Japanese Maple Birthday Cake

The World’s only Japanese maple Birthday Cake!

Believe it or not, the Japanese maple in this photo is a birthday cake!

Japanese Maple Birthday Cake

Japanese Maple Birthday Cake

 

Many of our customers know Taylor.  She is our customer service specialist and handles all of our incoming Email.  Taylor is warm and friendly, extremely helpful.  People really, really like and appreciate Taylor.  But nobody appreciates her as much as I do.  She does a great job and makes my life so much easier.

Wanted!  People Who Would Like to Get Paid for Growing
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But what most people don’t know, and I just recently discovered, Taylor is extremely talented and makes some awesome birthday cakes.  She wanted to stop by on my Birthday and she showed up with this incredible Birthday cake that looks just like a Japanese maple!  Yes, the leaves and the pot are edible!  The cake is inside the pot!

I know many of you are going to ask a bunch of questions about how she does this and what she uses, and I’ll let her explain it.  She explained it to me, but all I remember was how good the cake was.  Oh yeah, I did eat a leaf or two as well!

So there you have it, a Japanese maple birthday cake.  Fire off the questions and I’ll let Taylor take it from here.

 

 

130 thoughts on “Japanese Maple Birthday Cake

  1. Brenda Adams on said:

    That is incredibly creative – would love to know what the trunk., leaves, & limbs are made of – & the pot as well. the dirt in the pot has got to be chocolate (only because I am a devout dark chocolate lover)!

    Very clever!

    Sincerely,
    Brenda Adams

  2. Betsy Jones on said:

    Hi Taylor,
    Great looking cake! How on earth did you make the pot and the leaves…? And they’re edible??? Would love to know! Great job!

  3. Blair on said:

    That is so cute. Load the full recipe, please.
    Thanks Taylor,
    Blair

    • Ron Manion on said:

      My baby daughter is into food she is studying at NYU.

    • Kay Alderson on said:

      I would love the recipe for the whole thing, Cake, pot, leaves and all. Nice for our garden club event.

      Happy belalted to Mike.

    • JoAnn Stern on said:

      Absolutely awesome cake.

    • Taylor on said:

      Thanks for all of the wonderful compliments on the cake. It really was fun to make, and a very special gift for the best boss ever!

      The recipe is the easy part, let me just say. It takes a lot of time and patience to make a cake like this.

      I am going to write out the instructions as simply as I can; it is definitely going to be in depth, though, as that is the only way to explain it!

      If anyone has more questions, just let me know!

      I will start from the beginning…

      The cake I made was just plain white cake. There were lots of kids at the party, so that is the least messy choice.
      I doctored up a boxed cake mix so I could get the moistness of a boxed cake, but the flavor and firm texture of a from scratch cake.

      Cake Recipe:

      2 boxes white cake (You can use any flavor, except marbled. The texture is not firm enough.)
      6 eggs
      4 Tbs vegetable oil
      2 2/3 cups water
      2 cups sour cream (You can’t taste this in the cake, I promise. It just adds a bit of firmness.)
      1 Tbs vanilla extract
      2 small packages dry pudding mix (I used vanilla, but you can use any flavor. Instant or cook and serve.)
      2 packets of dream whip (this is a powder found near the pudding and gelatin that is used to make whipped cream.)

      I use this cake recipe quite a bit, whenever I make a carved cake. If you won’t be carving a cake and would like it lighter
      and fluffier, just leave out the sour cream. You can cut the recipe in half, if you would like to make a smaller cake.
      I baked a 5 in, 6 in, 7 in, and 8 in. round cake to stack and carve for the pot shape. Another option is to purchase a
      terra cotta pot to bake the cake in. You will need to wash it and bake it on high heat for a couple of hours to make it food safe,
      and line it with foil, though. There are instructions in multiple places online. I thought of this a little too late!

      Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

      Combine all of the ingredients together in a large bowl in the order listed. This is important because the better will be very stiff
      and it will be hard to mix in the remaining ingredients if you do too many dry ingredients first.

      Grease the bottom of your baking pan(s) with shortening and flour them to prevent the cake from sticking. Most people grease the sides of
      the pan as well, but I don’t as it helps the cake bake flatter and straighter.

      Bang the pan full of batter on the counter about 20 times to get air bubbles to come out of the batter. That will help make the cake firmer and
      a bit less fluffy, which is important for carving.

