This tutorial demonstrates how to make an optical illusion cake using three different tones of rolled modeling chocolate. This is a 2-dimensional design that gives the impression of 3-dimensional cubes so it’s a neat trick and it’s fairly easy to do.
VIDEO: Optical Illusion Cake
Below is a photo transcript of the video with links and additional tips. Here are my recipes for modeling chocolate and videos on how to roll modeling chocolate. This round wedding cake was frosted with smooth vanilla buttercream.
To start, you need white modeling chocolate, dark modeling chocolate and a combination of the two. The lighter chocolate color can be made by kneading half and half dark and white modeling chocolate together.
Begin by rolling out the modeling chocolate into thin sheets.
Then cut each hexagon into three pieces to make three equal sized diamonds. If you happen to have a diamond cutter that works for this design, go ahead and use it. The problem is that most diamond cutters aren’t quite the right shape to make it work.
However the hexagon cutter works well. The trick is to use the opposite point as a guide (see video above). Align the first two cuts in the direction of their opposite points. Then cut the remaining V-shape in half. That way, the diamonds should come out the same.
Ready the pieces on a sheet pan so that they are all lined up with each hexagon containing all three colors.
Some of the triangles of one color will need to be cut once more the long way down the middle to create bottom pieces.
Once the cake is frosted with buttercream and chilled, begin assembling the design, working with the bottom pieces from the bottom of the cake up. The first row is medium chocolate bottom pieces. The second row is a dark and white chocolate zig zag. The third row is sideways medium chocolate diamonds. The fourth row is dark and white chocolate zig zag except the position of the colors is reversed. The fifth row is another layer of sideways medium chocolate diamonds. And so on and so forth.
As an alternative to placing the pieces directly onto the cake one by one, you can also pre-arrange the pieces on strips of acetate then press them onto the sides of cake and peel away the acetate gently, kind of like a press-on tattoo. Modeling chocolate loosely sticks to acetate without any adhesive so it makes the perfect transferring medium. Once the pieces are on the cake, if they need to be shifted or re-arranged at all, do it right away before they bond with the cold buttercream frosting.
Follow this link to see my video tutorial on how to make easy modeling chocolate fabric roses.
Here is the final product:
Cake stand by Shannon of Batter Up Cake Co.
I invite you to share a photo of your work below in the comment section so that others can find inspiration in your own unique interpretations. If you run a cake business, be sure to tag it.
Sample the books
Cake Decorating with Modeling Chocolate