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A Whimsical and Funky, Yet Classic Gift Boxes Birthday Cake

I made this cake for a close friend for her surprise 30th birthday party. It was inspired from an advanced fondant technique class that I took, and I couldn’t wait for the first chance to come to try it. It was a big challenge for me since I was still new at the cake decorating world, but I was confident that with love anything can be done. Let’s just say that this three tiers cake is definitely not a one day job. That being said, I had so much fun making this cake.

First, I started couples days ahead with the embellishments: loops, bows, flowers, pearls, and candles. And left them to dry. Then I baked three different cakes: chocolate, vanilla, and lemon cake. All layered and iced with delicious cream cheese icing. Then came the most fun part, which was creating the three different designs for each tier, or to be more precise: each gift box.

I started with the smallest gift box which I chose for it the hand painted design. It was very easy to make. I enjoyed the painting part of it as I loved painting when I was a kid.  So I thought to myself: hey this was easy, I’m sure I’ll be done with the other two designs in no time.   But little did I know.

The second gift box with the inlaid design looks so cool with the wrapping look. I was excited to start working on it. But it was so not cool that it took me three tries to make it work, haha. The idea behind this design is to flatten all the fondant stripes on one big piece of fondant and then apply it on the cake and wrap it. The part that kept going wrong was after finally flattening the fondant stripes and lifting the fondant to apply it onto the cake it would tear and fall apart. Each time I had to start all over, kneading fondant, cutting different colored stripes and flattening them.  Gosh, I must really love my friend!  But also part of it I think is I am a determined person. I was so determined to make it work and did not want to change my design for this box. After the hard work and the long time it finally worked, yeey! No pieces fell apart. The final look was OK. I believe our neighbors heard me cheering when I was done, phew.

Nevertheless it was fun and I would make this design again.

The third and biggest gift box was my favorite of all the boxes. I chose the stenciling and paneling design. I just think that it is so elegant and unique. There are so many different stencils to choose from for any kind of special occasion cake.

It was not hard to make at all. I just applied the design onto the fondant panels with a rolling pin then dust the design with pink and purple luster dust to make it pop out, applied the panels onto the cake, and made a fondant lid on top and viola. The only challenging part was hiding the seams of the panels, which I succeeded in doing with the white wrapping ribbon, haha. It actually gave it the illusion of being a wrapped package.

Finally came the stacking, then a touch of pearl dust here and there, and the cake was ready. Nobody believed it was a real cake. My friend loved it. It was a nice whimsical surprise.