Back to School: Madhatter Cake

July 22, 2007 at 5:15 pm | Posted in around sydney, cakes & tortes, classes, sweet things | 33 Comments

Madhatter cake

I’ve just finished a two-day decorating course on a wacky cake design called a “madhatter cake.”  I took the course at Planet Cake in Balmain, where they make all sorts of gorgeous couture cakes.

Madhatter cake

I’m by no means an expert cake decorator, so there were plenty of things I found tricky about this design.  It required a lot of precise trimming to get the angles on the finished cake just right.  Also, while I have covered plenty of cakes with rolled fondant, the moment before I drape the fondant over the cake, I always have a mini heart attack!  I find it so hard to make it perfect, and it’s even more so when the shape is all “wonky” like this.  All in all, I’m quite happy with the way this came out though, and I’m especially fond of the poofy bow on top (even though I did slightly ding up one side of it in the car on the way home–crap!).  The cake inside is a very dense mud cake that R and I will be eating for the next five years.

Madhatter cake


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  1. umm..after this I think you can consider yourself an expert cake decorator. Nice job!

  2. Holy Moly!! We never learned such cool things in cake decorating class. That is just amazing!!

  3. This is a work of art!

  4. Very impressive!!

  5. It looks great!

  6. Wow!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This is amazing!! Look out Colette Peters….There’s a cake decorator to be reckoned with! 🙂

  7. Thanks everyone! Although I don’t think Colette will be shaking in her shoes just yet…

  8. That is a stunning cake, definitely a show stopper! I’ve watched other people make these cakes but I’m pretty sure mine would topple or I’d slice something at the wrong angle.

  9. Pretty! You are an expert!

  10. Hi, loved your photos (took the class myself a while ago) and have just interviewed the PlanetCake owner…have a read and listen if you like at

  11. Absolutely brilliant!

  12. Oh wow!

  13. Beautiful cake! I will be attemping to make a Mad hatter cake this week for a tea party I am throwing for my daughter 7-8 grade class. I have called a friend who ons a local bakery & she will be making the cakes for me. I am mfearful I will not have enough layers to get the right angle for the 3 tier cake I would like to make. If I opt to make a two tier how many layers would you recommend for each tier. Please remember I have never attempted anything like this but have a good eye, just need a little advice, please. many thanks! Linda

  14. Linda–I sent you an e-mail…hope you got it!

  15. Hi,
    what a gorgeous cake!! could you please please explain how you did the stripes?

  16. kate–thanks! the tiers were first covered in a base of plain white fondant. the i rolled out the different colors and cut them into strips, using a little water to glue them to the cake. some of the strips needed to be tapered so they would all fit together.

  17. wow! I too am interested in giving the stripes ago (but on a level cakes first as I’m not the wonky part is likely to be beyond my skills). The stripes do look difficult, was it time consuming? I hope you don’t mind if I ask a few questions about do the stripes and get it looking right:

    Do you cut the same colour strip all one width first before you put it on the cake and then once it’s on the cake, taper it with a knife or scissors? Can you tapper it at any angle or is there a bit or measuring with a protractor involved?

    did you use one blue colour paste but in different quantities to achieve a different shade in the sugarpaste (rolled fondant)? is the colour wilton blue colour paste?

    is the bottom layer of the cake sitting on a thin cake board, then covered (including the thin cake board) before it goes onto the actual presentation cake board?

    So wish I can be in your part of the world to attend the course you did. thanks for sharing your photo, it’s such a stunning cake! I can’t wait to give it a try.


  18. Janet-I will send you an e-mail.

  19. That is one awesome cake! I have been searching on how to make the uneven/not level style tier and I can’t seem to figure it out. Any suggestions? Thanks!

  20. Anthony-Thanks! I don’t have this book myself so I’m not 100%, but I’ve heard that a book called “The Whimsical Bakehouse” has instructions for this type of cake (they apparently “invented” the style. You may want to see if your local bookstore has it and take a peek. Some tips I have…use a really dense cake, not something that will fall apart when trimming. Cut the top of each tier at an angle down about 1″, then taper sides in about 1″. There’s just a lot of trimming and taking a step back to see if looks balanced. E-mail me if you have more questions…I can try to help!

  21. your cake is gorgous!. you are so lucky to get to take a planet cake course

  22. I will be attempting my first madhatter cake for my fiance’s birthday this weekend. Any advice?? How do you get the top tier to stay put? I would assume with a thick buttercream dollop between layers?

  23. Nicole– I get lots of questions about this cake, actually. One piece of advice is to use a dense cake, as there is lots of trimming involved to create the angles. A fluffy cake would be a crumbly mess. We used wooden dowels during assembly to hold the cake together…also a dollop of royal icing between the tiers, which dries hard, and acts like glue. Good luck with your cake!

  24. My Mother is making my wedding cake in thsi stle and is stressing about transporting it to the venue, we are making it ina fruit cake and think that as the 2nd & 3rd tiers will be heavy, they will fall off in transit. A book I bought for her suggests sticking them together with royal icing, but we are thinking about how we can dowel them together to stop them all falling off. Also, I really want the middle layer stripey and I see that you emailed someone about how you went about doing this….. we need HELP!!!!!!

  25. That is a fantastic cake ! I am trying to make a small version without prior experience in this style dare I say. Was wondering if you can explain the method of the stripes as I have attempted it & realised it was just not working ! Love your advice. Thanks.

  26. I would like to make my daughter’s wedding cake but need to practice first!!!! I would be most grateful to receive info re: making stripes. Thanks for sharing your expertise with beginners like me!

  27. can you please email me any tips for this cake i have been scouring the net for months for the right info, i want to make one for my daughter birthday??? thanks, margi

    • margi– hopefully you got the e-mail i sent you…

  28. What are the proportions for this cake? I’d like to do this for a birthday party coming up

    • I believe that the bottom tier was a 10″carved down to a 7″ and the top tier was a 7″ carved down to a 4″

  29. Can I ask how much did it cost for supply to make the blue fondant cakes? The cake is very nice. I haven’t done much fondant, do you put filling in when you cut your angles?

    • i don’t know about cost actually. i made this cake in a class, and all supplies were included with price of class. yes, there was a filling…it was a very firm dark chocolate ganache that didn’t ooze at all.

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