Graduation Cap Cake
Not only is it Wedding Season in Charleston, but it is about to be Graduation time. Our college graduations are in May (Mother's Day). In June, we will celebrate all those graduating our high schools.
This particular cake is typically popular as part of a tiered cake. It's easy to make it smaller or larger. The techniques are the same.
I start with a ball pan. This tutorial shows how I line the pans with parchment paper and a trick to keeping those pans stable.
For this size cake, I used a 6" ball pan and one layer of a 7". I torte the ball to 1" layers for a great ratio of cake to filling/buttercream.
I fill, crumb coat, and then final frost just like any cake. For this one, I used white buttercream because I will be covering in fondant. If you prefer a buttercream cake, be sure to use the buttercream color you need.
I like to give the cake time to rest and settle between the crumb coat and the final coat. Sometimes heavy layers can cause lower layers to bulge a bit. Allowing them to settle means I can trim those and fix any imperfections before the final frost.
While that is happening, I create the top of the cap and the cake board. For this size cake, I am using a 8" square piece of cake board. I've covered it with black contact paper both top and bottom. I then "paint" it with a bit of shortening so the fondant will stick.
I roll the fondant and trim to about 1/4 inch. Using a fondant smoother, I cover the top of the cake board. Trim to the bottom edge and gently fold under so the edge is covered as well.
Once the cake is final frosted and chill, I cover it with black fondant as well. Remember fondant will only ever be as smooth as your buttercream.
Now, I can attach the top to the cake. I use a wooden skewer to hold the board in place.
I add a dollop of frosting to hold the board in place, push in the skewer, then trim just above leaving a tiny bit exposed.
It's time for the tassel! I used the Wilton fondant mold to create the "rope". Place this right at the wooden skewer. Place it so that it has a bit of movement, not exactly straight.
Next, I use an extruder to make all the tiny strands. Gather them loosely and gently fold under to form the top of the tassel. Use another bit of strands to wrap around the loop. Place this at the end of the rope. Be sure to put it far enough from the edge that the weight won't pull it down. Use a brush to dust away any extra cornstarch.
Woohooties! It's an edible graduation cap.