Friday, October 15, 2010

quick, cute, fake cake

I made this cake in about an hour for a production of "The Three Sisters" at the Piven theatre workshop. I wanted something simple, bright and springy.
I started with some leftover pink insulation foam and cut two nine-inch circles. I glued the two layers together with Patch-N-Paint lightweight spackle (found in the paint department of your hardware store. I believe some brands are called Fast-and-Final. You'll be able to tell you have the right tub of spackle because it seems ridiculously lightweight).

I then took some of the same patch-n-paint and mixed it in a tub with a couple drops of yellow food-coloring until I got a buttercream color.
 I used it and a regular kitchen butterknife to ice the cake. The fast-n-final makes an amazing frosting because it is almost exactly the texture of buttercream icing, and it dries very fast. Even in the thickest spots, the cake was dry in four hours and ready for rehearsal.  In the future I will use a screw up through the bottom to hold the cake in place while I ice it. It got difficult and messy when I was trying to do the sides. I will also put a piece of wax paper under the cake to start, I ended up doing this later, but it would have been a better idea at the beginning.
The lemons on top of the cake I bought at JoAnns and cut in half. I like fake fruit on fake desserts, it adds color.
After I got the base of icing down I mixed up a second batch on icing and yellow food-coloring, this time much darker. I had purchased a pastry bag tip and the collar that holds it in place, but decided to save money by not buying pastry bags. I figured I could use the sandwich baggies I already had at home. This might have worked if I had nice, brand-name freezer bags, but my dollar-store baggies couldn't take the pressure of me squeezing, and immediately split along the seams. I ended up cutting off the corner of a garbage bag to use instead. Not perfect either, but much better.
If I had been more patient, I'm sure the borders could have looked much prettier and neater, but for a rush job it turned out to be a pretty cute cake.

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