Fruit cakes have a very special place on How To Cake It. And no, I'm not talking about cakes with fruit in them, I'm talking novelty cakes that look like fruit! I'm making a bright yellow vanilla cake pineapple (with a darker yellow core, of course), and filling it with bright pineapple buttercream. Then I'm wrapping it all in a textured fondant skin, and hand painting my way to pineapple heaven!
Prepare the 8lb portion of Yos Ultimate Vanilla Cake batter, and dye it the colour of ripe pineapple using Wilton Lemon Yellow & Golden Yellow Icing Colors.
Separate 2lbs of yellow batter, and set aside. Divide the rest of the yellow batter between the six 6 round cake pans. Each round pan should have 1 lb of batter.
Take the remaining yellow batter, and darken the colour. This will be the pineapple core! Pour the darker yellow batter into the 6 square pans. Bake all cakes at 350. The round pans take about 1 hour, and the square pan took about 1 hour and 20 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out completely clean. Let cool completely in their pans.
Prepare the simple syrup. Combine the pineapple juice and sugar in the pot and bring to a boil. Let cool, and set aside.
Remove all of cakes from their pans, and level them so all of cakes are the same height. Remove the caramelization from the bottom of your cakes.
Using a ruler, find the center of your round cakes, and cut out a 1 inch hole from the center using a circle cutter. Cut out a circle from the center of each of the round cakes. Using the same circle cutter, cut out six small rounds of darker yellow cake from your square cake.
Pop the darker yellow circles into the center of the light yellow cake circles.
Soak all cakes with the Pineapple Simple Syrup.
Prepare the Italian Meringue Buttercream, and mix together 1 cup of buttercream with cup of pineapple jam. Using the same icing colors, match the vibrant yellow cakes.
Stack the cakes by spreading a layer of pineapple buttercream on top of the first round cake, and placing a second round cake on top. Continue this process until all six cakes are stacked, and filled with pineapple buttercream. Let chill.
Round out the top and bottom of your cake with a small serrated knife. Remove all caramelization from the sides while you round.
Mix one more cup of buttercream with the yellow icing colors. Crumb coat, and chill. Ice again, and return to fridge. After the second chill, use wet fingertips to smooth out any ridges.
Dye the fondant yellow to match the buttercream and cakes.
Measure the circumference and the height of the pineapple cakes, and roll out the yellow fondant. Use about 1.5 lbs of fondant for this component.
Wrap the fondant around the cake, and gather it at the top of your cake. Cut away any excess.
To get the perfect pineapple skin, I had a custom mold made by Christines Molds. Place 4 oz of fondant into the mould at a time, and press in.
Use a small fondant rolling pin to remove from the mould. Place the pineapple skin fondant onto the pineapple, using water to stick it on.
Use a calyx cutter to create those little pineapple spikes that make the texture unique. Mix green gumpaste with a little bit of yellow leftover fondant. Use 1 oz of gumpaste, and 1 oz of yellow fondant.
Roll out the gumpaste/fondant mixture onto a nonstick board with a small fondant rolling pin, and cut off calyx shapes using the cutter.
Because a calyx has five points, take one petal, and pinch it to make a point. Cut off the two bottom points, leaving a half circle of three points.
This pineapple will be dry painted. Take the green colour dust, and colour the perimeter of the pineapple diamonds. Then paint the inside of each one with yellow. Take a softer yellow and paint the entire pineapple to soften the colour.
Brush water on the back of the spikes, and add them to the pineapple with the spike pointing up.
Repaint the bottom of the spikes with the same green used for the pineapple diamond perimeter. Give the spikes a final paint with a mixture of yellow and ivory.
Create the pineapple crown out of green gumpaste. Roll out the gumpaste with a piece of 24 gauge floral wire inside. Cut out two templates made with real pineapple leaves, and cut out the gumpaste leaves with a sharp paring knife. Let dry in a vase or wine bottle so a curve is created.
Make 8 smaller leaves with no wire, and dry around a rolling pin to get some extra roughage.
Once dry, paint green on top side of the leaves, and ivory on bottom side. Then add leaves to cake.
Press the larger leaves in a circle. To give the leaves a bit more support, take a leftover ball of yellow fondant, and press it inside the circle of leaves. Use royal icing as glue.
For a cake this tall, I would usually be using dowels for support, but I really wanted to get a true, big slice without the dowels interrupting. If youre making this at home you should add a cake board in the middle of your cake layers with dowels to support underneath.