Celebrate a magic lover's special day with a cake that looks just like a magician's black top hat. While the finished cake looks impressive, it is actually easy to make -- even if you're a cake-decorating novice. Don't worry about buying any shaped novelty pans or learning complicated decorating techniques. Once your cake is finished, you can decorate your magic hat with small props purchased from a magic shop or a clean rabbit figurine.
Bake prepared cake batter in four greased 15-cm (6-inch) diameter round cake pans. You can divide one box of prepared cake batter among the four pans or use your own recipe. Follow the baking directions on the cake mix box or the recipe you are using.
Remove the cakes from oven using potholders and run a knife around the inside edge of the pan to loosen the cake. Invert the pans onto a wire rack to slide the cake out of the pan and let them cool to room temperature.
Place one cake onto the centre of your serving dish or cake board and ice the top of the cake with a 6 mm (1/4 inch) thick layer of icing.
Place another cake on top of the first and ice the top of it. Repeat this process until all four of the cakes are stacked on top of each other with a layer of icing between each of them.
Cover the top and sides of your stacked cake with your icing. You'll need approximately 1.4 litres (6 cups) of icing total to stack the cakes together and cover the entire outside of the cake.
Roll black fondant approximately 3 mm (1/8 inch) thin with a rolling pin on a clean counter. It is difficult to tint fondant black with food colouring, so look for ready-to-use black fondant in craft stores or cake decorating stores.
Cut the fondant with a knife into a rectangle measuring approximately 48 cm by 23 cm (19 inches by 9 inches).
Wrap the fondant around the outside of your cake and gently press it into the icing. Trim away any excess fondant with a knife or a pair of kitchen shears and smooth it down with your hands until it lies flat on the cake. Don't worry about the top of the cake at this time.
Roll out your black fondant again and cut a 38 cm (15 inch) square from it.
Place a 25-cm (10-inch) cake board in the centre of the black fondant square and fold the edges of the fondant over the cake board. Brush a little water onto the fondant, if necessary, to make it stick to the cake board.
Position the cake board on top of your cake with the fondant-covered side facing up. This creates the rim of your magic hat.
Decorate the top of your magic hat cake with a few clean playing cards or a pretzel rod covered with black fondant to represent a magic wand.