By: Angie Martin
As a little girl born and raised in Kentucky, I was surrounded by the beauty of green grass, rolling hills, farms and beautiful horses.
As a child, I often visited one of my best friends, Lori Kidwell. I always loved being at her house, as it smelled of a sweetness that only her mother could achieve. What I remember most are the many wedding cakes that bore Mrs. Kidwell’s artistic signature. In my mind, there were no other cake bakers like her. Little did I know that Geraldine Kidwell would continue on this path and become a Master of the art. Her cakes are not ”just cakes”. Between her 45 years of practice and becoming a sugar art expert, any cake designed, baked and decorated by her would be considered a masterpiece!
A brief and very impressive history of Mrs. Kidwell proves her being a member, as well as serving on the Board of Directors for the ICES, International Cake Exploration Societé. She has written five ”how-to” books, many magazine articles and was a Food Network judge for the Elvis birthday show!
Back in 2011, Mrs. Kidwell, her best friend, Leigh Sipe and Linda Shonk, created a LIFE-SIZE cake for The World Equestrian Events that took place in Lexington, KY. Yes! You read it correctly. A life-size cake of a horse! Two years later, they recreated the same cake for the International Cake Convention. The second time was not for consumption and was sculpted from two inch layers of styrofoam on the same frame with the same specifications.
Now just hold on, I’m getting to the ”sweet spot” of the story.🐴
I’m sure you’re all wondering how in the world they did this and how much of each ingredient was used to make this life-size horse! I knew you would be curious, just like I was. So, here ya go. All of our mutual questions answered.
To construct the frame it took:
Three sheets of 3/4 inch plywood, five 1/2 x 36 all thread rods, 4 1/2 sheets of foam core board, four wheels, 1/2 inch nuts, bolts and washers and green outdoor carpet for the base.
To construct the cake it took:
Ten batches of black royal icing, 350 pounds of flour and sugar, 927 eggs, 90 pounds of margarine, 390 cups of water, five pounds of fondant, ten pounds of Choco pan fondant, one pound of isomalt and 15 pounds of black licorice laces.
Buttercream was the delicious frosting of choice. It took 320 pounds of powdered sugar, 135 pounds of shortening, 21 gallons of water and 70 pounds of chocolate.
Additional ingredients were five boxes of Rice Krispies, five bags of marshmallows and two pounds of butter. The rose blanket was made of 300 large, red gum paste roses.
The body as constructed of 20-inch square cakes stacked like wedding cakes with boards and supports between every two layers. The eyes were sculpted from isomalt and the tail and mane were made from black licorice. The total weight of the horse alone was 1000 pounds!!! Now THAT’S a cake!
So, whether you’re a cake lover or equine lover, either way, this story is pretty damn sweet! I’d like to thank Geraldine Kidwell for providing all of this delicious information and for the photos taken by Stringer Photography. Mrs. Kidwell, may we share many more lovely memories.