      I can’t really say how long you will need to bake the cakes. It depends on the size. With all of the added ingredients, it takes longer than
      a regular boxed cake. The 5 in took about 20 minutes, and the 8 in probably took 35 minutes. The others were somewhere in between.

      Allow the cake to cool in the pan for 20 minutes, then drag a butterknife against the edge of the pan to loosen the cake. Flip onto a board or tray.

      After completely cooled, I would suggest wrapping the cakes in plastic wrap, then foil. You can freeze them that way, as well, if you would like.

      The icing is recipe that I use as a base for all icings. It is a crusting buttercream that is perfect for every cake, including wedding cakes.
      It gets messy, so have a clean, damp kitchen towel on hand unless you would like a fine white dust to coat you and your kitchen.If you don’t have almond
      extract, don’t worry about it. I’ve made it without plenty of times. It just cuts the sweetness a little bit.

      Icing Recipe:

      1 cup shortening
      1/2 cup (1 stick) salted butter, softened
      1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
      1 Tbs vanilla extract
      1/4 tsp almond extract
      1 bag (2 pounds) powdered sugar (I use only Domino brand. Others are not always cane sugar and taste gritty in icing.)
      4-6 Tbs milk

      Using a stand mixer or electric hand mixer, blend the shortening and butter together until creamy. Add the vanilla and almond extracts and mix thoroughly.
      If you have a sifter, sift the powdered sugar. It prevents any little lumps in the icing. Mix the powdered sugar into the butter/shortening mixture slowly, on low.
      I usually scoop it in 1 cup at a time, stopping to scrape the edges of the bowl between each addition. You will want to put the damp towel over the bowl while mixing
      the sugar in, if you can, to prevent dust clouds! You do NOT want to make this recipe by hand. It gets very thick by the time all of the sugar is added,
      like bread dough almost. Once all of the sugar is added, mix the milk in one Tablespoon at a time until you get to the desired consistency.
      For a carved or tall stacked cake like this one, you want it a bit thicker so it can support the weight of the cakes on top. For regular cakes,
      add a bit more milk to get a softer, fluffier icing. Keep the icing covered with a lid, plastic wrap, or damp towel to prevent it from drying out. If it crusts
      and you mix it back up, you may get little grainy chunks throughout the batch.

      To make the Terra Cotta Pot cake:

      I used:
      Round cake boards, cut to 4.5 in, 5.5 in, 6.5 in and 7.5 in.
      Bread knife
      Satin Ice fondant in white (also called Duff’s brand at Michael’s – small packages)
      Fondarific fondant in white (also called Duff’s brand at Michael’s – large packages)
      Terra Cotta gel icing color
      Brown gel icing color
      Orange gel icing color

      Cut each cake in half lengthwise, to make it into two layers. Put a thick layer of icing on the bottom cake, then put the top layer back on. Do that for all of the cakes.
      Each cake should be placed on a cake board slightly smaller than the cake layer itself. You can buy cake board, or cut them out of cardboard and cover them in foil or plastic wrap.
      Put a dollop, glob, or whatever you prefer to call it, of icing in the center of each board so the cake will stick. Stick a dowel or skewer into the cake to measure the depth, then
      cut the dowel to that length. Cut two more to the same height, then stick them into the cake in a triangle shape about an inch in from the edge of the cake.
      These will provide support for the cake above, so the cakes underneath do not get smashed and deformed. Put thick layers of icing between each cake so they stick together and then
      stack the cakes from smallest to largest, with the smallest on the bottom.

      Looking at a plant pot or a picture of one, use a bread knife or other serrated knife to carve the cake into the correct shape. Use short, back and forth cuts to prevent crumbling.
      Cut very small amounts off at a time. You can always take more cake, but you can’t put it back on very successfully.
      Once you have the shape you want, cover the whole cake in a thin layer of icing to seal in all of the crumbs. If the icing is too thick and is just pulling crumbs from the cake
      instead of sticking, you can still go back and add in a little milk to thin it out a bit.

