Saturday, June 12, 2010

Dental School Grad Cake (and Pink Lemonade Cake Recipe)

Very unique and very fun to do! A friend’s husband graduated Dental School and asked if I could help make the cake. A few months ago, I had helped her 2 friend’s make her a Safari Baby Shower Cake and at the same time showed them how to do it all; baking, making the marshmallow fondant (MMF), Ganache and decorations to torting, filling, covering it…all of it! Now, she wanted to have the same opportunity to learn too. What better way than with a carved cake and of course, for her husband! There wasn’t much we could do ahead of time aside from making the MMF. On my Facebook Page, I have the MMF recipe with tips and hints on how to work with it. We used Strawberry Jello Mix to color and flavor the MMF. It gave it a light pink base and we added about ¼ teaspoon of red gel color to it. It tasted more like bubblegum and smelled super delicious.

The cake was Pink Lemonade (see recipe below), filled with chocolate mousse, and covered with semi-sweet chocolate Ganache.
Two 9x13 cakes were baked. The cakes were stacked together 1st with a piece of parchment paper in between each layer then, carved. They were then taken apart and filled with chocolate mousse. The pieces cut off the corners were used to build the roof of the pallet and the ridge along the top then, the whole cake was covered in Ganache.

We covered the cake with the MMF and then cut out each tooth, smoothed it into shape, then attached it to the cake. The teeth were a little heavy and kept sliding down but we just keep shoving them back into place until it set. I must have printed out about 4-5 different pictures of teeth to get it right.
We also covered the 16”x16” cake board with a grayish-purple MMF (a mixture of what I had left over from other cakes) then sprayed the whole board with a can of the Duff Cake Graffiti in Metallic Silver: 1 can was barely enough to cover the board with…the instructions said that it would lightly cover six 8” round cakes – yeah! The spray worked perfectly, so much better than trying to brush it manually. An airbrush would have worked perfectly too but I didn’t have one…quite yet (but it's on my wish list).
She made the tools at home and then we painted them with silver luster dust. I heard the cake was a hit and she’s going to try to make a cake on her own. I love this…teaching others what others have taught me!

Pink Lemonade Cake – adapted from MacsMom’s “Lemon Cake”
2 white cake mix boxes
2 c cake flour
2 c - minus 2tbls - sugar
1 ½ t salt
1 t baking soda
1 1/3 cup frozen pink lemonade concentrate
1 1/3 cup water
2 c sour cream
6 whole eggs
¼ c oil
½ t vanilla extract
½ t lemon extract


  1. Your cake looks amazing. You're truly an artist! I am thinking about taking on this project, but want to know how much time does it involve, including prep, baking and decorating? Can you recommend what sites to find real life size teeth that you used on your cake? And how did you get them to adhere and stick without sliding off? Any suggestions? Also, would this cake survive in a long 5 hr drive?

  2. Thank you! We spent 9 hours on this cake not counting the baking part which would add another 2-3 hours. Day 1 we made the MMF and Ganache. Day 2 was baking (you could combine day 1 with day 2). Day 3 was carving, stacking, filling, covering it over in ganache, covered up the cake board with MMF and making the tools. Day 4 we covered the cake in MMF, made the teeth, sprayed the cake board and painted the tools silver. Use a little bit of piping gel to help the teeth stick and you may need to hold the teeth in place for it to set. They were heavy and kept sliding down and we would just move then back into place. Once the piping gel dried, they stayed put. I would assemble the cake the night before the drive to give it plenty of time for the decorations to dry and set. Not sure on how it would survive the 5 hour drive. Ganache makes it pretty sturdy, be sure to have the AC on and keep the cake in a box and out of direct heat or sunlight. I did have an IMBC cake in the car for a couple hours and I just chilled it overnight and put it into a box with a small 5" square opening on the side (so I can see through it to be sure it was ok and to give it some ventilation). The cold cake kept the inside of the box well chilled and the cake did pretty well but it will depend on the heat and what the condensation will do to the fondant you use. Good luck!

  3. Can you recommend the website/program and any helpful techniques you used in creating your life-sized teeth cutouts. How many teeth are on top and bottom total? You've done such a great job in making them look so real and any suggestions on scaling it so they fit on the cake base would be such a great help. Thanks so much!!

  4. If you search the online images there are a ton of teeth/dentures you can use for reference as well as models showing the shape and quantity of teeth. We sketched out the teeth on paper and used them for a guide to cut them out proportioned to the cake and shaped them with our hands. Our cake wasn't that deep and we're short 2 teeth on each side but it still looks great. To get the fondant to look smooth, polish the teeth with you fingers and a little bit of shortening.

  5. Thank you so much for this, it is great!!! I have a couple questions for you if you don't mind.
    How many batches of MMF did it take you to cover the cake in the pink 1???
    and in the middle on top of the cake it looks like you got a nice round finish after fondant was put on, but in the before pic showing the carved cake the top looks flat did you build it up with anything before putting the fondant on??

    Thank you

  6. Hi Holly - I used 1 batch of MMF (1 lb marshmallows) to make the pink tier. I forgot to take the photo with the roof of the pallet done. I used the cake scraps trimmed off from the sides of the cake to build the top pallet then covered it all in chocolate ganache.

  7. Thank you for the answers, I am going to try to attempt this today/tomorrow. I made the mmf already, my second time making it, the first time I swore that would be the last but decided to try it again, as it is sooo much cheaper then buying fondant and tastes better. seems to have turned out, I will see when it is time to unroll!!! I hope I will have enough cake scraps to build up the top. This is my first "sell" cake as I usaully only just bake for frinds and family. Thank you again, for the pictures it really helps when you can see a refrence. :)

  8. Hi, I have just found this recipe and would love to have a go at it. Only thing is that I live in the uk and so am not sure of products and quantities etc. Any help would be much appreciated

    1. sorry, but I don't even know where to start in helping you with the products and conversion since I'm not familiar with UK products. I also haven't baked box mixes in over 2 years too. Here is a link with numerous doctored cake mix recipes and they all have the same amount of product in them just different flavorings and liquids - maybe you can find one that will look familiar and experiment from there?

  9. When you stated the cake was covered in Ganache- What texture was that in? Firm like buttercreme icing or runnier? And how did you get the MMF so red/pinkish?.

    1. Ganache can be in a peanut butter consistency or softer for spreading on a cake. The MMF is made with Jello - recipe can be found under the MMF Recipes tab across the top of the page.