Banjo Cake

It's been a busy week in the cake studio, for birthday cakes in particular. The highlight of the past few days was my delivery of a banjo cake to a beautiful artist, musician, nature-lover, and all-round creative soul here in Eugene. Her mother called me early last week to ask whether I could do something special for a birthday, at short notice. We brainstormed some options together, and quickly settled on a life-sized banjo cake as the perfect choice for a gifted banjo player. We figured the cake would be sure to add whimsy and sweetness to the day! 

I got to work right away (cakes with lots of fiddly gum paste and/or fondant work are often made over several days, apart from the actual sponge cake, which is baked fresh). In the early morning before I delivered the cake, I spent a few hours on the finishing touches, including a sprinkling of five-petal blossoms in pretty hues to add some femininity to the otherwise brown/grey/black/white palette, and as a nod to the arrival of Spring. A birthday message piped in maroon Royal Icing finished it off, and I made the (mercifully) short trip across town to deliver the surprise to its grinning recipient.  It was a real hit, which just makes my heart warm, and brightened up my week.  It's a lot of fun to get to bring such smiles to people's faces.  Happy Birthday indeed, Maya!

9-inch round dark-chocolate sponge cake with sour cream fudge filling and frosting. Fondant covering, gum paste details (including edible blossoms); most details 'glued' on with melted white chocolate. Everything is edible except the cake boards (!), the banjo strings (unwaxed, flavorless dental floss), and the foamcore neck and headstock, both of which are covered in fondant (which is adhered to the foamcore with edible piping gel). The birthday message was piped directly onto the cake board. I dramatically underestimated the amount of time it would take to complete this cake, as I always do. I think it's got something to do with perfectionism... Anyway, excluding baking time, it took about 9 hours to finish. I had so much fun, those hours were short!