This weekend I had the pleasure of making my nephew Dominik’s birthday cake. I am not a professional baker at all. It’s just something I enjoy doing these days. I am new in the cake world; this was my third themed cake. So this cake was a challenge for me. Dominik wanted a Call of Duty cake. I had no idea what Call of Duty was so he filled me in. He also said he wanted it covered in camouflage. Looks easy right? Not so much. But if I can do it, so can you.
This week I researched on the internet about camouflage cakes and anything Call of Duty. I showed Dom some pictures and he picked out this picture for the cake.
Clearly I cropped out the guns and just used the skull. What kind of aunt would I be if I didn’t?
He also wanted C O D and ELITE written on his cake aswell.
I went to this wicked baking supplies store by my house and bought some food colouring gel. I purchased Forest Green for the camouflage. And Black for the writing and camouflage. While I was there I saw this great sanding sugar and thought I could incorporate it into the cake aswell. The colours I purchased were silver and black.
Friday morning I started out baking the cake. I used Cake man Ravens Southern Red Velvet Cake recipe. I have used it many times before and it always produces a moist, delicious cake. My secret to this cake is to add 3 tbsp. of cocoa powder instead of the recommended amount.
I gathered my ingredients and started cracking.
First I greased and flowered my two 9 ” cake pans. Make sure to knock out that extra flour!
Next add the dry ingredients together in a large bowl and mix well.
In a separate bowl add the wet ingredients and the food coloring. Mix.
Slowly add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and mix just until incorporated. Look at that gorgeous red!!
Evenly distribute the batter into the prepared cake pans.
Pop into the preheated 350 degree oven for about 25 minutes or until a cake tester inserted in the centre comes out clean.
Take the cakes out of the oven and let them rest for 15 minutes.
Invert the cakes onto a cooling rack and let cool completely. You may also pop them into the fridge or freezer for about 45 minutes to 1 hour.
While the cakes are in the freezer, prepare your frosting. I made Cake Man Ravens Cream Cheese Icing.
Now is the time that you want to get all your frosting made for the Camouflage. I used store-bought white buttercream frosting from the baking supplies shop near my house. Whip up your frosting and separate into 3 bowls. In one bowl add some black gel food coloring. You are going to want this a dark black. In the second bowl add some forest green colouring to the icing. And the third bowl I added forest green and yellow for a lighter green look. Set aside.
For this cake I made my own stencil of the skull picture I printed out from the internet. It was a bit flimsy but it did the job. There are plenty of how to videos on making your own stencil if you don’t know how.
The next step is to take the cake out of the freezer and level out the top with a knife. I did this to both cakes that had a rounded top.
I placed a small amount of frosting on my cake board to make sure the cake was stable. Place the cake on the frosting.
I then iced the top of this cake with about 1/2 a cup of cream cheese frosting. I then placed the other cake on top of that one and iced the top in a thin coat as well. Then continue to lightly frost the sides of the cake. This is called the “crumb coat.” It seals in all the crumbs so when you do the final coat you get a nice smooth finish.
I let my little man, Jayden, help his mamma with the crumb coat…awww cute!
When you are done with the “crumb coat” place the cake back in the freezer for about 30 minutes.
Take it out of the freezer and do your final coat of Cream Cheese frosting. When you have finished the final coat, grab a scrap piece of paper and cut it in half. Place the paper on the sides of the cake and slightly bend the paper to scrap off any extra frosting. Start from the bottom and work your way up to the top of the cake. Do this all the way around the cake to get a smooth look.
Next I placed the cake back into the freezer or fridge for about 15 minutes to harden the frosting a bit.
Take the cake out and grab the stencil. Lightly spray the top of the stencil with vegetable oil spray to prevent the sand from falling onto your cake when you lift the stencil off.
Place the stencil on the cake. Dust the sand around the stencil for your desired look. This was hard for me because my stencil was flimsy.
I started with the black dusting and then the silver dusting for the outer part of the skull. Lift the stencil off lightly.
Fix any imperfections with a toothpick.
Now it is time to get your prepared buttercream frosting out and fill your piping bags. I used a round tip for the lettering.
I started with the ELITE. I did this free hand. Which I regret now. If I was smart I would have used a stencil for this aswell.
I then went on to do the C O D.
When I was done the lettering I dipped my finger in cornstarch and smoothed out the lettering as much as possible.
Now for the camouflage.
I started with the forest green camouflage and did puzzle shapes in different areas of my cake. I piped it with a wide round tip.
Then onto the black camouflage. I connected the black with the green aswell.
And last, the lighter green camouflage. I filled in the rest with this.
This step is very important. Do not skip this step. Let the buttercream crust. Either leave it on the counter for about 45 minutes or pop into the fridge. You will know its crusted when you touch it with your finger and it doesn’t stick.
Once hard, apply the VIVA METHOD to the cake. I did not have any VIVA paper towels so I used parchment paper.
I started with the top of the cake. I used my flat hand and fingers to gently smooth it out. I then used my offset spatula. Normally you would use a fondant smoother but I did not have one. Keep smoothing until it lifts off nice. It takes a while.
When that’s done, continue to the sides of the cake. Again, this does take a while to perfect it.
If there are still some bumps or spaces in between your icing, you can do what I did. I used my finger dipped in cornstarch method to smooth the rest out.
When done your cake should look something like this.
My next step was to fill in the lettering with some black sanding to make it stand out. I did this freehand and with a toothpick.
I then proceeded to outline the lettering in brown piping gel.
Once I finished the cake I cleaned my board with some damp paper towel. I then piped a border around the cake.
I also added HAPPY BIRTHDAY DOMINIK onto the cake board for some extra pizzazz.
Finally it is finished. If I can do it so can you.
It wasn’t my best cake but I was proud when I finished. And I learned a few new tricks and techniques!
If I were to make a cake like this again, I think I would have made or purchased a better stencil, then did the buttercream method with the stencil for a nice professional finish. I would also use a stencil for the lettering as well. Other than that I loved it. It turned out so moist and not too sweet!
Dominik was impressed and that’s all that matters:)
Let me know what you guys think! If you have any questions or suggestions I would love to hear them 🙂