1/2" long logs out of the two long peices. I wrapped each log in fondant colored with brown food coloring gel. Quick tip: I've found the best way to color fondant is to mix it with food coloring in a stand mixer using a pastry hook. I trimmed the fondant on the ends of the log using a utility knife. After the logs were placed on top of the cake - in an "X" shape with a hole in the middle - I painted on the lines of the log using a paint brush and food coloring gel slightly diluted with water.
I also used fondant to make the flames. This was a total experiment - thankfully it worked. I rolled out white fondant to approximately 1/4" thickness - maybe a little thinner. I used my utility knife to cut out flame shapes. I cut each flame individually. Unfortunately I didn't take a picture but the illustration below shows what the flames looked like. I laid the flames on a cutting board dusted with corn starch and let them dry for a couple of days.
To color the flames I used Wilton Color Mist. I had never used this product before so I didn't know what to expect. I'm please to report that it worked really well. I used red, orange, and yellow mist to color my flames. I used multiple colors on some flames and as promised the product created an airbrushed look.
I did not insert the flames into the cake until the party. I was afraid that the moisture from the cake would cause the fondant flames to soften and droop. This did not happen and they stood up perfectly. to stand up the flames, I simply pressed them in the cake between the logs.
The cake looked really cool when I lit the candle and dimmed the lights. You know you've made something cool when you can instantly quiet a room of mostly 6 and 7 year old boys.