Jimmy Buffett Cake and How to Make a Hamburger Cake!

Tell me, what is your first question about this cake?  For most it has been:  Is the bird edible?  Does the burger taste like a burger?:).  And the answers are 1 - yes and 2 - No!:) 

Now that that is settled:), I am SOOO excited to share with you some how-to's and a number of behind the scenes pix of this super *fun* Jimmy Buffett cake INCLUDING how to make your own burger cake!! (if you so dare!!;))

First off, yes the bird, although it is not cake, it is modeled using rice krispy treats (I used one full batch of the following recipe).  The whole bird making process did span about 5-6 days which includes drying time.  Proper drying gives a sharp look so whenever possible don't underestimate the drying time!

Rice Krispy Modeling Recipe
50g butter
200g marshmallow
160g rice krispies

Directions: Melt butter over low heat.  Add marshmallows and stir constantly until melted.  Stir for an additional minute and remove from heat.  Add cereal and stir until well coated.  Cool slightly then mold and compact firmly.  Use shortening on hands if preferred to help with the sticking.

Ball up the batch of rice krispies and mold the shape by crushing and compressing it well.  When done leave it to dry preferably a night or two to become very firm. Next coat the modeled figure in shortening to act as a sticking agent and drape the entire shape with fondant. Let dry for a couple of nights.  You want this to be super firm

Meanwhile I prepared a wood stump for the bird to stand on by covering a 4" Styrofoam cake with white fondant and marking random vertical 'wood-looking' lines along the perimeter BEFORE leaving it to dry.  Let the stump dry a night or two to firm.  With Ivory and Brown cake colors, I mixed drops of vodka and brushed the stump a wood tone.  Leave to dry for a night or so.

Using a skewer pierce the bird and a good balanced spot you want it to sit on in the stump.  Now you are ready to cover the bird in feathers!  For this I used a small pointy flower cutter for the small feathers (cut in half and positioned horizontally) and feather cutters (available from Every Baking Moment in Dixon, CA) for the larger feathers.  All feathers were attached with water (love marshmallow fondant!:))  It is best to feather in 'parts' allowing areas to firm up well and dry in order to be a good foundation for the feathers that follow..


The burger is a challenge but it is possible!!  If you are considering making this also check out the YouTube *awesome* video from Crumbs and Doilles.  I is a great resource to help with your project and I utilized a lot of the same techniques:

* Three 8" round 2" tall cakes - baked, cooled, halved and waiting in the freezer 
***NOTE:  MUST have been frozen a minimum of 8 hours.  Freezing is REQUIRED to ensure clean carving (and trust me the cake will actually be more moist due to sealing in the moisture of the thawing process)
* Marshmallow Fondant - For our recipe click here. To buy our fondant click here. Tan colored Fondant enough to coat two 8" tiers.  Brown, red, white, and green fondant
* Cake knife
* Paintbrush
* Filling/buttercream
* Ball tool
* Stacking supports (I like to use thick/wide plastic straws)


Step 1.  Take one 8" layer (2" tall) and the smaller half of another 8" layer (preferably one that is slightly less than 1") out of the freezer.  Set on a carboard round and start carving a dome shape using your cake knife.  This will be your top bun.  Ensure to leave a flat spot for any toppers.  Also ensure to carve the bottom edge of the bun to give it a more realistic look.  

Step 2.  Fill and crumb coat your carved bun.  Let dry for 3-6 hours.  

Step 3.  Next trim the cardboard circle way down... just past your carved area.  Apply water using a paintbrush - this is the sticking agent for marshmallow fondant. 

Step 4.  Use a tall and narrow object (like a mug) to raise your cake for best working position.  Apply water at the perimeter of the cardboard holding the bun.  Cover your top bun with fondant, trim excess with scissors or knife, and adhere the fondant to the wet part under the board.  

Step 5.  Repeat this EXACT same process with remaining of the halved 8" cake (the one that is just over 1" since you already used it's other half in the top bun) for your bottom bun.  This smaller portion does not get filled.  Carve the top and bottom edges for that realistic bottom bun look.  

Step 6.  The patty is also EXACTLY the same EXPECT you will slide it off it's board when applied to the cake.  For the patty use one 8" layer (2" tall).  Carve, fill, crumbcoat, and let dry.  Apply water, and cover in brown fondant.  Since it will be slid off the cardboard I only trimmed part of the cardboard off and left a 'handle' to help me accomplish this.  Do your best to 'tuck' the fondant under the patty between the cake and the board.  You could leave the board, however, it might look a little 'stiff' and you have a lot more separating when serving.

Step 7.  Dimple the patty using a ball tool. and set to dry.

Step 8.  I painted the bun using ivory, orange, and drops of vodka.  Let dry 1/2 hour to one hour or so.

Step 9.  Create lettuce to place on top of the bottom bun.  I ruffled the edges of green with a toothpick.

Step 10.  Slide the patty a top the layer of lettuce.

Step 11.  Apply 'cheese' and more lettuce.  Cut out tomato half circles and white onion strips.

Step 12.  Apply your support structure in the center.  I like to use thick and wide plastic straws.

Step 13.  Fill the cake gap on top of the straws.  Some like to use buttercream and I used small cardboards that I affixed with glue to the bottom of the top bun cardboard.

Step 14.  Place the top bun on top and paint to match the bottom bun.  

Step 15.  Apply teardrop shaped sesame sesame seeds (ivory colored).

And you are done!  
Ok, so I might have written it out in a really nice and neat 15 step process even though it is a multitude of steps within those steps, HOWEVER, it really is the same process on the three main elements (buns and patty).  If you practice just one you will be able to do the rest!:)

Thanks for checking out this cake and happy caking!:)



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