11"x11" custom cut vanilla cake, buttercream frosting, coconut, white melting candy chocolate, Oreo Stix
Techniques Used-candy border
Focus-custom cutting a cake
This cake is probably one of my favorites. It turned out exactly the way I pictured it in my head. I have been wanting to make a custom cut cake and the opportunity presented itself in March. Of all the states in the US, Texas has one of the best shapes for a cake, at least in my opinion. Also, if you've ever lived in Texas, you would know that Texans have the strongest state pride as well. I lived in Texas for a while and I saw so many different appliances shaped like Texas (like a waffle maker), houses with a Lone Star or the State of Texas on them, and even a jacuzzi in the shape of Texas! Anyway, this was a fun cake to make, and fairly straightforward.
I wanted to quickly explain why I decided to use these materials. First, the coconut. As with most state flags, the Texas Flag has bold colors. I'm sure you've noticed this with other cakes, but red frosting can have a really sour flavor, and if you've ever made red frosting, you have to use a lot of red dye otherwise it looks pink. Can you imagine having a pink Spiderman? Anyway, using coconut solved both of these problems. I think I used 4-6 drops of red dye on the coconut, far less than what you would use to dye frosting. The same amount was used for the blue coconut. There wasn't a sour flavor either, probably because we used so little dye. I also decided to use coconut because it would add some texture.
Secondly, the Oreo Stix. Although I was really looking forward to making this cake, I didn't have a lot of time to do it. Since I used Oreo Stix and coconut, I didn't have to worry about smoothing the cake. I'm still very slow at smoothing a cake, and this cake would've been a nightmare to smooth. I just had to cut each stick in half and attach it to the frosting. Simple, yet effective.
I also wanted to mention that it was really easy to make straight lines with coconut. You just put a cutting board or something else with a straight edge where you want to end the coconut and then start dumping the coconut. Again, this took hours off (5 min. for coconut vs. 1-2 hours for frosting), and I think it looks much better than I could've done with frosting. The same with the Oreo Stix. Very sharp and crisp corners, and it further outlines the shape of the cake.
Have the cake layered and filled before cutting the cake, but don't crumb coat. I used two 9"x13"'s stacked on top of each other. Place the paper or stencil on top of the cake. Stick toothpicks or something similar into but not all the way through the stencil and cake to keep the stencil from moving. I put my toothpicks 1/2" away from the edge, and 2" apart. Cut the cake at a vertical (or otherwise desired) angle.
If the cake is a different size from the stencil (like above-11"x11" out of 9"x13"), you will still do the steps as above, except that you will have to choose a portion of the stencil to cut later. With this cake, I attached the blue square at the top of the cake after cutting out the rest of Texas. When doing this, keep the stencil on top of already cut cake as you attach the extra cake. You can attach extra cake with frosting. Also, don't cut the extra piece until it's attached to the main portion. Once it's attached, then add your toothpicks and cut away!
This cake was decorated March 2011.