Today I'm going to demonstrate a cute Giraffe Baby Shower Cake!
It is such a cute and cheerful cake that would work on cakes of any size, whether single or double tiered.
Double Barrel Cake
Double barrel cakes (aka TALL cakes) are a huge trend in the cake world these days. I see them everywhere, and I love them.
They are fabulous standing alone, and they always add a boost of drama when used in tiered cake designs.
The basic idea here is that you are stacking two cake tiers as usual, with cake board and doweling/bubble tea straws in between. The difference is that the two tiers are the same size, and therefore once the cake is frosted or covered in fondant, you have the illusion of one extra tall cake.
Since we've had requests both for double barrel cakes as well as a tutorial on how to cover tall cakes with fondant, we thought we'd demonstrate both in this video. We also needed some fresh new shower cake ideas and so I went with a theme that would work great with a baby shower (as well as a young birthday)!
How to construct a double barrel cake and how to cover it with fondant.
For the Double Barrel Cake~
8 inch cake layers for the double barrel cake--Use what you like, but I used 2 fat layers on the bottom portion, and 3 thinner layers for the top for a total height of 7 inches.
6" cake layers for the top tier (I used two fat layers)
Cardboard Cake Circles-- I used four 12 inch cake circles to create the base (glued together). I used two 8 inch cake circles--one beneath the 8" tier, and another in the middle of the double barrel cake. I used one 6" cake circle.
Dowels/Bubble Tea Straws- I used 6 bubble tea straws and one central wooden dowel (sharpened)
Frosting and Ganache-- We used our fluffy vanilla buttercream as our filling between layers. We used chocolate ganache (a 2:1 ratio of semi-sweet chocolate chips to heavy cream--aka our "Simple Spreadable Ganache")
Fondant- We used Satin Ice fondant to cover our cake.
Freezer paper: Parchment paper or acetate would work also. We used this to support our "wrap". We also used this as a template for the wrap.
Vinyl covering: optional-- We like "The Mat". This is optional but it does help to prevent the fondant from drying out if you have any time between cutting out your wrap and actually placing on the cake.
Vegetable Shortening: This is helpful in rubbing over the ganached cake before placing on the wrap. We also used a light coating on our freezer paper.
For the Giraffe and Baby Block Decorations
Tylose Powder: I kneaded some tylose into my fondant for the baby blocks. You could also use gum paste.
Gum paste: (Optional) --You will want to make your giraffes from either gum paste or fondant with a good amount of tylose kneaded into it. It's important that the giraffes (especially the tall one) dry firm and strong. I like Satin Ice brand gum paste.
1 ½ inch square cutter (or something close) for our baby blocks.
Vodka or lemon extract- This is to mix with our coloring gel to create a "paint". Something with a high alcohol content is important because it dries very quickly. We prefer vodka.
Alphabet Cutters- We used these for our alphabet blocks.
Fondant Smoothers- Helpful for creating straight edges for the blocks, as well as for smoothing the fondant on the cake
tylose or sugar "glue" (or your edible glue of choice)
Food coloring pen- To draw on the eyes of the giraffe. A toothpick dipped in "paint" or a small paintbrush would work too. So would a "real" pen if the giraffes won't be consumed (I wouldn't recommend eating the giraffes anyway--not very tasty if they are gum paste!)
Rolling Pin for rolling fondant and gum paste
x-acto or other sharp knife
pizza wheel: Optional, for cutting away excess fondant. (Pizza wheels don't pull on the fondant as much as using a knife does.)
turntable: Optional, but really such a lifesaver if you plan on doing a lot of cakes!
Bench scraper- Optional, but good for smoothing the ganache and creating a nice straight edge.
Spatulas- Your preferred spatulas. I used a smallish 9" one.
Paint brushes- (Optional) I used for painting on our giraffe pattern. Another option is edible ink pens or fondant cut outs.
***A note about our baby blocks~ I was truly *inspired* by a written tutorial on baby blocks that I found on YouTube, which was posted by Inspired by Michelle. This also lead me to her amazing website, http://inspiredbymichelleblog.com/
How do you cut and serve a double barrel cake like this?
Hi Barbara, I just slice and serve from the top of the double barrel tier, remove the cake board, and then serve from the bottom. (I don't try to separate the double barrel tiers before serving)
All of your work is so beautiful & pristine!
I have a question…..Can you put buttercream over a ganache cake?
Thanks Jules!! Yes, I haven't done this very often, but never have had issues.
Off the top of my head I remember doing it for our "Sugar Egg" Easter Cake because I hollowed out a bit of the center and thought the ganache would hold everything in place a little better.
(This would be for ganache that is at least a 2:1 ratio of chocolate to cream by weight if working with dark or semi-sweet chocolate...or at least 3:1 ratio of chocolate to cream if working with white or milk chocolate).
You would just frost with ganache, chill to firm it up, and then frost with buttercream.