It will not surprise to you learn that back to school season was always one of my favourite times of year. There were school supplies to gather, outfits to plan, schedules to organize. Heaven! And even though I haven’t been a student for many years, there’s just something about this time of year that makes it feel like you have a fresh start!
I want to cake a crisp, clean Lunch Box Cake! The kind of pretty lunchbox that you would start a new school year with, not the smooshed, dirty one that always seems to surface at the end of the semester. Remember, fresh starts! I’ll be building this Lunch Box Cake out of carved funfetti cake, brightly coloured buttercream, and fondant details. I really want you to get creative with your lunch box design, it’s all about showing off your personality!
Where Do I Buy My Ingredients & Tools??
Back to school shopping already has you spinning, so I made it one step easier by listing all of my shoppable supplies on my Parsel page for you here
Baking Your Funfetti Lunch Box Cake!
Ingredients & Tools You Will Need:
6 lbs Yo’s Ultimate Vanilla Cake - find my recipe here
1/2 cup Jumbo Sprinkles
11 x 15” Rectangular Cake Pan, lined with parchment paper
Please note that this recipe will make one Lunch Box Cake.
Prepare your vanilla cake batter according to my recipe here. I added my sprinkles in layers to prevent the colour from bleeding into my white vanilla cake batter. Pour a bit of your batter into your rectangular cake pan, then a sprinkling of your sprinkles. Repeat: batter, sprinkles, batter, sprinkles, batter until all of your batter is in the pan.
Bake your funfetti cake at 350 degrees for 1 hour or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow your cake to cool completely in the pan.
Filling Your Lunch Box Cake!
Ingredients & You Will Need:
Italian Meringue Buttercream - find my recipe here
Simple Syrup - find my recipe here
Wilton Pink Icing Color (or your favourite)
Small Offset Spatula
Small Serrated Knife
2 1/2” Circle Cutter
Remove your 11 x 15” funfetti cake from your pan. Level and cut the caramelization off the bottom of your cake using a ruler and serrated knife. You can watch me do this here. Trim the cake to 14.5 x 10” to get all of the caramelization off of the sides. Now cut the cake in half so that you have two pieces that are 7.25 x 10”. You guys are going to be so ready for math class!
Stack one piece of cake on top of the other, and round out the edges to give it the shape of a fabric lunch box. I used a 2 ½ inch circle cutter to round off the four corners and give them a uniform shape. To do this, mark the corner with your circle cutter and use a small serrated knife to carve it out.
Then unstack your cakes and give them both a simple syrup shower.
Let’s fill our lunch box with buttercream. I’m going to use pink in honour of my very special guest, Elise from My Cupcake Addiction. Her logo features the most lovely pale pink that I wanted to replicate, but of course you can choose whichever colour you’d like! Fold your icing color into 1 ½ cup of buttercream.
Spread a layer of coloured buttercream onto your first cake, and then stack your second layer on top. Crumb coat your cake and place it in the fridge to chill. Bring it back out after 20 minutes for another ice, and then back into the fridge it goes for a final chill.
Covering Your Cake In Lunch Box Details!
Ingredients & Tools You Will Need:
3 lbs Fondant
4 oz Black Fondant
Wilton Kelly Icing Color
Wilton Pink Icing Color
Wilton Red No Taste Icing Color
Fabric Measuring Tape
I dyed my white fondant with Wilton Red No Taste, Pink, and Kelly Green Icing Colors for my lunch box details. A cake like this is also a great excuse to use up any fondant scraps you have leftover from other caking projects.
Measure the circumference around the side of your cake, and roll out your fondant to be slightly larger than the height and length of your cake. Wrap your fondant around your lunch box, bringing the seam together at the back. Usually I’d hide the fondant seams in my cake, but in this case it will end up on the bottom of this lunch box. Trim off any excess fondant with a sharp paring knife.
For the top of my lunch box, I draped fondant overtop. Again, because this is a fabric style lunch box, I wasn’t too concerned with getting a perfect shape.
I flipped my cake over and trimmed the excess fondant using the cake as a guide. While my cake was still flipped over, I added a small layer of icing to the bottom layer of cake. Then I rolled out some of my pink fondant and covered the bottom. If you want to leave your lunch box lying down, you don’t have to cover the bottom. Then I flipped it back, getting ready to add your lunch box design!
Decorating Your Lunch Box Cake!
Ingredients & Tools You Will Need:
PME Strip Cutter No.1
FMM Straight Frill Cutter
Non Stick Rolling Mat
Small Fondant Rolling Pin
Textured Rolling Pin
If you have one, this would be a great place to whip out your How To Cake It sketchbook, and draw out what you’d like your lunch box to look like before you start cutting out fondant details. You can rep your fave fandom by adding 2D characters, you can use patterns like stripes or polka dots, or you can even keep it simply colour-blocked. Let your imagination go wild!
Even though all of our lunch boxes will be different, I’ll let you know how I made the shapes on mine. I rolled my fondant very thin and cut out the shapes for the My Cupcake Addiction logo using a template that I created, circle cutters for my polka dots, and a strip cutter to get stripes with frills. But feel free to freestyle your design and cut out shapes by hand (That’s what Elise did!). Cut out your shapes with a paring knife and use a little bit of water as glue.
Let’s create a zipper! We’ve got to get into this lunch box somehow. Measure the circumference of your cake sides, and roll out a long tube of fondant. Flatten the tube with your fingers and use a rolling pin to roll lengthwise and flatten further. To make the zipper indent, I used a strip cutter to mark out the teeth on either side of the line, using a yardstick to ensure that I got a straight line. Then trim your zipper to about ¼” thick. Brush on a little water to stick the fondant zipper to your cake.
I also made another zipper running along the outside of my lunch box because I like to have a little compartment where I can stash my treat. You know, for after lunch. ;)
Lastly, I made a big handle on top of my lunch box that tapered down at either end. I used a ribbed rolling pin to create the fabric ribbing on the handle, and then folded the ends down like a true fabric handle. You can use a strip cutter for this detail if you aren’t able to find a ribbed rolling pin.
We’re all done! Class dismissed! I bet you can trade a piece of your Lunch Box Cake for some pretty sweet stuff at the lunch table. ;)