I have a little experience making hat cakes.  I’ve already made a Leprechaun Hat and a Baseball Hat Cake.  So I was up for the challenge of making a Mad Hatter’s Hat!

I just love the colour of this hat.  The metallic finish with a fabulous pink sash.  The inside is chocolate through and through - chocolate cake with chocolate ganache. I am very excited to place this cake on the Mad Hatter’s tea party table at the Alice On Queen Pop Up in Toronto! Want to watch me MAKE this cake? There's a quick video on the How To Cake It Facebook Page


Where Do I Buy My Ingredients & Tools??

Time has a way of getting away from you in Wonderland, so I like to make things really simple by organizing all of my shoppable ingredients and tools on a Parsel Page right here


Baking the Cakes!

Ingredients & Tools You Will Need:

2 x 8lb portion of Yo’s Ultimate Chocolate Cake - find my recipe here

10” Round Cake Pan

2 x 9” Round Cake Pans

2 x 8” Round Cake Pans

7” Round Cake Pan

*All pans should be lined with parchment paper

Rubber Spatula

Prepare all of your cake batter and pour into the prepared cake pans as follows:

4 lbs in the 10” pan

3 lbs in each 9” pan

2 lbs in each 8” pan

2 lbs in the 7” pan

Bake you cakes ate 350º for 45 minutes to an hour.  Remember to test each cake with the toothpick method. Cool your cakes completely in their pans.

Building Your Mad Hatter Hat Cake!

Ingredients & Tools You Will Need:

2 1/2 lbs Semi Sweet Chocolate

2 1/2 lbs Whipping Cream

Simple Syrup - find my recipe here


Serrated Knife

Offset Spatula

Small Offset Spatula

7” Round Cake Board

8” Round Cake Board

6 x 1/4” Wooden Cake Dowels

Begin by making your ganache one day ahead.  You can see how I make ganache here, just make sure to use the quantities listed above.

Remove all all six of your chocolate cakes from their pans, level them and give them a shower with simple syrup.

Build the hat cake in two sections.  Stack and fill the first cake with ganache as follows:

8” cake


8” cake



Stack the second cake as follows:

10” cake


9” cake



Set both cakes in the fridge to chill for 20 minutes until the ganache is firm.  

I chose to shape my hat in two sections as well.  Beginning with the smaller cake, carve all the way around the cake creating a curve.  The top layer should remain 7” round but as you cut curve down toward the outer edge of the bottom 8” round cake.  

Carve the larger cake in the same way, but first rest the 8” round cake board on top of the 9” top cake layer.  Use the cake board as a guide and carve the sides of the cake in the same fashion as the first cake.  

Time to flip the smaller cake over placing it onto the 7” round cake board.  Trim 6 dowels into 12 dowels that are the exact height of the cake.  Place the 8” round cake board on top.  Glue it down with some ganache, and place a thin layer of ganache on top of the board as well.

Flip the second cake over and place it on top.  If you are unhappy with the overall shape of your hat once you put it together, now is a good time to make any carving adjustments.

Crumb coat the entire cake with ganache and place it in the fridge to chill for 20 minutes.

Ice the entire hat again with ganache.  I flipped the whole cake over before I iced it.  I found it much easier, and I knew it would be easier to cover with fondant with the wider side down.  Set the cake in the fridge to chill.

Covering the Cake!

Ingredients & Tools You Will Need:

5 1/2 lbs Chocolate Fondant

Rolling Pin

Icing Sugar

Paring Knife

1 1/4” Wooden Dowel

Clear Piping Gel

Royal Icing - find my recipe here

14” round Plastic Serving Platter

I covered my cake by rolling out one large sheet of chocolate fondant and wrapping it around the circumference of the cake.  Make sure to measure the circumference of your cake at the top and bottom, as well as the height.

Then I flipped my cake over and inserted one sharpened dowel through it’s center.

I rolled a circle of fondant to cover the top.  Trim off any excess with a sharp knife.

To make the brim of my hat, I rolled a circle of fondant and covered the bottom of my plastic serving platter.  I brushed clear piping gel onto the surface of the bottom of the platter as glue.  I let the platter dry for one week.


