Hand Painted Buttercream Marble Cake: v1

Right off the bat I’m going to come right out and say that this cake was a bit of an experiment that didn’t quite turn out the way I wanted it. I mean, it started out okay, but my next version will be better. So much better! I’m mostly annoyed with myself for what I did at the top. What are those horrible globs of frosting?!?! But the design aspect itself is pretty cool, so I’m not going to call it a total failure.

marble cake 3

I’ve been really into nail art lately, and the thing about nail art is that you can replicate almost all of it on a cake! So when I saw this Youtube tutorial on how to paint a marble design on your nails I was like “Yes, please.” She starts off by painting her nails the color of her choice (I chose mint), then dabs on a cool gray in random spots. Then using the same gray she takes a very fine brush and paints on the veins of the marble. Once that’s done she then adds dimension to the veins with a darker polish and some gold. 

I guess I sort of did it? 

marble cake 1

Did I mention this was my birthday cake? As a result, I decided to keep it simple and went with my go-to chocolate cake recipe and a creamy peanut butter filling.The filling was as easy as adding powdered sugar to smooth peanut butter. And the best part is that you  can adjust each ingredient to your liking. I started with a half cup of peanut butter and one cup of icing sugar and then tweeked it until I liked the taste and consistency. You can add a little milk if you find it’s too thick, or even add a dash of salt or vanilla for some extra flavor.

pb filling 1

Here’s what it looked like once I reached my desired consistency. I noticed that it thickened upon sitting and became a bit more difficult to spread. So use it quickly or keep it covered.

pb filling 2    

If you’ve paid attention to any of my other tutorials then you know that I ice my cakes using the upside down method when I want a really crisp edge. But rather than running you through all the steps time and time again, I decided to just make separate post that you can refer to any time you want.:) Newbie cake decorators, click here and get ready to have your mind blown! Here I am building up the layers of the cake. Since this first layer will actually be the top, it’s sitting in a bed of buttercream.

building cake 4

I had a few Nutter Butter cookies leftover from my no-bake Peanut Butter Pie, so I crumbled ’em up and threw them on as well. 🙂

building cake 5

I went with three layers for this bad boy. 

building cake 6

Again, the full details on how I iced it can be found in link above about the upside down method, but I just wanted to show you that on top of the beautiful mint buttercream I also added some splotches of gray, just like in the inspiration video. After dabbing it in on some random areas, I used my bench scraper to smooth it all out again.

marble decor 1

And here’s what it looked like after popping it back in the fridge for 15-20 minutes and then releasing it from the tile!

marble decor 7

I debated for a long time about how I wanted to make the “veins” of the marble. I wasn’t sure if I should use royal icing or colored piping gel, or if I should pipe them on or paint them on. In the end I decided to pipe on royal icing, but I if I had to do it all over again I would choose to brush it on instead. Marble is obviously supposed to be a nice, smooth surface, and piping obviously adds additional texture. Duh. Anyway! Making royal icing is pretty easy. You can do it the old fashioned way and stir some powdered sugar into a beaten egg white, or substitute the egg for some meringue power and a bit of warm water. I colored mine a light gray color that somehow ended up taking on some purple undertones. 

royal icing 1

To pipe the veins I basically just added a few large “Y” shapes around the cake and then broke them up with some additional lines. I believe I used a Wilton #5 tip for this, which is a small round tip (but not my smallest).

royal icing 2

Then I darkened the remaining royal icing with even more black food coloring and switched to a smaller round tip (#2). I used this tip to add definition to the lines I’d already created.

royal icing 3

And since I wanted this to be a gold marble cake, just like in the video, I made a gold paint out of Rolkem’s Super Gold dust and a little bit of vodka. 

royal icing 4

Here’s what it looked like after adding the gold. I think this was the point where I thought I overdid it a bit with the veining. I was told it looked like lightening. Don’t get me wrong, I still thought (think) it was pretty, it just wasn’t totally what I was going for. I stopped here and let the cake sit on my counter overnight while I figured out what to do to the top.

royal icing 5

For some reason….I decided to do this. I was going for big, luxurious dollops, but all I got was some frumpy lumps. I think the tip I used was too small and my buttercream was too thick. But then I made the horrible decision to pat down the peaks with a wet finger and made it look worse. lol. So yeah, I consider this a learning experiment. I definitely plan to do this again very soon (perhaps after Valentine’s Day), but I will make some small changes that I think will greatly impact the final result!

royal icing 6

But…there you have it! I guess 😛

marble cake 4

Until next time <3

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