This beautiful cake would make the perfect treat at any birthday party, wedding shower, or celebration for the lady in your life. It’s also a perfect project for the baker who also loves to craft!
Gift Box of Pearls
Recipe from Extreme Cakeovers by Rick Reichart and Sasha Reichart
Level of Difficulty: 2
1 (18- to 22-gauge) silver wire, 18 inches long
1 (6-inch) cardboard cake circle covered in grease-resistant wrapping paper
Small offset spatula
18 white gumballs, regular size
2 (10.75-ounce) frozen pound cakes (we use Sara Lee), thawed
1½ cups vanilla frosting (1 16-ounce can)
Paste or gel paste food coloring: blue and green
17 sticks Wrigley’s Doublemint gum
¼ cup white chocolate melting wafers
1 large white gumdrop
1 white Necco wafer
1. Make the strand of pearls
Bend one end of the silver wire to prevent the gumballs from falling off. Start the hole on each gumball with a safety pin and then thread them onto the wire. Once the gumballs are strung, leaving even amounts of the wires exposed, twist the ends together to form a bracelet. Set aside.
2. Make the gift box
Lightly trim the tops of the pound cakes to make them completely flat, and remove the side crusts. Cut off equal amounts from each end to reduce the length to 6 inches. Cut both loaves in half so that you have four 3 x 3-inch pieces. Discard 1 piece.
In a bowl, tint the vanilla frosting turquoise blue, starting with blue food coloring and gradually adding a touch of green. Scoop ¼ cup of the frosting into another bowl for crumb-coating, and use it to attach one of the cake squares to the center of a 6-inch cardboard cake circle covered in grease-resistant paper. Stack the second cake on the first, attaching it with a little frosting. Set aside the third cake piece; it will become the lid.
Drape the pearl bracelet on the edge of the gift box and bend it so that 2 pearls lie in the mouth of the box and the rest falls naturally. The bottom should touch the cake board to help support its weight. (Positioning the bracelet in advance avoids damage to the box when you finally place it in Step 3.) Remove the bracelet and set aside.
Using an offset spatula, crumb-coat the cake. Clean up the cake circle and refrigerate the cake until the frosting is firm, 15 to 20 minutes.
Turn the remaining cake square on its side and cut its thickness in half; discard one of the halves. Attach the remaining piece to a plate with frosting, and crumb-coat it. Clean up the plate and refrigerate until firm, about 15 minutes.
Working with one cake at a time, take them out of the refrigerator and frost them. Dip a spatula in hot water, shake off the excess, and carefully smooth the frosting. Clean up the cake circle and plate, and refrigerate the cakes until firm, about 30 minutes.
3. Decorate the cake
Take the larger cake, and put 1 stick of gum vertically in the center of each side. If the gum doesn’t reach the top edge, use another stick and cut each piece to fit.
Spoon the remaining turquoise frosting into a zip-top plastic bag and cut ¼ inch off the tip. Pipe a boarder around the bottom of the box. Position the pearl bracelet on the box as before. Bend the excess wire and insert it into the cake. Refrigerate.
4. Finish the box top
Take the small cake, put 1 stick of gum on each side flush with the bottom center, and drape it over the lid. All the sticks of gum should meet in the middle but not overlap; cut to fit.
In a microwave-safe bowl, melt the white chocolate wafers at 10-second intervals, stirring until smooth. Spoon the melted white chocolate into a zip-top plastic bag, and cut 1/8 inch off the tip. Take 5 sticks of gum and fold each one to make a loop. Cut off the corners to form a point. Attach the points of each loop together with a little melted chocolate.
Evenly space the ribbon loops on top of the lid to form a flower shape with all the points meeting in the center. Secure the points to the lid with a little melted chocolate. Cut the bottom third off the white gumdrop and discard the rounded top. Using the melted chocolate, attach it, cut side up, to the middle of the bow, and then attach the Necco wafer, printed side down, to the gumdrop.
Cut 2 sticks of gum in half. Cut out a triangle on one end of each stick, and cut the other end to a point. Put the point toward the bow at the four corners of the lid. Refrigerate until the frosting is firm, about 30 minutes.
5. Assemble the box
Squeeze a dollop of turquoise frosting onto the top center of the box. The frosting should be higher than the pearls, so that when the lid is placed on top, the frosting won’t squeeze out the sides. Carefully place the lid on top, the frosting won’t squeeze out the sides. Carefully place the lid on top, resting on the pearls.