August 15, 2014

DIY Eiffel Tower Cake Topper

A couple months ago, I took a quick 12 hour trip to Paris with one of my neighbors, her daughter, and my pal Becky. I absolutely loved Paris! In fact, I went back with The Fam just a few weeks ago for a longer, 5 day trip (you can check out the first installment of my Keep Calm and Go To Paris series if you want!).

Our 12 hour whirlwind was an early birthday present for my friend's daughter, Jaden. She wanted to see Paris, and especially the Eiffel Tower, more than anything.

Hanging in Paris 

Now that her actual birthday date has rolled around, her mom wanted to commemorate that trip with the cake.

Before we get started, let me tell you that I am definitely not a pro at cake decorating. My only experiences are the cakes I make the Hubs every year for his birthday. But that's why this post is so great for the average person like me. Seriously peeps… if I can do this, you totally can too! It's super basic.

Eiffel Tower cake

See, it doesn't look too complicated, does it?

The cake is a standard box mix. And the icing is the kind you buy in a can at the grocery store. The only technique here is a bit of flair with the icing and creating a chocolate Eiffel Tower on top. Lemme show you how to make the tower...

I began by looking for images that I could trace in chocolate. I found this one that worked well, but I had to print it in several sizes until I found the one that would work on top of this cake. If you were doing a sheet cake, you could easily choose a larger size to work with. Download the PDF file here if you want to try it yourself.

Eiffel Tower template

Once you print out the appropriate size, lay a piece of wax paper over your image. Then (this is important, peeps!), tape the paper down to your countertop to prevent it moving while you trace.

You'll notice that the wax paper allows you to still see the image well. You can use this technique with any image you want on a cake, not just the Eiffel Tower here.

Fill a piping bag with some melted and slightly cooled chocolate. Couple tips:

1. If you don't have a piping bag, use a ziploc bag with a small piece snipped off the corner.
2. The chocolate will be quite warm, so wear some kitchen gloves.
3. If you don't have kitchen gloves, you can do what I did… use your winter mittens!
4. Practice piping on a spare piece of wax paper before tackling your design. It's not hard to do, but this will give you a feel for how fast the chocolate will come out, etc.
5. Your chocolate doesn't have to be fancy. I used plain old chocolate chips that I melted over low heat.

Then, trace your design with your chocolate "ink".

Easy, yes?

Then, let your chocolate cool. I use the fridge for mine, it speeds things up a bit. Very carefully remove the design after it has hardened, and place it on the cake. The bottom side of the chocolate will be quite smooth, without the lumpiness you see above. Place that side up on your cake for a nicer look.

I was making a small tower, so it was easier to remove in one piece. If you're making a larger cake, I suggest making your tower in sections. Print several images and trace only a section of each. When putting it on the cake, put the pieces together like a jigsaw puzzle.

See! You can totally do this.

I added some detail with a set of piping tips and colored icing, and then I sprinkled some pink sugar pearls on top. Easy peasy, my friends.

Do you have any tips for DIY birthday cakes? Share below in the comments!

Until next time my friends, happy baking!

Thanks for reading, everyone!
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