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Make-a-Cake Series: Music Cake

Brittany, Brittany……always coming up with such clever cakes.  
I love what she made here for her little niece.
Thanks Brittany!

My oldest niece turned 15 a few weeks ago.
My favorite time to decorate is for the people I love. 
I especially love to make birthday cakes for my nieces and nephews.
I chatted with her mom (my sister-in-law) a while ago and she told me a music theme would be great. 
My niece plays the piano and loves music. Sounds right for turning 15, right?
So, here is the cake I made for her.

A music cake.

**And the letters of the name are even and flush with that black base……not at all raised.  Directions on how to do so are down below.**

Do you want one of your own?
It might not fit exactly what you need…..but the methods I used can be used for any cake theme you make.

If you need help with stacking your cake, check this post.
Or if you missed how to cover your cake, check this post.

Cake Board

The first thing I did was to cover the cake board with fondant. Then I cut out her name and placed it down flat on the edge of the board with another color.
Make sure you use a board big enough to allow room for the letter. My board with 5 inches bigger than the cake. 
Ex: My cake was 10 inches and the board was 15 inches. 

You are going to need two cake boards tapped together, fondant that matches the color scheme of your cake, and some buttercream. 

Spread some buttercream on the cake board. 

(The buttercream is to get the fondant to stick. You can use piping gel or Crisco too.)

Roll out the fondant that will cover your board. Lay if over the board, fold it over the edges just a bit and cut off the extras. 
Usually I add ribbon around the edge of the board but this cake didn’t really need it. if you want to add ribbon for extra detail, attach it with a little bit of water.

After your cake board is covered with fondant, move on to covering your bottom layer of cake with pink fondant.  Normally (like shown here), I cover my cake with the fondant and smooth it to the cake and then cut the extra fondant off the bottom……….all while it’s right on the board. 

When I have a fondant covered cake board, I cover my bottom layer not on the cake board but just on a piece of foil. Then after the cake is covered I put some buttercream on the board, and lift the cake off the foil and onto the center of the board. Just makes it easier.
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Next, cut the name you need right out of the fondant on the cake board.  Make sure the name is centered and at the front of your cake…….and then peel each letter out carefully.
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Roll out some white fondant about the same thickness of the fondant on your cake board.
Then, cut the name out again in the white fondant and then fill in the spaces on the cake board. 
All flush and smooth with the board.
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I have shown how to put stars on sticks back in this post.  These are very similar.
But I wanted my numbers to have 2 colors.

I colored gumpaste the same pink and black as the fondant on the cake. Then I cut the number ’15’ out in pink and set it aside to dry.

Then I cut out ’15’ in black. But then I used my rolling pin and I flattened the numbers out a little thinner, to make the black numbers bigger than the pink ones.
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Next, I placed the pink on the black by attaching them with water.
Then I set the numbers aside to dry over night.
The next day, I attached sucker sticks on the back of the numbers with melted chocolate and let the chocolate harden.

Piano Keys
Cut out strips in a rectangle shape, all the same size. 
I had my keys go 3/4 of the way up the cake and used a bit of water to get the keys to stick.
I used a strip cutter to make the work go a little faster. You could easily use a ruler and pizza cutter too. 
Make keys all the way around the cake. Start working in the front and go to the back from both sides. Have the seam meet in the back.
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After the white keys, move onto the black ones. 
I cut them 1/2 the size of the white ones and placed them in between the keys. The pattern is two black keys, space, three black keys, space, two black keys, space,…..etc.

I covered the smaller cakes with white fondant and placed it on top of my pink cake.
(These cakes are a 10 inch and 7 inch.)
I colored some buttercream black and put it in a piping bag, with a #3 tip. 
I practiced piping notes on a plate until I was comfortable with making music notes.
Then I piped some right on the cake. 
If you make a mistake (I did…a few times) just wipe the buttercream off carefully with a damp paper towel, let the fondant dry, and pipe again.
I added pink dots for extra detail and to tie the 2 colors together.
Then, I inserted the numbers with the sucker sticks right into the middle of the top layer. 
If you have extra cornstarch on the cake, now is the time to clean it up with a damp paper towel or a paintbrush and water.
Now, off to the party.

Here I am with my niece.  Isn’t she the cutest?!

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Each cake is so personal and unique.  No two are the same.

