Most of my work is inspired by fashion, or at least design outside the culinary world. Yet people always ask me to make a cake that looks like their purse. Why do you want to eat your purse! This blog can be a learning tool for you and an outlet of self expression for me:) No more purse cakes! Enjoy!

Friday, December 28, 2012

Kim Z's cake replica

So last year I went to China with Karen Portaleo of Highland Bakery because she was asked to do cakes for a Halloween display at a mall in the Diamond Hill District of Hong Kong.   While we were there, Kim Zolciak of the Real Housewives of Atlanta tweeted that she needed a cake for her wedding.  The Bert Show on Q100 saw the tweet and just so happens that we had done the wedding cake for Jenn Hobby who was a co-host of that show at the time.  Here is her cake....

Vintage fun. see where I am going with this.  Kim decided to use us as her cake peeps.  Of course the whole thing was filmed and the wedding was Colin Cowie crazy...and by that I mean he actually planned the event!  Talk about being star struck Kim, Kroy, and Colin. Cray cray!

Little did we know when we got off the 15 hour plane ride back that Kim's wedding was in 11 days! Yikes!  So on top of all the other orders we had, and the jet lag, we had to create an 11 tiered master piece. 

Just a side note here.....You always hear about how demanding and awful celebrities can be, not Kim.  She couldn't have been cooler!  From the tasting up until the day of the wedding, she was easy going and put all of her trust in us.  Here is the direction she wanted to go with design.....

BUT....she told us to be creative and let our artistry shine so here is the finished cake....
Whooo hoo.  And here is the best was in Life and Style Magazine!!!!
A year later, naturally she asked if I would make a small replica of the wedding cake for the 1 year anniversary.  I jumped at the chance!  And although it's not technically inspired by fashion, it IS pop I decided to make a tutorial and blog post.
When I first met with her, she insisted that the one year old anniversary tier be used in the cake.  Kim is very superstitious.  I was reluctant because I wasn't sure what condition the cake would be in.  But I was very surprised, when I picked it up, to find this....

Wow. It looked the same as the day I made it.  I pretty sure that foil and little help for Baby Jesus had something to do with it:)  Now I had to try and remove the flowers so I could re-ice the cake....


Again...perfect!  So now I scraped the cake to re-ice it.....
While the cakes were baking I started the flowers.  On the original cake, Kim wanted crystals.  Now I have never been to keen on using them but they had to be in the design.  At this point I don't feel like it's that big of a deal,  as long as you know the caterer who is cutting the cake and trust that they will remove the crystals before cutting.
Here are the crystals I got from Etsy and some fondant that I kneaded a little Tylose into.  You could use gumpaste, but I wanted them to stay a little soft so they are easy to remove.
First I cut circles....

Then brush the circle with piping gel all over....

Next add a small hand rolled ball to the middle....this is the anchor for the crystal....

Then push the crystal into the ball so it won't move around...

For the flower part, I used a pasta machine taking the paste to #2 setting.  I know that seems thick but these are not real sugar flowers, so the thickness is needed to show the detail....

Start close to the crystal with one end and wind around....

Done!  Here is all of them....


The Vera Wang box was a set of cake cutters.  Kim was in the process of moving and couldn't find the originals.  And because they were Vera, that totally qualifies this as a "fashion cake"....see everything worked out;)
Okay lets cover some cakes!!
Once all the cakes are crumb coated, start rolling the fondant.

I like to use a French rolling pin.  But you can use whatever feels comfortable to you.

Once you have rolled the paste to the thickness you need, carefully roll it onto the pin.

Put the cake in place and unroll the fondant over the cake.

Now smooth using a fondant smoother.

Now to start stacking!  I like to use bubble tea straws for support.  There are many structural items out there including wooden dowels, but I like these best.  You can find them at most Asian markets or online. 

Then take scissors and trim the excess.

Now, I use a little royal icing to secure the layers to one another.

Place the next tier on top.

Now I start adding the flowers.  I am only stacking a couple at a time.  For one, I don't like to drive with completed cake.  The roads are too bad.  So I always allow myself some time for set up when I get to the venue.  I am using a piping bag and a little royal to adhere each flower.

The next tier up gets a crystal band.  This you can find at Caljava.  It's a great product because you can cut it to the size you need!

Brush the back with piping gel and adhere to the cake.


The rest of the tiers repeat this design except for the diamond pattern....but I already went over that in the Stella McCartney post.

I stacked the cake before leaving just to make sure it's level. And then take it apart for travel.

All ready to go!!
Here is the finished product!

That's all for now!  Thanks to Kim Z. for letting me blab about her cake.  And I can't really talk about it.....but you might see this cake and others on TV next year!  Stay tuned!


  1. Love this! It's making me rethink my decision to give up caking, though! lol

  2. I loved this cake. Thanks for the tutorial on making the rosettes.

  3. This is a pretty nice cake. Thank you for sharing your secrets with us.

  4. Wow, my first thought...complicated. You did such a great work and your steps are so simple. I might give a try with wedding cakes!

  5. Thanks so much! Love it all! It's a long process to do tutorials and the effort is appreciated!

  6. This fabulous! I truly admire your skills Joshua! Keep it up

  7. I'm making a replica of this cake for a couple who are totally blown away it. Wud post d finished work for assessment by everyone. ...I stand in awe of u Josh! Just so u knw.

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