Summer has finally arrived! And what goes well with summer?? Ice cold beer and cake?? Hmmm… maybe not the BEST culinary combo in the world, but when you pair soft, moist vanilla cake infused with honey, lemon, and orange with Swiss Meringue Buttercream, your taste buds will definitely thank you. Give it some “bling bling” by carving this delicious cake into a keg to hold Corona beer, and you have yourself an awesome centerpiece to celebrate birthdays and the summer season.
To begin, I first baked a 10 inch, 9 inch, and 8 inch cake. Here is where I didn’t really think the carving part all the way through. I would have probably done better with just baking all three cakes the same size, which would have been the 10 inch. But, in cake decorating there is always mistakes. The beauty of most of these mistakes is that you can usually cover up and hide them. Or in some cases, just work with them. Which is what I will get into. SO, if I had just made all three cakes the same size, it may have been a lot easier to carve the cakes into a keg shape! BUT, I had to work with what I had.
I first leveled all three cakes. Cut off all three tops. (Save the scraps and make something delicious out them) Then I cut the caramelization (the brown part on the bottom of the cakes) of the bottom. Next I soaked these delicious babies in some honey infused simple syrup – YUM! This adds some flavor to the cake while also keeping them nice and moist. After the simple syrup had soaked in, I began to build the cake. Now if you make the cakes all the same size, this step won’t apply. But I have different sizes, and I want the largest of the cakes to be at the bottom. This will help keep the cake stable while building and carving. It will also help it from collapsing on itself. You want the cake to have a firm foundation. Once the cake is carved and fondant is applied, I will be flipping the cake to achieve the keg look. Take the 10 inch leveled cake and begin to fill with the Swiss Meringue Buttercream. Next place the 9 inch leveled cake on top of the 10 inch. Add some buttercream in between both cakes as this will act as the glue to hold them together. Repeat the same process for the last cake (8 inch).
Now that all of the cakes are built on top of each other, with a small offset spatula, fill in the spaces between each leveled cake with the buttercream. It’s sort of like a crumb coat, but just fill in those spaces because we still need to carve the cake. There’s no point in doing a full crumb coat here because we will be carving off a lot of the cake. Chill in the fridge for about 20 minutes to help the icing set up.
Take an 8 inch cake board and place it on top of the cake. This will help guide you as you begin to carve the cake.
We will be flipping this cake. So how we want to carve the cake is in an A- line. This means you want to shape of the cake in the shape of an A. Small at the top and curving out larger at the bottom.(If that makes sense) See picture below.
Don’t be afraid of the carving. It can be intimidating at first. Trust me, when I first started carving cakes, I would procrastinate and do everything I could to prolong the process. Oh, look! There are dishes in the sink. Let me clean those first!! lol I was so afraid of messing up. But just take your time. Follow your guides and take off small amounts at a time. You don’t want to go in and start cutting off huge chunks because you can’t really add those pieces back on. Keep in mind that you want the bottom sides to come out at an angle. You can also use a ruler to guide your A line as well. I found that the cake board really helped me with this step. Also use a serrated knife to carve out the shape.
This cake will need to have added support, especially once it is flipped as it will be top heavy. So to do this, I inserted some cake dowels. I placed one in the middle of the cake and made sure it went through each cake all the way to the bottom. I repeated this step and added 4 more dowels in a circle around the center dowel. Once you have your dowels added, it’s time to give that cake a crumb coat! Chill in the fridge for about 20 minutes. Then do a final crumb coat. At this point, the icing will also help you shape that A line look as well. Chill in the fridge for another 20 – 30 minutes or until you can touch the icing with your finger and the icing does not come off the cake.
While your cake is chilling, you can take this time to roll out your fondant. I had previously made my fondant the night before and colored it gray. Because this cake was going to have Corona beers on top, Coronas are usually put in a tin keg. But, if you are not specifically using Coronas, then you can make your fondant brown and have it be a wooden keg cake instead.
Roll your fondant out to the appropriate width and height for the cake. I believe the height of the cake was somewhere between 12-14 inches. The width was about 13. I rolled out my fondant a little more than that, so when I line it up to the cake (where the sides of the fondant will meet each other, I will have enough to make the edges meet.) Because of the A line shape, this cake was a little bit harder than your normal circle or rectangular cake to roll the fondant onto. So what I ended up doing was once my fondant was measured and the cake was chilled, I rolled the fondant onto my French rolling pin. Then I lined it up sideways next to the cake, and unrolled the fondant onto the cake. With this process, you need to be fast and gentle. You want to get the fondant on as fast as possible because you don’t want any ripping to occur. When you have the end of the fondant meeting the seam, use a knife to cut the fondant and match them both up to each other. Let the fondant dry completely before moving onto the next step.
Your fondant is dry and it’s time for the fun part. Painting!! To “paint” your keg cake you will need some food grade alcohol, a brush, and silver dust. Just mix these two together until you have a thick consistency and get your Picasso on! Make sure when painting, that you go in the same direction. Let dry between coats and try not to apply too much to the fondant. This will cause some streaking and if you get your fondant too wet, it may also melt it a little bit. Allow to completely dry before moving the cake to its final cake board and applying the final decorations.
Are you ready to flip your keg cake??? This is a crucial step to ensure that you have the appropriate shape of the keg. Try not to be nervous and just go for it. If you think you need help, make sure you have a set of extra hands, but it’s really not necessary. I usually count to three to help me to just get on with it lol. Once your cake is flipped, make sure your cake board is ready for it to go onto.
Ok!! Your almost there! Now you can start adding the finishing touches to your cake. I added an edible image of the Corona Logo to the cake, some edible ice cubes on the very top of the cake, and some Coronitas as well. Most people enjoy Coronas on the beach, so I added some crushed graham crackers to the cake board to look like the keg was on a sandy beach. I also made a cork and some limes out of fondant to add as well. You don’t have to do exactly what I did with the decorations. Make it your own and have fun with it! And if you end up making a keg cake after reading this blog, let me know how it turned out. I would love to see your “Kreation!”
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