Guitar Cake

Hi everyone,

Today’s cake is one I made near the middle of June, for my Dad’s birthday. I’ve wanted to make this cake for a while now, because he loves guitars, plays them (quite well), and I love listening to him play. I grew up with his strumming, and recently, he’s gotten himself in a small band with some friends. They don’t write music, but they play favorite songs, and occasionally perform at the school I work at, for teacher functions. So the perfect cake for him was a guitar cake.

My biggest challenge was keeping the secret from him. Since we live in the same house, and I can’t exactly bake and decorate a cake in my room, it was quite tricky. Luckily, he was rehearsing with friends the afternoon before his birthday, and so quite tired when he got home, so he went to bed early. Since I had been on a baking frenzy the whole week with things, it wasn’t odd for him to see me bake yet another cake.

The guitar I chose as my model is this one:

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So, I started with a 13″x9″ chocolate cake, which I cut into a basic guitar belly shape. I decided I would make the neck out of cardboard and paint it accordingly, as I didn’t have the time or the resources to make it out of anything else and support it properly.

I used store-bought rolled fondant, and colored it a basic orange. I covered the cake and tucked in the ends, then got out my newly purchased palette, and proceeded to paint in the reddish gradient. A simple vodka-edible food coloring powder mixture was fine. For the shiny edging, I added a drop of light corn syrup to the mixture – I find it makes the paint sticky and shiny. The only downside is that it stays that way, it doesn’t completely dry.

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Once all of this was underway and in various states of drying, I pulled out my cardboard and acrylic paints, and painted the handle. Because I didn’t trust my fine painting skills, I actually used white writing icing to make the scales and writing on the neck of the guitar.

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Then his big day finally came. Something needs to be said about that: Dad doesn’t like to celebrate his birthday. Never has and never will. So I kept things simple – I just invited my grandpa over for dinner, and made sure my brother was in attendance. We just had a simple quiche and salad, nothing fancy, and certainly nothing to arouse his suspicions (although they were kind of, because, well it was his birthday after all). So I guess you could say he was only half-surprised when I trotted out with his cake:

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The only, very cringe-worthy, eye-catching ‘disaster’ is the guitar strings. Between making dinner and finishing the guitar in secret, I panicked a bit with the strings (in fact, I had forgotten about them until I put the two guitar pieces together). So I went down in the sewing box, found some wire thread and pins, and voilà. So the guitar is quite an untuned one, but it served it’s purpose, and Dad loved it. The guitar neck is pinned to the cake with some pins, and supported by a block of styrofoam near the top.

And just for a comparison, here is the model and the cake side by side:

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Thank you for reading; and until next time!

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