February 28th, 2010
Over the years I’ve drawn plenty of cartoon cakes, but I’ve never had the chance to design a real one. So when the Food Bank for the Heartland asked if I would come up with a cake idea for their annual fundraiser, I jumped at the chance. Each year they bring in a celebrity chef, and this year, it was Duff Goldman, star of the Food Network’s Ace of Cakes.
Considering I’m a political cartoonist, I figured I should design a cake with a political theme. But because the cake was also going to be auctioned off to benefit the food bank, I wanted to come up with something that would be upbeat and palatable. In other words, something that would bring in a lot of money.
Here’s what I came up with: an elephant and donkey, coming to together, holding hands, standing atop the U.S. Capitol (Yes, I know. A fantasy). The cake itself was to be made of red and blue marble cake. The title? “It Takes a Cake.”
The best news was that I would only have to come up with the design. Luckily, I would be assigned a team of students from the Institute for the Culinary Arts at Metro Omaha Community College to do the actually baking, rolling of fondant, and painting. Leading the team was Deya Sullivan, a former art student and cartoonist in her own right. Also on board: the fabulous Ashely Jackson and Katelyn Anderson.
Left to Right: Jeffrey, the cake, Deya, Katelyn, and Ashely. (Don’t worry, a close-up of the cake is coming)
Deya, Ashley, and Katelyn worked on the design for weeks, and I’m happy to report that our cake raised $3400 to help feed those in need in Eastern Nebraska and Western Iowa. It was also great to meet Duff, who, it turns out, loves the work of Shel Silverstein, one of my heroes.
And now, with further ado…It Takes a Cake!