Sunday, March 10, 2013

Movie Popcorn Bucket Cake

If you're as interested in cake as I am (I know you are), you've probably seen many variations of the movie-cake, where a talented decorator creates a realistic popcorn bucket out of edible materials--none of which are actually popcorn.

I decided to try my hand at this for my aunt's birthday/Oscar night party this year. In the past, I'd decorated some very elaborate cakes for my dear Aunt Sittrea, including a book cake and a tea set cake. I was excited to try my hand at making this cake, and even though it looks simpler than the other two I'd made, it had it's own set of challenges.

The finished product looked like this:

First I needed to make the popcorn, which in the end, was my favorite part of this cake!

I started with a bag of mini-marshmallows and, after some experimentation, discovered that cutting them into clover shapes gave them the most realistic look. If you are hoping to try this, be sure to clean the knife frequently so it doesn't get gummed up; this tears the marshmallows rather than slicing them. I added a dab of watered down food gel along each one and let them sit out for a day to get stale so they weren't so squishy. I made about two cups of them, which took a while, but was worth the effort!

Next I had to bake and stack the cake for the bucket. I used four six-inch rounds.

I measured the cake and estimated how tall and wide to make the strips of red and white fondant around the bucket and put them on over the "dirty icing" layer. I also added a plaque of sorts to be the front label of the bucket.

This label was my biggest problem and my biggest disappointment. I should probably have traced or used a stencil or something to compensate for my sloppy handwriting. My first attempt looked pretty bad and I ended up removing the plaque and making a second one.

Here's the first one:

The second was better, but not stellar. Lastly I adhered the popcorn to the top of the stacked cake with icing and painted it with yellow food gel as butter.

I think the Oscar party-goers appreciated the cake and I keep learning every time I try something new!

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