Cut cakes are a simple process which anyone can do. I have fond memories of my Brownie troop making some. Using any cake and icing you can create a fun desert for any party.
Star Trek's iconic delta in cake. In The Original Series each ship had it's own symbol on the uniform tunic, Enterprise's being the now universal delta. On that was another symbol identifying which department the crewman was in. I had some cake mix I need to use and a New Year's party coming up with my Trek group so I decided to take a couple delta cakes to the party.
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Step 1: Supplies
- Pattern / Shape - Although I cut the cake free-hand, creating a paper template of your shape is a good idea
- Toothpicks to hold the paper pattern still on the cake while cutting
- Cake - I used 1 box mix baked in 2 heart shaped pans but you can start with any cake
- Food Coloring - You need to decide how many colors based on what you are making.
- Icing - One standard can will cover about 1 single layer twice with a little left over. For 2 single layers minus the @ 1/4 of cake cut off I used about 1.5 can in gold with the drawing in a couple tablespoons of chocolate fudge
- Knife to cut cake - I used a long one but any knife will work
- Spatula or other spreading item (I used a case knife)
- Icing bag(s) or plastic zip food bag(s) - to put on a design in smaller areas - Again, how many you need depends on what design you use
- Base to put the finished cake(s) on - I used a cake carrier but a piece of stiff cardboard covered in foil will work just a s well
Step 2: Attacking the Cake
If you are using a paper pattern, place it on top and secure it with toothpicks so it won't move while you are cutting. I am familiar enough with this delta to make it free-hand. (I did look at a picture to make sure I had the wide and narrow points on the correct sides, though, lol.)
Cut the cake.
Because both of mine were to be the same shape, I placed the scraps from the first cut on top of the second cake as a pattern.
Step 3: Dirty Ice
Ice the cake(s). This layer of icing will be what traps the crumbs from the cutting so they do not mar the final surface. You can either make this one solid base color or have multiple colors but remember that it will have another layer on top.
- Be careful of small places. Don't be afraid to get fingerprints in this icing to help support places like the points at the bottom of my deltas. (Of course you washed your hands before you touched it.)
- If you get crumbs in the icing bowl, dig them out before you let it sit. It is just easier to get out then.
This icing will need time to harden, either overnight or in the refrigerator.
FYI - My grandmother, who was an amazing housewife and could cook & sew at a professional level, called this the 'unmentionable layer' (as in this is the underwear).
Step 4: Top Layer
Being me, I used a case knife for the second layer of gold. It would have been smother but I was already running late to leave.
If you are using multiple colors to create your pattern, this is the layer for that . There is such a thing as a special 'knife' to ice cakes with which will more easily create a smooth finish.
If you have lines to create and no icing bag:
- cut the tip off a zip bag - usually about half as much as you think should be cut off, lol.
- You MIGHT need to microwave the icing for a FEW seconds - You don't really want to melt it, but it needs to flow through the bag. If the room temperature is hot and it has been out a long time, it will be fine without any heating.
- Spoon the icing into the bag
- Hold the bag with the cut corner down, creating a point
- don't zip the closure, you want the air to easily escape
- Gently gather the bag top, again the corner with the hole is pointing down
- Over the cake, gently squeeze the bag, moving it to create your pattern