Last week I was given the challenge of making my biggest cake to date. Also, this was my first attempt at constructing a topsy-turvy cake. The cake was for a couple of friends turning 14 years old. These girls were having a huge dance party, and they wanted an equally awesome cake. Since the girls were using black lights in their party decorations, they asked me about making a cake that would glow. I did some research and discovered that tonic water is black light responsive, and that it can be incorporated into the frosting. Well, it worked, sort of. There was a faint glow to the icing at first, but when I added the green color to the icing, it didn’t glow any more. Shucks! That would have been cool for sure.
Now this cake is a little deceiving. Although it looks like it may tumble any second, it’s really more stable that it appears. The trick is in how it is assembled. Each tier is recessed into the tier below it so that it sits level. And when I say level I mean level! The Tool Man and I spent a lot of time meticulously leveling this cake.
Any one who has ever constructed a tiered cake knows just how important the internal support is. We used a lot of dowels to support each tier of the cake. Plus there’s one long rod going all the way through the entire cake to keep it from leaning. Even though this cake was supposed to look “topsy-turvy” it wouldn’t have been good for the whole thing to be leaning.
I have to say that I got a little anxious hammering these dowels into the cake. One slip and whammo! Smashed cake. Thankfully, all went well.
Once all tiers were stacked and iced, the fun part could begin…
Adding the decorations!
I made all of the decorations for this cake in advance. So basically, once the cake was assembled, all I had to do was stick the decorations on with a dab of royal icing.
I guess the most difficult decoration on this cake was the bow, although it wasn’t really that much trouble to make. It’s just a matter of making it early enough so that it has ample time to harden. This bow was sculpted out of gumpaste, and when it dried it was rock hard!
Other details on this cake included multi-colored polka dots, paisleys, stripes, and flowers. All of these I made ahead of time out of fondant and/or gumpaste. You may have also noticed all of the beads. The Tool Man deserves tons of thanks for helping me out with all these beads! A tedious task, indeed.
Let’s see how this cake measures up…
Twenty-three inches when it was all said and done!
Time to deliver! I’m happy to say that the cake made it safe and sound to the party locale. That’s a cake decorator’s worst nightmare, by the way, a major cake catastrophe during delivery. It would not be pretty.
Whew! Glad I’ve got that one behind me.
But the fun’s not over yet. I’ve got my hands full with three more cakes this week… a cowboy cake, an over-the-hill cake, and a Saintsations cake.
I better get baking!