You may be wondering, “Is this tackle box birthday cake really edible?”  Absolutely, it is!  But if you were fooled, know that you aren’t the only one.

I make cakes for friends and family at home in my spare time.  A very close friend of mine asked if I would make a cake for an upcoming birthday.

“Of course!” I replied.  Then, I had a small panic attack.

The only direction they gave was that they wanted a marble cake (which I had never made before).  What to do?  What to do?  I have always struggled with making cakes for men.  What to do?

Well, the man the cake was for is an avid fisherman, so I thought I would start there.  I had recently taken a Craftsy class on modeling chocolate and wanted to try using that medium anyway (another first).  So, I got the idea to make an antique style tackle box.

After googling images of tackle boxes to find some inspiration, a plan was hatched. I would use modeling chocolate to make the tackle box and gum paste (and gummy worms) to make lures and tackle.  So, I got to work.

I made the modeling chocolate, baked the cakes, formed the lures and tackle out gum paste.  No big deal right?  Of course it was!  I know I have already mentioned that this was my first foray into working with modeling chocolate and marble cakes, but it was also my first attempt at painting gum paste.  Oh… and I should probably also mention that the A/C went out and it was 90 degrees. To state the obvious, modeling chocolate and heat do not get along!  But that’s ok… I came up with a solution.

I hauled everything to my church and worked in their kitchen.  I also call on my daughter (who’s home from college) for some much needed support.  We got busy working on the modeling chocolate (which did not set up properly because it was so HOT when I made it).  The impossible to mess up milk chocolate modeling clay turned out a little crumbly.  So, I added some additional corn syrup… a little better.  The cake was supposed to be an antique looking wooden tackle box so perfection would not be ideal anyway.

Together my daughter and I worked through one issue after another and managed to finish up just in the nick of time.  In fact, when we were in the last stages of finishing up, the birthday boy walked up to the kitchen serving window to “check things out”.  I ordered him to leave IMMEDIATELY!  He knew I was making the cake, but I wanted the design to be a surprise.  While he continued to not so discretely looking around the kitchen, I again ordered him to leave!  Meanwhile, the entire time he was trying to get a peek at his cake, he is literally standing right over it… only inches away!  He left sulking, but none the wiser.

After he left we quickly added all the finishing touches (lures & tackle) and sneaked the cake upstairs where he was in a meeting.  We placed the cake in cafe and when the meeting was over I escorted him into the room where his cake was waiting.  He looked around wondering where the cake was.  I was giddy with pride and pleasure at how it had turned out.  He was speechless when he discovered that the tackle box was actually his birthday cake and was so excited to show it off. Everyone else was as surprised as he was that the tackle box was edible!

This was definitely my most favorite cake to date…despite all the potential disasters.