Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Cake Anyone?

Ta-dah!  This is my "Musical Cake" I mentioned yesterday. 
I guess I should have clarified, it doesn't actually play music...but I made it for my friend who teaches music at her k-8 school.  She asked me last week if I could make a cake that had something to do with piano and/or violin.  Of course I HAD to make the cake into a violin...the piano part just kinda happened.

This cake started it's life in my garage.  See, doesn't that make you think of cake?  No, well it will.  I took a photo I had of a violin, blew it up til it looked about the right size, and cut the paper shape out.  I cut  the handle part of the picture seperatly and traced it on the top of this 2x4.  I had to draw what I thought the handle would look like from the side and cut that out first on my band saw.   
Then I took the paper pattern, seen in the photo above, and traced it in the top part of the handle.  I cut that and a couple other wooden pieces, out with the band saw also.  Finally I sanded and painted the handle.

It was at that point in my project I remembered I had an appointment to visit a friend.  I swiftly dusted off and hit the kitchen like a tornado.  I had baked a cake last night to make these cake ball/cones, but hadn't gotten around to actually making them.  I had 30min.  Set the timer...and GO!  You can read more about that tomorrow. 
OK, back to our regularly scheduled program... I took the copy of the violin, placed it on the sheet cake I baked last night- one of the sheet cakes I baked last night- and cut around it with a knife.  Then I "dirty iced" it.  That is what the Cake Boss calls it when you spread a thin layer of frosting on a cake before you really ice it.  My Pumpkin Spice Cake was so moist that it was quite messy.  If you put that first layer of frosting on, it catches all of the crumbs and leaves your next coat of icing clean and white.  It was at this point however, that I decided to do the whole cake in marshmallow fondant. 

Marshmallow fondant:  this is something I have been rather unexperienced with previously.  Six months ago I made the stuff using THIS tutorial.  I did a couple things different this time and had an absolute screaming success!  1st, microwave the marshmallows with the water, then sift half of the sugar into the bowl with the marshmallows.  Stir.  Mound the other half of sifted sugar on a greased counter, then pour the marshmallow mixture into the middle of that sugar.  Mix until the sugar is mostly mixed in...and this is the pivital point for me...add crisco as you mix!!!  I think I used the crisco just to grease my hands last time.  NO!  It is to be worked into the fondant!  You need to use a whole 1/2 cup, between greasing your hands AND adding to the fondant.  You may even want a little extra.  It makes it more plyable like store bought fondant (but tastes WAY better), and not sticky like traditional marsh. fondant!!!
  *Bing* Lights go on in my head* 
"Hello, meet my new boyfriend...Mr. Marshmallow Fondant!"

Moving right along...we used the fondant left over from frosting our cakes to make this awesome keyboard.  I rolled the fondant into a long strip, used a long ruler and my pastry wheel/cutter to cut a 4" wide, who knows how long, strip.  I came back and made an indentation every 3/4" with a BBQ skewer. 

Next we rolled out fondant we had colored black.  I cut those 2 5/8" tall and 3/8" wide. 

Madison painted a line of thinnedown corn syrup while I positioned the black keys and straightened them with the BBQ skewer (you never can have enough BBQ skewers :0).

While I was going to attempt to drape the keyboard on top of the violin like a piece of fabric, we decided last minute to simply lay it across the cake like this and put the violin on top. 

I guess I missed a couple pictures here :0)  You know how I am when I get going!
I covered the violin with fondant, pressed it into the shape, and shaded the edges with icing color that I had mixed with a touch of water and some corn syrup.  I ran the wire for the violin strings and pressed all the wood pieces into place.  Finally I put the black swirls and the black roundish thingy at the bottom onto the cake. 
I wanted the keyboard keys to stand out a little more so I "painted" the edges with black icing color mixed with water and cornstarch.

Here is that lovely wooden handle.  I know that you are not supposed to notice when you do a good job, avoiding pride or something like that, but I was so proud of myself for actually making this!  It was definitely one of those things that I just couldn't believe I had done myself!!!  I planned for the cake to be longer, but then my pan I used for the base was smaller, so I had to cut the cake, and thus did not have room for the end of the handle to rest on the cake.  That was why I ended up going for this, you guessed it, BBQ skewer cut to size to hold the handle end up.

Seeing as how this cake was to be served as refreshment after a holiday concert, I just couldn't resist placing a few holly w/berries around the cake.  We mixed our marshmallow fondant with a little gum paste (it helps it set faster and reduces the cracks you get from straight fondant)(you buy a little bag for about $8-but it goes a long way).  When it was mixed, we divided it into a small portion of red for the berries and a larger portion of green for the leaves. 

I thought they needed a little glimmer so we dusted the edges with gold luster dust!  I LOVE IT!!!

Here is my finished Holiday Concert Cake.  Inside, Pumpkin Spice Cake torted with Cream Cheese Frosting.  Outside, marshmallow fondant!  Yumm!

How real does that violin look!

Now that was fun!  I needed a fabulous break from my clippies and this cake fit the bill!
Definitely the best cake I have made, hands down!
I feel a Marshmallow Fondant obsession coming on :0)

This cake was linked up HERE:

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  1. you are completely nuts and crazy talented. when do you ever breathe.

  2. It was the talk of the recital. Great job Vanessa.

  3. I don't even know what to say! That cake is AH-MAZE-ING!!!! You need to be on Ace of Cakes or something, holy talented!

  4. Hi.. Absolutely Amazing!!!!!!!!!Simply Beautiful!!!!
    Just wanted to let you know that I “ Featured” you on Santa’s Gift Shoppe Blog Hop today for your great project & inspiration! Be sure to grab the “I was featured” on Santa’s Gift Shoppe Button/Code for your sidebar! You deserve it! Thanks so much..If you’re not a follower already we’d love for you to join us...

  5. Love It!


    Newest follow on GFC, Follow back at

  6. WOW! That is just gorgeous! I am featuring this today so stop by and check it out! Have a wonderful day!

  7. Wow! I'm impressed. That is awesome!

  8. Very cool!

    I will have to try your marshmallow fondant!

  9. I teach music, and would have truly had a heart attack if anyone baked such a fantastic cake for any of the recitals I've lead. Soooo talented, and you made it sound like I might could, maybe, sort of, possibly, do it too!


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