It gives me great pleasure knowing that the toy jack-in-the-box has stood the test of time because I had this child’s toy when I was I little girl and so did my children. Even in this age of electronic toys I am sure many of today’s youngsters have one as well. What child doesn’t like this toy’s “surprise” element which is when after you turn the box’s little metal crank the music plays (traditionally to the tune “All Around the Mulberry Bush”) and then all of a sudden the lid opens up and a jester, clown or some other figure “pops” out? Usually the popping coincides with the line in the song that says “Pop! goes the weasel.” though I have yet to see a jack-in-the-box that housed one of these creepy critters.
Since this classic toy is still popular today I thought it would be a good gumpaste subject for a mini cake or cake topper. I decided for mine to use a jester (not a weasel) as the box’s resident. Here are the criteria I used: a bright-colored box with stars and a lid, a white collar and finally a multi-colored pointed hat adorned with gold bells. Rather than clothing it with the usual sack-like top (that conceals its metal coil) I decided to highlight the spring because I think it gives the impression that the little jester has really sprung out of his box.
To create my spring I covered a small paper towel roll with parchment paper and then wrapped a semi-thick strip of gumpaste and fondant mixture around it to form the coil. I made sure to let it dry thoroughly before using it.
Here is a PDF file of my pattern for the jester hat. You will need to add a little extra at the side seam for an overlap. Be sure to adjust it according to the size of your subject’s head.
I hope this will bring back as many pleasant childhood memories for you as it did me. If I had one right now I know I would enjoy giving it a test pop or two. Maybe this might even inspire you to try your hand at a Jack-in-the-Box cake.