Graduation Season Part I: The Graduation Cake

This is a two-part series. I recently made a massive graduation cake and in the coming days, I will be posting a whole lot of super cute graduation cupcakes!

So I have been talking this graduation cake up for quite some time now. You know... the one that needed to feed 100+ people and was going to be covered in beautiful golden fondant?

Well, there were a dew mishaps along the way. You see, I have a killer chocolate cake recipe... and I mean killer. This chocolate cake is so moist that it will make your taste buds think they've died and gone to heaven. I designed this recipe myself (after a lot of trial and error), but have used the recipe quite a few times since evolving it, so it has stood the test of time. Unfortunately however, I have never baked this recipe in a 12x18 inch pan. So ultimately what happened (to make a very long story... so very much shorter than it really was), my chocolate cake recipe uses an oil to achieve part of its moistness and because in this scenario I was using such a large pan and was therefore using a longer baking time... all the oil separated and sank to the bottom of the pan, leaving the top half of the cake mega fluffy and dry while the bottom half was more dense than a 90 lb pound cake, yuck!

So in the end, I used a different recipe - one that was far less moist and far less chocolaty - the new recipe was more of a generic type that not even my cat could mess up if she had thumbs. Since I was using a dry cake recipe, I decided to ditch the plans of draping this cake with fondant (since fondant is really only good on a moist cake) and decided to use my buttercream recipe instead.

The graduate requested that this cake be marble so for each pan, I made two batches of chocolate cake and a quarter batch of the yellow cake. Then, it was dollop time!

Followed by swirl time!

Oh yes, and I used a TON of eggs! (and butter... of course)

The baking time for this cake was an hour... so with the weather being in the balmy 90's, I was in one hot apartment!

It took three 12x13 inch pans to assemble this cake.

After baking the cakes, I arranged them onto a large wooden board covered with foil and plastic wrap to make it pretty. Once the cake was covered in orange buttercream, I wrapped a 1-5/8 inch black ribbon around the border to tie in the school colors (black and gold) and to make the buttercream look less sloppy (after all, I had my mind set on fondant, so I struggled to comprehend that the buttercream was going to give the cake less of an elegant effect and more of a "I want to eat this cake right now" effect).

And of course, no job is ever finished until it has been attacked with cake pops...
(and no, those are not peanut butter cups, I used a candy mold to make the ridges and there's chocolate cake when you bite through the chocolate)

Then after using chocolate to glue the chocolate tops to the chocolate bottoms...

...and some lemon licorice tassels...
The graduation cap cake pops were finished!

Then since this graduate is a track and cross country athlete, I drew each sport's symbol in dark chocolate. Below is the track symbol and you can see the cross country symbol in the last picture of this post.

Lastly, I baked an extra chocolaty mini cake for the graduate. His favorite cake is dark chocolate. All of the cake that I had made up until this point was marble since that's something more people at his party would like. I figured that since this graduate was willing to sacrifice getting his favorite cake at his own party, I could make him a personal, extra moist, extra chocolaty cake.

Once I stuck the cake pops into this cake, it really looked nice. Everything pulled together and everyone was happy with the results.

Congratulations Andrew!


Brandon said...

The cake was awesome and BIG and heavy! The pictures don't do it justice. Only a little over a row remained at the end of the party.

Nancy said...

I agree with Brandon the cake was awesome. Just what we wanted. The graduate was very impressed as the color of the cake turned out to be orange. (as his colors used to be orange and black before he had to consolidate with his rival). Thank you Rachel you nailed it. It was perfect in every way. I look forward to more cake in the future.

Post a Comment