Tea Pot Cake
by Ryan Almeida
(Cambridge, Ontario, Canada)
I made this tea pot cake for a 50th birthday. All my friends know that I can make great tasting cakes, so I tried to go back to the basics and make a delicious tasting fondant cake (and not the same old yellow cake).
Since it was a special cake, I wanted it to have unique flavors but at the same time be completely lactose free.
There were two separate cake flavors and fillings for this cake. The bottom cake is a dark chocolate cake with an amaretto chocolate cream filling. The tea pot is a strawberry cake with a strawberry buttercream.
For the bottom cake, I used a 12" round cake pan that was really deep. I used the same dark chocolate cake recipe that I got from a popular cake blog website. The ingredients include: sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, salt, eggs, milk (lactose-free), vegetable oil, vanilla extract, boiling water. As for the amaretto chocolate cream filling, I used lactose free whipping cream, sugar, instant chocolate pudding, and amaretto liquor.
For the tea pot cake, I used the Wilton ball cake pan. The cake was a simple yellow cake, but with strawberry gelatin, and strawberry jam. The strawberry buttercream was simply a regular buttercream (minus the vanilla) mixed with strawberry jam. I just eye balled the quantity of jam to my own liking.
I made the fondant from scratch for all of the cake and decorations. The ingredients included cold water, unflavored gelatin, glucose, vegetable shortening, glycerin, and a lot of powdered sugar.
The "Dirty" Work:
The good thing about this cake is I didn't need to do any carving. I just had to crumb coat both cakes with their respective filling and cover it with fondant. As a tip, after I crumb coated each cake, I put them in the fridge for 30 mins to set before I covered them with fondant.
Also, to smooth out any imperfections on the teapot, I used a steamer to soften the fondant and then I smoothed it out with my fingers.
Detailing and Decorations:
There was a lot of more time spent on decorating the final cake. Circle cutters were used for the dots on the tea pot, and the center of the flowers. I had to improvise so I used a wide mouth glass to cut the circle for the tea pot lid. The flowers and letters were also made using cutters. The yellow rectangular strips for the bottom cake were measured for a consistent width and then each strip was cut free hand.
The teapot handle, spout, and the number "50" on the dowels, were all sculpted by hand with fondant. I actually had a mishap where I had finished making the cake, but need those 4 pieces to dry quicker so that they could become hard and sturdy. I had read online that people had success putting fondant pieces in the oven overnight, with either the oven light on or a really low temperature (warming temp).
I thought it would dry fast if I went with the warming temperature, so I did that. I happened to check on it after an hour, and it had completely melted. Do not follow that instruction if you have a convection oven as the oven will get hotter than you think.
I ended up having to remake all 4 pieces at 3 am, and I put them in the oven with the oven light on, until I need to assemble the cake the next day. Luckily, the pieces hardened up, but I wish I had more time for them to be a bit more solid and sturdy.
I attached all of the dots, strips, and letters, by using vodka as the glue. I had previously inserted toothpicks into the handle and spout, so that it was easier for me to attach them to the teapot. Lastly, I placed the dowels with flowers and the number "50", into the bottom cake, behind the teapot.
The tea pot cake was really appreciated by the birthday girl. Most importantly it tasted out of this world, which is what I was striving for.