I wanted a fun and original cake for my son’s high school graduation party. He plays the bass so an obvious choice was to recreate one in cake form. I also decided that the replica should be life size and as accurate in detail as possible.

My younger kids and I started the project of a Fender 5 String Bass Guitar by tracing his bass on brown contractors paper to make a template. For the white board, I actually placed a glass cutting board on top of the guitar, traced the pattern, then traced that pattern on to paper. It helped make a pretty accurate shape without having to work around the strings.

For the cake, I made 2 – 12”x18” chocolate sheet cakes. I lined the pan with parchment paper so that they’d come out without tearing. After cooling the cakes I laid the template on the cake and cut out the pieces. There were 4 pieces total. I wrapped each piece in parchment and put them in the freezer.

The next day, I crumb coated the pieces with tan, brown, and black frosting to match the real bass and once again wrapped the pieces and stuck them back in the freezer.

Then I made the detail pieces out of gum paste & fondant and let them dry for a few days. The other detailed item, the knobs and plug receptacle were created with Rolo and Lifesaver candies.

On the day of our party, I made fresh batches of frosting, laid the pieces out on a table and assembled the cake. I worked from the top to the bottom of the cake – although in retrospect, I think maybe working bottom to top might have helped make the arm of the guitar align better with the bottom of the bass.

The strings were the most difficult part. I had read that people had trouble keeping strings straight. We used silver elastic cord (the only inedible part of the cake). We eventually got them to look pretty good, but I wouldn’t say they were straight and they did not turn out quite as intended. With real string, it’s really important to have a completely aligned guitar.

We didn’t realize how out of line ours was until we did the strings.