A few months ago, I made a beautiful splash cake for my niece, Emma. It was a delight to make this for her. I honestly cannot believe she is TWELVE. I mean, I watched this girl as a baby when I myself was only nineteen! Watching her for a couple of summers was honestly one of my most favorite jobs. We now share a bond of being crafty and loving books. Love you, Emma!
Anyway, when I made this cake, I carefully took pictures along the way.
Then forgot that I did so!
Last week as I was working on a post, I stumbled upon my drafts and discovered that all my pictures for this post were already here! People loved this cake. I got such a huge and positive response. People loved the colors and the contrast. Honestly, this was all Emma’s grand idea and I just brought it to life. Like I said, she loves crafts and even has her own crafty Instagram account.
I believe she found a similar cake on Google Images (there HAVE been many–this isn’t original by any means) and asked me to make her own. In the picture she sent me, there was not-edible bling on her cake and a number on top. I saw a cake with a bow and ribbon on the bottom and decided that’s what I would do and hoped that she would approve! She’s pretty easy going, so I wasn’t TOO worried.
So now I am going to (finally) write out how I made this super fun cake, step-by-step.
FIRST STEP: MAKE THE BIG BOW AND LETTERS
I made my letters and my bow ahead of time. I was sure to make my bow big enough to cover the 6″ top cake.
I didn’t take great pictures of this step, but you can find a perfect video on how to do this here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y930Tk9KW-s
STEP TWO: BAKING
For this cake, I made a 6″ red velvet cake and an 8″ chocolate cake
Red Velvet Cake via the New York Times
Hershey’s Perfectly Chocolate Cake
DAY ONE EVE:
The day before I made my cake, I made a big batch of ganache and let it sit overnight on the counter. For fondant cakes, you want your ganache to be a peanut butter-like texture.
DAY ONE: GANACHE
When I was ready to put my cakes together, I made some cream cheese buttercream and chocolate buttercream for the fillings. Then I ganached them. This was my first time using ganache and it was easier than I thought it would be!
COVERING WITH FONDANT
After letting my cake settle for a little, I was ready to cover with my black fondant. I moistened my ganache, rolled out my fondant, and covered them up.
At his point, I put them back in the fridge.
The next step was the most fun of all the steps. I made a big batch of Royal Icing and divided it into four bowls. I used AmeriColor electric pink, blue, purple and green.
For the icing, I used Sweetopia’s amazing recipe.
I let my kids help with the splattering. We used spoons and you sort of have to throw the icing! It made a huge mess!
This icing worked well, didn’t absorb any black coloring and held its shape and color. I would use it again!
It’s worth mentioning that I just so happened to be wearing my Run or Dye t-shirt when I did this part! If you know anything about the Run or Dye 5K, you get covered in color. I got more messy making this cake than when I ran that marathon!
STACKING AND FINISHING TOUCHES
I placed them back in the fridge for the icing to get hard.
I put the 8″ cake on a board covered in black fondant, which I discussed in my Hotel Transylvania post. Then, I measured my cake and cut 5 dowel rods. I placed them, carefully added my 6″ cake with some ganache as “glue”, then put a center dowel through both of them.
Adding the bow was super easy with a bit of ganache. I glued in some curly cues that I had made.
To really make it look finished, I cut two 1″ thick bands for the cakes.
After I cut out the band, I roll it up and let it rest in the freezer for five minutes. This makes it easier to with and roll out. From there, I just moisten my cake and add my bands.
To finish my board, I add a fabric ribbon with hot glue to hide my edges.
Then I added my birthday message (“EMMA IS 12”) with a little water. Fondant letters stick incredibly well to a fondant-covered board. Much easier than when it’s just a foil-wrapped board.
And the birthday girl LOVED her cake. Here she is after an hour and a half of jumping around at GET AIR in King of Prussia. We didn’t realize it until we got there, but the cake TOTALLY matched the neon colors and fun atmosphere. There were even colorful splashes of paint on the floor. It was totally perfect!
This cake was a lot of work and so many steps, but the end result was well worth it. It wasn’t “hard” per say — it was just a lot of rest time in between steps, which really made it seem like it took a long time.
The ganache and fondant really held in the moisture for the cake, so even though I took it out early, it was still very fresh and delicious. And the ganache was so rich and divine! I have used ganache a few times since then. I am in love with the process! I can honestly say what I love about this business is there is always something fun and new to learn.
Until next time…