Argyle Cake

This cake was for my namesake (another Carla), in celebration of her father and husband's shared birthday. It was fun to come up with a masculine, unfussy design for a change, and I couldn't think of anything more appropriate for two wise old men than a confection inspired by a timeless sweater pattern.

The inside is a moist, springy white cake (thank you, Martha Stewart, your recipe is amazing), filled with strawberry buttercream and sliced fresh organic strawberries (they were delicious -- I couldn't help but eat the three huge strawberries left in the punnet after this cake was filled). The outside is white chocolate fondant, with fondant argyle appliqué and handpainted 'stitches,' for which I used a tiny brush dipped in black petal dust mixed with lemon extract. I had cut a cardboard template for the diamond shapes beforehand, so that they'd all fit perfectly within the circumference of this 9-inch round cake without any overlaps or gaps. I used the same cardboard template as a guide when painting the black stitches. For the "Happy Birthday" lettering, I used my trusty, beloved Clikstix cutters. The cake board is covered in the same denim blue fondant as I used for the lettering and some of the diamonds. Finally, here's the cake!