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Hide-a-Surprise Cake Design


Here's what happens when three designers put their heads together to design one very special cake.

When Lea McIntosh of Ready to Propose suggested a sunset theme cake for the Vendor Chic video she was producing with Andrew Hsu and asked me about creating a cake topper for it? My first thought went back to the little pineapple name card ornaments I had made two years ago for a Hawaii wedding. I thought it would be fun to make a larger pineapple as the pineapple seems to be a very popular motif.

Lea had already begun discussing the cake design with Gabby of Cake Coquette in San Francisco. They had narrowed the look down to two options: One painted like a sunset, the other with beautiful, cut out appliques of a leaf motif. They decided they would combine the two looks into a gorgeous fusion that evoked the colors of a sun setting over crystal blue waters.

When Lea came to me and said she also wanted to incorporate a strand of Tahitian pearls from San Francisco jeweler Dilek Sezen to tie into the whole "Proposal in Paradise" theme... I had a crazy cool flirty idea to attach the necklace to the bottom of the cake topper and created the illustrations at left to share with her and Gabby the cake designer.

Basically it involved replacing the center of the cake with a piece of PVC pipe that we could then lower the strand of pearls into. The topper would be lifted and would reveal the surprise gift inside of the cake.

Gabby said " It looks good to me, I'll come with the hole already in place so you just need to place the pineapple on top when you get there." Note: She ended up only needing to take the PVC through the top tier instead of all the way to the bottom of the cake.


So what was my inspiration for this concept?

It was Armando from get your DO up! who first told me to start watching the tv show Ace of Cakes over a year ago. Watching Duff Goldman is truly inspiring to me. I really think we see the world the same way, full of possibilities. So after seeing a few episodes where Duff would implant a metal pole or tubing into a cake to set off some type of pyrotechnic device, shooting sparklers and fireworks straight out of his cakes, it occurred to me we could use the same principle to "hide" the necklace inside of the cake... And simply lifting the topper was the perfect way to reveal it.

CLICK HERE to watch "A Proposal in Paradise" and see Lea's luxurious proposal unfold before your very eyes...

I also contacted Dilek Sezen to make sure that the pearls would fit in the tube. I asked her for measurements regarding both the length of the strand and the diameter of the pearls.

The day before the shoot I contacted Gabby to make certain the topper would compliment her cake perfectly. I was still adding beads to the pineapple and had the opportunity to mix in another shade of yellow or orange if that would help the two to blend together more cohesively. I sent her a photo of the topper in progress. After viewing it she assured me the two were going to be a perfect match... And she was right :o)


Tahitian Pearls by Dilek Sezen


A neat thing about this idea is that you can exectue it with a multitude of cake topper styles from a fresh or clay flower arrangment to anything that has an area to tie a thin ribbon to the bottom of the topper.

The possibilities are endless!

Idea submitted by: Stacie Tamaki

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