      To make the pot look like a real pot, I used fondant. Fondant is not easy to work with. It feels kind of like play-doh, kind of. If you have never used fondant before, a carved cake
      is probably not the best thing for you to cover on your first attempt. Another option is to just use buttercream icing tinted to the right color, and smooth it as best as possible.
      I do not make my own fondant anymore, but you can find many recipes online. There are multiple brands you can get. Wilton is sold at Walmart and Michaels, it is easy
      to work with, and it tastes horrible. Fondarific is my very favorite, it tates delicious and is easy to work with, but it doesn’t stiffen up as well as the rim of a plant pot should.
      Satin Ice is popular. It stiffens better than Fondarific, but doesn’t taste as good. I combined Fondarific and Satin Ice for this cake, then used orange, brown and terra cotta icing
      colors (gel icing colors…don’t use liquid), to get the color. Just orange and brown work just as well, if not better, than the terra cotta color.

      Knead the colored gel into the fondant a little at a time, until the color is slighlty lighter than what yo uare looking for. Then roll it out on a surface covered in either shortening
      or powdered sugar. If the fondant feels dry, use shortening. If it feels sticky, use powdered sugar.

      Once it is all colored and rolled flat, you will lay it over the cake and smooth the top and sides as much as possible, and trim excess fondant away.

      To make the Japanese Maple tree:

      I used:
      Gumpaste
      Japanese Maple Cookie Cutter
      egg white
      Floral tape in white
      Ivory gel icing color
      Floral wire, 26 gauge, cut into three inch pieces (30)
      Floral wire, 20 gauge, full length, about 18 in long (30)
      Red petal dust
      Brown petal dust
      Gold petal dust
      White petal dust
      Pink petal dust
      Gumpaste veiner and shaping tools
      Foil
      Clean, unused paint brush
      1/4 Chocolate, white chocolote, or candy melts, etc.
      6-8 oreos or other chocolate cookies

      Gumpaste is sold at Walmart, Michaels, cake stores, online, etc. It is like fondant, except stickier, and it dries rock hard. It is used to make wedding cake flowers a lot of times.
      You will need to cover the surface you are working on and your hands with a lot ofshortening. Then using a rolling pin, roll the gumpaste very thin. Like 1/16 in thick. Use the cutter
      to cut out the leaves. I wouldn’t recommend cutting the shapes by hand, as the gumpaste dries too quickly. Dip a three in piece of 26 gauge floral wire into the egg white, then insert it into
      the stem area of each leaf immediately. Sqish it a little to secure the wire. To get the leaf veins, thinned edges, etc., I used different gumpaste tools.
      You could probably improvise with different kitchen tools. Shape them how you would like, then lay them to dry on slightly crumpled foil. That will help them look more like real leafs,
      as they will be more curved. Paint the colored dust onto the leaves in different combinations to get a natural look. I then steam them to secure the powder, by holding them 6 inches above
      a pot of boiling water for three seconds each. You hold them by the wire, so you don’t get burned. Wrap the wire of each leaf with white floral tape. I cut the floral tape into thinner strips,
      since the wires are so thin. Twist some leaves together in bunches of 2 and 3, randomly, like a real tree. I made thirty leaves, left three single, and put the rest in bunches of two or three.

      Take the single leaves and bunches of leaves and twist them each onto their own full length piece of 20 gauge wire. Wrap the 20 gauge wire with white floral tape. Take all of the large wires
      and twist them together, placing the leaves at different heights to give the appearance of a tree or seedling. Wrap with white wire as you go to secure.

      To assemble the whole cake:

      I purchased a terra cotta base that the pots go on to use as my base. I placed the cake on that, on top of a small cake board, after I covered it in fondant. When you have the cake placed on whatever
      you will be serving it on, you are ready to put the “tree” in. Make sure the wires are twisted together very well at the bottom and wrap foil around the bottom 6 inches or so.
      Take a knife, skewer, or something sharp that can touch food, and stick it into the center of the cake all the way down to the bottom. I used a sharpened wooden dowel and tapped it in with a hammer,
      to make a whole to stick the tree into. The wire is not strong enough to break through the cardboard cake circles.

      Melt the chocolate or candy and pour it into the hole in the cake. Do this only after you make sure the tree can go in all the way. Then stick the tree into the cake and hold it steady for a minute,
      until the chocolate dries. It will secure the tree and prevent it from falling over or pulling out of the cake during transport.

      Crush the cookies to make dirt, and put them on top of the cake. I spread a little more of the melted chocolate over the top of the cake first, to help it stick.

      I think that is everything…if I forgot to explain anything, just let me know.
      You can email me, as well.
      If anyone decides to make one of these, please send me a picture!

