My friend Erica has a bit of a thing for Arnold Schwarzenegger. Not a sexy thing, more like…HE’S AWESOME. It was Erica’s birthday last month, and a big one at that, so I thought it was about time I tackled a cake fit for a colourful, inspiring and fun-loving girl.
The starting point came when I saw this post on baking a polka dot cake, and it pretty much blew my mind. I mean, how amazing! I bought a cake pop mould and set to work, colouring small amounts of a basic vanilla sponge mix.
Next I sandwiched the cooled layers together with buttercream icing (recipe here, minus the cocoa powder).
Then, I did something I’d never tried before: I crumb-coated the cake. This is a very thin layer of icing, which is spread all over the cake to “glue” any crumbs down and ensure that the top layer of icing is super smooth and clean, without any crumbs poking their stupid heads through your work of art. In the past I’d always skipped this step, as it is quite time-consuming, but I knew I wanted this cake to be GREAT, and I wasn’t about to let any pesky crumbs interfere with my icing. It was also weirdly therapeutic and gave me time to mull over how I was going to decorate the cake.
I let the cake sit for the rest of the afternoon, to let the crumb coating do its thing. Then I set to work with the final layer of icing, which I’d decided was going to be OMBRÉ. Oh yes. First, though, I had to address the main man: Arnie. With help from the ever-patient Jim, I printed and cut out a picture of Arnie as the Terminator, then laid this across the cake. I then dusted the cut out areas with edible silver glitter…
For the sides, I separated a large batch of buttercream icing into three bowls, and used food gel to colour each one from pale lilac to darker purple. I set to work applying the icing in stripes down the cake, with leftover white icing for the top stripe. This may sound tricky, but a small butter spreader dipped in warm water worked wonders for blending the colours together.
Finally the Arnie cake was ready for its birthday debut…and it went down well. The polka dots even worked! Even better, there was enough cake for all of Erica’s party guests. Way to go, Arnie cake! You made a special lady very happy.