This week on How To Cake It I tried to make the sometimes painful experience of going back to school just a little more fun by making a stack of textbooks out of CAKE! By using my ultimate chocolate cake recipe, Italian Meringue buttercream and fondant that I decorated with fun food pens and letters cut out of gumpaste, I created something I think ANY kid would be excited to dig into!
One of the books I ‘caked’ is called asapSCIENCE made by the hilariously genius guys on the asapSCIENCE YouTube channel, and honestly, I learned more about science flipping through this book than I did in my whole school career! When I went shopping for this book and found it in the ‘Humour’ section, I knew it was right up my alley. Definitely check it out here!
What I DID love about school, was Back to School supplies. You all know how I feel about rulers, don’t you? Add freshly sharpened pencils, a brand new pink eraser and fresh crisp notebooks? It’s like a dream. So I decided to make EDIBLE back to school supplies by using gumpaste, as the perfect accessory to my cake.
How To Make Your Cakes
(You can find all of my favourite baking and caking supplies right here. I've also collected all of the ingredients you'll need to make my Back To School book cakes here!)
You Will Need:
Let's Hit The Books!
I created four books out of the two cakes you see listed above. While you're waiting for your chocolate cakes to bake, you should sign up to be a How To Cake It member! Why? I'll give you early access to my videos, and discount codes for all over my favourite Cake Tees and baking accessories! Sign up here :)
Use your 9 x 12” chocolate cake to create your largest text book, Book #1. Simply remove the chocolate cake from its pan, level it, and trim it to the exact size you want – if the size works for you, be sure to still trim the edges off the cake. If you’d like to watch a video tutorial on how to level and layer cakes like I do, click here.
Book #2, 3 & 4
Remove your 12 x 15” chocolate cake from its pan, and level it. This cake is going to turn into three books.
Cut the cake in half, vertically, so that you have two cakes that are 12 x 71/2”.
One of these halves will be Book #2 - trim the edges of the cake.
Then trim the edges off the other half, and cut in in half horizontally. You will be left with two thinner cakes of the same size - Book #3 and Book #4.
In my case, I wanted my top book to be an exact replica of the asapSCIENCE book, so I cut my final cake in those dimensions.
You can really be creative with book cakes. That’s why I love making them. Make whatever sizes you desire, use a model or don’t, and make as many as you like!
Turning Your Cakes Into Books!
You will need:
Using Fondant To Create ‘Pages’
Once your book cakes have been successfully crumb coated and iced, begin by creating the pages of your books. Once three sides of all of my books are covered, I need to indent them to look like pages. I love using a strip cutter to do this. It is so effective, and yet so simple. Gently press and drag the strip cutter along white fondant. Be sure to pull the strip cutter towards you, not push it away, which will cause the fondant to tear. It is so much faster creating these indents all at once with the help of a strip cutter! Doing this line by line would take much more time….and patience.
How To Make the Front and Back Cover from Fondant
Now that the pages are marked, we can cover our books. I coloured 11/2lb of Satin Ice White Fondant with Wilton Lemon and Golden Yellow. I was looking for a nice bright yellow. I think that a How To Cake It text book would be bright and fun! Then I coloured 1lb of Satin Ice White Fondant with Wilton Royal Blue and Violet Icing Colour. Every Shakespeare book I read seemed to have a deep, sophisticated colour. So that’s what I recreated by making a deep indigo fondant. I covered each one of my books a different colour because I think that makes the final stack much more interesting.
These Book Cakes Need Titles!
You will need:
Letter Cutters and Tappits
I guess I really should have titled each one of my cake books Chocolate Cake…. But this is a Back To School theme! I used my various letter cutters and Tappits to create different fonts for each book cake.
I labeled my big red text book “Algebra 101”, the kind of text book I would have dreaded. The kind of text book that feels like an anchor in your backpack. I labeled my bright yellow text book “How To Cake It”- now this is a text book I never would have put down! The indigo book I appropriately labeled Hamlet. Have fun with your titles. This is the perfect place to personalize a book cake.
Using Food Pens/Food Writers
Time to work on the asapSCIENCE book. The cover is pretty much full of writing and illustrations. I decided it would be best to roll a very thin piece of gumpaste to the exact dimensions of the cover. I let it dry overnight. I then used a photocopy of the asapSCIENCE book cover, placed it on top of my gumpaste, and used a pencil to lightly trace over all of the text on the cover, leaving a light indent on the gumpaste that I could then use as a guide.
To fill in the gumpaste cover, I used a whole bunch of amazing food markers to copy the cover design while keeping the real book at my side as a model. Although it made me nervous, I really enjoyed recreating the asapSCIENCE book.
Back To School Supplies
I further dressed up this cake by making a few Back to School supplies out of gumpaste. A ruler (naturally), 2 pencils, an eraser, and a sheet of lined paper. It’s fun to recreate real objects. Especially when they are simple things you probably have lying around somewhere a drawer. Gumpaste is a great tool, because it dries hard, so you can make these little added touches long before you even start your cake. Days and weeks before! Then just pick them up and strategically place them around your gorgeous stack of book cakes.
Now all you have to do is bring this Back To School Book Cake full of chocolate and buttercream to your teacher on the first day of school to ensure good grades. If only….!!