These fricken mirror cakes, right? They’re everywhere! I decided to jump on the trend since I’m such an opportunist. To be honest though, I considered throwing this in the Amanda Fails to Bake category until Freddie Mercury talked me out of it. He didn’t seem to mind that the bottom half of the cake bulged out a bit more than the top. In fact, he dubbed her the fat bottomed girl and demanded that I reference all of his songs in this post. And as everyone knows, you never say “no” to Freddie Mercury.
So here’s the thing: I went into this the same way you probably will—with like no information (Okay, maybe not). Not only does there seem to be a million different recipes for mirror glaze (I will share the one I used at the bottom of this post), but everyone seems to have their own technique too. The cake featured here was actually my second attempt, and if I hadn’t been under pressure to hurry up and finish I may have gone for a third.
You should know some things right off the bat:
- The glaze is not your frosting. You still need to ice your cake.
- When icing, you need to get your cake as smooth as possible. The glaze will highlight every little defect. It’s a kind of (black) magic.
- When pouring on the glaze your cake needs to be super cold. Like fresh out of the fridge cold. You might want to tell Mr. Fahrenheit to go for a walk.
- You need to make sure that the glaze is at the correct temperature (about 90ºF/33ºC) before pouring. Not only that, but if you’re using two or more colors they need to all be at the same temperature.
So with all that being said, let’s get started!
First things first, you’ll need to bloom some gelatin. Add your water to the gelatin granules, stir it around a bit, then wait five minutes for it to thicken like this.
Now add your sugar, condensed milk, and water to a saucepan over medium heat and wait for it to simmer.
Once all of the sugar is dissolved, remove the mixture from the heat and add your white chocolate. Then keep stirring until most of it is melted. Notice I said most of it. That’s because no matter how long you stir you’ll still have some big clumps of chocolate. You’ll need to pass the mixture through a sieve when transferring it to containers.
Speaking of containers, ones with spouts are pretty awesome! Makes for easy pouring. You can also sort of see the shine already, which is pretty sweet. Notice how one of my containers is much smaller than the other. More on that later.
The next step is to color the glaze. I chose turquoise as my primary color and fuchsia as an accent color. You can of course choose whatever colors you’d like.
This next part is where things can really start to go to shit, though. Because as I mentioned above, the glazes really need to reach a certain temperature before you can pour them. And obviously the glaze in the smaller container will cool faster than the glaze in the larger container. See for yourself. The turquoise was almost 60º C….
While the fuchsia was significantly cooler.
I found that the best way to get them to cool at a similar rate was to pop the larger container in the fridge for five minute increments, stirring between each time. You could also do the reverse—wait for the larger container to reach the correct temperature and then slightly warm the smaller container in the microwave. It doesn’t matter how you do it, it’s just important that you do. The glaze thickens as it cools (thanks to the gelatin) so ensuring that they are the same viscosity is essential. You don’t want mud on your face, do you?
Okay, so the next step is setting up your station. As you can see here I’ve got a cookie sheet covered with some parchment paper, and my cake is sitting on top of a mug. A mug that just so happens to have my face on it, but lucky for you I flipped it the other way.
And now it’s time to pour on the glaze! Some people start on the outside and work their way in, others start in the middle and work their way out. Doesn’t matter as long as you cover the whole thing. The glaze sets almost immediately since the cake is so cold, which is both a blessing and a curse. See how nice and straight the sides of my cake were here though? I’m still not sure how I wound up with a fat bottomed girl.
Anyway, you have to move pretty fast or else the glaze will set before you even add your second color, which is obviously the next step. Notice how much glaze dripped off. If I were to do this again I think I’d make my buttercream turquoise too.
Once you finish pouring you need to just let it drip for a few minutes. See the little drips there at the bottom? You can cut them off with a sharp knife.
Then, gently move the cake to a cake board. As you can clearly see, I chose a cake board far too big for this cake and didn’t even bother covering it with anything first. I realized the absurdity of this right away, but I didn’t want to risk moving it again. I said to the cake, “Sorry, babe. This is your home now.” I think that’s when she decided to J-Lo it up in the behind region. So spiteful.
Now why not decorate the top? The cake is already sticky as sh!t, right? I added some crushed up candy and some flower petals.
Then Freddie wanted it to be a bit more glam so I threw on some edible gold beads, gold leaf, and some mini flowers up the side. He was like, “Come on, Amanda. It’ll blow your mind.” He was right!
Last step was to add a fuchsia pearl border out of buttercream. And actually, now that I’m comparing this photo with the one above it, it seems this is definitely were the bulging started to happen. Or perhaps it’s just an optical illusion created by the border and I just can’t unsee it now.
I don’t even care. Look at the top of this cake! That shadow is me taking the picture. Hot stuff.
And here is one more for good measure. You can really see how shiny the glaze gets.
So overall I’d definitely say that the mirror glaze is worth it once you get over the learning curve. You can thank me later when your cake turns out amazing. And you can thank me now for not including the most obvious Queen song in this post!
Until next time <3
- 1/2 can (200 g) sweetened condensed milk
- 1 1/2 c (300 g) granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup water
- 12 oz bag white chocolate chips
- 1/8th c (19 g) gelatin (+ 1/2 cup water to bloom)
- Stir gelatin into 1/2 c water and allow 5 minutes for it to bloom
- In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the sugar, condensed milk, and water. Bring to a simmer.
- Once the sugar is dissolved, remove the mixture from the heat and stir in your gel food coloring.
- Allow the mixture to cool to approximately 90 F or 33 C, stirring every once in a while for even cooling.
- Once the glaze has reached the correct temperature, pour it over your chilled cake.