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Our Active Volcano Cake

by Alex Iwashyna

in Food (Looks Bad Tastes Good), Holidays, My Family, My Son

If you’ve been following for any amount of time, you know we are a big fan of cake here. Not just eating cake although we will come up with any excuse for that, too, but (almost) every birthday, Scott and I create a cake for our kids based on what they love and a completely insane idea on our part.

This year, we made a My Little Pony Rainbow Cake for my daughter, which is awesome, but my son is very into volcanos thanks to a science camp he attended so I turned to Scott and said: We’re making a volcano cake!

Scott: Great!

Me: I don’t think you understand. We’re making AN ACTIVE VOLCANO CAKE.

Scott: Oh.

We’ve never had to go to the hardware store for a cake before so we ended up building it in the morning with the kids running around us rather than surprising them since we had no idea what we’d need and there wasn’t anything online to help guide us.

Four trips between the grocery store and Home Depot later we built our cake:

cake layers

Just three lonely layers in black and white.

Green icing

My son doesn’t like chocolate so we had to make a lush green volcano. I didn’t want lush green hands though and I can’t seem to remember to buy gloves.

lava tubing

Tubing for the lava.

lava attempt one

Attempt one to pump lava. FAILED. Not the tubing but the lava bag. We ended up using an icing bag you can buy an any grocery store.

Building the volcano cake

Building the volcano cake and adding the tubing was very stressful. We needed a smaller tube to unplug it from cake crumbs a few times.

Icing the cake

We decided to ice some of the cake with red-orange dyed frosting since we couldn’t work with chocolate icing. We also iced most of the tubing except the frosting bag.

Volcano cake

The volcano in the refrigerator. The volcano rocks are red velvet sprinkles we found at the grocery store. The rest are just regular sprinkles.

Volcano cake

I had a sign that said: “Mt. E has not erupted in 7 years!” Also I don’t know why some of my photos are so blurry except I was so excited I couldn’t keep my hands still. Sorry!

We debated the lava a lot because we didn’t want it to soak into the cake and we wanted it to be edible. Scott convinced me that Jello was the way the go. I was very skeptical until our test run. He’s a genius!

Jello Lava Erupting

I added an arrow because it’s hard to see in the photo even when I played with contrast although it went great in person.

I didn’t get a video, which I somewhat regret. It would’ve been cool for the blog and triumph for Scott and I’s cake-coolness-log, but I’m glad I wasn’t thinking of any of that while and just after singing happy birthday to my son. When did I become such a grownup? Was it Friday?

Who cares because the most important question still remains: Where do we go from here with our cake-making?

I’m just glad I have until April 2014 to find out.

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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Walt September 9, 2013 1

SWEET MOTHER OF GOD!!! This post generates so many feelings and questions.
1. You ROCK as parents and I suck eggs.
2. I wish you WERE my parents.
3. The whole idea is pure genius.
4. Why isn’t this on the cooking channel?
Well played Team Awkward. Well played.


Alex Iwashyna September 10, 2013 2

We should be on the cooking channel.
Real Cakes That Rock Your Socks Off


Skye September 9, 2013 3

Dude. That cake is FREAKING AWESOME. I hope E loved it and had a great birthday! I’m a little worried about the high standards you’ve set for future cakes. ;)


Alex Iwashyna September 10, 2013 4

You and me both, Skye.



Amanda Jillian September 9, 2013 5

OMG that is awesomesauce =)


Alex Iwashyna September 10, 2013 6

Thanks. We were pretty psyched when it worked.


angela September 10, 2013 7

Jello lava? You guys win – and I don’t just mean cake making but life in general. Seriously.


Alex Iwashyna September 11, 2013 8

I’m looking forward to seeing what that award looks like. I bet it has lots of glitter.


Chara September 16, 2013 9

Oh my gosh. You guys are like the RVA form of Cake Boss. That’s awesome! I am never telling Riley about this. I still haven’t recovered after making his Lego cake out of frosted Twinkies and DingDongs.


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