Tag Archives: Extreme Cakeovers

A Reader’s Cakeover – Motherboard cake


One of our favorite emails to open are the ones we receive from Extreme Cakeovers readers sharing photos of their finished cakes! Our eyes widened when we saw E.C. reader Kim’s Motherboard cake she made with her twin sons for their birthday. She shared with us her experience:

“First, let me say that I love the book! I have made most of my kids birthday cakes ranging from a monster truck to Bob and Larry to a stacked big top circus cake. What I like about your book is that it was more of a family project with the kids helping me with the candy. They have spent a lot of time in the past week looking through the book and picking out all the cakes they want to make. I plan to try many of them.”

To make the Motherboard cake, Kim followed our recipe closely, and found a good subsitution for the Haribo Brixx, which were discontinued by the company. She used Starburst candies, which were already in the recipe, and cut them in half and piped the white icing dots. It’s a terrific substitute product and one we recommend on our “Substitutions” page. She left off the wires draped in front because she forgot to pick up the Rips Whips licorice laces at the store, but it looked just fine without it!


The feedback was much appreciated – thank you, Kim! We can’t wait to see the next cake the family makes! Our favorite part of her letter was seeing a photo of her twin sons all smiles with their Motherboard cake. We love her choice of candies for the cake too. We hope their family enjoyed eating it as much as making it, and we want to wish the boys a Happy Birthday!

A Reader’s Cakeover – Aloha Shirt cake

Several months ago, one of our client’s at cakelava wanted a custom birthday cake for her husband around the time of our book’s release. We were already committed and couldn’t make the cake, unfortunately. Shortly after their party, we were ecstatic to learn her 8-year old daughter made the Aloha Shirt cake from Extreme Cakeovers for her father’s birthday party, and she had documented the experience with step-by-step photos, which were sent to us. We were so happy to receive the photos and couldn’t believe our eyes!


First, she scraped the frosting and decorations off the store-bought sheet cake.


Once the sheet cake was prepared, the cut frozen pound cake sleeves were placed next to the shirt body.


Using a ruler, she measured 1 inch below the top edge of the sheet cake and placed the pound cake sleeves with their diagonal sides against the sheet cake to form the shape of the shirt.


She scooped a can of store-bought frosting into a mixing bowl.


Then tinted the frosting blue with food coloring…


and mixed it up.


Using an offset spatula, she frosted the Aloha shirt. Look at her taking control of the frosting. She looks like a pro!


We love how she customized her Aloha Shirt cake to make it look like one her daddy would wear. He likes the pullover style of shirt, rather than a button down style, so she decided to make that one. We want the readers to make the cakes their own, make it special to them!

After mixing the green frosting and putting it into the plastic bag, she tested her pinhole cut – as suggested in the book – getting comfortable with the piping technique before making the green squiggly vines for the flowers. She tested directly on the cake, in an area that would be later covered with a marshmallow plumeria flower. Brilliant!


She placed her first marshmallow plumeria flower near the bottom of the Aloha shirt. Using her paintbrush, she brushed the bottom third of each petal with yellow frosting.


More marshmallow plumeria flowers were added to the cake, then she piped the squiggly vines.


Her mother made a small confession to us. They forgot to pick up the Wrigley’s Spearmint Gum at the grocery store, which would be used to make the leaves of the plumerias, so they went without. We thought the shirt looked terrific, even without the leaves!


All finished and ready to present to her daddy at his pool party! Here is our adorable little cake decorator and her mommy with their Aloha Shirt Cakeover!


We adore this photo where she presents the cake she made (almost all by herself) to her daddy, who looks very happy to receive it! They couldn’t have selected a more perfect cake for the occasion and we were happy our Aloha Shirt cake was included in their celebration!

Behind the Scenes at the Extreme Cakeovers iBooks Photo Shoot


Photo courtesy of The Recipe Club

In addition to the paperback and ebook versions of Extreme Cakeovers, Clarkson Potter has released a very special Apple iBooks Author version, an enhanced ebook offering a higher level of interactivity for the reader. Included in the iBooks version are step-by-step photos of one of the cake projects and the ability to access shopping lists which can then be emailed to yourself. You can connect with the live Twitter feed for Extreme Cakeovers (@cakelava) and tweet about your cake from the kitchen! There are fun, pop-up windows, cake animations, and links to the online retailers to purchase products found in the book.


The iBooks Author edition may be ordered directly from Apple iTunes here.

We were thrilled when our editor Ashley told us there would be a special iBooks enhanced edition and that she would be making one of the cakes from the book for the ebook team to include in the Author edition. Ashley had previously impressed us when she made and presented our Jukebox cake to the team at the Clarkson Potter Summer 2013 Cookbook Launch in August 2012. She was a cake making superstar and had no experience decorating cakes! When we saw her finished Train cake, we were blown away and happy to be able to share her experience with readers of the iBook.

If you aren’t an avid follower of The Recipe Club, an online community for cookbooks presented by Clarkson Potter and Ten Speed Press, you should definitely check it out and join them on their social media! The Recipe Club recently posted a behind the scenes look at the Extreme Cakeovers iBooks photo shoot. The story was written by Ashley Phillips, our book’s editor, and details her experience making the cake. Ashley is now 2 for 2 with her stunning cakes, and we cannot wait to see what she makes next!

It Started with a Cookbook Launch and a Jukebox

jukebox extreme cakeovers

Photo courtesy of The Recipe Club

Last August, Ashley, our book’s editor introduced Extreme Cakeovers, along with her other upcoming book projects to the rest of the staff at Clarkson Potter, during their Summer 2013 Cookbook Launch. Their cookbook launches happen three times a year and is a chance for all the editors to present the books roughly a year in advance of publication and authors to start to get excited about their book’s release! Aside from our publishing team becoming more familiar with Extreme Cakeovers, we could finally publicly share the book we had been working on for more than a year!

The Launch happened during a hectic and exciting month for us. The week of the launch we were fully booked with cakes at cakelava, had family visiting, and preparing for classes Rick was teaching. We had to be on a plane at the end of the week! The cookbook launch presentations were full of surprises and not just for the staff at Clarkson Potter, but also for us. We didn’t know Ashley would be making one of the book’s recipes until we saw the photos of her amazing Jukebox cake she shared with her colleagues at the launch. Our jaws literally dropped when we saw the Jukebox! We were really impressed with her piping skills and she had everything in the right place. She had also made a brilliant substitution for the large Tootsie Rolls for the bottom of the Jukebox, demonstrating what we would want any reader to do – use products that are most convenient to them to carry out the design.

The Recipe Club, which is a cookbook community presented by Clarkson Potter and Ten Speed Press wrote a wonderful post about the cookbook launch presentation which included many photos,
our favorite being of course, Ashley’s Jukebox cake! You can read all about the Clarkson Potter Summer 2013 Cookbook Launch here.

The photo below shows Ashley all smiles with her Jukebox cake and the Marketing Director who was celebrating a birthday on the day of the launch. We can’t think of a better gift!