My Cake Decorating Gallery

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

How To Make a Harley Themed Birthday Cake

Do you have any Harley-lovers in your family and you'd love to make them a Harley-themed celebration cake? Well I do too and I've taken some pictures of the Harley cake I created for my father-in-law's 70th surprise birthday party last summer, so hopefully this helps you also.

Despite several challenges - a broken oven, and The Husband being gone for 9 days on a fishing trip waaay up north, a 7 month old under foot, and a full time job - I was able to pull off a decent looking and decent-tasting cake, plus 30lbs of smoked pulled pork for dozens of people.

I only have one picture that I took prior to the cake being finished - but you can see that I practiced the design on a piece of cardboard and used that as a stencil to carve out the top layer of cake. Now the cake was shorter than I had planned due to my oven having been broken (and not having knowing it before putting the cakes in there while it said 350 degrees but was more like 225!), but it still tasted OK - just sorta shorter than I had planned.

It was super duper hot out in mid-July so I had planned on using a special temperature-resistant buttercream but I didn't like the way it tasted and ended up using my normal Wilton's decorating buttercream instead. I used half high-ratio shortening and half butter and it held up fine in the weather. Instead of using black, which is unappetizing, I used a chocolate ganache as the final topcoat to the top layer of the cake. The bottom layer was just left as white buttercream.

To create the chocolate plaque that was placed on top of the cake, I just stenciled out on some parchment paper the size of the Harley logo and then filled it in with melted chocolate chips. It hardened up nicely and I was able to trim the edges with a knife to give it a sharp look. I used tinted buttercream in orange and also white to pipe on the details on top of the plaque. Also the final cake got a border of flames as best as I could make them with buttercream - I researched a ton about how to make different kinds of flames but decided against the fondant borders that are pretty common. I used yellow, orange and red buttercream for the flames.

It was a great party, a lot of work was put into it and it was a fun surprise. I'm glad to have been a part of the festivities!

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