I was browsing Youtube last Tuesday when I stumbled across someone’s video for one of the prettiest cakes I’d ever seen in my life. I totally planned to
steal it use it as inspiration for this week’s cake, but I needed to order a special tool off of Amazon first and their two-day shipping wasn’t so two-day after all. Blah! So, after that plan fell through I basically had to scramble to come up with a new design idea. And that is how I came up with the camo cake.
You may be asking, “Where is it?” It’s right there! On the cake stand!
In all seriousness, whenever I think of camouflage I can’t help but also think of this vacation I took to Florida in like 1998 or 1999. I was just a teenager then, accompanying one of my good friends who was visiting some family. Picture the scene, okay? We were dressed to look about ten years older than we were, walking along Clearwater beach. My friend happened to be wearing extremely short camo shorts. It was dusk and the beach was packed full of cute boys walking around with their Eminem hairstyles and over-sized Hugo Boss shirts. It seemed like every other fancy car with shiny rims was blasting a song by our other favorite bleach-blonde performer, Sisqo of Dru Hill.
Out of nowhere, one of those Eminem wannabes stopped us dead in our tracks and sang to my friend, “I almost didn’t see you cuz you are wearing cam-o HELLO.” But then he just continued on his way! We were so taken aback by his spontaneity that we immediately fell in love and tried to find him. Unfortunately, he quickly disappeared into the sea of Slim Shadys, never to be found again. Now I can’t look at anything camo without thinking of that guy and his impressive one-liner.
Anyway, onto the cake!
As you can see here, I started out by covering my cake in white buttercream and chilling it in the fridge for about 15 minutes. While waiting I created two more colors: Army green (I started with leaf green and added a little brown and yellow until I was happy with the result) and a deep fuschia. Then I used my spatula to begin smearing the colors around the cake.
Notice that I didn’t bother wiping off my spatula during the process. I think it added to the effect.
This is what it looked like after I finished smearing the whole cake. Notice that I left a significant amount of white space. White is essentially the third color in this camo design.
The next thing I did was take my bench scraper and go around one time. This flattened the peaks, blended the colors in some areas, and created some “holes” in the buttercream. With any other cake you’d keep going around with the bench scraper until everything was smooth, but I stopped here since I wanted to keep some of that white showing. Plus I think it added to the camo look.
After putting the cake in the fridge to chill I got started on the cake topper. These are the biscuits I used. You can find them in the Asian section of your grocery store. But if not, they are basically just like Pringles Stix (Just be sure to get one of their sweet flavors, of course).
I arranged them into a sort of fan pattern on top of some parchment paper.
Then I got started on the caramel. Add 1/2 c (100 g) sugar and 1/8 c (1 oz) water to a sauce pan. Bring it up to a simmer without stirring.
After a few minutes the caramel will start to brown. This happens very, very quickly. You can swirl the pan a bit to ensure the caramel doesn’t burn. Once I reached my desired color I removed the pan from the heat and dunked the bottom into a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking.
Then I immediately drizzled the caramel onto the biscuits. Important: Start at the bottom where all of the sticks meet. I didn’t do this the first time so I had to redo the topper.
But when it’s done right, it should look something like this. You’ll need to let it set for a bit. The sugar will be wayyyy hot. I let mine sit on the counter for about 10 minutes and then popped it in the fridge for another 10.
Afterward, I popped it on the cake and added some gold leaf. My one regret was not letting the amber color develop a bit more. One other disclaimer: Touching the caramel leaves prints, so be sure to only touch the sticks when handling it.
It was necessary to not only cut out a bit of the cake where I placed the cake topper, but also to pipe a mini design around the base to add some extra support (You can just see what I mean at the bottom of the photo). Chill again for 10 minutes or so to set the buttercream, and you’re sweet!
Overall, this was a super easy design that anyone can do. I hope you’ll give it a try. 🙂