Not Martha

A Tea Party for Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return

This is a sponsored post brought to you by the upcoming Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return 3D animated film.

I remember reading about China Country for the first time in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz book and I was utterly charmed by the description of a land and people entirely made of porcelain. Rereading it just now I find that a startled china cow has it’s leg broken off! Happily the cow could be mended but, still, eeek. In the book Dorothy and her companions pass through the land of China Country and then there isn’t any more mention, but for some reason I’ve always remembered it. Happily we will see a lot more of China Country (called China County in the film) and the China Princess in the upcoming Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return film, which opens this weekend. (Quick note: sound plays when you load that website. It’s lovely music but, just in case, I wanted you to know.)

To celebrate the film I decided to make tea cakes themed around places in Oz including China County and Candy County. The icing I used here doesn’t require any heat or electric mixers to make, it’s stirred together by hand, so young children can be responsible for icing and decorating these cakes.

I wanted to keep things fairly simple and shopped for candies that could represent the various places in Oz. I found rainbow sour ribbon candy, green rock candy for the Emerald City, orange nonpareils for the field of poppies, yellow cake sprinkles for the Yellow Brick Road, chocolate cones and mushrooms that would work as forest trees, sugar roses and gold dragees for China County and gingersnaps and peppermint candies to represent Candy County.

I wanted to create small cakes but instead of buying a baking pan specifically for them (they are out there if you’d like) I used jumbo sized cupcake pans and put a smaller amount of batter in each cup making for small and charmingly domed cakes. Since my cakes are little landscapes I used chocolate cake to represent earth but any flavor of cake, or even a brownie, would work out great here. This is a good time for your favorite one-bowl chocolate cake recipe.

Cake Instructions

    Spray a jumbo muffin tin with a baking spray such as Baker’s Joy. Put 3 tablespoons of cake batter in each section and bake at 300 degrees until a tester comes out clean. Allow to cool, remove from the tin and place on a wire rack set over a baking sheet.

The icing is simply confectioners sugar and milk mixed together by hand. I made white icing for the porcelain of China Country and the snow of Candy Country, and the rest of the icing is colored green to represent grass. I used clear vanilla flavoring so the white icing would stay as white as could be. The great things about this icing are that it’s as simple to make and it sets up into a beautiful shiny finish, like porcelain. The downside is that it doesn’t keep overnight very well so it’s best to make these the same day. (Or keep in a sealed container in the fridge overnight.)

The trick for the icing is to make sure it’s as thick as can be while still being a little bit flowy. Add the ingredients listed below and if it’s thick like a paste add 1/4th of a teaspoon of milk at a time until the icing feels thick when you stir it but it relaxes and becomes shiny about 10 seconds after you stop stirring. 1/4th of a teaspoon seems like a tiny little amount but you’ll be surprised at how quickly that amount will change the texture of the icing.

Icing Instructions

  • 9 ounces confectioners sugar (or two cups of of confectioners sugar that you’ve fluffed up by running a whisk through it before scooping)
  • 2 tablespoons milk (plus more)
  • 1 teaspoon clear vanilla flavoring
  • green food coloring
  • Mix the ingredients above together in a bowl. If the icing is thick like a paste or not all the sugar will dissolve in the milk add 1/4th of a teaspoon of milk at a time just until the mixture is still matte when you stir but relaxes and becomes shiny a few seconds after you stop mixing. Either separate it and make 1/2 of the mixture green or make a second batch. One batch will cover twelve cakes.

Drop a heaping soup spoon of icing on top of each cake.

Be a little patient and let it settle and spread. Now quick! Before the top dries it’s time to decorate!

A little bit of sour rainbow ribbon candy works for our rainbow. I used a butter knife to poke into the cake and hold the rainbow in place

Simple sugar roses and gold dragées echo China County.

Green rock candy represents our Emerald City and tiny orange nonpareils for our field of poppies.

Candy County is full of gingerbread house delights, here I used half of a ginger snap and some peppermint candy.

Small chocolate cookies from a Japanese import store work as trees in the forest. These are supposed to be cones and mushrooms but clustered together I think they look like a foreboding forest.

You might think I’m looking forward to this movie because of the actors behind the voices (Kelsey Grammer! Bernadette Peters! Oliver Platt! Hugh Dancy! Patrick Stewart! Lea Michele!) but I think I’m most excited to see what the animators have done with Candy County. It’s like a gingerbread house but instead it’s an entire land, be still my gingerbread loving heart!

Have a look at the movie trailer for more peeks at the new lands:

As a kid did you read the further stories of Dorothy or the land of Oz?
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· comments [7] · 05-7-2014 · categories:food ·

7 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Leahpeah // May 7, 2014 at 8:29 am

    SO CUTE. I love that color of green. It’s so hard to get the colors just right when you’re using the dyes and I found the little pots of concentrated color work so much better than the drippy ones from my childhood. (Do they even sell those anymore? Related – I am old. )

  • 2 megan // May 7, 2014 at 11:16 am

    I hear you on the green! I used gel colors – one squirt of Leaf Green and five or so of Electric Green. I’m finding that adding lots of the new neon colors to traditional colors helps get the shade I want.

    And yes they still make the liquid food coloring — I’m very familiar with that fact because I just used it to dye Easter Eggs. (I loved dying those eggs, I want to make more. It is, apparently, my happy place.)

  • 3 K // May 7, 2014 at 8:36 pm

    Ah, I love these! They are so darling. And I love your teapot and teacups, too. And the plates that are just the right size for a cupcake! Are those bread plates?

  • 4 megan // May 7, 2014 at 9:14 pm

    K – They are actually saucers! I went to a charity shop to find some tea stuff that would work for the photos and ended up finding too many beautiful things that were rimmed with gold (the China Princess’ hair has gold streaks in it, I was a wee bit fixated on that). I found a bunch of saucers that were in the “small plates” section without their teacups and used them here. I also discovered that one of my happy places is reuniting sets of china – as it turns out the teapot here and one of the tea cups I bought were from the same set and I didn’t realize it until I got them home. (I didn’t leave any from the same set behind at the store, I found a few families and I didn’t dare separate them.) That said I did find some up-cupped saucers that worked here.

  • 5 Lucy // May 15, 2014 at 12:36 pm

    Wow – those colors are amazing! Thanks for the recipe – I love the little rainbow.

  • 6 Handyman Callum // May 18, 2014 at 8:10 am

    This post is so cute. My little daughter was reading the book about the wizard of Oz and I surprised her with those cookies. She looked really happy. Thanks for the share.

  • 7 Kylie // May 24, 2014 at 5:27 am

    Oh I love these….what a great idea! Perfect for an upcoming afternoon tea party with a group of little girls….Thanks for sharing!

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