Piano Graduation Cake

Baking Date: May 29, 2014

I was asked to make an 8th grade graduation cake for a local family. The oldest son plays on the same All Star baseball team as my son Alex. He’s earned two home run cakes and one grand slam cake already.

His sister Sarah Grace specifically asked if I would make her a special cake for graduation.  She has also earned a cake from me before, when she nominated her mom last year for the 2013 Orioles Honorary Bat Girl competition — and her mom won!

I was given instructions that her school colors are navy, white, and dark green. She plays the piano, is a cheerleader, and loves music. I was told any theme would be fine.

It was a fairly good size family party, so I decided to make a 1/4 sheet cake and 24 cupcakes.

The cupcakes were a white cake mix. I then separated the mix into half, and two quarters. I dyed one quarter navy (Wilton royal blue dye with a small amount of black dye) and one quarter dark green (Wilton kelly green dye with a toothpick worth of black dye).  I then alternately dropped the white batter and navy batter into half the cupcake papers, and the remaining white batter and dark green batter into the rest of the cupcake papers.

I decided to make navy/white frosting swirls and dark green/white frosting swirls on top. I learned how to do the two-color swirl by watching a YouTube video, and used a Wilton 1M tip to make the swirls. My kitchen was warm and the frosting needed to set a bit longer, so the swirls weren’t as sharp as I had hoped. Finally, I spelled out her name with white sparkle gel frosting on blue star-shaped candy melts, placed on top of the cupcakes. This is what the cupcakes turned out like:

I did a Google search for piano cakes and found this inspiration cake:

Piano inspiration cake

Piano inspiration cake

Sarah Grace requested a chocolate cake.  I made her a chocolate decadence cake. I frosted it with white vanilla frosting. I then added the piano keys, which were KitKat bars that I covered in black candy melts. I had to shave the extra candy melt drips off the sides before adding them to the cake. I then made the outline of the keys freehand in black sparkle gel frosting. In chocolate icing dyed black (it’s easier to make black icing when you start with chocolate), I piped on the word “Congratulations”.  I added some additional navy/white icing stars around the short sides of the cake at the bottom, and black icing stars around the front and back at the bottom of the cake.

So here’s a look at the cake:

Piano congratulations cake

Piano congratulations cake

And here’s the whole thing together:

Piano cake and cupcakes

Piano cake and cupcakes

Sarah Grace was very happy and reports that the cake was delicious. I hope the cake and cupcakes exceeded her expectations!

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