So this cake goes along with the Angel’s Cake posted back in April of this year. This cake was made for the same friend, and as I said before each year I try a new technique or twist to make it special.
This particular cake was made for her 30th birthday, so it needed to be extra special.
This friend is obsessed with Britney Spears (really, who isn’t), and at this time Britney had just put out a new album, the circus album, so I went with that as my theme. I used the album cover as my inspiration.
My new technique for this was using fondant. Now I know I posted my AppCakes back in February, but this project was actually my first foray into fondant. And as you can tell from the AppCakes, I must have learned a lot from this first fondant cake. (It didn’t go super well)
First for the cake…I’ve done this before, it’s a simple trick with a big bang for your buck. Before baking the cake, split the batter up and color it with food coloring. That way when you slice into the cake you surprise and delight party guests with a multi-colored cake. I split my batter in half and colored one half orange and one half yellow. Then simply pour into your pans and bake as usual. (I don’t know why I can’t find a photo of the inside.)
When you assemble the cake, you layer the colors together, with frosting in between. This is seriously so easy, and everyone loves it, kids and adults alike.
Now for the fondant…yikes.
I decided to make the cake look like a top hat, so instead of the usual two layer cake, I went with four so that it would be taller and have more of a top hat shape. In order to make it look like a top hat I wanted to use black fondant.
Now, if you’re in need of black fondant and you can buy it pre-colored – do so! Buy it! No matter how expensive. I promise you, it’s worth it. To color the fondant black I had to work it and work it and work it, using more and more black food coloring paste (also, wear gloves while doing this). Unfortunately the more food coloring you add, the more you change the texture of the fondant. And the longer you work it, the more it dries out. By the time I was even remotely satisfied with the color, I rolled it out and laid it on the pre-iced cake and it cracked! A lot! The edges basically split all the way around the edge. I tried applying a little water to try to smooth it out, but it didn’t help. And once the fondant is on the icing, you’re done. So I had to make it work.
My solution for the cracking was to cover it with a border. I was already going to use blue, yellow and orange fondant for other decorations so I just used some of that to create a ribbon and wrapped it around the edge of the cake to hide the cracks. See no one even knew! Ha! The ribbon was really hard to make even, especially on an edge and in a circle. It was pretty wonky, but it actually gave it a whimsical feel.
To create the effect of a top hat I used more black fondant around the base of the cake to look like a brim. I wrapped it over the edge of the cake plate.
To create the letters, I made a template on the computer and printed it out. Then I used an exacto knife to cut the letters out of rolled fondant. I then used a small amount of frosting to attach each of the letters to a contrasting rolled fondant background.
Once complete, I used a little more frosting to attach the fondant letters to the cake itself. I also cut stars out of blue fondant with a mini cookie cutter and attached them with frosting as well.
Since this was supposed to be a circus cake I thought it needed some animals, so I bought animal crackers. I dipped them in melted white chocolate and let them cool before affixing them to the cake with frosting.
I finished off the cake with flourishes; I just piped frosting directly onto the cake, as well as the edging on the brim.
The finished cake looked great, despite some of the setbacks. But I learned a lot about fondant, especially that over-colored fondant tastes terrible! ; ) We ended up just peeling it off the cake to eat it!