Sunday, May 16, 2010

How I made a camouflage cake, inside and out!

First came the request for a camouflage cake for a young boy who loves the outdoors, only one requirement...no fondant.  Next came the internet search and of course, a search on Cake Central where I get most of my inspirations!  There were many great design ideas and then I decided to take it to the next level and make the cake itself camouflage! 

First, I mixed a white cake mix (dyed green), a chocolate cake mix and a yellow cake mix, separately.  After preparing my pans I spooned a little of each batter in random spots until I had the proper amount of batter in each pan.  I did not swirl the batters.  I then baked and cooled the cakes as usual.


Here is a photo of the inside of the cake as I split to fill with chocolate frosting.

Pretty cool, huh?

Next I crumb coated each cake and stacked.  This is a 4" high 6" round cake stacked off center on a 2" high 10" round cake off center.  The only reason I crumb coated was to "seal in"  the chocolate crumbs.  I don't really think this step is necessary, the camo design will cover the entire surface.


Next step was to mix the buttercream colors.  I chose buttercup yellow with a little brown, moss green, and plain vanilla and chocolate buttercream.  Now I know these are not technically camo colors but I didn't want the cake to be all drab colors.  I filled my piping bags and started piping randoms blobs and lines all over the cake. 


The cake went into the refrigerator to firm up and crust.  After about 20 minutes I removed the cake and started to roll the surface with a 4" high density foam roller, the Melvira method.  I couldn't beleive my eyes, it was actually working!  (You can see on the bottom tier where I started rolling before I remembered I needed to take a photo.)   I continued to smooth out the surface and added a few plastic figures.  

The finished cake...
Happy Birthday Carter!

Here is a photo of the inside of the cake after cutting...


I can see using this for different occasions, for example, school colors and holiday colors.  The design pretty much stayed in place as I rolled the surface so this may even work for something like stripes in buttercream.  Hmmm, I'll have to try that.

58 comments:

  1. just what i was looking 4. thanks so much, hope mine looks half as good as yours. awesome!!

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  2. how did you make the butter cream, great idea!! looks, fab!

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  3. I used the Wilton recipe for this. First I made a large batch of buttercream and then separated into smaller bowls to color each a different color.

    http://www.wilton.com/recipe/Buttercream-Icing

    I hope that answers your question.

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  4. Do you use two 10" pans and two 6" pans

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  5. the reason I ask is because in the first picture it looks like you used two of each size...then you state that the bottom layer is a 10" round cake 2' high (which would only be one pan) and the top is a 6" round 4" high which would be two 6" pans. I am trying to make this cake and want it to turn out JUST like yours! I love it! Thanks! Also do you only split the 10" and then just put icing between each 6"?

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  6. Good catch! I did use two 10" pans, so I'm trying to recall exactly what I did :) I used 3 cakes mixes which equal about 12 cups of batter (Pillsbury). Each 6 in pan used 2 cups of batter, I used 2 10" pans for the remaining 8 cups. The 10" usually uses 6 cups for a 2" high cake so mine were about 1.5" high. I actually prefer to do it this way do I can get thicker layers. So I just leveled each 10" cake and filled with chocolate. For the six inch I split each 6" cake and ended up with four 1" cake layers. So the 10" is two layers (probably closer to 3" high) and the 6" is four usually ends up about 4.5-5" high depending on how thick your filling layers are. Whew! Sorry I wasn't more clear, I was focused on showing the frosting technique.

    Good luck on your cake, come back and post a link to a photo if you can I'd love to see it!

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    1. i cant seem to find the link to the buttercream recipe that you used. help please

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  7. This is exactly what I needed!! My 7 year old requested a camo cake and I panicked. I'm so glad I stumbled across this. They're in the oven now. Can't wait to see how it turns out!

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  8. I love this....you are very talented...I'm going to try this out for my brother in law's birthday in 3 days time :) Thank you for sharing :)

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  9. Very clever! My son would love this!

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  10. LOVE IT! I think this is totally going to be the answer to what my customer wants. :) And I'm happy I came across your blog. I LOVE cake filled blogs. :D Thanks!!!

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  11. I'm making this except in a pink camo colors for my boyfriend's little sister. I think she is gonna love it!

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  12. Thanks so much! I will be trying this for my husband's welcome home party when he returns from overseas next year!

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  13. can you use store bought chocolate icing to crumb coat cake? i plan on using the buttercream icing to tint colors but it wouldnt hurt to see the chocolate thru. can you still use the roller on that icing as well?
    thanks so much for your help!

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  14. Incredible photo tutorial! I'm just bursting to try out this Melvira Method. Thanks so much, and great work!

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  15. Lisa Sundin - I have not tried the roller method on store bought icing but I think it should work, unless it is too stiff, that may just take a little more pressure. The tinted icing should be able to adhere to the crumb coat of store bought icing. Good Luck!

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  16. Thank you everyone for your comments! I'm glad to be able to share with you what I've learned.

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  17. Lisa, this is PERFECT for what I have in mind for my husband's birthday this fall! Thank you so much for posting the ideas!

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  18. I love this. We are giving my grandson a 16th birthday party and he is all into the camo. I think he will love it and be so surprised when it is cut into. Thanks for sharing. Great job! I hope mine turns out as good.

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  19. Thank you for sharing this!

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  20. Camo is like my favorite thing in the whole wide world. One of my friends found this on Pinterest and I wouldn't be surprised if one turned up for my birthday. VERY well done.

