Sunday, July 15, 2012

How to Make a Guitar Cake

My niece's daunting request to make an electric guitar cake for her birthday resulted in one of my favorite cakes yet. 

My first decision in making the guitar cake was to determine whether to bake it in a sheet pan or two round pans.  I decided that there would be less room for error using two round pans due to the natural curve of a guitar.  (Cake carving is not one of my strengths.)  I baked one vanilla cake using two 8-in round pans.

The next obstacle was how to design the guitar.  After a bit of web surfing, I narrowed my choices down to rice krispie treat, chocolate wafers, or cake for the neck of the guitar.  I decided upon wafers because they were already the dark brown color I wanted and the right shape, which meant less time frosting and no crumbs.  They were also a nice contrast to the actual cake.

While the cakes cooled, I worked on the design of the cake.  I traced the 8-in cardboard cake round on wax paper with a permanent marker and free handed the rest.  Then I was able to cut the wax paper template out.

After leveling the cakes, I placed them on plastic cutting boards and laid my wax paper template on top of the cakes.  Using a paring knife, I trimmed around the outline. 

(No clue why there are weird shadows in this picture...)
I used most of a package of chocolate sugar wafers to make the neck of the guitar.  I then used the excess cake to shape the head of the guitar.  After cutting the cake I placed the individual pieces in the freezer for an hour so they would be very easy to frost.

While the cakes were in the freezer I made a batch of vanilla buttercream frosting. 

I also rummaged through the garage and found an old book shelf from a broken bookcase.  It was the perfect size and sturdiness to display the cake.

Because the cakes were cold and firm, I didn't have any crumbs when frosting them.  I used two more wafers to make the pickups of the guitar and five M&M's for the tuning pegs.  (Side note: I just googled "electric guitar diagram" because I had no clue what either of those things were called.)

The final detail was piping the strings with vanilla buttercream.  In hindsight, I should have used royal icing because the "strings" didn't adhere to the wafers well.  They needed repairs after the 80 mph car ride.

And there you have it--a fun, easy electric guitar cake.

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