This Las Vegas Cake was one of several I launched my first foray into cake making with.
One day my fiancé lost his job after 7 years with same company. Times were hard and we had several birthdays in the family looming around the corner, including my best friend and my finance (who share a birthday), my youngest son’s FIRST birthday, and one of my stepson’s birthdays.
Being broke with no money to invest in this many gifts, I thought to myself, “Why not use my clay sculpting skills from high school and sculpt fondant cakes? How hard could it be?” Boy was I in for a shock. YouTube how-to videos became my best friend.
All the cakes were completed successfully considering a whole list of beginners setbacks….
Fondant is expensive! It’s even expensive to make from scratch. After much searching I found out about marshmallow fondant. Um, yay. Then I ran across the most awesome thing… GANACHE (oh my)! My first batch of ganache and fondant was way too soft. My Ninja Turtles looked a bit melty for one cake, and my fondant roses were too soft to hold up for another. Luckily my second batch came out with a lovely consistency and my son’s first Sesame Street Cake came out wonderful until we got to the park and my Elmo and Oscar the Grouch cup cake toppers fell and smashed, leaving Cookie Monster sad and lonely looking.
My Minecraft brownie and Rice Krispy treats cake was on point.
So, after all this and lots of praise (despite my series of unfortunate events) came the coup de gras! My future brother in law’s birthday was coming up! So many people loved my cakes and fortunately didn’t notice my little flaws. I thought to myself, “I can step it up!” So after a lot of idea searching on YouTube and Google, and knowing he loved a good game of poker, I settled on a Las Vegas Style cake. It was going to awesome, spectacular, and well… Las Vegas Fabulous!
Las Vegas Birthday Cake Instructions
I thought this would be easy as pie, but no. Things don’t tend to go smoothly when you’re under the gun.
- The fondant was made 2 nights before with marshmallows and confectionery sugar.
- I dyed it the next morning with gel food coloring.
- I mixed a lovely batch of sturdy cake batter and baked it at 350 degrees.
- I let everything cool.
- I then measured cubes to cut out for my dice and trimmed the top off my cakes.
- My ganache was mixed with white chocolate chips and heavy whipping cream.
- After putting a lot of effort into shaping my dice with the ganache and bottom tier with ganache. I ran out of chocolate chips for making more for the top tier. Also, I forgot to get yellow candy beads for the Las Vegas sign. I had to go to the store a lot. 24 hour grocery stores are my best friend.
- After getting that all squared away and getting the top tier shaped with the ganache, it was time to refrigerate the cake and roll out the fondant.
- I used confectionery sugar to keep it from sticking while I rolled it out.
- I printed card suit symbols and jackpot 7’s to cut out and use as a cutting guide for the fondant.
- Also, while crafting my fondant pieces, my youngest baby boy decided he would grab and mush some of my fondant spades! And the diamonds did not wrap around the cake correctly. OMG! That made lots of extra work for me.
- I wrapped the cake tiers and dice individually with fondant and cut some graham crackers to shape for my sign and cards.
- I stuck them together with melted chocolate, and wrapped them with fondant.
- I used edible gel for the numbers on the cards.
- I then used sugar water to stick all my fondant cut outs on the cake and had enough fondant left to make poker chips and the border for my slot machine.
- I used candy beads as a trim for the sign and tiers.
- The cake had alternating chocolate and vanilla layers from scratch, 4 chocolate cake dice, homemade white chocolate ganache, graham cracker fondant covered playing cards, and hand cut and crafted homemade marshmallow fondant cover and pieces.
- After staying up until 5 am to hand paint my Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign with edible gel, I wrapped it up, and tucked everything away. My masterpiece was done!
- A few hours went by and after only 4 hours sleep, I went to pack up the cake.
- Then lightening struck… my Vegas Sign was sitting on the counter and when getting the cake adjusted to fit in the box, I set it on top of the sign. WHAT IS IT WITH ME AND CAKE TOPPERS? I had to quickly make another.
The cake was a hit. For someone who had only done cakes out of a box until 2 months before this, I think this went awesome!
My brother in law saw his cake and freaked (in a good way of course)! He loved it so much he didn’t want to blow out the candles before he ran to go get his phone for a picture. Facebook was all abuzz about the cake and now I am considering doing it as a side business. In the future, however, I will be making 2 cake toppers…. just in case.
Las Vegas Cake With Candles