How to make a book-shaped cake

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Decorate a cake to resemble a book for a bookworm in your life. This cake theme is appropriate for any age, and can be amended for any occasion, such as graduation, wedding or birthday, depending on the words written on the frosted pages.

You can decorate your book cake by copying lines from a particular book or discover the writer within by scripting a tale written just for the cake recipient.

Place a 23-by-33 cm (9-by-13-inch) baked sheet cake in the freezer for 30 minutes.

Gather 475 ml (2 cups) of white fondant and add 1.5 ml (1/4 tsp) of food gel colouring to match the colour you want for the cover of your book cake. Massage the gel into the fondant until it reaches the shade you desire, adding more gel as needed. Roll the fondant out to 12 mm (1/2 inch) larger than the size of your cake using a rolling pin. Position the rolled fondant on the centre of a 28-by-36-cm (11-by-14-inch) sheet of cardboard.

Remove the cake from the freezer. Cut the cake in half from the top to bottom in the centre. Measure using a ruler, if desired, to make sure your cut is directly in the centre. You will have two rectangular shapes of cake that are 11.5 by 16.5 cm (4.5 by 6.5 inches).

Place the two rectangular cakes on the fondant with the cut sides facing each other, as if you are putting the cake back together, but leave a 6-mm (1/4-inch) space between the cakes; this is going to look like the crease found in the centre of an open book.

Spread buttercream icing in a thin, even layer over the top and sides of the two cakes using a spatula.

Get 475 ml (2 cups) of white fondant and roll it out to 6 mm (1/4 inch) thickness or until you have a sheet of fondant that measures 38 by 46 cm (15 by 18 inches). Roll the fondant around your rolling pin loosely and start unrolling it over the cake on the left side of the cake on the left, pressing the end along the book cover to create a sealed edge. Press the fondant down onto the cake, smoothing out any air pockets and wrinkles as you cover the cake. Push the fondant down into the gap between the two cakes as far as you can, but do this gently so the fondant stays in one piece. Cover the right rectangle of cake, pressing the fondant down on each side into the book cover. Use a knife to cut away any excess fondant that you may have overhanging on any of the sides.

Take the hard end of a small paint brush and run it along the sides of the fondant to form five or six lines, so it appears the sides are pages. Write the words you have chosen for your book on either side of the crease in the centre of the cake using the hard end of the paint brush as a stencil. Dilute food colouring gel with vanilla extract and use your paint brush to bring your words to life with colour.

Mix 60 ml (1/4 cup) of fondant with food colouring gel in any colour that you want for a bookmark. Roll the fondant into an approximately 28-by-5-cm (11-by-2-inch) strip. Mix any colour of food colouring gel with a few drops of vanilla extract until it is thin enough to write with and paint the name of your cake recipient or a greeting for the event, such as "Happy Birthday" or "Congratulations" depending on the occasion, along the bookmark. Let the bookmark dry and then place it along the centre of the book cake.

Paint illustrations using food colouring gel mixed with vanilla extract according to your book, or set small figurines or cake toppers along the cake pages, if desired.