Sunday, April 29, 2012


Zombies have taken over birthday season. 

I am always looking around for inspiration for cake designs - books, stationary, tableware, textiles, you name it. For my birthday, I had initially intended to make a feminine, elegant and pretty cake. My husband and I have birthdays that are 1 week apart, so we decided to have one joined get together. Since we were doing a joint party, I decided that the cake should reflect the two of us. Enter...zombies? We have a bit of a thing for graphic tees. One of my favourite designs that my husband has is called 'Acquired Taste' by Patrick Spens.  I recently saw my husband wearing that shirt and thought to myself, 'that would make a really cute cake'. It features a group of zombies longing for a brain meal, while one loner zombie is left behind just wishing he could have a sandwich.

I enjoyed making these zombies, especially because the less 'perfect', the better and more zombie-like they looked. The characters and clothing are made with modelling paste. The 'dirt' is black petal dust mixed with a little confectioner's sugar and the little hair spikes are made from gumpaste.

In order to support the characters in standing and walking positions on the cake, I allowed them to dry with a long piece of spaghetti inserted into one or both legs and then inserted this into the cake. I typically try not to use anything inedible in my cakes, but if I had been transporting this cake, I probably would have used wooden skewers instead. 

Rather than making one lonesome zombie wishing for a sandwich, I made zombie versions of my husband and I, sharing our birthday cake. I initially designed them to be holding hands, however I did not have a large enough cake board on hand, so their wasn't enough room to have them holding hands with the cake in front. I used grosgrain ribbon for the cake board instead of satin as I didn't think a shiny satin would really go with a zombie cake.

The brain is made from Rice Krispies and covered in modelling paste. For the cake, I made a mocha cake with dulce de leche swiss meringue buttercream which was the flavour of our wedding cake. The cake recipe was from Martha Stewart Weddings. I halved the recipe and this was enough for an 3-layer 8-inch cake, and a 2-layer 5 inch cake (I made a shorter top tier so that the brain was within reach of the zombies). I had a little leftover batter and this was enough for 12 mini cupcakes. For the buttercream, I used about 1/2 cup of dulce de leche and beat this into about 8 cups of vanilla swiss meringue buttercream. The cake is covered in chocolate fondant. 

We had a lovely birthday get-together with our families. They seemed to enjoy the cake theme as did my oldest nephew - he took the brain home (I know which side he's on....).

1 comment:

  1. Caaake.. Yummy Caaaake.... mmmmm So good I had two pieces!

    Love the brain.