This is my favourite time of the year! From Halloween, comes Bonfire Night, leading up to Christmas! The best are months in my opinion. This Bonfire Cake is simple to make and fantastic to look at, making it the perfect show stopper to make for your parties this season! Click here for the tutorial on the matching cupcakes.
I have used my chocolate madeira cake recipe but feel free to use any flavour you like! I would recommend using a strong and stable cake that is suitable for carving and stacking, which is what a madeira is perfect for.
The models and decorations (Guy, hedgehogs and leaves) can be made ahead of time. Use modelling paste for stability and keep in a cake box or another container that the air can get to (not in a sealed box, otherwise they may melt). For more on types of icing, check out my blog post here.
Once baked and decorated, this cake will last 4-5 days. Make sure to properly crumb coat so no air can get into the cake and make it dry. You can read more about my cake timelines here.
- Wilton Wonder Mould Tin/7″ round tin
- 8″ round thin cake card
- 11″ round drum
- 1kg orange sugar paste (For the board)
- Brown, yellow, peach, orange, black and white modelling paste
- Edible glue
- Small palette knife
- Small piping nozzle
- Large rolling pin
- Icing spacers
- Royal icing
- Small circle cutters
- Brown and white dust colours
- Rejuvenator spirit
- Paint palette
- Leaf cutters & veiners
- 4 packs of Matchmakers
- Chocolate buttercream
- 1 meter 15mm brown ribbon
- Double sided tape
- Small rolling pin
For the board
Paint your board with water.
Knead your orange sugarpaste until it’s a workable consistency. If the icing is sticky or your hands are very warm, sprinkle lightly with cornflour. Lightly dust your smooth work surface also to prevent it sticking.
Roll out your sugar paste to a 1/4 of an inch thickness. If it helps, you can use icing spacers which are perfect for this.
To keep the sugar paste from sticking, lift and move it around as you roll. Add more cornflour if needed.
Gently lift icing over rolling pin to move and lower it onto your damp board and push down to secure. Cut around your board with a sharp knife to remove the excess icing. Apply double sided tape to the outside rim of the board and stick on your 15mm brown ribbon.
For the cake
Bake your favourite chocolate madeira (you can find my recipe here) in either a Wilton Wonder Mould Tin or two 7″ round cakes, stacked and carved into a pyramid shape. Cut a small ledge into the front of your cake for your ‘Guy’ to sit.
Split and fill your cake with your desired buttercream or ganache and secure your cake to the thin board using buttercream.
Lightly coat your cake with buttercream or ganache.
Fix this to your cake drum with a little royal icing.
Starting at the back, apply your Matchmakers to your coated cake in the style of a bonfire. Continue all the way around and add a second layer on top. Then fill in any gaps you may have with smaller cut pieces of Matchmakers.
For the leaves
Roll out your yellow, brown and orange modelling paste and cut out lots of different sized leaves. Shape these if desired by twisting them around a cocktail stick and leave to dry on foam. When these are dry, stick onto your cake using a little edible glue.
For the hedgehogs
Roll balls of brown modelling paste and shape and pinch the front into a cone. Using small scissors, snip into the back of the hedgehog to create the spikes. Roll two small white balls of modelling paste for the background of the eyes. Roll three small balls of black modelling paste and glue into place for the middle of the eyes and nose.
For the Guy
Roll a thick sausage of brown modelling paste and cut up the middle 3/4 of the way. Round off the bottoms of the two halves. These will be the legs. Bend the legs onto a thick piece of foam so it is ‘sitting down.’ Leave this to dry.
Roll a ball of yellow modelling paste and shape into a thick teardrop. This will become the torso. Mark a line down the middle with a small palette knife and indent ‘buttons’ using a small piping nozzle. Leave this to dry.
Roll out a square of brown modelling paste, not too thin and shape this around the torso shape to make the back and collar of the coat. Apply with a little edible glue.
Roll two sausages of brown modelling paste and affix to the outside of the coat to create the arms. Then wrap a small strip of brown modelling paste around the bottom of the arms to create cuffs. Apply with a little edible glue.
Roll two balls of black modelling paste and flatten them to become shoes and stick these to the bottom of the legs. Then wrap a small strip of black modelling paste around the bottom of the legs/top of the shoes to create boots. Apply with a little edible glue.
Roll two smaller balls of black modelling paste and again, flatten slightly. Cut into the side to create a ‘thumb’ and shape the rest of the ball to become a ‘glove’. Repeat with the second ball and apply with a little edible glue.
Roll a ball of peach modelling paste for the head and leave to dry. Once dried, apply a smaller ball of peach modelling paste to the front of the face to become the nose. Roll a small sausage of brown modelling paste and apply under the nose to create the moustache, make some hair lines in the moustache with your small palette knife.
Paint on the eyes and eyebrows using dust colours mixed with a little rejuvenator spirit. Roll out two strips of brown modelling paste and affix to the sides of the head to create hair. And finally roll out a large circle of brown modelling paste and a thick smaller circle of brown modelling paste and affix to the top of the head to create the hat.
Roll out a long strip of yellow modelling paste and lay strips of brown modelling paste horizontally across. Roll over it all again to create the striped scarf effect. Cut to size to fit your guy and apply with a little edible glue.
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