      Taylor
      taylor@backyardgrowers.com

  4. jasmine isara on said:

    tell us how you did it. Would love to make a bonsai cake for my husband’s birthday!

    Gosh you are so creative! MIke you are so blessed to have such rich friends and staff surrounding you

    Blessings,
    jasmine

  5. Jenni on said:

    So so cute! Wow! You’re very talented Taylor.

  6. Barbara Corbin on said:

    Love, love, love it. Is it made of “all chocolate”?

  7. Jale Dalton on said:

    Happy Birthday Mike and many happy years! And what a thoughtful and beautiful birthday cake!

  8. BlessedHeart on said:

    I’m with Blair I would love to have the full recipe with illustrations would be nice. I am getting married in February of 2013 and am planting a Japanes Maple in my yard to commemorate my fiance moving in this spring, so this would be the perfect ccake for our wedding.

    • Taylor on said:

      Sorry I don’t have pictures! If you need more details than I posted to make your wedding cake, email me and I will get them to you!

  9. Penny on said:

    Wow ………. and the entire tree is edible? Maybe you should contact Cake Boss, he may be interested in your unique skill. Great job!

    • Taylor on said:

      Thanks! The entire tree is edible, except for the wire that is the branches. Haven’t figured out how to make something that thin edible, yet still strong!

  10. Renae on said:

    Happy Birthday Mike! “56 and still so slick!” 🙂 Have a good day.

  11. John A. Davison on said:

    In the winter when greens are hard to find, I put turnips in a little water and use the green leaves to garnish soups. They weillproduce an lot of greens before they become exhausted

  12. Margot on said:

    Very cool looking cake!!!

  13. Valerie Kite on said:

    You are a springchicken, Mike. On Feb. 13, I will be 73.

  14. John A. Davison on said:

    Hre is another tip. The recipes that contain garlic are useless if the mixture is boiled or canned. The time to add garlic is late in the process before it is subjected to high heat because garlic is very volatile and is soon gone completely. I get a big kisk out of these canned Spaghetti recipes that claim to have garlic flavor. They have nothing of th kind!

  15. Valerie Kite on said:

    Happy birthday and try to behave!

  16. Grace McDuff on said:

    That is incredible. How does she do it?

    • Taylor on said:

      Thanks, Grace! Lots and lots of patience!

  17. Grace McDuff on said:

    That is incredible, how does she do it?

  18. Valerie Kite on said:

    I am waiting for recipe too. Is it a chocolate dirt cake? I aeait the recipe. I think my sister-in-law made one without leaf.

    • Taylor on said:

      Valerie, I posted the recipe above, on the first comment. I just used a plain white cake, since there were little kids and it needed to be solid enough to carve for the shape.

      You could do chocolate, but the dirt cake recipe can’t be carved. I think I need to make a dirt cake now…sounds delicious.

  19. Lisa on said:

    That cake is fantastic! Happy birthday, Mike! (I’ve got one coming up on the 30th, and it’s a milestone… oh, boy.)

  20. Jackieblue on said:

    Is this the dirt cake I make it all the time in a new flower pot. But we have worms coming out of the dirt and a lot of people won’t even eat it It is very funny

    • Taylor on said:

      I wanted it to be all edible, so I had to use a stiffer, carveable cake recipe.

  21. Dr. Mike Hughes on said:

    You can come get all the maple trees you want from my yard. They are a nuisance to me. All the helicopters all over the yard. I have three big trees that produce hundreds of little saplings. Come get all you want. While you are at it cut down the big trees. I want Plum, Cherry, English Walnuts, Almond and even Pecan trees. Anything but Maples. I haven’t figured out yet how to eat a Maple tree. Give us some information about propagating Blueberries and other fruit plants. Anything but Maples!

    • Kathy on said:

      I feel like you do, but my nemisis is chestnut trees. I think it’s catkins in June absolutely STINK!!!
      There is a big one in my yard, and since we rent the place, there is not too much I can do about it except pray for a good wind.

  22. carry on said:

    Happy Birthday Mike

    Taylor – your cake tree is amazing – thank you for sharing

    • Taylor on said:

      Thanks, Carry!

  23. Kim Hottell on said:

    Awesome cake Taylor. I also do cakes and you definitely have a talent. You did a wonderful job. Isn’t it fun? Keep up the good work. Kim

    • Taylor on said:

      Thanks, Kim. It is fun, when I have time to do it. I like to make cakes for family and friends. I love seeing their faces!