Then I covered the top of the platter in the same fashion.  You don't necessarily have to use a platter at all.  But I am bringing this cake to my meet and greet where it will live on display for a few days.  I couldn’t take any risk!  

If you are making the cake for yourself, you can make the brim one or two weeks in advance by rolling a fondant circle and letting it set on top of the platter.  The harder it is, the better.  I would also suggest adding some CMC to the fondant first, or making the brim from gumpaste. Sprinkle a generous amount of icing sugar onto the top of the platter so it will not stick.  Trim the fondant clean all around the platter’s edge.

Once the Mad Hatter's Hat Cake is complete you can carefully pick it up and glue it to your brim with royal icing.

Decorating the Mad Hatter's Hat!  

Ingredients & Tools You Will Need:

Vegetable Shortening

Clay Extruder

Copper Lustre Dust

Raspberry Luster Dust

Brown Colour Dust

Black Colour Dust

Food Grade Alcohol

Paint Brush

1 lb Pink Fondant

Pink Lustre Dust

Pointed Sculpting Tool

I softened the leftover chocolate fondant by needing it with vegetable shortening, and pushing it through a clay extruder fitted with a grass face plate.  I separated all the threads of fondant and used them to make stitching all around the outer edge of the brim of my hat. I used my pointed sculpting tool to make little indents at either end of each thread.


I rolled out a small piece of fondant and cut a square to create a patch for the top right side of the hat. I used the same stitch technique with my clay extruder and pointed sculpting tool to “stitch” the hat on.

I need to paint this hat a glorious bronze colour.  I made a mixture of bronze, burgundy, brown and black to darken the hue a little. Then I painted the entire hat and brim once I was happy with the colour of my paint.

I painted the main body of the hat in an up and down motion rather than around.  All the pictures of the hat that I studied made the hat appear a little wrinkled or gathered at the front.  The real hat is fabric, which allows for natural folds. By painting the cake up and down I wanted to mimic those qualities of the Mad Hatter’s Hat.

Once your paint is completely dry, roll out the pink fondant nice and thin to a length that is long enough to fit the circumference of the base of your hat.

I wanted to create natural fold in the sash so I laid the entire piece of fondant onto some long 1/2”dowels.  By pressing the fondant gently over the dowels and pulling the dowels together I can create gathers in the fondant.  You can do this by hand as well, just pinch the fondant very carefully.

I picked up the fondant sash quickly, and wrapped it around the base of my hat securing it with a little water.

The sash looks like it is made of satin, so I painted mine with pink lustre to bring out the colour and make it shimmer slightly.


Finishing Touches!

Ingredients & Tools You Will Need:

3 x Bamboo Skewers

1 oz Gumpaste

Wilton Buttercup Yellow

Carnation Cutter

Leaf Cutters

Caylx Cutter

Gold Luster Dust

Vegetable Shortening

Paint Brush

Clear Piping Gel

Matte Black Colour Dust

Silver Luster Dust

I wanted to recreate the arrows in the Mad Hatters Hat.  I used a few gumpaste cutters that I have had for years to create 3 different decorative ends of the arrows.

I dyed my gumpaste a deep yellow, rolled it thin and cut out my shapes. I glued each shape to the end of a skewer with a little clear piping gel.  



Then I brushed vegetable shortening onto the gumpaste and along the skewer.  I brushed on gold lustre dust to create three gold arrows and inserted them into the sash of the hat.


To make the pocket watch I shaped 1 oz of gumpaste in a 2D round disc.  I then rolled a very thin piece of gumpaste and pressed it into the pocket watch, that Walt Disney Studios Canada so kindly lent to me, to emboss the pattern on the surface.  I cut the embossed piece of gumpaste into a circle and glued it to the gumpaste disc with a little water.

I recreated the chain of the watch by pressing the chain into gum paste and trimming the sides.  Then I cut the holes from the chain with a small piping tip.

I painted my pocket watch with silver lustre dust and matte black colour dust and laid it on top of my completed Mad Hatter Hat Cake.



What would you do if you fell down the rabbit hole?  I’d eat this hat cake.