Seattle Mariners Baseball Cap Cake

When my client, Florence, collected this cake on Saturday, she gasped in amazement. I take that as a great compliment!

I carved the baseball cap from four 8" diameter layers of moist lemon cake with Italian meringue buttercream filling (flavored with lemon zest). Of course, I partook of some of the delicious scraps, but only after I'd finished carving the cake -- cake sculpting is serious business. No distractions allowed! I used my husband's actual Mariners cap as the model, to get the placement of the seams and the dimensions right. I've carved a baseball cap out of cake before, which die-hard readers of this blog from its inception in 2010 will recall, so I've had a little practice. However, each cake has its own distinct personality, and somehow this one was 'telling' me it needed to be a little taller and less squat-looking than my last cap cake (as much as I loved the shape of the Pagliacci one). So, I obliged, imagining (to paraphrase Michelangelo, with apologies) that there was a baseball cap trapped inside this hunk of cake, just waited to be freed.

The cake's covering, headstrap, and brim were all fondant, tinted a bluish shade of grey. I added tylose (a vegetable gum) to my fondant when making the hat brim, to add stability and speed the drying process (it was my birthday on the day of delivery, and I wanted to sleep in a little!). Have I mentioned before, that if you add tylose to your fondant in the right proportions (about 1 tsp tylose to half a pound of fondant), you basically get gumpaste? That's a good trick to remember, if you're a cake designer and you run out of gumpaste. :)

The Mariners logo is handpainted with edible gel color and handcut (with an Xacto) from a thin sheet of gumpaste, then glued onto the cap with a little water. I used a Wilton stitching tool to achieve the sewn effect, and created the little air-holes with a #12 piping tip and the end of a paintbrush -- I used the same tools to create the look of press-studs on the headstrap of the cap.

The baseball is also lemon cake, covered in fondant. I used an edible red marker (Americolor brand -- love 'em) to create the stitches, and I brushed brown petal dust (mixed with cornstarch) onto the baseball to make it look worn.