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  21. Does it have to be buttercream icing or can ot be regular icing from the supermarket?

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  22. my brother is leaving for the army, and this would be a good idea for him leaving for basic training.

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  23. I love it!! Just had the same idea but I was insecure how it would look like. Thanks a thousand times
    for sharing!!!

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  24. How long do you think this could sit in the fridge when made before hand?

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  25. Once the cake is completely sealed with buttercream or fondant it should be fine for at least 3 or 4 days.

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  26. i made the cake just like you said, mine even looked like yours before baking..the thing is after cooling the cake it started breaking around the different cake mixes, what did i do wrong?

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    1. Honestly I don't know the answer to your question. Were the cake mixes different brands? Maybe one cooked faster than the other. I have noticed with marble cakes that the chocolate always has a different cook time but I don't recall ever having the cake separate. Sorry!

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  27. thank you, i am going to keep trying until i get it right.

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  28. So very excited to try this. Already have my little green army guys to decorate with!!!

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  29. Wow, that's an awesome camo cake! I'm not even good at baking much less making a cake that looks that cool. Great job!

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  30. Where do you get the foam roller??? Please help! Gotta have this cake done tomorrow

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  31. mine looked so good AT FIRST! i put the wax paper on the cake and rolled it after the cake had sat in the fridge 4 20minutes and then when we peeled off the wax paper the icing came off too :( :( :(so now it looks like crap what could have been the problem? should i have left it in the fridge longer, used diff wax paper, rolled lighter?????????????????????????????

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  32. I use Viva paper towel, smooth side down. Lightly rub the icing to smooth,,,if you have any icing on papertowel after first test, refrige for abit longer.

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  33. You can find the foam rollers in the paint section of most stores. Of course only use a roller that has NOT been used to paint :)

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  34. I did not use wax paper on mine, only the foam roller. If the icing has crusted enough it should not stick to the roller, wax paper, or paper towel. Shell is correct if it sticks refrigerate more.

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  35. Just made this. Did not come out as good as yours.

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  36. Fantastic we are looking for a cake for a bridal shower for a military bride this is perfect Thanks!

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  37. In process of making this... Cooling right now! I'll let u know how it turns out!

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  38. Mine turned out ok.. Not as perfect as urs. But I'm happy with it. Thanks for awesome idea!

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  39. My daughter's getting married in a couple of years (they are saving for the house first), and they want a camo wedding because they are both outdoor fishing buffs!! Was wondering how I could get the cake just right, and I think yours gives me ideas!

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  40. FANTASTIC job with this cake! I absolutely love it. I noticed you posted the link to Wilton's buttercream icing and I was wondering if you were abole to do the decorating following the regular recipe or did you omit the butter and just use butter flavoring. I noticed they suggested for 'stiffer' product to do it that way. If you were able to still use the butter that would be great! Thanks so much in advance!

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  41. I used Wilton recipe with half butter half crisco. The only difference is that I use water instead of milk. You don't really need stiff frosting, actually medium consistency is a little easier to smooth together.

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  42. Great! Thanks for the tip! I'll be doing something fairly similar to this next weekend for my mother in law's birthday!

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  43. That's great! Nicely done. I need to do something similar for my son and it's nice to see it doesn't have to be too complicated. :)

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  44. Great idea, just what I was looking for. Thanks for the inspiration.

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  45. Very cool! I love the idea for a camo cake. My son is having a mud truck themed birthday party so I will use your idea of a camo cake but I will decorate it differently. Very excited to make it and glad I found your site!

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  46. I made this cake for my son's birthday. The cake turned out great. The chocolate icing was awesome. The white would not crust over for nothing. When I put in the color, the icing broke down. But it tasted really and everyone got the idea. Do not a total fail. I next time I will try the stiff consistency for the white icing.

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  47. Mine are cooling now! Little nervous about the frosting, but I have my foam roller! The guy at Lowes asked me what kind of painting project I was doing ;)
    Thanks for posting this, my 9 year old wants a camo cake for his bday party and I too panicked until I found this post.

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    1. Good luck! You will be surprised at how easy it is!

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  48. Do you think this would work using the Viva paper towel method? Thanks!

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    1. Yes the viva method should work too. Please come back and share if it works!

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  49. thanks so much for this! my brother is being deployed tmrw and I wanted to make a special cake for his going away party. I'm going to make a sheet cake ( less frosting to make, more space to work with) and put army guys going from home to the desert (crushed Nilla wafers shd make great sand)... Thx again! :-)

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  50. I thought I'd seen what tip you used to pipe the different colors and now I'm not seeing it, could you tell me if there was a certain tip or does it matter? Thanks, I love your cake!

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    1. It doesn't matter what size tip you use. Depends if you want your pattern large or smaller and more intricate. I think I used a Wilton round 10 tip.

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  51. I'm making a camo cake for a friend whose son is turning 1. I'm going to do a practice run before I make the actual one for his party, but I was wondering how your smoothing went between the 10" and 6" layers? Did you just roll it up bottom to top? It's rounded I see but not as round as I would expect from using a roller. Also, what brand cake mix did you use seems it seems to have worked well with this method.

    Thanks in advance!

    www.jmfreee.blogspot.com

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  52. Fantastic! You have a wonderful imagination and skill! Thank you! I'm making this tonight. You rock! Thank you for sharing :-)

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    1. I just wrote the above comment, but forgot to add - Doug is one lucky guy :-) Thanx again. d

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