I think I may have cheered out loud (to myself) when the request for this cake came in. I had been wanting to make a pizza cake for a while, just for fun, and never found the time. Since I had not previously attempted a pizza in cake form, it took me a while to figure out the toppings and what would be best. I wanted the cake to look slightly realistic, but not too realistic, and also didn’t want it to look cutesy (i.e. my sugar cookie tacos). I didn’t find too many cake examples online, however, it turns there are plenty of people who have stuck candles in an actual pizza – slightly ruining the search returns for an actual pizza cake, but hey – people like their pizza! I ended up experimenting with a few different ingredients for the toppings, so I wanted to share my how-to for the decorating process of the cake for those of you who may be interested in making an actual pizza cake. Continue on for the tutorial and tips.
Before I started my cake, I gave Domino’s a call and ordered myself a pizza. I recommend doing the same if you plan on making one. I always prefer to have physical model when possible, it makes it much easier to recreate. And in this situation, my model also turned in to my lunch…total win, win! The cake needed to serve 12 people, so I made 2 x 11″ round cakes to accommodate the serving size. Once I had my 2 cakes layered atop each other, I scooped out the center of the top cake and applied a crumb layer of buttercream to the entire cake before putting it in the fridge to set. Once the frosting set (about 30 minutes), I started carving out my crust around the edge using a small serrated knife. [Note: Some may start carving the cake crust immediately, but I prefer to have the cake set in the fridge for about 30 minutes once the crumb layer has been applied – in my opinion, it makes it much easier to carve.]
Once the cake was carved, I frosted the entire cake a few times, evenly coating the entire cake, and adding a little extra buttercream around the crust to add height. Once frosted, I placed back in the fridge to set. To color the crust, you could just dye your buttercream, but I wanted a few different colors and tones, so I colored it by hand. Since I don’t own an airbursh, I mixed gel color with a little bit of vodka and blotted the color on the cake. Here, you could also use a paintbrush to paint on the color, but that’s all up to you and your decorating preference. The vodka doesn’t break down buttercream or fondant, but water does, so use caution.
Now for the fun part – the toppings! I’ve included a key of the ones above, as well as the sauce and pepperonis.
Pizza Cake Toppings:
- Pizza Sauce: Confectioner’s sugar mixed with water, dyed a deep red (w/ red and maroon gel color), then added lightly to the cake’s concave center with a spatula.
- Cheese (#1): Grated white chocolate and then sprinkled it atop the “sauce” immediately after it was applied to the pizza (before the icing sets!).
- Black Olives (#2): Black modeling chocolate (or fondant) rolled into a thin cylindrical piece, then sliced into 1/8″ thick pieces. The center holes were made by sticking the end of my paintbrush into the center of each piece.
- Onions (#3): You can’t really tell in the photo, but the onions looked super realistic (or at least nearly identical to the onions on my Domino’s pizza). For the onions I sliced green apple soft licorice candies into thin pieces. The licorice gets a rough texture once cut and really looks like an opaque onion.
- Mushrooms (#4): Modeling chocolate (or fondant), rolled out and cut into a mushroom shape, then lightly dusted with cocoa powder. I used a brown edible marker for the darker lines (which you could also paint on with color).
- Pepperoni: Dyed fondant with red and light brown, then rolled and punched out using a small circular cookie cutter. To give the pepperonis shape, I crumpled a small sheet of plastic wrap and set them (unevenly) on the plastic to dry. Once dry, I blotted on a mix of maroon and red, a little orange, and a touch of brown color. Lastly I added a couple dots of black with an edible marker and sprinkled on a few tiny specks of white chocolate.
And there you have it – a pizza cake! Thanks for taking a look. If you’re making one and have any questions (or suggestions for me!), feel free to leave a comment.