I’ve experienced some pretty huge milestones since becoming a YouTuber, but getting a letter from the CEO of YouTube, Susan Wojcicki, telling me to “dream big” is a moment I’ll never forget. I immediately felt a connection to Susan. I mean, we have so much in common. She’s the CEO of YouTube, I’m the CEO of CakeTube...We both have July birthdays. People mispronounce our names all the time. We’re both moms. I mean...she has five kids, and I have one, but that’s practically the same thing.
So when I found out that Susan’s birthday was going to be on a Tuesday, I knew I had to bake her a cake that celebrated her AND YouTube all at once! I made a two tiered chocolate and vanilla YouTube Cube Cake, complete with a golden play button. No you guys, not our real gold play button, that would be way too heavy on the fondant! This one’s made of gumpaste.
Where Do I Buy My Ingredients & Tools??
It will not surprise you to learn that I love to buy caking supplies online as much as I love caking online! Schleping around the city just can't compare to having tools show up at your doorstep. I list all shoppable ingredients & tools for you on my Parsel page right here!
Baking Your Square Cakes!
Ingredients & Tools You’ll Need:
2 x 6lb Yo’s Ultimate Vanilla Cake - find my recipe here
2 x Wilton Christmas Red Icing Color
6 lb Yo’s Ultimate Chocolate Cake - find my recipe here
Wilton Black Icing Color
3 x 8” Square Cake Pan, lined with parchment paper
3 x 6” Square Cake Pan, lined with parchment paper
Prepare your chocolate and vanilla cake batters according to their respective recipes. Once your vanilla batter is completely mixed, divide it into two equal portions and add two containers of Wilton Christmas Red Icing Color to one of those portions - we want this cake to be YouTube red! Now to take your chocolate cake batter to the next level, mix in one container of Wilton Black Icing Color. I find chocolate cake is such a great base for black because it’s already so dark and rich.
Once your batters are coloured, divide them like so:
8” square cake pans - 3.5 lbs of plain vanilla, 3.5 lbs of red vanilla, and 3.5 lbs of black chocolate batter
6” square cake pans - 2.5 lbs of plain vanilla, 2.5 lbs of red vanilla, and 2.5 lbs of black chocolate batter
Bake your cakes at 350 degrees. My 8” square pans took 1 hour and 20 minutes, and my 6” square pans took 1 hour. Ensure that they are fully baked by using the toothpick test. Cool completely in their pans. I highly suggest chilling these cakes before levelling and layering them.
Building & Filling Our Cube Cakes
Ingredients & Tools You Will Need:
Simple Syrup - find my recipe here
Italian Meringue Buttercream - find my recipe here
Small Offset Spatula
Wilton Icing Smoother (sometimes called a Bench Scraper)
Square Ruler (sometimes called a Set Square)
Foam Board, to cut cake boards and templates
Cut caramelization off top, bottom, and sizes.
Remove the caramelization the from all of your cakes with a ruler and serrated knife. To maintain a perfect square shape, I used a foam board cut as a guide to cut the caramelization off the sides. Once all of the caramelization is removed, cut each of them into two layers horizontally. You can watch me level and layer my cakes here.
Measure your 6” cakes, and cut out two square templates out of foam board. You’ll want to create two inner squares from each layer so that you get three square rings.
Pull out the inner rings very carefully, and alternate them between your cake colours. You’ll want to have the following patterns(from the outside in):
Black, red, white
Red, white, black
White, black, red
Give each layer a simple syrup shower, and allow the syrup to soak in.
Now it’s time to crumb coat and chill!. My 8” cube cake will be a striped pattern when you cut into it, so stack your cakes like so:
Black, red, white, black, red, white
You’ll want to spread Italian meringue buttercream between each layer as you go. Then give the entire 8” cube a crumb coat, and pop it in the fridge for 30 mins.
For the 6” cakes, be careful not to fill with too much buttercream as it might change the dimensions of your cube. Rectangular prism cake just doesn’t have the same ring to it as cube cake! Layer the cakes in the same pattern and using the outer ring as a guide to ensure that the colours were alternating. Give your cake a crumb coat and put it in the fridge to chill as well.
Once both of your cakes have had a chilled crumb coat, take a moment to measure them again on all sides, and ensure they’re not crooked. If they are, this is the best time to level your cake straight.
If you’re satisfied that your cubes are as cube-y as possible, give them both an ice and place them back in the fridge. I used a Wilton Icing Smoother to make sure my corners were extra sharp. Then I went back in for a third ice with my buttercream (I’ve never iced a square with only two layers) to make sure my cubes were super tight and smooth.
Again, if you’re starting to feel like your cubes aren’t square enough, you can go in with a bit of buttercream and build up the gaps. I also like to use a set square or a ruler to check on the angles of my corners and sides.
It’s Time To Cover These Cakes In Fondant!
Ingredients & Tools You Will Need:
6 1/2 lbs White Fondant
3 lbs Red Fondant (I used Wilton)
4 x ½ Inch Dowels
We’re going to roll out slabs to cover each side of the larger cube cake. Measure the width of your cake, and roll out 5 slabs of thin white fondant (4 slabs for the sides of the cake, and 1 for the top). I used approximately 1.5 lbs of fondant per slab. Roll your slabs out to be slightly larger than the side that you’re covering (I would recommend 2 inches wider and taller than you need).
