Chapter 4: Book Party Cake

When last we left our birthday guests, they were engaged in suspense and adventure, but rest assured, they were rewarded for their bravery and enthusiasm with cake and other book-themed goodies.

The cake was in the shape of–what else?–a book! Actually, there were several books represented in the cake.

I considered giving each book the title of one of her favorite books, but asking my daughter to pick just a few favorite books, is like asking an author to choose a few favorite words. So in the end, the book cakes were all about the birthday girl and her birthday. And by the time I am finished blogging about it, there should be substantial material to fill all four volumes–at my current rate.

I created a custom cake board, by taping some square cake boards together, covering them in torn book pages, and then covering it all with plastic wrap to protect the pages from the cake and vice-versa.

There is a backstory to the book cake that you may want to know. I baked the open book cake in an open book shaped cake pan. (I had purchased it years ago on ebay, for a different party). I was careful to use the right recipe and prep my pans so that the cake would release with it’s shape in tact. It did! It looked perfect, and I left it on the stove to cool while I retrieved my children from school and taught my voice lessons. When I came back in the kitchen, the corners of each side of the cake were missing.

Each appeared to have disintegrated. Could they have all just fallen off? After much sleuthing and a Perry Mason-like trial, it was determined that the birthday girl’s brother, had helped himself to a cake snack while I was in the other room teaching my lessons. This was not the baby brother, mind you. It was the 7-year-old one, who should know better! His response after his confession had been obtained: “I thought it was a test cake.” Perhaps he should be an author…of FICTION!

I was able to piece scraps of cake together to re-form the missing corners, but this cake wasn’t without other difficulties. We have gotten in the habit of making homemade marshmallow fondant rather than buying the pre-made stuff. Not only does it taste much better, but it is usually pretty easy to work with.  Usually. For some reason, this batch came out way too sticky. I had recruited BSB as the fondant mixer since it requires so much kneading and strength. He may have said a few curses as he struggled to get the fondant to the right consistency.

Here is proof that he was working on positioning the fondant, as well as kneading. (Thanks, hun!) Between the re-constructed book corners, and the sticky fondant, it wasn’t the smooth, happy ending we were hoping for, but everyone knew just what it was, and the kids loved reading, the birthday story on cake (p.s. Does anyone have food writer pens that write more evenly on fondant than these did?)


If you’d like to read the birthday novel, here is a closer look.



I supposed we couldn’t just let them eat cake. So we planned some other fun book-themed snacks.

(FOOTNOTE: For many reasons, including keeping costs down, we held our soiree, in the middle of the afternoon, so no one would be expecting a feast.)

The hors d’erves were set on these black and white toile plates–the images look a lot like illustrations from old romantic novels. I didn’t label the foods, but wished I had had time for a couple choice tags like one to read, “Honey Dew-ey Decimal” Balls, for the melon. Or “brain-food” for the blueberries, and other fruit.

We served cucumber sandwiches sans crust and with the bread folded over to look like…(wait for it)…BOOKS!

These mini-books are made from Monterey Jack cheese and fruit leather. I’m sure there has to be a way to adhere the leather to the cheese with out the toothpicks, so that our books can stack up nice and neat, but for our party the books had to be served pierced.

A few random bowls of candy (in the appropriate colors) were scattered aound the library scene, and provided some fun snacks through out the party.

In the concluding chapter of our exciting Book Party novel, I will share the book-themed candy favors and classroom treats we created for our bookworm!

Read the whole story: Return to the Table of Contents!



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  1. You come up with the best ideas! I think the cake looks awesome.

  2. The cake is so cute. BTW I never ever EVER use marshmallow fondant, I totally hate it, really really hate it. It’s not as difficult as WILTON, but the way to go is with higher quality fondant, Massa if you can find it or Satin Ice if you can’t. It’s so worth it when your creating such amazing masterpieces!

    • But, Ashlee, you know I’m SO cheap! I actually used the satin ice for a cake I did for someone else, and I thought it was only about as easy to work with as the last batch of marshmallow fondant we had made. Of course, since then, we’ve had all kinds of trouble. I think maybe we were using a different recipe, and I need to find the one that worked well before. I’ve never tried Massa . Is it way expensive? Also, what is your favorite kind of food writer?

  3. That cake is so neat!! Definitely need to try this marshmallow fondant… Sounds like a win-win! OH, wait, just saw Ashlee’s comment… Hmm… the mystery remains. 😉

    • How about you try the marshmallow fondant, and then you can weigh in with your opinion? I really want it to be good, since it is so much less expensive than the good stuff.

  4. Hey Kendra – I might have to borrow that BOOK cake pan for my book-lover’s next birthday!

    • I think that could be arranged, Shellie! Let me know when!

      Also, I’ve had some asking where you purchased the bandanas for the patriotic tablecloth, and I can’t remember where it was. Can you enlighten us?

  5. Love anything with books, so this idea is fantastic! Such a labor of love, from the ingenious cake to the book-shaped finger foods! 🙂

  6. I was searching Pinterest for book cakes for my daughters Bday and ran across this. Thanks for posting it. Duff’s fondant is great and SOOOO easy to work with, also tastes better than any other I have tried. I have stretched a little to go a long way too. If you buy it at Michaels Craft store with a 40 or 50% OFF COUPON it makes it completely worth it.

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