Of course, this technique would work on any cake, any size - just cover in black fondant. For this one, I remade my Bonfire Cake with the Wilton Easy Layer Cake Pan Set, and found that a small 250g pack of ready made black fondant was the perfect amount to cover a cake of this size.
Full disclosure, I am not paid by Wilton to recommend their products (or by anyone else), they just happened to be the products I used!
300g granulated sugar
4 egg whites
180ml (3/4 cup) milk
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
360g plain flour (all purpose)
food colouring of choice (optional)
Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas 4, lightly oil the pans.
Cream the margarine and sugar together with electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add the egg whites one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the milk and incorporate.
Add the dry ingredients (salt, baking powder, flour) and mix until just combined. If you are colouring the layers, divide into 5 bowls (around 200g of mixture in each) and tint as desired. Spread into prepared pans.
Bake for 15-20 minutes, rotating the pans if necessary halfway through baking. Check to see if they are done by inserting a toothpick into the centre of each, if it comes out clean then they are finished baking. Cool in pans for 5 minutes, then gently remove and allow to cool completely on a wire rack.
Icing and decoration
200g butter, softened
800g confectioners’ sugar
100g dark chocolate, melted
Milk (only a little to get to a soft consistency)
250g black fondant
White food colouring
Design printed out (if required)
In large mixing bowl, cream butter until light and fluffy. Slowly add sugar and cocoa, beating well between additions. Stir in chocolate and if necessary, thin frosting with 1-2 tsps milk or as much as required.
To assemble, cut the crown off each cake to level it off. Place the first layer (I put each cake down upside down to get a smooth and level top) on the serving plate and spread with some icing, going right to the edge. Top with the second cake and repeat with the remaining cakes. Spread the icing on the top of the final layer, and also cover the sides.
Roll out the black fondant to the size of the cake, and cover, smoothing down the sides.
If you are happy to freehand your design onto the cake, go for it! I'm not that brave, so I put together a simple design in PhotoShop of the word "Celebrate" with flourishes I purchased from a talented Etsy seller, thePENandBRUSH. I printed it out at the size I needed and used a ballpoint pen to impress the design onto the soft fondant (the rounded tip is perfect to get a clean impression without piercing the paper). Then using a very fine brush and a small amount of white colouring, go over the design on the cake, building up the colour as desired.
I found that once the colouring had dried, I wanted to smooth over the cake again (use a cake smoother that you can get cheaply online or in hobby shops, it makes the world of difference!), and ended up going over the white writing. This smudged it slightly, which actually looks like chalk, but can be easily cleaned up with slightly damp cotton buds. You could also rub a little icing sugar over the cake for a more aged chalkboard look.
Find more images from this shoot at Stocksy United.