Mailbox Cake Recipe

Embarking on the journey of creating a photo-realistic mailbox cake is an adventure in both baking and artistry. This guide will lead you through the process, from baking a moist and fluffy base to sculpting fondant with precision. By following these detailed steps, you will transform simple ingredients into an astonishingly lifelike mailbox cake, sure to impress and delight.

Cake Base:

  1. 2 cups all-purpose flour
  2. 1.5 cups granulated sugar
  3. 3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
  4. 4 large eggs
  5. 1 cup whole milk
  6. 2 tsp vanilla extract
  7. 1 tbsp baking powder
  8. 1/2 tsp salt

Fondant and Decoration:

  1. 2 lbs white fondant
  2. 1/2 lb black fondant
  3. 1/4 lb red fondant
  4. Edible silver dust
  5. Edible gold dust
  6. Edible glue

Buttercream Frosting:

  1. 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  2. 4 cups powdered sugar
  3. 2 tsp vanilla extract
  4. 3-4 tbsp heavy cream

Internal Support:

  1. 4 wooden dowels, 6 inches long
  2. 1 cake board, 12 inches in diameter

Additional:

  1. Red and black gel food coloring
  2. Small paintbrush (food-safe)
  3. Piping bag with a small round tip

Step 1: Baking the Cake

  1. Preheat Oven: Begin by preheating your oven to 350°F (175°C).
  2. Mix Dry Ingredients: In a bowl, sift together 2 cups of all-purpose flour, 1 tbsp of baking powder, and 1/2 tsp of salt.
  3. Cream Butter and Sugar: In a separate bowl, cream 3/4 cup of unsalted butter with 1.5 cups of granulated sugar until light and fluffy.
  4. Add Eggs and Vanilla: Beat in 4 large eggs, one at a time, and then stir in 2 tsp of vanilla extract.
  5. Combine Mixtures: Gradually mix in the dry ingredients, alternating with 1 cup of milk.
  6. Bake: Pour the batter into a greased and floured pan. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  7. Cool: Let the cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Step 2: Assembling the Structure

  1. Cut to Shape: Once cooled, cut the cake into a rectangular shape resembling a mailbox.
  2. Add Support: Insert wooden dowels for internal support.
  3. Apply Crumb Coat: Cover the cake with a thin layer of buttercream frosting to trap crumbs.

Step 3: Decorating with Fondant

  1. Color Fondant: Tint white fondant using red and black gel food coloring to match the colors of a mailbox.
  2. Cover Cake: Roll out the black fondant and cover the cake, smoothing out any wrinkles or air bubbles.
  3. Add Details: Use the red fondant to create the flag and other decorative elements.
  4. Paint Details: Using a small food-safe paintbrush, apply edible silver and gold dust to mimic metal parts.

Step 4: Final Touches

  1. Assemble: Carefully place the decorated cake on the cake board.
  2. Add Textures: Use various fondant tools or a toothpick to add texture and details to mimic the realistic look of a mailbox.
  3. Inspect: Ensure all elements are proportionate and realistic.

Enjoy the process and have fun with it! This cake is not just a dessert, but a piece of art that showcases your creativity and skill.