Saturday, October 23, 2010

Hamburger Cake DIY Tutorial

Clearly, I am no pastry chef, but this cake actually is really easy to make and quick and was well loved by my 18-year-old brother for his birthday. 

To start, I used boxed mixes.  What can I say, I was totally exhausted yesterday.  The "bun" is 1 box of yellow cake baked into 2 8" round pans.  The secret is to fill one pan (for the top bun) more than you fill the other pan.  That gives the top a more rounded look.  The burger is a brownie mix baked into a 9" round.  I did a 9" round so that it would hand over the bun a little. 

Once the cakes are baked and cooled, then you want to frost the bottom cake.  I actually used premade frosting (which I NEVER use - but I forgot to get powdered sugar so I had no choice).  To get the bun color, I mixed a little orange and a tiny bit of green.  Then, I frosted the sides and top of the bottom bun.  Then, I layered on the burger and frosted the brownie with chocolate frosting.  I frosted it in a very lumpy way to make it look more like meat. 



For the lettuce, tomato, and onions I made marshmallow fondant.

For the marshmallow fondant the recipe is 1 package marshmallows, 1 bag of powdered sugar, and 3-4 tbsp water.  Microwave the marshmallows and water for about 2 minutes (until they puff up and start to melt).  (ps you only need a 1/2 batch for this - but kids love this stuff, so I make a full batch and let Kamille go crazy playing with it.  I keeps her busy while I make the cake.)



Then, I put the marshmallows and most of the bag of sugar into a greased bowl in my stand mixer with the bread dough hook on it.  You can hand knead this stuff, but it is a sticky mess and takes a long time.  If you have a stand mixer, use it. 

Word to the wise, cover your mixer with a kitchen towel before you turn it on to avoid having a spray of sugar all over your kitchen, 

Knead the mixture in the stand mixer until it forms a soft, elastic dough.  It should not be sticky to the touch.  You may need to add more sugar or more water depending on humidity and the marshmallows you use. 

When the fondant is kneaded and no longer sticky, you should have a really pliable dough, almost like gum paste.  One little thing I learned is that unlike fondant, you should not roll this out on a powdered surface.  Grease your cutting board (plastic or glass) or your counter top and roll it out on a greased surface.  This will give you the most pliability without drying out the fondant.  I used a circle cutter to make some tomatoes and onions.  Then, I painted the tomatoes red (it is easier than dying the fondant) and I also made lettuce.  I rolled it out very thin and then stretched the ends to make a wavy leaf.  Someone - I'm not going to name names, has my fondant tools so I had to get creative in making these leaves. 

After you get your lettuce, tomato, and onions on the burger, you want to put on the top bun.  Then you frost it.  I piped brown piping gel onto the top bun and rubbed it around to give the bun a baked look.  Then, I piped on seeds in white with the small round writing tip.  Then, the final step is to pipe on ketchup and mustard with colored frosting.  This can help cover up gaps and cracks too. 


All in all it was a pretty fun birthday cake.  I think that the whole project probably costs about $12.00 (given that you have food coloring).  Fondant is $3.00 to make, Cake Mix $1.50, Brownie Mix $2.00, 2 cans of frosting $4.00 - eggs, oil, etc.  That is cheaper than a cake from Costco.  This was giant and could easily serve 30 people.  It's 3 layers so you only need a thin slice.  You could even go big mac style and add 2 more layers for a huge cake. 

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