Flip them all over, and brush off any excess icing sugar. It can create dryness, which in turn can make it more difficult for your fondant to stick to the cake.
Repeat this process for the red fondant for your smaller cake using 1/2 lb of red fondant per slab.
When applying the fondant to a cube cake, I prefer to do two opposite sides first. If you find that your buttercream is really chilled, apply a thin layer of buttercream as glue before going for your fondant.
Trim the slab of fondant to be the exact height of the highest of your fours sides. Yes, even with all that adjusting and double-checking earlier, you can still find that your cake is a little bit uneven at this stage. It’s okay, we’ve got a fix for that.
Smooth on your fondant, trimming an excess hanging off the sides. I use a ruler or a set square and line it up against the side of my cake. Cut the fondant flush to the side of the cake with a sharp paring knife.
Now go back and do the other two sides. Be sure to remeasure these sides, as you now have the added width of the fondant from the first two sides. I made this mistake when I was making this cake, but thankfully I was able to just patch it up knowing that I’d be covering it with a pattern anyway. Phew.
Trim the slab to the exact height. Smooth it on with a fondant smoother. Take the height of all four sides and cut using the measurement of the absolutely highest side. If the top of your cake is slightly uneven, we can fill it in with buttercream before covering the top.
Trim the tops and then the sides using a ruler as your guide. We’re going for straight and tight!
Now remember how we measured our fondant to the highest side of the cube? If you have any gaps on the top of your cake, you can use the fondant as a boarder to fill the gaps with buttercream.
We’re almost covered - it’s time to cover the top. Cut two perpendicular sides of your fondant slab perfectly square. Then line that corner up with one of the top corners of your cake, and smooth with a fondant smoother. Trim the other two sides of the slab with a sharp paring knife.
Repeat the above with your smaller red cake.
It’s Time To Get Pixelated!
Roll out two thin slabs of fondant, making sure that each of them is the width of one side of the cake, but the length of two sides. Then divide both of these white slabs in two so that you now have four thin slabs of white fondant.
Then roll out one large, thin slab of black fondant, and another thin slab of red. Cut these slabs into stripes.
Lay the red and black stripes on the white fondant, applying with a little bit of water. Create the following pattern:
Black, red, white
The white stripe is really just a space where you are allowing the white fondant underneath to show through. Use a piece of paper as a template to leave the right width for the white stripe.
Give your stripey slabs a trim at the beginning and end of each stripe. We don’t want any excess white hanging off the edges. With a ruler and a sharp knife, cut strips vertically across the stripes to create lots of little cubes.
Now I need to lay these on my cake in an alternating pixel pattern. I worked from the edges to the center. This is because I wanted the last strip I applied to be in the center, just in case I had to trim it down to fit. If there were a thinner strip on the edge, it would be more noticeable.
Feel free to lay your strips out on a cake board to play with your pixel pattern before applying them. We want them to alternate, but not too perfectly or it will become a checkerboard pattern.
When applying your strips to your cake, you’ll also want to attach them at the top edge of the cake, and smooth them down to the bottom. Again, gluing them on with a bit of water. There might be a gap at the bottom of your cake, in which case you can fill it in with any trimmed cubes you have left.
Repeat this process for all 4 sides.
For the top of my larger pixelated cube cake, I cut out a slab of black fondant that was an inch smaller than my square so that I could have a half an inch square border about my cake.
I doweled my cake with 4 quarter inch dowels that I cut into 8 pieces to fit the height of my cake. I pushed them into my cake in a square pattern where my smaller red cake would rest.
Press Play! Creating a Gold Gumpaste Play Button!
Ingredients & Tools You Will Need:
1/4 lb Gumpaste
Wilton Golden Yellow Icing Color
Gold Lustre Dust
Cardboard or Card Stock
I would recommend making this component ahead of time, as it needs at least one day to dry.
I dyed my gumpaste a deep yellow colour, and rolled out a rectangle about ⅛ inch thick, but slightly tapered down at the sides. I actually used a bag I got at the YouTube Creator Summit as a template! Using my template, I cut the gumpaste into a rounded rectangle.
Then I cut the triangle out from the inside of the rectangle, and cut an even stronger template out of a cardboard. Then I took my cardboard triangle and pressed it into my YouTube rectangle before the gumpaste was set, making a perfect little play button indent.
Put aside to dry for at least one day.
Once your play button is dry. Brush on a very thin layer of vegetable shortening. The shortening acts as a glue to grab all those shimmering gold bits. Finish with a layer of gold luster.
Choose the most perfect side of your red cake to attach your gold play button to as this will be the front of your cake. I actually picked up my red cake and laid it on its side, attaching the play button with a bit of royal icing, and let it dry on the cake. That way you don’t need to be as worries about the weight of the play button pulling down your fondant.
Once dry, pick up your red cake and place it on top of the doweled pixel cake. I added a bit of royal icing to the top of my dowels prior to easing my smaller cake on top, just to ensure that it was extra sturdy.
As a finishing touch I wanted to scatter even more YouTube coloured cubes around and on top of my YouTube Cake. I rolled out my leftover red, white, and black fondant into thick slabs, and cut small cubes out of the fondant using a sharp knife. Place them all around your cake however you’d like - YouTube is all about creativity!