The yummiest kind of motorbike for ripping up single track is made of modeling chocolate. This motorcycle cake tutorial is for cake decorators who find themselves challenged by designs that involve two-wheel vehicles, i.e. bicycles, dirt bikes, scooters etc. Because the problem with two-wheelers is that they don’t translate smoothly into the edible form. Consider a standing moped cake decoration made from gumpaste for instance and all the effort and infrastructure that would involve. Or imagine carving a motorcycle shape out of cake…the nightmare frosting job that would ensue. No thank you! Here I will sculpt a mogul (i.e. a mound) of cake, build a motorbike in parts, then place them on the cake to give the impression of a completely intact standing vehicle.
Edible Materials Needed
- ¼ sheet cake
- 4” diameter round chocolate cake, 2” thick
- 5 cups chocolate buttercream (recipe is in my book)
- 1/2 cup vanilla buttercream (recipe is in my book)
- 1/3 batch of modeling chocolate – some tinted light blue
- 2 cups chocolate glaze
- 1/3 cup chocolate chips, ground in a food processor to look like dirt
- White piping chocolate for the inscription
- Cocoa powder for dusting
- quarter sheet pan
- 4” round cake pan (or 4” round cutter)
- 4 1/2” round cutter
- Felt tip marker
- Parchment paper
- Craft Utility Knife
- Gumpaste/fondant modeling tools
- Small round and square cutters. I like these microcutters.
1. Cut a 4” wide cylinder of cake in half to form two wheels (alternatively, cut 4” circles out of a sheet of cake using a 4” cutter). Cover them in plastic wrap tightly, pressing to round the edges slightly. Freeze solid.
2. Once frozen, dip the topside of the wheels upside down in chocolate glaze. Allow the wheels to set in the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes before handling again.
3. Saw diagonally through a 1/4 sheet cake the long way, taking the edge off the 90º front ledge. Rotate the wedge 180° then reattach it to the cake, creating a slanted surface like a mountain face on which to display the motorbike. Alternatively, during the filling stage, assemble a 1/4 cake in the shape of a mound.
4. Plunge a 4 1/2” round cutter into the face of the mogul to mark the position of the wheels. Hollow out each spot a little to create grooves for wheels to nest in. Angle the grooves slightly so that the wheels will both tilt inwards.
5. Cover the cake mogul with plastic wrap and trace the outline of both the cake and the wheel pockets onto a piece of parchment paper. From that template, the motorbike will ultimately be designed.
6. With a small offset spatula, frost the mogul with chocolate buttercream. While the frosting is still soft, blend ivory buttercream into the finish to add movement. Place the cake in the refrigerator to set.
7. Draw a motorbike onto the parchment paper using the wheels and the outline of the cake to frame its size. Reference images on the Internet to get a sense of how a dirt bike looks.
8. Tape the drawing to the flat underside of a clean sheet pan.
9. Lay a fresh piece of parchment over the sketch and tape that down too (working directly on top of the sketch may get marker ink on the modeling chocolate). This sketch will now act as a blueprint for creating the motor and parts.
10. Shape the components of the bike out of modeling chocolate, making certain aspects bulge more than others to add depth and dimension. Create disjointed parts that fit together like a puzzle but are not attached. That way, they can be pivoted and rearranged when it comes time to place them on the cake.
11. Roll the remaining modeling chocolate scraps to 1/16” thin sheets and with microcutters, cut delicate shapes to add detail to the engine and armor. Use a pointed sculpting implement to create nuts & bolts impressions.
12. Allow the motorbike parts to rest, untouched and uncovered at a cool room temperature for at least two hours before handling them again.
13. Imbed the wheels in the cake then add the rims and suspension. Arrange the engine parts directly on the surface of the cake. Angle the wheelhouses to connect with the engine so that the bike is in a concave C shape, as if turning on the mogul.
14. With a small offset spatula, roughly add chocolate buttercream underneath the wheels to secure them and create the impression that loose dirt is kicking up behind.
15. Press ground chocolate chips onto the buttercream around the bottom of the cake to make it look more like dirt/gravel.
17. Dust the top of the cake lightly with cocoa powder for one final touch of dirt.
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