  24. lewis on said:

    this cake was made with loving hearts!
    i can tell /for the only time a throw a meal after tasting it ,was when i wasn’t happy
    cooking !

    because you’re Irish,i’ll tell you how to be happy all your life;because as a bishop in Lebanon said one day:
    the house that doesn’t sanctify the holy word of our Lord Jesus,they are not humans!!!confess and consacrate your house to the sacred heart/there and only there it will be called home,keep chaste till marriage,and will see no fog all your life,but a clear sky only-trust me, i’ve seen a lot..a lot…
    i know what i’m talking about!

    lewis

  25. Kathy on said:

    Wow, this is amazing! Are you doing cakes in your spare time? I would say you definitely have a future in cakes – have you thought of participating in a Food Network competition or something similiar?

    • Taylor on said:

      Kathy,

      Thanks so much! Nope, no business or Food Network for me. I am a pretty busy person at the moment; probably every other cake I make is done solely at night while my children and customers are sleeping! I really enjoy making cakes for my family and friends, so I’m good with that for the time being! 🙂

  26. David on said:

    Talk about Natural Food! I assume it is very low calorie?

    • Mike on said:

      David, I didn’t taste any calories so I’m thinking it was calorie free!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  27. Marguerite on said:

    Sure love to have the full recipe, where I could make on for your local Garden Club, we meet the first Tuesday night each month. That would nice to have for Febuary, we always have a meal before the meeting, I am helping meat and dessert. Please share if possible.

    • Taylor on said:

      Marguerite,

      I posted the recipe and instructions as a reply to the first post on the page. It can definitely be altered with different flavors, etc. That is just how I did it.

      I have heard you can bake cakes inside of clean terra cotta pots…if you have never worked with fondant before, you may want to research that option a bit.

      Good luck, and please send me a picture when its done! taylor@backyardgrowers.com

  28. Cynthia on said:

    That is really awesome. Love the “dirt”, too! would love to see how she created the leaves, pot, etc.

    • Taylor on said:

      Cynthia,

      I posted the recipes and my methods above. No pictures or videos, though. Maybe next time!

      • dale on said:

        TOOO much work for such a simple looking cake. I got dizzy just reading the recipe. By the way Happy Birthday Mike.

        • Mike on said:

          Dale, I’m not so sure the cake was simple looking, looked quite unique to me. But that makes me appreciate the effort that Taylor put forth even more.

  29. Daniel Halvarson on said:

    Happy birthday Mike here’s to many more wonderful years to come!

  30. Marilyn R Williams on said:

    Very cool! Bet it took some time to get those branches and leaves on the cake. 🙂 Happy Birthday, late…

    • Taylor on said:

      Marilyn,

      Yes, it did take a bit of time. It was definitely worth it, though! I am still not sure what Mike thought when I walked in with it…Something along the lines of “Where did she get this tree in the middle of winter?” or “Why in the world did she buy me a fake plant?”

  31. Terri Tillman on said:

    WOW!!! How did you do that??? Would love to have the recipe and directions..
    Thanks!!!
    Terri

    • Taylor on said:

      Terri,

      Thanks! Lots of time, patience, and supplies!

      The recipes/simplified instructions are posted above. Let me know if anything needs clarified.

  32. Sue Colton on said:

    Hi Taylor, Having been a cake decorator in my lifetime…. I love your very apropos design. What a perfect and “fun” cake for Mike. I’m sure that you had fun designing and making it.
    I love Mike’s helpful garden videos….and I know that he was super surprised and impressed. Isn’t it fun to put happy smiles on people’s faces with your creative talents? Happy Birthday Mike!

    • Taylor on said:

      Sue,

      I know exactly what you mean. I love to see people smile when I give them a really neat cake!

  33. ROGER POULIN on said:

    just checking, is there a jap maple that’ll survive south central florida zone 9?

    • Mike on said:

      Roger, there are many that will do well in zone 9 with a little shade. I’d just try one or two and if you give them some shade they should be fine.

  34. Carol Hook on said:

    Happy Birthday to Mike! What a fantastic cake, Taylor! I’m guessing the “mulch” is chocolate and the leaves and flowerpot are white chocolate with coloring, and the tree trunk might be a wire armature. To be authentic I’d guess the cake is dark chocolate, maybe with roots made of white coconut shreds(?) How did Taylor bake the cake shape and the dish underneath it?
    Great work, Taylor!!

