This cooler-shaped cake comes stocked with "beer" and even "ice" that won't melt!
This past weekend we were invited to a tailgating party and I was asked to bring a dessert. Since my friends are getting used to my over-the-top cakes, I thought it would be fun to make a cake shaped like a cooler! I figured, what tailgating party is complete without a cooler filled with frosty beverages?
It was a small party, so I didn't want to make a huge cake. I made a personal-sized cooler instead of a family sized one. Because I needed the cake to be pretty sturdy I used two Betty Crocker Pound Cake mixes and decided to doctor it up by using coconut milk and some finely chopped coconut. The cake had the structure that I wanted but also had a lovely coconut flavor.
The best part is that I could fill my cooler with “ice” and “beer.” The beer bottles were handcrafted from modeling chocolate with a realistic shine and each bottle was topped off with a silver bottle cap, also made from modeling chocolate. I then sprinkled in some isomalt nibs which looked just like ice cubes!
The cake was a hit and our team even won the game. Score!
To make your own cooler cake, start by baking two pound cakes in 9x13-inch pans, allow them to cool and then level them.
Cut each cake in half and cut the edges so they're very straight. Stack three of the cakes, adding frosting in between each layer.
Cut a rectangle out of the center of the fourth cake, leaving about a 1 1/2 to 2-inch border all around. I found it easiest to cut the inner rectangle into four pieces. Then I removed each individual piece. I was worried if I removed one big rectangle that I might break the outer edge.
Stack the fourth cake on top, then frost around the outside of the entire cake.
Make sure to get the frosting very smooth so the sides of your cooler aren't bumpy once they're covered in fondant. I find it easiest to pop the cake in the freezer for a while and then take a damp paper towel to smooth out any lumps and bumps.
It will be much easier to wrap the cake in fondant if the cake is frozen solid, so chill it for several hours.
While the cake is in the freezer, create your beer bottles. Start by rolling out a small amount of modeling chocolate the thickness of a bottle cap. Use a small round cutter to cut two circles. Then use a fondant ball tool to press indentations all around the edge of modeling chocolate circles. Mix some silver luster dust with vodka and brush that all over the modeling chocolate bottle caps. Let them dry, completely.
Sculpt modeling chocolate into the tops of the bottles. For a realistic look, mix equal parts vodka and corn syrup together, brush it over the modeling chocolate and allow it to dry completely. Top each bottle with a bottle cap.
When your cake is a nice and frozen, take its measurements. Measure around the entire cake as well as the height of the cake.
Dust your counter top lightly with cornstarch. Roll out the red fondant into a very long strip, cutting it long enough to wrap around the entire cake. I cut my strip 30-inches by 5.25-inches.
Brush away any excess cornstarch and wipe the counter around the fondant. Carefully flip the fondant over and grab the cake out of the freezer. Lay the cake down on its side at one end of the fondant.
Wrap the fondant around the cake. Then stand the cake upright.
Now create the white part of the cooler. I found it easiest to cut strips the length of each side of the cake and then set one strip at a time onto the cake, allowing it to hang over the red fondant and into the well of the cake.
Cut each strip at an angle from the outside corner to an inside corner. Continue adding strips, cutting them at an angle so that the two angles match up like a picture frame.
Cut a strip of fondant that will fit inside of the well. Pipe two mounds of frosting and set a beer bottle on top of each.
Sprinkle isomalt nibs around the beer bottles.
Add the finishing touch by creating grooved lines around the bottom of your cooler. If you want, you can add handles, a lid and even a logo.
For really cool way to serve your cake, buy a piece of fake grass or AstroTurf, set it on a board, and then set your cake on top.
And there you have it – the perfect cake for any tailgating or game day party!
Beth happily spends her days creating fun food and handmade chocolate and enjoys sharing step-by-step tutorials with her readers on her blog Hungry Happenings. Be sure to check out her profile to see all the other festive foods she's made for Tablespoon.com.