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

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.

Covering the bottom tier with fondant







Covering top tier with fondant
Covering top tier with fondant








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!
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


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



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