I do my best work for the people I love.  (Surprise!  The secret ingredient really is love!)  And since my sweetie loves penguins, I wanted to honor his birthday with a cake shaped like a penguin with a balloon.  But what’s even cuter than a penguin with a balloon?  A FLYING penguin with a balloon, of course!
Each year, I try to top the previous year’s cake design.  I have done many sculpted and gravity-defying cakes, but this was my first attempt at a suspended cake.  This means that instead of the cake being anchored to a presentation board,  it was hanging from a hook…  Yep, just dangling there, flapping in the breeze.  
I wasn’t flying blind, though.  *Rim shot*  Lizzo Marek’s Sugar Geek Show has a very comprehensive tutorial on how to create a suspended structure.  It was great inspiration!

Ok, so he’s not nearly as “evil” as originally stated….  So it was more like super-cute mad cake science in the end.
Happy Birthday Penguin was not insignificant in size.  The black, curly stand from which he hangs is a 40″ tall metal plant stand.  I requested Sweetie’s assistance with a dry run of assembly the night before delivery.  Even at this stage, he still had no idea what evil mad cake science I had in store for his office party.
Up, up, and away with my beautiful balloon!
Look at that cute little tushie!  Lookatit!
Due to logistics at the delivery site, I had the pleasure(?!) of delivering this guy fully assembled and already hanging. I don’t recommend this. It was swinging all over the place like a giant pendulum during every little bump, pothole, and turn. The cake held together just fine, but it risked crashing into the stand and denting the cake.
Through some not-so-minor miracle, (and pissing off a LOT of people as I crawled out of my neighborhood, traveling at 15 mph all the way to the freeway,) it survived the 30 minute freeway drive at 50mph unscathed, except for one loose foot.
Tall cake is tall…  Even too tall to travel upright in our Mazda CX-5.  I got to borrow a minivan for delivery.  To keep the stand upright during the drive, H.B. Penguin was anchored with multiple bungee cords from the top of the stand, to hooks on either wall of the car.  It’s almost as if Honda prepared for exactly this scenario. 
Happy Birthday Penguin made a lot of friends when he arrived on site.
Some responded with shock, and disbelief.

Many selfies were taken.
And many comical attempts at nomming his face were made.
And since I pretend to nom everything, why stop with H.B. Penguin?
Sweetie was absolutely delighted to see his finished friend!
Cutting the cake to reveal these sexy layers was also a 2-person operation!  Watch the cutting of the cake, here.
We started with the balloon, because no one wanted to see H.B. Penguin get cut open!  Although eventually, he did meet his birthday destiny, and succumbed to the knife, smiling the whole time.