After talking to her family, I decided to attempt a stack of books cake. The mom-to-be gave me titles for a few books. I also wanted to incorporate some beloved popular characters. About a week before the party, I started experimenting and ended up with Curious George, Clifford, the hat from Cat in the Hat, the Very Hungry Caterpillar, and the mouse from If You Give a Mouse a Cookie.
I wasn't sure how I wanted to create the books, but I decided to try baking an 11x15 cake and creating two books out of it. That seemed to work and make book like dimensions, so I repeated the process with a vanilla cake. I only wanted three books, so I had a little leftover cake...but is that really a bad thing?!
I have worked a lot with fondant, but I don't usually cover the cakes with it. I've found a method to get a super smooth cake without it. But, for this cake, I felt like it really needed the fondant to represent the book cover. To start, I covered the cakes with a thin layer of buttercream. I then covered one long side and the top with fondant. This way the white exposed buttercream could look like pages. I even used parchment paper to add indentions to make it look like pages.
I covered all three cakes this way, choosing the colors to appear like the books they represented. I used a round fondant tool to make an indention for the spine. The bottom book was placed on a large cake board, the other two on ones we cut to be the size of the cake. It's hard to tell in this pic because the blue one was then placed on a larger board. But there's a custom made small board in between!
I wanted the top cake to look like the actual book. So I printed out the cover and cut pieces out to serve as a template. (The book I was using had a brown dog and bird, not white like the printout.) I used an edible marker to help make the details.