Me and my simple syrup bottle (known as Sir Squeeze-A-Lot) have been through a lot together. I picked him up at a trade show years and years ago, and he’s been my faithful caking companion ever since. His speciality? Perfectly distributing simple syrup onto my cakes, allowing them to stay fresh and moist throughout my long decorating days. But after all those years of it just being him and I alone in the kitchen, I never imagined that he’s become such a celebrity when we launched How To Cake It! So now we’ve come full circle, he’s one of my most requested cakes. So here we go, let’s cake it!
Note: one of your gum paste panels needs to dry for several days before application, so be sure to do this in advance to allow time to set. Please see “Decorating The Cake” for more details.
Baking the Cake.
Ingredients & Tools You Will Need:
6 lbs Yo’s Ultimate Chocolate Cake - find my recipe here
4 x 4” Square Cake Pan, lined with parchment paper
8” Square Cake Pan, lined with parchment paper
Prepare your chocolate cake batter, and dividing ¾ lb into each 4” square pan, and the remaining batter into your 8” square pan. Bake your 4” pans for 40 minutes at 350 degrees, and your 8” square pan for 1 hour, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow all cakes to cool completely in their pans.
Icing The Cake.
You Will Need:
Simple Syrup - find my recipe here
Italian Meringue Buttercream - find my recipe here
Small Serrated Knife
Small Icing Spatula
Small Offset Spatula
8 x 1/4” Wooden Dowels
3 x 3 3/4” Square Cake Boards, with corners cut off
Remove all of their cakes from their pans and level them all to the same height. I then cut my 8” square cake into 4 quarters, leaving me with eight 4” square cakes in total.
Give all of your cakes a simple syrup shower, and allow to soak in.
Then I stacked and filled my cakes with buttercream to make three mini cakes. The first and seconds cakes contained three stacked 4” squares, and the third was the remaining two square cakes.
Chill these cakes while they’re still in their mini stacks for about 10-20 minutes to allow the buttercream to firm up.
We now need to trim the sides to match the corner angles on Sir Squeeze. I used my trimmed cake boards as a guide to get a diagonal corner. Place one board under a stack of three cakes, using a little bit of buttercream as glue. Then I laid another board on top of the mini stack and used the lines of the cake board to guide my serrated knife along the diagonal. Repeat this process for the next two cakes. Round the corners very slightly at the top of the two cake mini stack to resemble the gentle slope at the top of my simple syrup bottle.
Each cake should now be on a board with the corners carved off. Insert four dowels into each of the three mini stacks in a square pattern.
Lay them down and line them up as one long cake, securing each mini stack with a little bit of buttercream.
Crumb coat and chill the three exposed sides of your cake. Once your buttercream is set, bring it back out to ice again. You’ll want to get it as straight as possible. I even used a bench scraper. Place back in the fridge.
Take it out once to touch up the icing one that time, really making sure that it’s a smooth icing job. Pay close attention to the diagonal corners, as you want to make sure they’re still sharp after you apply your fondant. Return to fridge.
Flip the cake over so that the underside that we haven’t iced is on top. Give it a crumb coat and chill.
Covering The Cake.
Ingredients & Tools You Will Need:
2 lbs White Fondant
Flip your cake back over again so that the three perfectly iced sides are exposed again. Roll out a slab of white fondant to ⅛ of an inch thick with enough fondant so that you can cover three sides and the top of the cake. Use a fondant smoother to make the angles of your cake sharp. The top will end up with a lot of excess fondant, but just roll with the fold and pinch it together, then trim it flush. Gather this excess fondant where you’re going to place the cap so that you won’t see it when the cake is finished.
At the bottom of the cake, I didn’t trim it like I usually do. It would be very hard to work with the angles. I trimmed it a little, but made sure there was extra fondant, flipped, and folded fondant around the two corners and smoothed with a fondant smoother.
I chilled my cake so that I could trim away the excess fondant while it’s still a bit firmer, using a piece of board to get the right height. Don’t worry if some of your crumb coat comes off when you flipped your cake, just use this as a chance to fix it up with a small offset spatula.
Decorating the Cake.
You Will Need:
1 lb Gum Paste
Red Food Colouring Marker
1 1/2” Circle Cutter
1 3/4” Circle Cutter
2 1/4” Circle Cutter
Small Rolling Pin
Non Stick Board
Royal icing - find my recipe here
Pearl Luster Dust
Food Grade Alcohol
Roll out your gum paste into a long rectangle so that it would fit any one side of Sir Squeeze, and 1/16 inch thick. You’ll need this slab to be completely set so that you can write your measurements on it. Let this slab dry overnight.
Roll out another piece of gum paste with the same dimensions, and lay it in the one exposed side of Sir Squeeze-A-Lot, trimming it flush with the other corner angles. This is really going to help patch up that window as gum paste dries faster and harder than fondant.
Stand up the cake carefully, and insert one sharpened dowel down into the center. Make sure your sharpened dowel goes all the way down through the cake board at the bottom.
Roll out some more white fondant to a 1/16 inch thick, and add a layer of either royal icing or clear piping gel. Smooth this slab onto your gum paste layer on the cake, and use a fondant smoother to erase the seams as best you can.
Let’s make some measurements! First I made a little map for myself of where the measurements would go, and kept that beside me as I worked with a ruler and a food colouring pen to draw them on. Go very slowly because you cannot rest your hand on it. Let it dry bit by bit. If you do smudge your measurements, use a Q-Tip and a little bit of lemon extract to dab it away.
Measure the cake between the two angled size and from top to bottom. If you have to trim your gum paste slab to fit these dimensions, be sure to keep your red measurement lines centered. Using a ruler and a very sharp knife (or an Xacto knife), score down the line you want to trim. Continue to score through the line going a little deeper with each cut. If you try to cut through straight away, your hard gum paste will crack.
To attach your gum paste measurements, spread some royal icing onto the back, and adhere to the front of your cake. Then fill in any gaps and seams on Sir Squeeze using royal icing and a small spatula. Wipe away any excess.
For the dry gum paste plate, brush on a little bit of pearl luster dust. Go lightly so that he doesn’t look flat, but not so heavy that it fills in the red lines. For the rest of the body, mix the pearl luster dust with a little bit of clear food grade alcohol, and brush on.
To create the spout, roll out some gum paste, cut out a circle to resemble the plastic at the bottom. Then form a ball of gum paste and roll it out to a circle that’s a little bigger than the one you just cut out. You want this circle to have rounded edges. You want to have rounded edges. Take some more gum paste and roll it into a ball, and push it down into a 1 ¾ inch circle cutter, greased with vegetable shortening, filling the cutter completely. Trim any excess flush with the top and allow to set while in the cutter. Trim excess off the top.
For the top of the lid, roll a thick circle of gum paste, and press down with sprinkle jar (or any smaller circular container) to create an indent in the centre. Then use the 2 ¼ inch circle cutter to cut out the larger circle leaving the indent in the centre. Using a paring knife, round out the bottom of the spout. Then use a toothpick to mark out the spout holes. Attach to the top of your cake with a bit of royal icing.
If you’re planning on transporting this cake, you could use a small lollipop stick as a dowel to hold your spout in place.