First Topsy Turvy Cake for Mardi Gras

My partners and good friends of 10 years asked if I wanted to make a cake for their Mardi Gras party.  This would be the first party they have thrown on such a large scale since I’ve know them so it was kind of a big deal.  I hemmed and hawed for like five minutes –  I really wanted to do a fun wonky topsy turvy Mardi Gras cake. But this cake also made me so nervous. I wanted to do it but I was afraid of it.  I was talking to my 9-year-old daughter, Sophia, about it and I said “I don’t know how to do a topsy turvy cake!’ and she replied, “Well, you’ll learn something new!”  I hate it when the little ones throw your words back in your face.

So I first took a great class on Craftsy called  A New Look at the Crooked Cake that really made topsy turvy cakes seem much simpler than I had imagined. I also looked at a tutorial on a site that I refer to often called wickedgoodies.net.

I love how the baker/author of Wicked Goodies compares the topsy turvy cake to Michelangelo’s David.  It elevates cake decorating to a higher art form in my mind.

Anyway, this was the schedule:

2 weeks ahead of event:

Baked cakes and froze them: Two 10″x2″ vanilla cakes, Two 6″x2″ vanilla cakes, Two 4″x2″ vanilla cakes

1 week ahead of event:

Made purple and white fondant (By the way, I usually make Jessica Harris’ version of Rhonda’s Ultimate MMF but I had heard so many great things about Liz Marek’s MMF that I wanted to try it.  I used Liz Marek’s recipe for the purple and I am totally sold, will never make anything else ever again.  It was so much easier to work with than the white fondant I used for the middle tier — no tears, no elephant skin)

Made teal, white, yellow and black modeling chocolate

Made caramel Swiss meringue butter cream and froze it (I already had homemade caramel on hand)

3 days ahead of the event:

Made white and dark chocolate ganache and left overnight to set at room temperature.

2 days ahead of event:

Pulled cakes out of freezer, torted, filled and carved cakes.  Put the cakes back in the fridge to settle and firm up the buttercream.

Crumb-coated and iced cakes with ganache and let them sit out at room temperature overnight

Day before event:

Covered cakes with fondant, stacked and decorated them with modeling chocolate.

Delivered cake all assembled to my friend’s house (longest 6 miles of my life) and attached mask with white chocolate.

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Covering the bottom tier with fondant

 

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Covering top tier with fondant
Covering top tier with fondant

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Stacked tiers
Stacked tiers. Got a little settling with the middle tier — my ganache was a little too soft on this one but you couldn’t see it after it was all decorated!
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My friend bought that beautiful glitter cake stand from Etsy

My photographer (husband) left after this but I wanted to tell you about some of the cool decorating tools I used on the cake.  I used a Yunko 23cm Beautiful Pearl Necklace Silicone Mold  for the gold beads.  I got this great idea fron the internet to fill the mold with gold luster dust before I loaded it with the modeling chocolate.  It was so cool — they popped out of the mold already covered in gold.  By the way, I used yellow modeling chocolate rather than white. I used a lace mold for the accents on the middle tier and an Ateco diamond cutter for the top tier.  This cake was a lot of fun but a little nerve-wracking to make.  My husband and I had so much fun at the party that we didn’t want to leave!

Ready for the party
Ready for the party

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Leaning in with the crooked cake
Leaning in with the crooked cake

 

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