This article will take you through the process, step by step, of how to make a cake that looks like a pizza.
I like to make interesting cakes. Recently, my partner’s nephew asked if I would make a cake that looked like a pizza for his birthday. I gladly accepted the challenge and created a chocolate cake that looked very much like a real pizza. I had a few weeks to design the cake so I came up with a plan to make it which I’ll share with you.
You will need:
One cake mix in whatever flavor you like plus the items such as oil and eggs the box states are required to make it.
One bar of white chocolate.
Non-stick cooking spray.
A quarter cup of flour.
2 cups of mini marshmallows.
4 cups of powdered sugar.
Prepared cake frosting in your choice of flavor.
Enough cooking oil to grease your hands with.
2 Tablespoons of cocoa powder.
Red food coloring.
Yellow food coloring.
Black food coloring.
Tools and Materials:
One 14 to 16 inch pizza pan.
A cheese grater.
A hair dryer.
A shot glass or other small topped glass, metal or plastic container.
A well cleaned pen cap.
A well cleaned marker cap.
One empty, unused pizza box.
One clean 16 inch by 16 inch piece of cardboard.
A tea strainer.
A rolling pin.
A sharp kitchen knife or an Exacto knife.
Several cotton balls.
Preheat your oven to 325 degrees. Mix the cake according to the directions on the package. Spray the pizza pan with non-stick cooking spray and flour it lightly. Slowly pour the cake batter into the pizza pan. Fill the pizza pan until it is almost full, spreading the cake batter evenly around. The cake will expand but should not flow over the sides of the pizza pan. Bake in a 325 degree oven for about 25 minutes. Test for doneness by poking it with a toothpick. If the toothpick comes out pretty clean, the cake is done. Set the cake aside to cool.
Prepare two batches of the fondant to cover the cake as directed in How to Make Decorating Fondant for Art Cakes using the marshmallows, powdered sugar, food coloring and a bit of water. To achieve a golden brown pizza dough color fondant you’ll want to use one and a half batches. Add one teaspoon of cocoa powder, five drops of red food coloring, and four drops of yellow food coloring to the fondant kneading well. To make the pepperoni colored fondant add a teaspoon of cocoa powder to the half batch of fondant along with 10 drops of red food coloring, 2 drops of black food coloring, and 8 drops of yellow food coloring. Break off about a quarter of the pepperoni colored fondant and add black food coloring to make black olive colored fondant. With all three fondant colors slowly add food coloring and cocoa powder to the fondant until it reaches the desired shade as you may require more or less food coloring than I did.
To make the marinara sauce, mix one tablespoon of powdered sugar, one half teaspoon of cocoa powder, 12 drops of red food coloring, and 8 drops of yellow food coloring with three tablespoons of water. You’ll probably need to tweak the amounts of food coloring and cocoa until you reach the desired color. Add one teaspoon of finely crumbled cake crumbs to look like herbs in the sauce.
To make the fondant “paint” mix one half teaspoon of cocoa powder, three drops of red food coloring, and three tablespoons of water.
Once the pizza shaped cake has cooled, apply a dab of frosting to the center of the 16″ by 16″ square of cardboard and set the cake atop it. Use a large kitchen knife to slice off the top, just enough to make the cake a flat disc. Then start carving off some of the cake about one and a half to two inches from its edge all around to create a raised outer ring which will be the crust when the pizza cake is finished. Don’t worry about a lumpy finish; it will only help the finished pizza cake look more realistic.
Frost the pizza shaped cake with the frosting of your choice, paying special attention to the edges. If some of the center of the pizza shaped cake doesn’t get much frosting it’s OK. The frosting is the glue which will hold the fondant on once you apply it.
Roll out the fondant using a rolling pin on a surface covered in wax paper and heavily “floured” with powdered sugar. Flatten the fondant for the crust until it is very thin, about a sixteenth to an eighth of an inch thick. It should be big enough to cover your pizza shaped cake and then some.
Pick up the fondant, wax paper and all, and flip it over onto the cake and center it as best you can. Then gently pull away the waxed paper. If a crack or two occurs, don’t panic, they can be covered with pizza toppings later.
Gently tuck the excess fondant around the edges of the pizza shaped cake underneath it. Any excess fondant that doesn’t fit underneath can be cut off with a sharp knife or pizza cutter and discarded.
Roll out the pepperoni colored fondant onto wax paper liberally “floured” with powdered sugar. Roll it out with your rolling pin until it is about an eighth of an inch thick, or as thick as you think pepperoni looks. Then spray your shot glass (or other small topped glass) with cooking spray and use it as a cookie cutter to make the pepperoni shaped pieces of fondant. For greater realism, hold the pepperoni fondant circle in your hand and mold the center so it bulges with your thumb using gentle pressure. Set aside your pepperoni shaped fondant on a sheet of waxed paper.
Roll out your black olive colored fondant to about an eighth to a quarter of an inch thick using the same procedure as above. Then spray the marker cap and the pen cap with non-stick cooking spray. Use the larger cap to cut out olive sized rounds then use the pen cap to cut out the center of each round. If you don’t have appropriately sized caps to cut the fondant you can use an Exacto knife to cut them out freehand.
Pour your faux marinara sauce onto the center of the fondant covered cake and spread it towards the edges using a spoon. Avoid spreading sauce on the raised outer ring of the pizza shaped cake. You may splatter a few drops of sauce on the crust for realism.
Hold your cheese grater over the pizza cake and grate a thin layer of the white chocolate onto it to serve as mozzarella cheese. Then add the fondant pepperoni and black olives to the pizza cake just as if it were a real pizza. Grate another layer of white chocolate over these toppings.
Now comes the fun part!
Use a blow dryer set on medium or low to melt the white chocolate into the pizza cake, just until it looks like melted cheese. You can use strategically placed clumps of shredded white chocolate to cover any cracks or holes in the fondant then melt them into place.
Put a little powdered sugar into the tea strainer and sift a light coating of powdered sugar only around the edges of the pizza cake to simulate a dusting of flour.
Dip your cotton balls lightly into the fondant “paint” and gently dab them in strategic areas around the pizza cake to give it a golden brown and delicious appearance. Just a few dabs should do it.
Apply a dab of frosting in the center of the empty pizza box. Then, lifting the pizza cake gently by the sturdy cardboard underneath, slide it into the pizza box. The frosting will serve to prevent the cake from sliding around.
The pizza box is great both for display purposes and for the strictly practical purpose of protecting the pizza cake in transit.