    • Taylor on said:

      Carol,

      Thanks! The mulch/dirt is crushed oreo cookies, the leaves are gumpaste, the pot is fondant covered, and the cake is white. I was thinking Mike’s furniture being protected from chocolate-colored toddler fingers was more important at the time, but now I’m thinking authentic looks inside would have been cool!

      I carved the cake out of four round cakes, and the dish underneath is a real dish, which doubled as my cake plate.

  35. Mary Agosto on said:

    Hello Taylor,
    May I trouble you for the recipe & instructions to your maple tree birthday cake? Thank-you, Mary

    • Taylor on said:

      Mary,

      I posted the recipes/instructions above. Let me know if there is anything I didn’t explain well. That is a lot to try to cover in one post!

  36. Christa Krueger on said:

    HELLO Taylor,

    What a exquisit and unique cake. I’m sure,Mike really appreciated such nice gesture.
    Since you are ‘in charge’ of all incoming emails, I would like to mention, how much I enjoy receiving Mike’ mails. At the same time, I wanted to let him know, that I am physically unable to raise maples, besides, we are not allowed to do backyard growing for commerical purposes. On top, even if, my garden is way to small, to even put a veggie garden in. I hope, Mike will not be too upset, I still LOVE to get his mails.’Thank you, Christa.
    One more thing….
    Please wish him a belated HAPPY Birthday for me and many happy returns. Also tell him, I am old enough to be his mother.

    • Mike on said:

      Christa, you just keep reading those Emails and I’ll keep sending them. -Mike

  37. Susan on said:

    How imaginative and creative. Kudos Taylor!

    Will you share your recipe and instructions?

    • Taylor on said:

      Susan,

      Thank you very much! I posted the recipes and instructions above.

  38. Judy on said:

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

  39. Karen on said:

    Happy Birthday. Friends make these moments and life worthwhile. The cake is lovely and so full of love. What a thoughtful young lady. Thank you for sharing.

  40. Chester on said:

    Mike,

    Where did you find someone that’s a cute as a bugs ear, not a bad bug but a good bug?

    Taylor,

    What your secret for making the pot, leaves, and stem?

    • Taylor on said:

      Chester,

      The leaves are gumpaste, which is what many wedding cake flowers are made from, the stems are wire covered in fondant and colored dust, and the cake is carved into the shape of a pot and covered in fondant. If you didn’t know, fondant is a thick icing, which has a clay like consistency. You roll it out and cover things with it.

  41. Patricia on said:

    Too cute! Happy Birthday, Mike! We, too, appreciate Taylor’s and your work, as well!!!PIC

  42. Richard Elzey on said:

    What a GREAT cake Taylor! Mike, if she has that much talent she needs to be in the cake business. I’d love for my wife to get me a cake like that. That is SO COOL!

    • Taylor on said:

      Thanks, Richard. I like making cakes as a hobby sometimes, but I have way too much to do to be in the business!

  43. Dawn on said:

    Taylor is very talented. Amazing idea and artistic expression!
    Thank you for sharing.

  44. Dan on said:

    Wow Taylor that cake really looks unique. Very creative. You are young, and smart!

  45. karen greeling on said:

    awesome, I want the recipe

    • Taylor on said:

      Karen,

      The recipe and instructions are posted above.

  46. Thuy Do on said:

    Wow, the cake is awesome …Happy late Birthday to Mike !!!

  47. Meg on said:

    I would like the recipe for that Japanese Maple Birthday Cake, please

    • Taylor on said:

      Meg,

      I posted the recipe and instructions above.

  48. Cheryl on said:

    Happy birthday Mike!

    Taylor, that is unbelievable! Love it!

  49. Donna on said:

    What do the leaves and pot taste like? The dirt has got to be chocolate. What inspired you to create this?

    • Mike on said:

      Donna, the leaves taste like cake flowers. The dirt was Oreo I think, but under the dirt was cake.

    • Taylor on said:

      Donna,

      I wanted to give Mike something for his birthday, and cake is usually what I go with because I can come up with something really special for people that way.

