I was asked to design a Designer Style Handbag Birthday Cake for my mother-in-law's friend as a surprise birthday cake. I started off with a Wilton book cake tin and baked 1 kg of Madeira cake mix in it and left to cool.
Once cooled completely, I split the "book" in half down the centre of what would be the book "spine", leveled the tops and sandwiched them together with jam and buttercream. I didn't have to carve or shape the cake as the book pan gives a perfect "clutchbag" shape when the cake is folded. I covered the cake in a thin layer of buttercream and left it to chill in the fridge.
I then took a 500g pack of M & B Luxury roll out icing in Claret Burgundy and cut that into two equal 250g pieces and rolled one piece into a shape wide enough to cover one side of the bag, slightly overlapping at the the sides and top. I laid the "bag" on its side and gently smoothed the icing over one side of the bag and trimmed it all around neatly. I repeated with the other side and then stood the bag up. I then used about 150g of grey sugarpaste and rolled it out to about 1/4 inch think and after making stencils of the sides and top of the cake on paper, I cut out the 2 end pieces and a long strip for the top and attached the side pieces. I laid the long strip across the top of the bag and trimmed gently where necessary.
I had already measured a long piece of non-edible beading for the handle and pushed one end into the buttercream at the top of the bag and gently eased the grey sugarpaste over it, gently repeating at the other, draping a handle at the front and back of the cake. I secured the grey sugarpaste at both ends and left to dry. I made the plaque out of a strip of sugarpaste and secured to the front with edible glue.
Once dry, I made the letters from black flower paste and attached to the label, and then painted all grey parts with edible silver liquid colour. The cake was on a 14" round board covered in royal icing which I then dusted with silver sparkle lustre dust. Sounds easy but this took me many many hours to complete. I wasn't too happy with the edges where the grey met the burgundy so I piped a thin line of beading in black buttercream to finish.
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