Wednesday, July 14, 2010

How to make a three layer Grateful Dead cake with marzipan topping

As part of our first handmade holiday we decided to make a special cake at home for my husband's 32nd birthday.  I recently learned how to make marzipan which opened up a whole new world of baked goods to me as you can color and mold it into anything!  So here's what I did...

First we made marzipan for the top, here's the recipe:

2 tubes of almond paste (don't use marzipan paste!)
1 egg white
2 tablespoons of pure almond extract (don't use immitation!)
2 cups of confectionary sugar

*mix this all together till you have a consistancy similar to play dough
I then seperated it into 3 equal parts and used the wilton's paste dyes to dye it
blue, red and left one part off white.
If you cover this it can sit for a while
we made it the night ahead and it was still great 2 days later!
**Thank you again Falon!! You saved the day!!**

I used two boxes of yellow butter cake mix (john picked it not me) mixed according to the box.
I split these into 3 round cake pans sized 7,8 and 11 inches. 
Make sure you level off each cake so they will sit nicely on top of each other.
I used a plain white whipped cream frosting between the layers as well as to frost the whole cake.
I then added the tie dye affect to the cake by dropping liquid food coloring all over the cake and swirling with a toothpick. 
Be careful not to swirl it too much, just enough or the colors get a bit murky

Then I added the marzipan steely.  I found a picture online copied that. 

I did it piece by piece, first the red and blue circle in the skull, then the lightening bolt, next i did the thin layer of white around this and connected it to face.  I made this by using 3 different size white ovals and squishing them together with my fingers as I went so they looked like they were one.  I next added the blue and red around the outside.  I had marzipan left after this so I dyed a small ammount black and used that for the eyes and nose.

For the finishing touch I outlined the whole thing with black frosting and added teeth. 
Lastly I wrote Happy Birthday!!

Here's the finished project, candles and all.
It was so much fun to make.
I cannot wait for Caleb's birthday next month.

Any ideas for a theme for an 11 year old boy's birthday??


  1. I love the tie dye effect!
    I have an award for you over at my blog :)

  2. this looks great, do you think the marzipan would be ok for an ice cream cake? Also do supermarkets sell the almond paste and almond extract or did you have to go to a cake shop to find them? Thanks for sharing this recipe, I have a few birthdays coming up to bake for

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