      Mike really loves Japanese Maples, so I went with that. It was either the tree, or bib overalls. 🙂

  50. Batrbara Bomprezzi on said:

    Mike that was a very special Birthday Cake for you. She was so sweet to take the time to bake this for you and I hope you got lots of pictures. We all love you Mike you have been helpful to so many of us. HAPPY BIRTHDAY MIKE> The cake was quite unique and very real looking…….. Barbara Bomprezzi

    • Mike on said:

      Thanks Barbara, it was really nice of Taylor to make such a special cake for me.

  51. Jenny on said:

    How clever! It would be a shame to eat it but eat it I would.

    • Taylor on said:

      Jenny,

      It is really hard to watch something you spend so many hours on be gone that quickly. I am good at it now, but I still refuse to eat any cake I make. I think its too emotional! 🙂

  52. Jan Adams on said:

    Would love the recipe and what kind of pans you used. Our church Agape Garden Club would love and appreciate a cake like this for some of our events. Great job!

    • Taylor on said:

      Jan,

      I posted the recipe above. I used four round pans 5 in, 6 in, 7 in, and 8 in. You could use any size pans, you just might have to waste a bit more cake that way. I have also heard you can back in a terra cotta pot that has been cleaned. You could look into that.

  53. Jessica on said:

    Absolutely amazing,Taylor!

  54. Joy Embury on said:

    Happy Birthday Mike ..hope you had a wonderful day…

  55. Joy Embury on said:

    Forgot to add beautiful cake I hope you print this recipw for all of us ..

  56. Barbara Turner on said:

    Love it! My daughter is a Cake maker and she’s shown me how you do all of this with fondant. It’s amazing what can be created. I’m a huge fan of Buddy Vallastro, Cake Boss and this looks just as good as one of his cakes! I can watch ya’ll do this and still wonder how you do it. I made her 1st birthday cake with a sheet cake and lattice work and 1 tier and she was off and running! LOL Great job!

  57. Don Varao on said:

    Hi Mike, Happy Birthday Mike, dont have the words to describe that cake of taylors except AWSOME.

  58. Steve on said:

    That really is very cool. Good job!! Can I get a cutting?

  59. Wanda Henley on said:

    I just want to know HOW to make this. It’s great!

    • Taylor on said:

      Wanda,

      I posted the instructions above. I’m sure I didn’t cover every step, but I tried!

  60. Jackie on said:

    Vey cool happy late birthday Mike. We are dying to hear how she did that cake.

    • Taylor on said:

      Jackie,

      I posted the recipe and instructions above, under the first post.

  61. Kay Alderson on said:

    Please send the entire recipe. Cake, leaves, pot and all. This would be great for our garden club event.

    Happy belated to Mike.

    • Taylor on said:

      Kay, I posted the recipe and instructions above.

  62. Cindy Elkin-Gerling on said:

    Thanks for sharing that with us! Sure couldn’t tell it was a cake. Happy Birthday and happy planting

  63. Lynn McMillen on said:

    Taylor, that is a terrific-looking cake. You are clearly a very talented young lady. I’m truly impressed by the branches and leaves. That’s so pretty I’d really hate to have to eat it, but if it’s *half* as good as it looks, I’m sure it was amazing.

  64. Cyndi Harless on said:

    Well Mike a happy belated birthday to you and kudo’s to Taylor for such a wonderfully creative and surprising cake. Keep up the good work you two.

    Thanks for sharing

  65. Maria Larkens on said:

    What a clever lady. Happy Birthday Mike for yesterday. I’ll be looking out for the recipe too 🙂

  66. Maria Larkens on said:

    Sorry I’m in New Zealand so a day ahead..Hi everyone

  67. Dori on said:

    Great job Taylor,
    I saw this and wondered how did she grow a tree with the leaves even, in a pot? I was awed, even more so, after i saw it was a cake. wow! I need the recipe. please.

  68. Jeannie on said:

    Happy Birthday Mike I hope you had a wonderfu day.
    Taylor I also would like to know the details of your cake if you are willing to share.
    It looks unique not the normal Birthday cake which I am a big fan of different.
    Mike I enjoy your emails and am getting my place set up so I can order the Japanese Maples. Are these the tree or bush variety???

  69. MariaYu Emmett on said:

    Feliz cumpleaños – Happy Mapple Birthday!

  70. Judy Stroud on said:

    Yummy and adorable birthday cake!
    Happy Birthday to you, Mike!

