Summer Fun with Fondant at the Family Fun Tent in Millennium Park!

July 12th, 2010 by Mary Ellen Kolodiej

Last week Wilton made its debut at the Family Fun Tent organized by the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs. However, before all of the fun could begin there was a lot of prep work involved.

Fun Tent Cake

I have to give kudos to Valerie Pradhan, a decorator in the Wilton Decorating Room, for making the cake for the event. Now, when I say cake I don’t mean any ordinary cake. This cake was 3 feet wide and 4 feet tall!

On the day of the event Angie Thayer and Diana Rodriguez had to haul not only the ENORMOUS cake, but also 143 pounds of fondant and decorating tools to accommodate the 2,023 attendees!

Check out Diana and Angie getting the cake into Angie’s car (thank goodness she has a SUV). We had to attach the top three layers to the cake when we got to the event.

Transporting Fun Tent Cake

Upon arrival, we immediately began unloading the numerous boxes and setting up the tables because the kids were about to enter the tent. The day was extremely busy but so much fun! Children of all ages, parents and grandparents were all drawn to the display table. The display cakes represented a variety of techniques you can do with fondant: bows, balls, overlays, inlays, ropes, curlicues, writing on fondant with FoodWriters™ and using an imprint mat to make designs on fondant. People were simply amazed at how beautiful cakes could look when decorated with fondant.

The giant cake was a sight to see! Every person who walked through the tent stopped by our section. The kids (and, I saw several parents get involved themselves) had the opportunity to make designs with the fondant and attach it to the cake. It is amazing how creative children are! One child made a giant friendly bug that sat on top of the cake. Another little girl made a beautiful lily.

Diana and Angie each conducted a demo to introduce people to fondant and show them how easy it is to work with fondant. They explained it very well, “If you’ve never worked with fondant, it is similar to modeling clay, but it is edible.” As they demonstrated different techniques they provided helpful hints for working with fondant. Most importantly, they answered any questions from the audience.

Decorated Fun Tent CakeOverall, the day couldn’t have been any better. The weather was perfect. The tables were consistently filled with kids having fun and learning at the same time (but we didn’t tell them that). And, the finished cake was more colorful than I could have imagined.

Chicago, it was our pleasure decorating the giant cake with you! We hope you had fun and learned something about the art of cake decorating.

This also brings me to my own “Thank You” as I have completed my 6 week internship with Wilton. Thank you, Wilton for the opportunity to intern with you. I was able to learn and grow as a young professional and had the time of my life doing it!

Mary Ellen Kolodiej Mary Ellen is a summer intern for the Department of Consumer Affairs at Wilton. She is currently finishing her Dietetic Internship through Purdue University. Mary Ellen has always enjoyed spending time in the kitchen cooking and baking with family and friends. Mary Ellen was placed at Wilton Enterprises to explore the role of the Registered Dietitian in Industry. She enjoys her days at Wilton working in all roles of the Consumer Affairs Department. In her spare time, Mary Ellen enjoys baking carrot cake with her sisters, watching Cubs baseball, and rollerblading.

5 Replies

  1. Melody says:

    Wow! That cake tower just fits in her car and looks so impressive. What a fun way to get kids involved and have fun decorating.

  2. Angie Thayer says:

    I measured the dimensions of the back of my car before I had the cake developed…I sure didn’t want a surprise of the cake not fitting into the car that morning. We had a great time and the weather was absolutely beautiful. The tables were continuously full of excited and creative kids.

  3. Fiona says:

    This was such a great day. The kids had a ball and it really made their imaginations run wild.

  4. Brandy Tarrant says:

    That is a REAL cake? It’s just sitting on the floor, with no board under it or anything?

  5. Angie Thayer says:

    No, this definitely was not a real cake. We used styrofoam squares to make a dummy cake this size. I could only imagine what kind of cake we would have had at the end of the day if it were real, as there were over 2,000 attendees at the event.

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