Retro-Inspired Gym Bag Cake

It's been a busy weekend!  My young client's grandma got a little lost on her way to the studio today, to pick up a gym bag cake, but all was well in the end.  Once the cake was safely in her trunk, I raced away to deliver a four-tier wedding cake to the Eugene Country Club (pics to come soon!). 

This cake was intended for a 13-year-old girl who considers the Nike store her "second home."  (I recall those brand-obsessed days of youth...)  The base is chocolate sponge, with truffle-ganache filling.  Bittersweet ganache coats the entire cake beneath a layer of two-tone green fondant. All the details, like the studs, the zipper, and the logo, were made from gumpaste. I added fabric details with a stitching wheel, and painted the zipper and studs with silver luster dust mixed with lemon extract. The only thing on the cake that isn't edible is the fondant-covered handles, which are made from 1/2-inch aquarium tubing (as Planet Cake does) and are skewered into the cake for easy removal. To give you an idea, a cake like this takes about 6 hours of work, not including baking and ganaching.  If I were to make this cake again, I would raise it slightly off the board (probably using a foamcore riser or similar), and add black studs underneath to make it seem as though the cake is resting on them, like a real bowling bag. 

Clearly, the inspiration here comes from the retro bowling bag-inspired gym bag by Nike. I customized the colors to suit Susannah, and added a birthday message to the cake board for her using gumpaste and my Clikstix cutters (I adore those things!).