My friend Ashley had a totally awesome 80’s birthday party this weekend. She asked me to bring some ’80’s clothes and accessories (because I regularly rotate leg warmers and giant hoop earrings in my daily wardrobe, among other things). The she sent me a link to a really great 80’s Party blog and asked if I would make a Rubik’s Cube cake. I’m still jazzed about the Elmo Cake, so I said yes.
Now, Rubik’s Cubes are smooth. I didn’t want to just make use a frosting tip to make the colored squares; and I’ve been intrigued by fondant for a few months. Michael’s sells Wilton fondant, and I’d been sitting on a small package of it for a few months.
Once I saw the Rubik’s Cube cake, I started doing my own research. I kept going back to this website for ideas. The twisted layers look so fun! Tuesday was also the day I decided to make my own fondant. I used this tutorial to make it. The only ingredients needed were a bag of mallows, bag of powdered sugar, and some water. Also some Crisco for your hands. The instructions seemed too good to be true, but I tried it and it worked.
Melt the mallows in 20-30 second increments in a large, microwave safe bowl. While melting, Crisco your counter (if your counter is porous, use waxed paper). When your mallows are all melted, add in a bunch of powdered sugar. Stir. By now it should be cooled down a bit. Pour on to your surface, dump more powdered sugar on, now is the time to Crisco your hands like crazy, be generous. Now play. I’ve never made bread dough, so the link above doesn’t really help me. I more so just pretended I was 4 and playing with play dough. When it got sticky I would add more powdered sugar or wash my hands and re-Crisco them. Eventually it became the consistency I assumed it should be!
Fast Forward to Saturday:
The rest of the week was also spent in cake prep – making another small batch of fondant, coloring the remaining fondant into yellow and orange, baking cakes, mixing frostings. Ok – some of that I did ON Saturday – but I wouldn’t have wanted to do this entire project in one day.
Four layers? Zoiks. As you can see, I did not end up getting to twist one of the layers. I used this cute little 8×8 square pan. I completely overestimated how much cakes rise. Originally mixed a white box, and a chocolate box, and marbled it in the pan. I really thought it would raise more than it did. It turned out to be about half the height I wanted/needed. I also thought that two boxes would make three 2 inch layers. Not so much. So I ended up using four boxes of cake – trimmed the poofy tops, and slightly angled sides. Don’t worry about being perfect, that’s what frosting is for.
Before I actually frosted the cake, I rolled out and cut all of the fondant squares. They are about 1/4 inch thick. There is quite a bit leftover, so I put it in my freezer and will make something else next weekend 🙂
Once I assembled the cake (above), I cut a piece of paper the size of the cake, then folded it in thirds, and thirds again. Now I have a tentative tile size. But the tiles don’t touch, I cut it smaller. It worked out perfect to cut a rectangle (think one row of color) out of waxed paper, then press that on the fondant for a shape to cut around. I just used a butter knife, but if your surface is protected, you could also carefully use a pizza cutter.
I had a read a few discussions online regarding attaching fondant to regular frosting. I wanted the cake to actually taste good, so having an entire cake of fondant was not an option. You can easily attach fondant to fondant, but there wasn’t much about attaching fondant to buttercream. I knew that I did not want the cake to “dry” before trying to attach the squares, so that is why the squares were cut before I frosted it.
Also read warnings about how if there are any imperfections on the cake that they would show through the fondant (any baubles or crumblies/chunks). That wasn’t so much the case – but perhaps it was just because my tiles were so thick. Maybe it shows through thin fondant?
And… Drumroll please…
The cake is assembled! I tried to scrape the frosting off the plate, but knew that I would miss some. So I had a can of sprinkles and used the remaining tiles to hide the imperfections.
I liked the idea of modeling the cake from an actual pattern on a cube.
The squares attached PERFECT to the buttercream/canned frosting! I only had a sliding issue on one tile, but nothing major. Also, the general consensus of the party was that the homemade fondant better than the store-bought.