Rockin Guitar Cake

My sister-in-law turned the big 3-0 recently, and I thought she needed a big cake to celebrate a big birthday.  I knew I wanted to do something out of the ordinary so I asked my brother if he had any suggestions.  He said she loves Gibson Flying V guitars and I said perfect! (secretly, I had absolutely no idea what that meant... again, I thank my lucky stars for the invention of google).  Once I figured out what I was dealing with, I decided to attempt this to the best of my ability, considering it was my first non-rectangular cake.  I did a lot of research on icing cakes and found out about a few great tricks to use when trying to ice any kind of cake.  Like I said, this was my first attempt and I am no expert, but I thought I would share what I learned and maybe I can improve in the future.  Try to keep your audible gasps to a minimum, but I will admit... I used a boxed cake mix.  I know, I know... the horror, but I had enough to worry about as I tried to piece together a vintage guitar out of crumbs so I thought I would give myself a break and use a funfetti cake mix and canned icing (oopsie, another tragedy).  But seriously, who doesn't love funfetti cakes.

Evening Out 
I knew I wanted even surfaces to my cakes so I used a long bread knife to get nice even surfaces to all of my pieces... which also allows for nice little sheets of fluffy cake to snack on.

Making it Firm
I put each piece of the guitar in the refrigerator after I had all of my even surfaces.  I had picked up a tip that this would help the crumbs set a bit before icing and it seemed to help quite a bit.

Crumb Coat
I will never ice another cake without a crumb coat! I think this is the deep dark secret of bakers everywhere of how they get that amazingly sleek and smooth icing.  I first read about the idea of a crumb coat here and thought I should give it a try.  It worked wonders.

Never heard of this?  Basically, you just  spread a thin layer of icing over the cake to seal in the crumbs before your final coat of icing.  I had chosen a robin's egg blue guitar and brown icing for the other parts and I used regular white icing for the crumb coat.  Both the blue icing and chocolate icing glided perfectly over the white icing and you never saw any of it.

The key is to put the cake in the freezer after you apply the crumb coat for at least 15 minutes to let it harden.  Then, your icing will spread over the crumb coat perfectly with no crumbs.  Genious.

I made robin's egg blue icing with 2 drops of green food coloring  to every 1 drop of blue.

Finally, I assembled the cake on a large piece of foam board.  I had everybody at her birthday party sign the board and took a picture so I could frame it.

I piped the strings on with a piping bag and while the final product came out a little disproportional, I was pretty proud of my first attempt at a "fun" cake.  (And, it was dark at the party so I was hoping a few of the imperfections would get lost in the night).


  1. That is amazing! I am so impressed! Thanks for sharing because I had never heard of a crumb coat either.

  2. Nicely done on the guitar cake! : ) Good info about the crumb coat. Hope your new year is off to a great start!

  3. Wow... my 5 year old son would die for that guitar cake. I am going to have to do more research on this crumb coat. It looks fantastic.

  4. I'm sure your sister-in-law was so touched by your gesture! I actually really love funfetti cake mix, even though it comes out of a box! :D

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