This post is all about how you can carve cakes like a total pro and impress all your friends with a Doctor Who cake – complete with the Tardis, a Dalek, and Dr. Who himself! I used a few cake carving techniques in the building of the Tardis from Dr. Who, but they’re probably applicable for whatever other (less awesome) cake you’re carving.
(For those who are unfamiliar with Dr. Who, it’s a cheesy and completely wonderful British sci-fi television series that began in the ’60s and then was revived in the mid 2000s. I suggest you Wiki it and then watch it.)
Ok. Now back to cakes. The following are the most important things to remember when carving a cake.
- Use pound cake! It’s denser than most cakes so it stacks well and doesn’t get all crumby and horrible when you cut it.
- Freeze the cake in plastic wrap once it has cooled for about 10 minutes. The goal is to get it hard but not frozen!
- Use a piping bag to fill in-between the layers and to crumb coat.
- Place cake rounds in between layers for any cake over 3-layers high. This is important for support!
- Use dowels in cake layers. Stick 1 dowel in each corner of each cake layer, excluding the top. Then, stick 1 dowel through the middle of the completed cake. (Remember to cut a hole in each of the cake boards beforehand!)
- Use a very crumbly cake. If you must veer from pound cake, at least steer clear of cakes like carrot cake or angel food cake.
- Cut with a serrated knife. These knives make way more crumbs!
- Spread your frosting with a knife or spatula. Spreading will create crumbs and ruin the structural integrity of the cake.
- Carve too intricately. Make it easier on yourself and carve the basic shape, using the decorations to fill in the details!
- Forget about the decorations! Icing and fondant will add volume to the cake so carve the cake a little smaller than you want the finished product to be.
And there you have it! Here are close-ups of the Doctor and Dalek made from gum paste:
I have to say, the Dalek came out pretty cute, despite it scaring the bejesus out of me in the show!
What cakes have you carved recently? Be sure to share if you make one too!