Back to School Schultüte Cake

This cake was for the daughter of a friend of mine. She's starting school this year and the first day of first grade is a big deal in Germany. New first graders get a cardstock cone decorated and filled with school supplies and treats called a Schultüte. My friend asked me if I wouldn't mind making a Schultüte cake for her daughter's first day of first grade. She wanted lemon cake with lemon buttercream and the color blue for the cone. Otherwise, just decorate it for back to school in general, but please include pencils somewhere. This is what I came up with.

First of all, I'd never made lemon cake before. On recommendation, I tried the recipe for Ritz Carlton Lemon Pound Cake and it's super light and fluffy. I can recommend it. To make it a bit more lemony, I added some extra citric acid which I found in packets at the grocery store. To make the lemon buttercream, I used my recipe for American buttercream and substituted lemon juice for the milk. And for good measure, I added a teaspoon of  citric acid to it as well.

The day before I made the cake, I made the pencils and let them dry overnight. I made them by rolling a log of colored fondant, cutting it into a pencil length, rolling flesh-colored fondant into a cone, cut the ends into straight edges, glued them on with edible glue, and added a small piece of the same colored fondant to the end to look like the point of the pencil. I didn't mind that they were different lengths. After all, all of my kids' pencils are different lengths. 

 Then the day I made the cake, I cut the six-inch square cakes in a straight line from one corner to the center of the opposite side. The first layer was the entire cake. The second one, I only used the larger piece to build up the cone. The other off cuts I used to build up the top.

 Then I cut the top of the cake into one line of the cone. I used my long bread knife for this cut, trying to keep it in one line.
 Then, using the bread knife for the long cuts and a steak knife for the smaller ones, I shaped and carved the cake into a cone shape with a rounded top.
 I had a lot of off cuts.
 I didn't actually have any blue fondant except 100g of bright blue. So, I decided to color 500g of white fondant with my 100g of blue. I had also gotten out my blue food coloring, but eventually decided not to use it. Just that small amount of blue made a lovely light blue.
 I crumb coated the cake.
 And then frosted it again with lemon buttercream, chilling it for about half an hour in between.
 Then I covered it in my light blue fondant. I cut it just a tiny bit short along the side because I forgot to take into account the fact that the cake is rounded along the bottom.
 When I think of school, I think of primary colors: red, yellow and blue. Blue was already on the cone, so I put the letters and numbers in yellow and red. I put A, B, C on one side and 1, 2, 3 on the other.
 I decided there needed to be a clear line where the cone ends and where the top of the cone begins. So, I used my clay extruder to extrude several thin lines of blue fondant. I braided them together, and used them to cover the top line of the cone.
 I also cut a circle of blue fondant, used a tapered tool to create ruffles and stuck it on the top to look like the top had been gathered together into one piece and tied. Finally, I placed the pencils around the cake board.

 I think it turned out really lovely. It looks very much like a Schultüte and is a great way to celebrate starting school.

To see the entire process on video, click here:
Um das ganze Prozess auf Video zu schauen, klickt hier:


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