My mom’s 50th birthday cake is the reason I started teaching myself cake decorating. I had only used fondant once previously, and this cake was quite different, and it was a problem from start to finish.
The cake had to feed 30+ people. It had two 9″ square layers (one chocolate, one vanilla), and then two 6″ square layers. The layers were separated with butter cream icing, and the cake as a whole was covered with chocolate buttercream. Baking went smoothly but problems came with the icing. First, the chocolate butter cream was too thin to go on properly and just ran everywhere. Not cool. I added icing sugar to the butter cream to thicken it up and things went alright after that.
Next was the fondant. The 9″ cake needed a lot of fondant rolled out to cover it. I used a pink fondant for this portion of the cake. It took several tries to get it rolled out to a size that would cover the whole cake. I’ll be buying a roll-and-cut mat before my next venture of this size, that’s for sure. Once I finally had the cake covered, trimming the fondant became pretty difficult. The corners were awful to trim and to get the fondant to lay properly. I managed to muddle my way through the bottom cake without too much issue.
The smaller 6″ cake was more complicated. I used a basic white fondant for this portion and again had a hard time with the corners. I wasn’t as lucky as I was with the pink fondant, and ended up with a crack near one corner of the cake. Not paying attention, I later positioned the bow so that this would be on the front of the cake. Oops.
Finally, I had intended to make a bow that would have looked something like this. However, it was too humid and the fondant wouldn’t harden enough, and the bows collapsed. The ribbons that were around the cake were already in place and attached to the cake, leaving me in quite a pickle because I didn’t have much pink fondant left and I needed something quick.
I used some of the scraps that I had left over from the ribbons I’d made to go around the cake (made in no-time with a ribbon cutter and embosser). I hastily formed one piece of the ribbon into a large ball, and created loops that could lay on either side to resemble a more traditional bow.
Once we brought the cake out to my mom, the candles dripped wax all over the place, which took away from the appearance but helped to draw attention away from all the problems in terms of the bow and the cracked fondant. People liked the cake, but it went down in my books as a failure. I’ll master that bow one day though, if it’s the last thing I do.
*This post was originally found on my previous blog, as the first post published there.