If you travel to Jamaica, chances are you will encounter people who follow Rastafarianism, a religion that is primarily popular in Jamaica and a few other parts of the world. Like others in cultures around the world, Rastafarians celebrate their birthdays. There are several ways you can incorporate Rastafarian themes into a birthday cake.
Green, Red and Gold
Green, red and gold have important symbolic meaning in Rastafarian culture. To Rastafarians, red symbolizes the blood of Christian and African martyrs; green symbolizes the lush forests and plains of Africa; and gold symbolizes wealth. The three colors are also seen in both the Jamaican and Ethiopian flags.
You can incorporate these colors into a cake by frosting your favorite cake recipe with red, green and gold-tinted frosting or covering it with fondant in all three colors. To take the theme even further, you can tint the cake batter in the three colors and layer the batters, or swirl them, before baking to make a tricolor Rasta cake.
Dreadlocks are a primary identifying trait of Rastafarians. The practice of growing hair into long, thick locks is supported in the Rastafarian belief system by Biblical scripture, specifically Leviticus 21:5 and Numbers 6:5, which adherents believe contain commandments from God to refrain from cutting their hair.
You can create a cake with “dreadlocks” by piping large ropes of chocolate frosting along the top and sides of a layer cake. You may even want to go a step further and decorate the cake to look like the person you are making it for, if that person has dreadlocks.
Lion of Judah
The Lion of Judah is the symbol of Haile Selassie, the primary figure of the Rastafarian religion. The Lion of Judah is also a symbol for Jesus Christ, of whom Rastafarian followers believe Haile Selassie is a reincarnation.
Create a cake replica of the Lion of Judah using two pound cakes. Slice the tops off of both cakes and turn them upside down. Cut one of the cakes in half vertically, then cut one of the halves into four quarters. The first, whole cake will form the lion’s body. The half piece of the second cake will be the lion’s head. The four quarters will form the lion’s head and paws. Arrange these pieces in the form of a crouching lion and frost with orange and brown frosting resembling fur.
Rastafarian Image Cake
For the last idea, you can decorate a sheet cake with a variety of Rastafarian images. Frost a 13-by-9-inch cake with frosting tinted in the color of your choice, then decorate it further with an image of Haile Selasse drawn with icing or printed on edible icing sheets. You can also draw or print a picture of Ethiopia (Haile Selassie was once the Emperor of Ethiopia). Additionally, you can write common Rastafarian phrases in icing; phrases such as I-tal (the dietary laws), Irie (positivity), Zion and Babylon.
References and Resources"The Essential Cake Decorating Guide;" Wendy Stephen; 2003
"The Rastafarians: Twentieth Anniversary Edition;" Leonard Barrett; 1997