My mom aged another year. And we must celebrate. We celebrate with cake.
And out of fear of the wrath of my mother, I shall not reveal the age.
I wanted to make a checkerboard cake. I baked up an 8″ round chocolate cake, and an 8″ round vanilla cake. I leveled off the cakes so I got two layers out of each cake. I then took my 6″ round pan, 4″ round pan, and a 2″ round cutter, and used them as guides to cut out even rings of cake, then alternated the rings between the two flavors.
I then started assembling the layers, making sure to alternate between the two patterns so that they would create the checkerboard look. I started with the layer that had the vanilla edge.
I spread on a layer of chocolate buttercream, then put on the layer with the chocolate edge.
Covered the entire thing with more chocolate buttercream.
Then smooth it off.
I lightly covered the cake and turntable in saran wrap, and let it chill in the fridge overnight so it could harden before putting on my fondant.
My iced cake stood 4″ tall and was 8″ round, so I knew I needed to roll out fondant that would be 16″ in diameter. I rolled my fondant to 1/8″ thickness.
Once the cake was draped and smoothed onto the cake, I wanted to give the cake a crisper edge, (as you can see the cake still had a bit of a rounded corner,) so I did the upside down cake trick. Gently place your cake upside down on a nonstick surface (parchment lined pan would work just fine). In my case my fondant had dried enough that I didn’t need to line my pan.
Then use your fondant smoother and smooth out the edges, running your smooth up and down, really smoothing it down towards the pan. As you smooth the fondant downwards, you want to minimize that shadow that you see caused by the curve of the edge.
My cake after the upside down smoothing. You can tell the edge is a bit more defined than it was originally.
Now it was time to decorate. I wanted to do a ribbon border around the cake. I took my ruler and used it as a guide to mark a light line at consistent intervals around the cake so that I had a guide when placing my ribbon.
I then took some gum glue adhesive (little bits of gumpaste that dissolved in warm water), and painted some of the adhesive onto the cake. I was going to be putting the ribbon directly underneath the guide lines I had created.
and on goes the ribbon.
Now for the flowers. I knew I wanted to do flowers of some sort since my mom loves ‘em, so I decided to try my hand at these ruffle rose flowers I’ve seen floating around the internet.
I made a 50/50 blend of gumpaste and fondant, and lightly tinted it with the Americolor Terracotta gel paste and rolled it out super thin (thin enough that I could see the gridlines from my mat). I cut them into strips just a bit thinner than 1/2″ wide, and used my balling tool to thin out one edge of the strip.
I then brushed gum glue adhesive along the long, straight edge of the strip, and laid it onto the side of the cake in a circle.
Continue making more ruffled strips, and build the petals working inwards, spiraling in, so that as you build inwards, you can see the layers of petals.
For the center, take a shorter ruffled strip, and roll it to create a bud.
Take some gun glue adhesive, paint it on the back, and stick it in the middle of your flower.
I repeated these flowers all the way around, and finished it off by doing one for the top.
And the finished cake:
At the restaurant I had a quick moment to snap a picture of the inside of the cake to see how the checkerboard turned out. My apologies for the mad destruction of a picture. For a first attempt I was pretty happy, and the guests liked the fun surprise.
My mom absolutely loved the cake and as did the guests, and the surprise on my mom’s face made it all worth it. Love you, mom!