  71. Mohamedkutty on said:

    Happy to know about the cake and recipe posted by Tylor.It is very interesting.Mike, thank you for your tips. Let me wish you happy birth day!. I thought you are elder than me,but it is not the case. I am over 62 now and will reach 63 on July next!. In our place ,India climate is far different from your place and actions may differ. Any way I will try your tips. I am trying to inform my friends about you and your projects.

  72. nina pattison on said:

    That is one very talented baker, your Taylor!
    I would never even think about attempting such a thing!
    And I just had a birthday, too,Mike!
    ~ my 84th!!!!

    • Mike on said:

      Happy Birthday Nina!

  73. sally rogind on said:

    Happy Belated Birthday Mike Let me just say what a beautiful way to spend a 50+ Birthday with your Family and of course the most talented cake maker Taylor for sure. So cute and so appropriate who wouldnt love a cake like that. Well let me tell you i just cant wait for Spring to arrive and on Mon the 30th of Jan I am off to Sarasota Fla for 2 to 3 months. If Spring proves to be real warm In Fenton Mi i will be back sooner. This year i so want to buy all the different Maples and plant a beautiful and very different Maple tree garden per se as I love them dearly.Also i am going to try to start with the small starter plants and try to sell them but one day at a time Mike as i enjoy your videos and all the super great emails. I love love love gardening so very much. Thanks so much that i found your site. Fondly Sally

  74. christine randall on said:

    hope you had a wonderful birthday, it sounds like you had a great party. wonderful cake, thanks for the recipe! God bless, christine

  75. Jean on said:

    Taylor, this is obviously a labor of love for you. The detailed instructions you gave are incredible. Thank you–and you go, girl!

  76. Troy Warren on said:

    Very cool and unique. Happy Birthday Mike! Will be cranking up your system soon.

    • Mike on said:

      Troy, I hope you do! I think you’ll really enjoy the experience, not to mention some extra income.

  77. Teresa on said:

    Happy Be-lated Birthday Mike! Thank you for your great advice. Excellent job Taylor!

  78. Relu on said:

    Happy Birthday Mike ! Even I’m a bit late, I think you’ll accept my best wishes. It’s good to be that young!:)

  79. Emette Massey on said:

    Taylor, you are an culinary artist bar none! Awesome creation . . . ! By the way my birthday is in May . . .LOL!

    Emette
    http://emettemassey@weebly.com

  80. Marcy on said:

    Happy Birthday Mike! You fit your cake well!
    Cool cake, Taylor! Keep being inspired.

  81. Maria on said:

    Wow! This is marvelous!!!! How very creative and realistic!!!! Happy Birthday Mike!

  82. Aruna on said:

    Hi Taylor
    Nice I like it, I think you have new thing wish you all the best
    Aruna

  83. Barbara Pease on said:

    Happy Birthday to you Mike. I am glad you had a great one!!

    Great job on the cake Taylor, A very unique idea. Sounds like Mike does love his Japanese Maple. I hope to have a chance to get some started one of these days.

  84. Pat on said:

    Love your Birthday cake!!! Thanks for sharing.

    Happy birthday. Pat

  85. John Nelson on said:

    Mike, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

    Taylor, CONGRATULATIONS on a spectacular artistic endeavor, That cake is a masterpiece!

    🙂

  86. Christa Krueger on said:

    Thanks, Mike,
    for understanding and
    thanks, Taylor,
    for such an indept description of the process, baking this cake..
    I will save the ‘recipe’ and will give it a try later this summer, when I promised my 11 year old grandson to teach him how to cook. We have worked on the ‘gardening part’ for a few years now, but then I got sick (open heart- and breast cancer surgery), from which I am slowly trying to recover. Grandchildren are a gift from God and teaching them your experiences is most rewarding. I’ll be looking forward to future emails from you, Mike,
    and maybe some occasional little ‘tidbits’ from you, Taylor.
    You both have a great day.
    Christa

  87. Greg Boshell on said:

    Mike,
    Happy Birthday and hope u have many more and taylor you did a great job on making the cake. like some of the other people said it is nice having a good bunch of people around that care about you.
    Greg

  88. Rose Mattice on said:

    Belated Happy Birthday Mike, wishing you
    many more healthy birthdays.

    Taylor, how talented you are, great
    cake.

  89. Roland Weisser on said:

    Is japanesemaplelovers.com no defunct? I am having all the mail returned.

    thnkas

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