My brother turned 40 recently. We’re pretty close and he’s recently separated from his wife of 13 years. So I thought he deserved a most awesome cake! He owns a business that exports logs and clears farmer’s forestry blocks. His crew only use Stihl chainsaws, so I wanted to make a masculine cake that was kinda cool and edgy. I searched online for ages, for inspiration, but I didn’t just want a boring old chainsaw and a log for a cake. I came across Lauren Babis’ cake called The Red. She had a 3 tier cake all in red, with a girl with a chainsaw, it was pretty amazing. Anyway, I made a figurine of my brother and his beloved chainsaw and changed the icing to look more wilderness-like and just did 2 tiers.
The figurine took me 8 hours in total to do. I did this while I watched TV at night over a a couple of weeks. I don’t have all the fancy cake decorating tools or knowledge like professionals, so I assume it takes me 3 times longer to complete anything compared them! (I seriously wonder how I’d make any money, given the time it takes me)!
So, firstly, I made the boots and socks, then the legs (in one night). I stuck a toothpick up each leg for stability and in to the boot. I kinda criss-crossed them at the top slightly (see below for tip on royal icing the legs in to the boots)! The next night, I made the torso and stuck a toothpick out for the head to sit on another night. I inserted toothpicks for the arms to cling on to later. I made the black shirt that night and inserted a toothpick through the tummy for the chainsaw to go on later. I made the shirt in 2 pieces (a back and a front), by measuring the torso and used sugary water to glue it on. A few nights later, I made the vest (see pictures), stuck it on the same way as the shirt and used silver food powder mixed with vanilla essence to paint on the reflective stripes. I had a picture of my brother at work, to copy his clothes. The shorts were made in 4 pieces.
I made the chainsaw separately, but all in one night, so that it could be inserted over the toothpick. I just found a pic online to copy. I painted on the detail and used sugar water as glue. I made the blade 2 nights later (the chainsaw had a toothpick at the end just for it. The blade was made with 2 pieces of fondant, left to dry for 30 mins or so, then stuck on either side of the toothpick I had left sticking out the end of the chainsaw. To make the chain, I just used a fork to indent it around the edges. I painted it with the silver I used above and left it to dry while balancing on a container I found, just the right height, (so it didn’t droop). Once dry, I painted the black chain around the edges and the logo.
Then I did the head and arms. I used brown coloring for the goatie beard and hair. I brushed the sunglasses with water to give them a little shine. For the arms, there are online tutorials, use a knife to make fingers and round them off to look natural.
I left it all to dry in a container for a few weeks. Horror (!) when I pulled it out and the boots fell off the legs! I used royal icing to fix it as it sets hard.
Two days before his party, my Mum baked the cakes. Chocolate and nutmeg with chocolate cream cheese icing. The day before the party I sliced them in half (horizontally!) and filled with the icing filling and jam. I used the choc cream cheese icing for the glue for the fondant too. Mixing the green dye in to the fondant was horrible and took so long, I wished I’d just bought green fondant, all ready to go. It’s so expensive though. It took a good hour or more just to get the fondant the correct color Grr. I rolled it out to about 3mm thick, enough to drape over the entire bottom layer. I put the bottom cake on the cake board and picked the fondant up with the rolling pin and draped it over the cake, then gently pulled the edges out while tucking in to the bottom of the cake. You Tube has loads of tutorials how to do this. Use sprinkled icing sugar on the clean, dry bench to stop the fondant sticking whilst rolling. Cut off the excess fondant and smooth with a fondant smoothing tool.
I used the excess by remolding in my hands then re-rolling thickly (about 6mm) and using number cookie cutters to cut out the ’40’. I poked up toothpicks before they dried (not too far so you can see them)! These then went in to the cake so they could stand up. Once they dried overnight, I colored some royal icing orange and piped around the edges. Make sure you dry them hard on waxy paper that won’t stick.
The top layer was done in the same way. I cut some dowel rods (3) to poke through the bottom cake to the base of the board below, then set a cake board on top that I’d made from thick cardboard and covered with board foil. This stabilises the top tier so it won’t sink through the bottom tier. Use some royal icing or the filling to stick the board to the bottom cake, then the top cake to the top of the top board. Once done, I used a knife to cut zig-zags around the front of the cakes then carefully peeled back the chain sawed bits. I left it at that for the night as I didn’t want to massacre the cake or it would’ve dried out.
The day of the party, I got a fork and carefully started to pull away some of the cake, leaving some crumbs around the base. You can pick up some of the crumbs and stick them back on as the filling does come out a little. An old friend turned up and relieved me of the crumbs, lol! I used royal icing dotted on in 3 or 4 places around the cake to stick on the ribbon and massacred the ends of them. I used royal icing to stick my brother on to the cake board.
He was so happy when he saw this cake that it made the time and effort all worthwhile. He reckons he’s going to use the picture of the figurine as his profile pic since it’s so much like him. My friends think this is the best cake I’ve done thus far (despite it being inspired by someone else). I can’t believe a cake could bring so much happiness; people are still talking about it days later!