Saturday, May 23, 2009

Graduation Cake

Graduation Cake

I made this cake for my sister not too long ago since she graduated from Indiana University with two degrees in art back in December (i'm so proud of you sis!!). I saved posting it until closer to graduation season (I meant to post a little bit sooner, sorry about that :P) so I could include a short tutorial on how I made the bottom book cake. Of course this isn't the only way or maybe even the best way, lol. Just the way I did it, and hopefully it will help someone who's been wanting to make one.


-I started out by making a chocolate mudcake in a 9x13 straight-sided pan (this is the one i use) and cut it in half so I have 2 books.

book6

-Then i torted and filled the cake, cookies and cream italian meringue buttercream mmmm!

book5

-Crumb coat outside with leftover buttercream that i didn't put the cookies in, and put in the fridge to firm up.

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-Now on to the fondant "cover". Here's where a little math is involved. I'm sure you could skip this step and just guess, but I found it was so much easier to take the time to figure it out. First you measure the length, width, and height(after its been iced!). Then add 1/4" to the width and 1/2" to the length. so say the cake is 6 1/2" in width and 2" in height and 9" in length. To be able to make the rectagle you need to cover you book you need to add height + width + 1/4" by length + 1/2" so for the measurements above, it would (just as an example) be 2" + 6 1/2" + 1/4" by 9" + 1/2" so your rectangle would have to be 8 3/4" by 9 1/2". I know it can be a bit confusing but in the long run it will make your life easier.

book4

-The easiest way I found to get the fondant from the counter to the cake without distorting it is to roll it out to the thickness you want it. Then place it on a lightly greased piece of waxed paper and cut out your rectangle. Take the fondant and wax paper together and apply it to the cake carefully keeping the 1/4" overlap at the edges then peel off the waxed paper. Now you can adjust the fondant so that the overlap is even all the way around and go over the fondant with a fondant smoother to smooth out any imperfections that may have occured when applying it.

book3

-Now cut out 3 - 1/4" strips of fondant making sure that they are long enough for each side (they don't have to be exact your going to cut some off in just a bit)

book2

-Place the strips on all three sides overlapping at the corners. Cut diagonally at the corner, removing the excess pieces.

book1

-For the pages you need to measure the height of the gap and then roll out a strip of white fondant long enough to go around the book ( just make sure it's pretty thin or you'll lose a lot of your 1/4" edge of your book) cut the strip to height and length and with a knife or leaf veiner make the lines for the pages (make sure to do this before you put it on the cake its much easier :D. You'll notice mine isn't very defined I tried to do it on the cake ) just paint on a little water on the cake and apply to the book and your finished!

44 comments:

  1. Beautiful how to's! Thanks for sharing!

    Donatella

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  2. This is a great cake. Thanks so much for the detailed instructions. I've been wanting to try a book cake and your tutorial will help a LOT!

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  3. You must have read my mind! I've been wanting to do one of these for so long and didn't have the slightest clue where to start. I can't wait for an excuse to make this now! Thanks for always taking your time to teach us and for all the great tips!

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  4. Muy bonito!!

    Saludos desde México.

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  5. thank you so much.. this is wonderful i need to do one for this week and didn't know how to do one.. your awesome.. the measurements that you used for an example they wouldn't be the right measurements would they? if so that is a great help.. the cake you made your sister is awesome.. thank you again so much..

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  6. Awesome - your cake looks fantastic, no doubt your sister loved it!! You are so generous to share all your wonderful tips, thanks heaps :)

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  7. Julie,
    You are amazing. Thank you for all you help, I too was at a cross roads ,had no idea were to start on putting together a book cake. I just have one more question, when you did the red book, did you do it the same way as the black book or did the red book have fondant completly under it? I am so happy I found your blog. Thanks again.

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  8. Thanks soo much for this. I've always wondered how to make this

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  9. Wow - amazing job!! Looks great.

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  10. Thank you for all the photos. The cake is incredible and beyond unique and creative. You are very very talented. Thank you for sharing!!

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  11. OMG it looks so real , you're fantastic!

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  12. You have such a talent. I love seeing all the awesome things you create and I am so glad you share them.
    Angie

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  13. Thank you so much everyone! i'm so glad i can share this with you!

    Theresa- yes it is just an estimate. those measurement are of half a 9x13 sheet cake uniced, because i don't know how thick other's ice their cake or how much they fill them i can't give exact measurements sorry :(.

    Michelle- It really depends on whether you want the top book to be off center like i have it or just straight on top. if you want it straight on top yes it would be made just the same as the bottom cake, but if you want if crooked you need to wrap the whole cake. i didn't do the tutorial on that one because i was running out of time and had to stop taking pictures, lol. but here are the instructions i have for wrapping the top cake. and this may not be the greatest way, just the way i did it :D.

    you will pretty much follow the first couple of steps as in the bottom cake, but you won't use a cake board. then you need to chill the cake well (couple of hours at least) so its easier to handle.

    in order to get the top book wrapped all the way around you have to take some measurements of the cake. you need the width and height and the length (after they have been filled and crumb coated) . so say the cake is 6" in width and 2" in height and 8" in length. to be able to make the rectagle you need to cover you book you need to add width+height+width+1/2" by length + 1/2" so for the measurements above it would (just as an example) be 6"+2"+6"+1/2" by 8" + 1/2" so your rectangle would have to be 14 1/2" by 8 1/2". i know it can be a bit confusing but in the long run it will make your life easier.