Maybe you want to add a covered cake board to your next cake………or maybe even piped music notes.
I hope these ideas will help with a creation of your own.

Happy Decorating!

Ashley Johnston
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Ashley Johnston

Owner at Make It & Love It
Ashley Johnston is a professional DIY costume maker, sewist, crafter, and owner of Make It & Love It. She is a mom of 5 and a wife to a very patient (with my craft clutter) husband. In case you’re wondering, she always chooses crafting/sewing/designing over mopping/dusting/wiping base boards……but bathrooms/laundry/full bellies are always attended to. Whew!
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  1. Christina J says:

    wow, so beautiful, and I love how you walked us through some key steps. I would love to watch you for your next 10 cakes! I could learn so much :o)
    So you use corn starch to keep fondant from sticking on counters etc? I haven’t had good luck with flour or powdered sugar or even butter/Crisco. I am off to read some more of your blog posts for more details about that. Maybe my problem is I make MM Fondant, and I might need to get it a little more dry.. not sure.
    THANKS for posting and sharing! Cake is lovely! Yes, your niece is a cutie! I suppose she’s 18 or 19 now since this was in 2010!! LOL

  2. Carol M says:

    Beautiful cake! Thank you for the idea. I am going to make this for my daughter’s 16th and add drama masks to the top layer! She is going to love it! Thanks for all the tips!

  3. Norma J Conley says:

    This is a great looking cake! What size is the bottom layer? Have you ever covered one in butter cream and then topped with the piano keys?

  4. Norma J Conley says:

    Thank you so much for this piano keys cake idea! You did a wonderful job.

  5. Anonymous says:

    thats really pretty, i knew you had a talent for sewing! (i mean who doesnt!!) but not for cake making! :) i want to ask how you get your amazing ideas!

  6. Sarah says:

    You make it look so easy!!!! Makes me wanna try now! :)

  7. aj says:

    never could have thought that up by myself! great job! ;)

  8. Brittany says:

    Julie- My heart just broke when I read you had a hard time. I have been there and I know that frustration. It stinks!
    I make Wilton buttercream and at the end add coco powder. I add about a 1/2 cup ish. I just add a little and taste then repeat until I like it. If it gets stiff I add more milk. I hope that helps.
    That music cake took about 10 hours. Including the baking, making fondant, everything.
    I hope you have better success. Good luck.

  9. Julie says:

    I just love each and every cake you do… How long does it take you from start to finish to do one like this and also, what is the recipe you use for your chocolate butter cream. I tried the Wilton one last time and let me just say I about gave up on the cake all together. I have never had such a hard time… maybe it was the weather, but something was just not flowing… Thanks – Julie

  10. Aubrielle says:

    YOu are ridiculously talented lady! Keep it coming! :)

  11. вεдτε says:

    Your cakes is really wonderful! Love your blog, keep up the good work!

  12. Evie says:

    Beautiful ideas! I love the name on the board in fondant! So simple yet so sophisticated. I'll have to give that a try soon. Blessings!

  13. Karena says:

    Brittany I am so amazed. What a beautiful and special cake!! You are extremely talented!

    Do come and enter my $200 Giveaway from Fifi Flowers!

    Art by Karena

  14. Ashley says:

    I am so curious, what kind of fondant do you use? I have used wilton and I don't think it's that easy to work with, so I'm looking for other options.

  15. Brittany says:

    gilchrist- I buy my cake boards at Micheal's. You can also get them at walmart, joann fabrics, or online. I hope that helps!

  16. gilchrist says:

    So cute!! I love Make a Cake Series!!! I have tried some things and have enjoyed the outcome. Just one question. Where do you get cake boards?

  17. bethanndodd says:

    Adorable! Oh, and the cake looks great too ;o)

  18. Dave & Nysha Murray says:

    I get so excited when i see make a cake series! you are extremely talented! this is by far my favourite blog. thanks for always sharing such creative ideas with us.

  19. Marina says:

    I love it, i love fondant! And what a great explanation, thanks.

  20. Ashleigh says:

    This is adorable. My daughter is a huge music/piano fan, this would be perfect for her. Thanks for all of the tips. I'll be referring back to this on her birthday!

  21. Jody and Amy says:

    Such a cute cake! You are so talented with that fondant!

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Hi, I’m Ashley—the DIY-enthusiast behind this crazy blog!

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