Surprise your guests or a lucky birthday girl with a cake that resembles a realistic terra cotta flower pot. Since the cake and frosting will be concealed by the cake decorations, you can choose your favourite flavours without fear of detracting from the cake's flower pot appearance. Sprinkle cookie crumb "dirt" around the base of the cake and add a small hand spade or pair of gardening gloves to complete the terra cotta pot effect.
Prepare two boxes of any flavour cake mix according to the package directions. Divide the batter between four 8-inch round cake pans sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.
Bake the cakes at 177 degrees C for 30 to 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the centre of each cake comes out clean. Remove the cake pans from the oven and let the cakes cool in the pans.
Purchase two 680gr packages of ready-to-use white fondant. Open one of the packages and remove half of the fondant. Store this fondant in a resealable bag for later use.
Open the remaining package of fondant. Knead together one full package and one half package of fondant to form a large ball.
Dip a toothpick into terra cotta food colouring gel or paste. Poke the fondant ball with this toothpick in several locations to transfer the food colouring. Knead the fondant to distribute the colour. Continue to add small amounts of food colouring and knead the fondant until you are satisfied with the colour.
Invert the cake pans onto a wire rack to remove the cakes from the pans. Place one cake layer on a cake board or serving platter.
Spread 1/4 cup frosting onto the cake and top it with another cake. Continue to stack the cake layers with frosting between each layer to create a tall cake. Frost the top and sides of the cake.
Place the terra cotta coloured fondant on a large piece of waxed paper. Roll the fondant with a rolling pin into a large rectangle shape approximately 1/4 inch thick. Cut a 29-by-8 inch rectangle from the fondant.
Gently wrap the fondant rectangle around the sides of the cake. Smooth the fondant with your hands to remove any wrinkles and trim the fondant as necessary with a sharp knife. Don't worry about the top of the cake at this time.
Cut a 29-by-2 inch rectangle from the remaining terra cotta fondant. Brush one side of the rectangle with a new paintbrush dampened in water. Wrap this rectangle around the top of the cake so that it overlaps the existing fondant by approximately 1/4 inch. Press the fondant gently to adhere it to the cake.
Pour crushed chocolate cookies onto the top of the cake to simulate potting soil.
Tint half of the reserved white fondant with green food colouring. Roll the fondant 1/4 inch thin and wrap pieces of the fondant around pretzel sticks to create flower stems.
Tint the remaining white fondant with the food colouring of your choice to create flower petals. Roll the fondant out 1/2 inch thick and cut the fondant with a flower-shaped cookie cutter.
Place a dab of frosting on the back of the fondant flower. Press the top inch of the fondant-covered pretzel onto the frosting. Let the frosting dry and harden before you attempt to move the flower.
Pipe a small circle of yellow or chocolate frosting in the centre of the front of the fondant flower. Add sprinkles or coloured sugar for extra decoration, if desired.
Push the ends of the pretzel flower stems several inches into the flower pot cake.
Use brown and orange food colouring gel to create terra cotta coloured fondant if you cannot locate terra cotta food colouring.
Do not use liquid food colouring to tint fondant because it may thin the fondant and make it sticky and difficult to work with.