    the easiest way to get the fondant onto the book is to roll it out to the thickness you want it then place it on a lightly greased piece of waxed paper, cut out your rectangle, and remove the excess fondant. with a paint brush apply a VERY small amount of water to one side of the fondant but don't wet the outer 1/4" edge. place the chilled cake on the spot you just put the water leaving the 1/4" on the three sides. take the paint brush and apply a very small amount of water the top and spine of the cake. using the wax paper as a helper, lift the other side of the book cover up and over being careful to keep a 1/4" reveal on the sides. since you put shortening on the waxed paper it should be easy to remove it and place on top of the first cake. if the cake seems a bit soft. place in the fridge to set up a bit before trying to move.

    now for the pages you need to measure the height of the gap and then roll out a strip of white fondant long enough to go around the book ( just make sure it pretty thin or you'll lose a lot of your 1/4" edge of your book) cut the strip to height and lenght and with a knife or leaf veiner make the lines for the pages (make sure to do this before you put it on the cake its much easier :D ) just paint on a little water on the cake and apply to the book and your finished!

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  14. Hi,
    I have just discovered your blog and I am amazed (and jealous) at your talent! You are so creative, full of good taste... I'm really impressed! I'm going to read this blog through and through, it's incredible!!!!!
    Best regards from France!

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  15. That's amazing, you're really talented :) Thanks for showing us how to make it as well!

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  16. OMG! you are so very talented...you make it look so easy! Do you add tylose powder to your fondant? Or just use regular fondant?

    **def gonna be following you ;)

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  17. love your work! am learning cake decorating by myself. Hope to be as good as you one day! :)

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  18. Words of wisdom that not only look beautiful, but they are tasty too!! Thank you for sharing.

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  19. I've fallen in love with your blog.
    Will come back regularly.

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  20. Great cake! I think I saw it on flickr too...or somewhere else! I was too wimpy to try this for my brother's graduation cake! The how to's make it seem less scary! Thanks :)

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  21. Beautiful cake -- and blog. What chocolate mud cake recipe did you use?

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  22. Beautiful Book cake. Luved all the cakes u have made and also thanks for sharing the awesome tutorials.:)

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  23. Zahra- I use straight marshmallow fondant when I cover cakes. The palette is pure gum paste and the graduation cap, paint brush, tube of paint, and IU symbol are made out of mmf with gum paste powder added (this recipe http://thefrostedcakencookie.blogspot.com/2009/03/sculpting-marshmallow-fondant-recipe.html

    Cassy- I used this one http://www.flickr.com/photos/28439449@N02/2681434356/ and I doubled it for the 9 x 13 pan.

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  24. Oh MY goodness,
    all I can say is you are a SUPER STAR I have spent hours searching the web for instructions and NOthing
    Then someone on CC mentioned your site it was like a little ray of sunshine EXACTLY what I was looking for you are an angel, thanks so much,.
    Have a Blessed day Haley

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  25. Best stacked book cake I've seen! I would like to try something like this but with three books and a graduation cap on top. One question, Did you use dowels to secure your cake?....Thanks and great tutorial.

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  26. Hi...your cake looks great and the tips on how to do the cover should help me a lot. Two questions: With those measurements does that stop the fondant edge from drooping down? How did you get the fondant black? I don't have time to buy black fondant but I need a black cover for the book I am doing. Thanks again! Awesome cake!!!

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  27. Thank you so much for the instructions. I just told my daughter that I want to make a book cake... then decided I'd make it for my birthday later this month... Then thought that, as it's so much cake, I'll just take it to the library (my favorite place in town). Thank you again for explaining how to make this cake. :) Dana

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  28. I remain indebted to you for these priceless instructions on how to make a closed book cake. I wish you unlimited success!

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  29. Thanks so much for the tutorial! I was thinking about doing this kind of cake next week for a friend's graduation...I might brave it now that I found your tutorial via Google.

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  30. The cake is brilliant! thanks for posting the instructions
    http://www.allaboutcake.co.uk/

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  31. I am looking at doing a stacked book cake, 5 cakes high. (or at least that is the goal. If I am planning to off set the books. Would I put a cake board between each layer, but slightly smaller than the cake in order to hide it? Or should I wrap the fondant around the outide of the board to encorporate it. Any advise would be great. Thanks.

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  32. Thank you so much for sharing!!!!

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  33. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! I am graduating on Saturday and have been searching high and low for a GOOD book tutorial... Love it, love you blog... Can't wait to make this cake now!

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  34. Thank you so much for the tutorial! I am trying to put together a book cake for my (future) mother in law. This is the best (cutest) and most realistic I have seen! I hope to attempt it without problems! If you have any extra tips I would LOVE to hear! Thanks in advance

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  35. Hi,I've been looking around for a mud cake online (I've never heard of one before) and not sure which one is a good one, yours looks yummy. Would you be willing to share your recipe or maybe just send me in the right direction. Thanks

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  36. wow thats AMAZING! thnx so much now i no exactly wut to do for my friend's bithday! :)

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  37. Oh my god I love you for posting this, but tying to figure out how to do the measurements has given me a bit of a headache!Thanks :-)

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  38. many thank for your amazing tutorial.
    I linked it to my FB page.
    thanskss

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  39. This has definitely been an eyeopener! Thank you soooo much. Gotta make a Bible this weekend and the way I was thinking was going to be a lot harder than what you showed. Good job!
    Soosie

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  40. this cake is beautiful - thanks for sharing - i am attempting to make an open book cake - do you have a tutorial for one like that? thanks

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  42. love this Thanks a bunch!!!

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  43. thanks again for directions, was at a loss at where to start, keen to start now. Jessie. N.Z.

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