Saturday, March 16, 2013

Pot O' Gold St. Pats Cake

Happy St. Patrick's Day to everyone! I hope it's the best ever :) If you've ever been to a Rolla, MO St. Pats celebration, then you know it's always the best ever. Although I couldn't be in Rolla for St. Pats this year, we did have a pot luck at work. I decided it was time to practice some of the things I learned in the cake class I recently watched online. Before I get to the cake, I just want to say that anyone interested in learning to use fondant or modeling chocolate to decorate should definitely take this class! She shows how to make your own fondant and modeling chocolate and also how to get super crisp edges and corners on both your buttercream icing and on the fondant. The class is taught by a lady who writes a blog called Jessicakes and she is truly an artist. If you click on the blog name link above, you can get a link to the class that will give you 50% off the price, bringing it to $20. I have to say I think it is totally worth the cost. I'd tried making modeling chocolate in the past and it was a complete failure. Also, I typically have a lot of trouble with my fondant. But using her recipes and methods (which were only slightly different from what I already used), I had MUCH more success. Anyway, just wanted to tell you about it :)

For this cake, I didn't really want to do a shaped cake, but instead wanted to work on my fondant covering skills and try the "wax paper transfer method" that is taught in the Jessicakes class. I opted to make an 8" six layer rainbow cake. I actually made the cake from scratch this time using a recipe for butter cake from the "Sprinkle Bakes" cookbook I got for Christmas. It was delicious! One of my coworkers said she thinks this is her favorite cake that I've made, taste wise anyway. here's a peek at the insides since I didn't get a picture after it was cut.

I covered the cake first with a Swiss meringue buttercream and tried to make it as smooth as possible. I did an upside icing technique that is also shown in the class and it worked very well. The only difficulty is that though I would typically use my bench scraper to smooth the cake, it is only 6" tall and my cake was 7" tall. So I had to get a little creative. I ended up using a piece of cardboard with a straight edge to smooth it. It wasn't perfect, but it worked pretty well. Then it was time to cover the cake with fondant. As usual, this was pretty nerve wracking for me. It took me two tries to roll the fondant out but once I got it on the cake, it worked great. I only had a couple little wrinkles at the bottom.

The trick to smooth fondant is continuing to pull the "skirt" out as you smooth.

The next step was to add the details. The green hills and rainbow were both made out of modeling chocolate and I used a "wax paper transfer method". Basically, you cut out all the pieces you want on the cake using templates, then you lay them out of wax paper that has been spread with a thin layer of Crisco. Once you get it all laid out, you brush a little bit of water/corn syrup mixture onto the design and pick up the entire wax paper "sticker" and wrap it around the cake. Of course this means you have to take good measurements so that your design matches up perfectly. As you'll see, ended up measuring once and cutting twice :)

Here I'm brushing the water/corn syrup mix on the modeling chocolate transfer. This method worked great!

After placing the transfer around the cake and peeling off the wax paper. 

womp womp. That's what I get for not measuring better. I just filled it in with a couple extra pieces. Then made it the back of the cake :)

Here's the final product!

The blue fondant is a little speckled looking because I mixed some blue modeling chocolate with the white fondant. 

I didn't get a great picture of the rainbow going down the side of the cake, but you can kind of see it here. 

I was very happy with how this cake turned out! I'll definitely be using these techniques again soon. In other news, Joe and I ran 10 miles today in our half marathon training! We're both hurting a little right now, but I have to say I'm pretty proud of us :) Also, all the wallpaper in our dining room is GONE and I'm almost done prepping the walls with paint. I'm trying to get as much done as I can this weekend and next since once Easter gets here, we won't really have a free weekend until sometime in May. But there are a lot of fun things coming up, so I'm excited about them. Thanks for reading and have a great night!


  1. Lisa, this is beautiful! So perfect. I'll bet no one wanted to cut into this cake.
    I am also proud of you and Joe for sticking with your training plan for your half marathon. If you can do ten miles you can do 13.1. Way to go!
    Love, Dad

  2. I wish you had a picture of the cake after you cut into it so I could see all the colors! It's so cute! Something like this would be very easy to modify for a bright Easter cake as well. We are having people up to our house for Easter, so I might try a variation.