The Bear Necessities

Have you ever gotten an idea and just had to do it? It’s all you can think about, so you just have to get it out of your brain??


That’s how it was for me when I saw the new 2016 version of Disney’s The Jungle Book. The visuals in this movie are simply stunning. They look like paintings, yet are so realistic at the same time.

The original Jungle Book has always been a favorite of mine. The songs, the story, the characters. And of course, there’s the Bare Necessities. This scene in the new movie is simply beautiful. When I saw the greens with the contrasting purple flowers I only could think one thing: that would be a beautiful cake!

I knew just how I would make my Jungle Book cake. A flat background with rough buttercream as paint. Purple flowers. Flowing water made with piping gel … But would it look right?

I knew that no one was going to order this cake. I always come up with ideas, but don’t get to make them. But I just read a blog recently ok cake decorating that said sometimes you can’t wait for an order. You just have to do it.

That very day, I started playing around with some fondant. Just to see if I could achieve the picture in my head.

And I liked the result. So I kept going.

Here I planned how I might make my board.


Below are my background progress pics. I cut two boards down to the size I wanted. Covered it with light blue fondant. Added brown trees and boulders. Then I added background trees and shading with black and brown petal dusts. I also made the sky a graduated blue by painting with blue and purple petal dusts.

For this project, I made a buttercream that was on the stiff side:

2 lbs of powdered sugar
2 sticks of butter
226 grams of vegetable shortening (Crisco)
4 tablespoons of heavy cream

Normally I add a lot of vanilla extract, too, but for this cake, I kept it out. I wanted to keep my buttercream as white as possible so that it would be easier to color. Plus, it would mostly be for painting the background, and not for taste.

I made 3 colors of varying green buttercream and painted with them with my angled spatula. I took a course in high school on oil painting, so I tried to use those skills. I decided to go in with some gel colors to add darker shadows.

Then I got my smallest star tip and added the purple flowers.



The modeling for this was a tad rushed. But that’s okay.

When they were dry, I added hair, painted the fur. I improved upon Baloo’s snout and basically placed a new one right over the old one.

To keep his nose looking shiny, I painted it with vodka/corn syrup.


I thought about coloring my piping gel, but decided that since water is clear, so should my gel. Water doesn’t have a color. It reflects color. In the movie still, you can tell the water is green, as it is reflecting the colors of the jungle. So I dyed my fondant an olive green.

I used my entire Wilton Clear Piping gel to finish the cake! I used extra white buttercream to make the look of water breaking.


I made a 10″ square cake and baked up my favorite chocolate chip cake. We ate it a few hours after I was done! No time like the present, am I right??

My daughter LOVES this cake and told me how good it is. Always wonderful to hear! I think that it is my kids’ favorite cake, too.


I am so glad that I went for it and made my Jungle Book cake. It’s not exactly like the picture that I had in my head, but I am glad that I tried my ideas out! It was fun to paint with buttercream and play around with what it can do. I’m grateful that it is finished so that I can sleep better and not think about it anymore. I’m also glad that I won’t have the Bare Necessities stuck in my head for a little while! I’ll be sad when it’s completely gone.

I love this business/hobby so much! Already looking forward to my next custom cake.




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