Every once in a while, I get to do something really cool and wacky and crazy that makes me feel like a legitimate food blogger (not that we were ever calling that fact into question, but I basically question its legitimacy all the time). Today I’m going to teach you how to bake letters into a cake, though–and I am SO excited to be sharing this fun creation with you guys today!
(I totally apologize in advance for the lack of process photos, by the way: this cake took me 6 hours to test and make–by the time I finished, it was already 2 AM! I’ve included a few, ahem, Snapchat photos that I downloaded at the end of this post, for reference.)
Have you ever seen photos of cute things baked into other equally cute things? Like this heart baked into a cupcake, or oh my gosh I just Googled the phrase “baked into a cake” and this photo of three whole pies baked into a cake just came up and I kind of want to smoosh my face right into the screen!
Well, a couple of weeks ago I decided it would be a great idea to bake an entire word into a cake. I tried searching for a clear tutorial on how to do this, but ended up having to sort of cobble together my own version of how to accomplish this. One thing to note about this cake is that while it’s a bit of a pain to make, the WOW factor when I sliced in for the big reveal was massive. I’m talking mind-blowing, promotion-garnering levels of impressiveness here!
Other things to note about this cake before you start:
- Your word will only be “presentable” on one side of the cake, i.e. the letters will appear backwards if sliced along the wrong long side. This probably won’t be an issue for most of you, but if you want the letters to appear the right way on the first slice, it’s a good idea to mark that side of your pan with a piece of foil or something else you can easily identify before you cut.
- Depending on the size of your cookie cutters, this cake works best for 3 to 4-letter words and names. You’ll need to make sure that your cookie cutter is no more than 75% the height of the side of your 5×7-inch baking pan. If your letters are too tall, they will stick right out of the top of your cake!
- This cake takes about 4 hours from start to finish, so be prepared to set aside a substantial chunk of time for this one!
- In slight of its slightly tacky appearance, this cake actually tastes really good and was eaten right up.
What you’ll need:
- One 9×13-inch baking pan
- One 5×7-inch baking pan
- Your favorite white cake recipe, doubled (I’ve included mine in the recipe instructions below)
- Two different colors of gel food coloring
- Letter cookie cutters
- Patience and a sense of adventurousness! 🙂
Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees F and preparing your favorite white cake recipe. You should use a recipe that will yield enough to fill two 9×13-inch baking pans (I doubled a standard 9×13-inch cake recipe.) Divide the batter into two separate mixing bowls.
Color the first bowl of batter with a few drops of one food coloring, until you reach the desired shade. (Note that the vibrancy will fade a bit after baking, so don’t hesitate to make your color a bit brighter than you want.) This batter will turn into your Colored Letters.
Color the second bowl of batter with a few drops of the other food coloring. This batter will become the main cake.
Pour the Colored Letters batter into a lightly greased 9×13-inch baking pan and bake as instructed. Allow cake to cool completely before turning it out onto a cutting board.
Using sharp cookie cutters, cut out 5-6 of each letter: I cut out 5 of each an N, I, C, and K. If you stack them up, they should be exactly the same measurement as the width of your loaf pan. Set these aside.
Pour a bit of your Main Cake colored batter into the bottom of the 5×7-inch baking pan, just enough to cover the bottom of the pan completely. This will help your cut-out cake letters stand up as you line them up.
Now it’s time to get stacking: start with your first letter. Stack up all 5-6 of that letter, then place them flush with the left side of the pan, about 1/2-inch from the left edge. Your letters should be upright (i.e. treat the long side of the pan as if it was the page of a book, and you were reading the letters from left to right as normal). Your stacked letters should fit snugly into the pan, with as little wiggle room as possible so that batter doesn’t seep into each stack.
Repeat with the remaining letters, leaving a bit of space between each stack. When you’ve finished arranging your letters, CAREFULLY pour your Main Cake batter into the pan, all around the letters, making sure to fill in all of the gaps with a spoon or toothpick as needed. Fill until the pan is about 3/4 full, and the tops of your letters are no longer visible. Bake the whole thing in preheated oven for 40-50 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in several places throughout the cake comes out clean.
I was both so excited and nervous that I ended up Snapchatting the whole process, thus spamming my entire friends list with unnecessarily detailed photos of the wonderful(ly nerve-wracking) experience. In the end, though, it was totally worth it! This is me during pre-reveal prep:
So all in all–nerves and sweat and tears considered–everything turned out pretty amazingly!
On a final note: in case you’re wondering who this mystery “Nick”is for whom I baked the cake…No, it’s not a boy–but I did get to do some pretty awesome stuff with this cake anyway. Can you guess?
I’ll give you a hint. If you’re a 90s kid like me, you’ll probably recognize the iconic bright orange and slime green colors…
Yep–it’s the one and only Nickelodeon! Pretty cool, right?
Nick was celebrating National Cheesecake Day a few weeks ago, so that’s where this cake ended up–sliced and diced into an extremely cheesy (and cakey) video. Yes, the hand that you see at the very beginning of the video belongs to yours truly! And as they say, the rest is history 🙂
Now it’s your turn: what fun word are you baking into your next cake? I can’t wait to hear your creative ideas!