The cake is *not* a lie!

For my Man‘s Birthday, I wanted to make him a cake. The question is, what cake do you make for a through and through geek? The answer came in the form of a computer game called Portal. Now, I have played very little of the game, but I do know two things about it.

  1. Everyone who has played it tells me the cake is a lie
  2. Everyone’s favourite character seems to be an inanimate metal box, called the Weighted Companion Cube.

So that is what I made. Keep reading for a step by step guide on how to make your own cake. I promise your geek will love you forever!

Step one: The cake part

I used vanilla sponge to make my cake, to reduce the cost and time involved. I guess you could use any type of cake you felt like. For my 7 inch cube, I needed 3 slab cakes (9 inches by 13 inches) to give me the 6 layers I needed. To stick the layers together, I used apricot jam with no fruit pieces, warmed slightly in the microwave to make it easier to spread. You will also need to use jam to stick on the first layer of icing. Apricot is ideal because any mistakes don’t show up!

Build up the layers using whatever pieces of cake you have available. Try not to line up any cuts in your layers, to make it stronger. Mine needed some wooden skewers through it to hold it together.

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A word of warning – 3 slab cakes results in about 75 portions of cake!

Step two: The icing part

Icing a cube takes a lot of icing! I asked some very clever people in a cake shop, and they recommended 1kg of royal icing for the base layer, and another for corners, circles and hearts. I chose to use bought royal icing because it saved time, but you could always make your own.

For colouring the icing, you need some good quality food colouring. Black for the greys, and a bright red for the pink. Add a small amount, mix by kneading, and add more as necessary.

To cover the cake, I used 1kg of icing, cut into 5 pieces, and each one covered one side. To roll out the icing, use icing sugar to stop it sticking to the surface, but don’t turn it over, so one side remains icing sugar free. This means the colours won’t be spoiled by the icing sugar.

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Step three: The fiddly bits

Make yourself a drawing, working out the size and shape of the parts you will need to stick on.

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Then cut out the important parts to use as templates. Stick them on using a little water (and I mean a little! Things can get very soggy if you’re not careful!). For the corners and sides where there are multiple pieces, cut them out as one piece, and bend them to fit. For the hearts – I know they should be flush within the circles, but that was too fiddly for me, so I just stuck them on the outside. You could slot them into the circle if you have more patience than me!

Step four: Present your cake!

The finished article:

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(Image editor’s note: for more picturey goodness, check out the full photoset on Flickr.)

2 Responses to “The cake is *not* a lie!”

  1. Melissa Says:

    I just wanted to comment on the cake. I think that you need to talk to better cake experts. You should have iced the cake with buttercream icing first. The jam that you used shows every imperfection. Also the “royal icing” that you used is not royal icing it is called fondant. You do not use icing sugar to roll it out you should have used corn starch. You should have put a whole layer of cake on top instead of pieces. You could have put the pieces in the middle. It would have worked better if you had leveled each layer.

  2. Jo Says:

    Melissa,
    Thank you for your comments. I am not a professional, and only posted the details here after a number of requests from those who saw the cake, so I do not pretend to be an expert.
    I am sure anyone deciding to create a cake from these instructions will find your rules very helpful.
    I however, had a very happy boyfriend, and so am happy with the cake exactly as it was.

    Thanks, Jo