I'm breaking this post up into two parts...How to build the electric guitar cake structure and then I'll post pictures of the finished cake itself. For the finished results, click HERE. I didn't want this post to be too long! :)
I had the privilege to put up a cake for auction again this year for my husband's school! This was my third year participating in their amazing auction that raises hundreds of thousands of dollars for his school. The theme was "Rock the Red Carpet & Celebrate our Stars". The stars being the kids and teachers.
When I got the invitation I knew I wanted to do an electric guitar...what could be more "ROCK" worthy than that!! :) - plus, I've been wanting to do a guitar cake for a while...so, this was my chance! The colors were all red, white and black with lots of glitter stars everywhere. I knew that the guitar would have to be visible to an entire room of 250-300 people...so that meant I needed it to stand up! - another crazy idea...but worthy of consideration since I had seen it done on the show Amazing Wedding Cakes. I think the Cake Girls made one for a grooms cake. After my internet research though, I only found three guitars that stood up...all with hardly any information on how to do it. About a week before the event, I found a stand up guitar cake by Caran's Creations & Confections and decided to call her and see if I could get some information from her on how she did it. She was so kind and called me right back and explained how she built hers. One thing I took away from that conversation was that she had screwed some internal boards onto the backing to keep the cake from sliding down. She used one layer of cake on her guitar, but I knew I wanted to have filling in mine which meant I needed to stack it differently...not just lay it flat against the board like she did. I also wanted to figure out another way to get it to stand up...I actually didn't quite understand the way she built hers...it was some kind of hinge system but I couldn't visualize it (I'm so sorry Caran)! She also had an extra board coming off the back of the neck that I really didn't want to have on my cake....I wanted mine to look free standing...almost floating...so, back to the drawing board I went. I borrowed an electric guitar from a friend (thanks Shields family) and sat for a day or two just measuring it, staring at it, and trying to visualize how I was going to do it. I then headed down to Home Depot and started walking the aisles. I knew I needed a wood backing for the board and also for the neck of the guitar. So, I picked up some 1/2" plywood. I then needed some kind of hinge system to get it to stand up. I kept thinking I would need to build an A-frame to do that when I stumbled down the hinge aisle and the clouds parted, the sun shone brightly and the angels began to sing!! :) - I found the coolest "toy" Home Depot had to offer for a stand up guitar...a GIANT hinge!!! - check it out!
So, I picked up my 1/2" sheet of plywood, some wood screws, my beautiful hinge and headed over to a friend's house who has some wood working skillzzz!! Ian was a giant blessing and cut out my boards in the shape of a guitar (thanks Ian!). I had previously used a template I found online to draw out the design on the wood, so he routed it all out and voila...an almost guitar!!
Here's a template you can use that I found online.
I took the pieces home, went out into the garage, got my drill, my wood glue and went to town. I love to build, so it was SUPER fun for me! I cut a 2" x 2" piece of 1" thick wood to mount my neck to the board...you can see it in the pictures above. The neck sits off the back board by a good 1", so that worked beautifully. It was a piece of decking material! - I love what you can find in a garage! :) I attached my hinge and was ready to go...it stood up perfectly and was VERY stable.
Now, there is a little downfall to this hinge - the cake could fall forward. There was nothing keeping it from doing that except the weight of the cake kept it slanted back. If however, the cake moved forward suddenly, (past 90 degrees) it would fall forward. This hinge was really stiff and hard to move so I knew the only way it could do that was if it got really tilted during transportation. So, at those times, I was careful to just hang on to it. I never had an issue with that the entire time!! That's just more of an FYI for ya if you try this out! :)
Now, to make it cake ready! I bought some double sided carpet tape and put tape ALL over the wood. I then wrapped everything with aluminum foil making sure the foil was really stuck to the wood. The carpet tape was a beautiful idea!!! Worked great!
Once the cake was all wrapped up, I started stacking my cakes in there. I used my chocolate mudcake recipe because it's very stable and I knew I wouldn't be able to put this cake in the fridge. Fortunately though it's been really cold here! - so I kept the cake in our sunroom without the heat on so it stayed nice and cool. I also used a thin layer of chocolate ganache between all the layers and to adhere the cake to the foil. Chocolate ganache is like glue...it's amazing and honestly I would NEVER build this cake with buttercream. The ganache made it SO stable and incredible to work with. USE ganache!! :)
I stacked the layers like a traditional cake so they laid on themselves. Once the ganache set, it was one big piece of cake. You'll also notice the very bottom inch is foam. I of course didn't want to put anything heavy down there or it would have just fallen off. OH, and I did add a foam core board just under the neck in the above picture that wasn't on the wood form pictures. I decided I needed another level of support there.
I flipped the hinge open and laid the cake flat and began covering it in a thin layer of ganche. It took me over an hour to get it like this picture above...but it was perfect! :) Nice and smooth and straight!! I was more and more excited as it took shape! The other wonderful thing about the hinge and the ganache was I could move the guitar all around. I could even flip it upside down to cover the back with fondant. I would totally use this technique again!!
Another challenge presented itself after I got the structure built. I realized this cake was NOT going to serve 25 people! When I filled out the auction paper work months ago, I told them it would serve 25 people because that's what I had seen online. However, none of those cakes were stand up cakes...and because of the internal structure, I knew it wouldn't serve that many!! I called one of the auction chairpeople and she said everything was out to print and asked if I could make another cake to go with it. OH sure! :) - I'll just whip something up! :) haha!! But, I knew I needed to because that wouldn't be fair. So, I decided to make a small amp to go with the electric guitar. The amp ended up being two half-sheet layers of cake that I cut into 8 layers. It ended up being about 8.5"w x 5.5"d x 10"h. I used four layer of vanilla cake with vanilla buttercream and four layers of mudcake with vanilla buttercream. I also used almost 3 lbs of ganache on it!!!! Here's the result...sorry, I didn't get any pictures after I stacked it.
Now, to cover it all in fondant and add my decorations...
Stay tuned! :)
I'll post the final results in the next day or two. Still going through the pictures and deciding which ones to use. Be back in a flash! :)
Thanks for looking!!
Thanks for looking!!