Posting ab0ut the cupcakes we made today reminded me that I didn’t post the cake I made for my MIL’s birthday earlier this year.
She’d wanted a cake with a book theme. So after scouring the web for ideas, I settled on a stack of books. It had to feed 24 people, so I wasn’t sure how much cake to make. Luckily in the end there was more than enough cake, so that was good 😀
The cakes were chocolate mud cake, with caramel filling. This was my second attempt at using rolled out icing (the first being hubby’s steampunk cake). This time I looked up some tutorials of how to ice cakes properly and got some tips.
I learned to pipe some frosting around the edges to make a “wall” to keep the filling from oozing out when you smoosh the cakes together – clever! It also makes a smoother less gooey surface for when you put the frosting all over the cakes. I’d not known you were meant to do that, but it makes a smoother finish than just putting the rolled out icing onto a plain cake.
So this is an in progress shot of the cakes. The 3 larger books on the bottom have had their chocolate frosting put on, the top shelf has the books that were covered with the rolled out icing (and were later decorated).
I didn’t think to take any other progress shots… but what I did was….
- Cut the cake pieces up into smaller rectangles. Cut cake boards to be a fraction larger than the cakes on 3 sides
- Put the filling on and put the cakes together. Put a bit of frosting on the cake boards to make sure the cakes stick to the boards. Refrigerate for a while before icing the cakes with frosting (trying to make it as smooth as possible)
- Roll out a strip of white icing, cut it to the right size to form the “pages” * and used a ruler to gently press into the icing to make the “pages”. Stick this to 3 sides of the “book”
- Roll out coloured icing in a piece long enough to do the top (front cover) of the cake and down one side (the spine). You ideally want this to overlap on the 3 sides you’ve covered with the “pages” – so it looks like the front cover of a book. Because I used different colours for each book and I didn’t want to waste icing I ended up not having enough to easily cover each one, and had to patch some bits, which was annoying. but if that happens, just smooth it out with water as best as you can.
- Then use the offcuts from the coloured icing to cut strips to cover the cake board to look like the back cover of the book
- Then decorate the spine and any front cover. I also applied gold edible paint to look like those books with gold edges of the pages – not sure if that looked good or not though….
* When I did the first book, I did it all in one piece and used a knife to lightly score the icing for the pages. When I did the others though, manhandling one long piece of icing was too difficult and I ended up doing it in 3 pieces and making joins, which was easier to do but didn’t look as neat. I also realised that since I’d had the ruler out and it was all nicely clean (because I was measuring the icing), it was a lot easier to just use the edge of the ruler to press into the icing in one press, rather than trying to draw lines with a knife.
Stack of books waiting for the spine decorations.
By this point I was starting to run out of time, so I had to go a bit more basic than I’d originally planned. I wanted to keep each book separate for transporting too, since we had to take them about a half hour drive away. I’d been wondering if I needed to stabilise them with sticks, but they seemed nice and stable… but after being out of the fridge and sitting on display at the party for a couple of hours, the cake was starting to topple over – so in future – yes, do use sticks!
I made the top book a bit more ornate
The “T” and letters had a light silver metallic paint applied.
The finished cake!
And funnily enough, I was worried the cake was too gaudy, but by coincidence, where we put the cake for display, was under a painting that had the same sort of colours! umm, I mean I totally planned it like that :Þ
Blowing out the candles 🙂
(That cake is totally not going to fall over… it’s perfectly fine… but HURRY!) 😀
The cake was delicious and I got a lot of compliments
I was also asked to make some origami flowers for the table