Imagine being given a present. Imagine that present all wrapped up in a pretty box with a bow on top. Now imagine that box is filled with cake. Actually, the whole box and bow itself are made out of cake! Sounds like the best gift ever to me. Now if only it was from Justin Timberlake. A girl can dream!
This is kind of my go to cake. It is versatile, looks good in all sizes, and suitable for many occasions. Gift box cakes also look great stacked, but lets get started with one.
I baked a 9" x 13" chocolate cake. I then trimmed the cake into three 4" x 6" rectangle. I layered the cake with my favourite Italian meringue buttercream and crumb coated it. Always chill a cake after a crumb coat.
While the cake is chilling, I rolled my fondant out into sheets that are 1/8" thick. You will need to roll enough fondant to cover 4 sides, the top of the cake, and an extra piece that will be cut into bands for the sides of the lid. You can set them in the fridge while you ice your cake once more.
Time to ice our cake again. Icing a square cake takes some patience. Take your time, and if you get frustrated, stick it back in the fridge, take a deep breath and return to it when you are in a zen like state. Once you are happy with cake, it is time to start applying the fondant.
Measure the height of your cake. Cut two sections of fondant that are the height of your cake, and the length of your cake for the two shorter sides of the box. I like to cut them a little longer. I can always trim the sides, it is easier than trimming the top. Apply these to your cake, and use a fondant smoother to help secure them. Carefully cut away the access by running a sharp paring knife along the sides. Repeat this process for the two longer sides of your gift box. Remember to measure again!
Now your cake is looking more like a box already! Time to cover the top. Measure the width and length of the top of your cake. Once again, you can cut it slightly larger. Pick up your fondant carefully, and line it up with two adjacent sides of the box. Use your knife again to trim the other two sides. We will use our final piece of pre rolled fondant to make the sides of our lid. Cut 4 bands of fondant that are the same width, about 1 1/4". Make sure your bands are slightly londer than the longest side of your gift box. Place a cake board on top of your cake, and flip the whole cake over. Working quickly, apply some water to the lower edge of your cake, on all four sides. Add a band of fondant to both of the shorter sides and trim. Now repeat on the two longer sides.
Time to jazz up this gift box a little, and make it extra special. Roll out your orange fondant until it is 1/16" thick. Use your favourite embosser, and press the pattern into the fondant in rows. You will need 4 bands, one for each side. Cut out each embossed band, and flip them over. Brush the backs with a little water and apply the patterned bands to the lid sides on your gift box cake. Trim the bands accordingly. Flip your cake back over.
Roll out your remaining orange fondant as thin as you can. Cut four 1/4" thick strips that will fit the longest sides of your cake. Lightly brush a line of water onto the top edge of your cake, all the way around. Lay the four fondant strips along each edge, they will overlap at the corners. Use a knife to trim the ends by cutting diagonally through both strips at the point where they overlap. Join the seams like a picture frame.
To make extra embellishments for each corner, take a embosser and score the middle of each piece to ensure the fondant wont crack. Then, take your dried fondant bow and add it to the top of you cake box! You can use piping jelly, sugar glue, glucose, or even icing to hold the bow onto the cake. If you want to take your cake to the next level, add dragées to it!
Voila! Your cake in a box is now complete! Time to eat...
I feel that I must apologize for my "singing" at the end of my video. Don't worry, I won't quit my day job.