Friday, July 27, 2012

Scrabble Cake: Fondant overload

My office celebrated our company's seven year anniversary this week.  Sushi luncheon, lottery cards, and a webcam session with all of our virtual folks across the country made for a rather enjoyable hour.  Last year for the anniversary party I made a simple cake adorned with our company logo. This year, I had to step it up and I put together a Scrabble cake filled with the acronyms we in the government consulting world use on a daily basis. 

To start, I made a simple 13 x 9 red velvet cake. Let it cool and then plopped it on my carrying tray. 

Next, I pounded out some vanilla fondant and rolled it out onto my new fondant rolling sheet. I skipped the $20 fondant roller at the craft store and used a regular ol' rolling pin.  I don't know if there's a better way for transferring the rolled fondant to the cake, but the hubs and I left it on the rolling sheet and flipped the sheet over the cake.  Then I just peeled off the rolling sheet. 

Then, I just used a simple paring knife to trim the fondant around the cake.  I did the big cuts first, formed the fondant, and just kept trimming as I went.  I smoothed out the fondant once I was done trimming.  Tiny knicks can be fixed with just a drop of water. 

While the fondant on the cake was hardening up I prepped for making my Scrabble tiles.  There are 100 tiles on a standard English Scrabble board.  Since the board is traditionally square and I had a rectangle cake I was going to make a 8 x 8 board on my cake.  Since a Scrabble board has 15 tiles on each side I figured I would save myself the math headache and just make my tiles half in squares.  A 6 by 6 inch square of rolled fondant yielded 144 tiles, which was more than I needed, but I actually planned on my last row being all messed up from dragging my paring knife.  Then, I figured I'd have a few leftover tiles to spare incase I messed up writing a few letters or made any other errors. 

My rolling sheet was labeled with 1 inch squares so I cut my vertical lines first on the 1 inch lines and then just eyeballed cutting them in half.  Did that on the horizontal lines and I was good to go.  I think the hubs was actually impressed with my math skills and dedication at this point.  

I drew on paper a Scrabble board and where I wanted my letters.  I used my paper template as a guide to place the board on the cake.  To finish I used a small tube of chocolate frosting to draw on the board lines.  I pierced the frosting tube with a sterilized safety pin that way I had a super small hole to control the flow of frosting!  I used the same frosting tube to write on my letters.

Unfortunately, I used my company's name in a prominent location on the Scrabble board.  I didn't think about that until writing this post and I thought, "crap, do I really want to broadcast where I work?" So that's all you get to see up there! 

  1. The bigger the cake the better!  The bigger the cake, the bigger your tiles and half inch tiles were way too small to write both the letter and the point value. Not having the point values on the tiles really bugged me.  A standard Scrabble board is 15 by 15 inches and I think a 12 x 12 cake would have been a great size for the cake.
  2. Details matter people! I actually made all 100 Scrabble tiles and left the remaining pieces on the cake tray.  Some of my co-workers were like, "oh, you could have made this word here." My response, "really, where are you getting the 'H' for that? There are only 2 'Hs' on a Scrabble board."  Having that type of detailed cake really mattered. The hardcore Scrabble folks were impressed for those level of details.  I even included the two blank pieces and people loved that. 
  3. Everything takes more time than you think it will.  I didn't finish my cake until 11:30pm! I completely underestimated how long it would take to write out all of the letters.  Perhaps it's my fault, but I played a ton of words on my board and that might have been a huge part of the problem. However, back to point #2.  There are four separate center divisions at my office and I wanted to make sure that all four of them were represented on the board.  I am not kidding you, but I was on the CDC website while making this cake trying to find an acronym that worked for my board. 
  4. Your hand will hurt after squeezing a frosting tube for that long. Swear to goodness my hand was sore the next day and I could barely grip a pen.  The trials and tribulations of baking are sorely unappreciated. 
  5. Don't stress out and just eat some cake! 


  1. looks awesome! fondant can really make a cake look so much more professional! love red velvet and have a great friday :)

    1. This was my first time working with fondant and I was pleased with the results. It came out so much smoother than buttercream icing, although next time I might put some type of crumb frosting layer underneath the fondant to add in some yummy flavor.