Friday, October 8, 2010

Piano Cake

This is a jump queue post.

My son's birthday was back in August but I didn't have time to blog about it.  Decide to jump the queue before the next birthday arrives (my mom's in November).

DD1 and DS2 started taking piano lessons back in June this year.  I must say DS2 did not show as much interest as his sister since he hasn't been practising.  Probably because of his age?  Or he just doesn't have the passion?  But the interesting part is, he asked me to bake him a piano cake for his birthday.

I remember seeing 2 piano cakes, here and here, both very different styles.  I had wanted to adapt HHB's keyboard cake but I don't have a cake box big enough to accommodate a rectangle cake.  And with Wendy's, though I have a square cake pan, it has not been used to bake a chiffon cake (I only use chiffon cake base for my layer cakes) so I was worried the cake may get stuck to the bottom of the pan.  Googled for piano cake ideas and all of them are baked in squares or rectangles, mostly covered with fondant (which needs a dense cake to support).  I give up.  Decided to just bake a 8" round cake and decide on the decoration later as I've communicated with DS2 I can't commit but I'll try my best. He gave me a few other options, a ball cake, a gummy bear cake, or just a cake with his name on it and the words "Happy Birthday".

I did my sketch on a recycled paper, measuring out the black and white keys in a 8" cake pan.  I forgot 8" is too big for my family so I had to reduce to a 7" instead.  After this draft was done, DD3 decided to help me with some colouring.

I melted some chocolate for the black keys but when I was removing them from the parchment paper, they cracked.  I have contigency plan of course, Kit Kat!  That saved the cake :-)

I used dairy whipping cream and again, it's melting on me :'(

I left the cake on the table while I go get the knife.  DD3 couldn't wait and decided to poke her little finger into the cream.  If DS2 were to see this, a war is inevitable.

I first saw this rainbow cake at What's For Dessert Today, adapted from Rumah Manis, and then at Wendy's.  I thought the kids will be thrilled to see something colourful but I was wrong.  They didn't go "wow" after seeing the sliced cake.  To them, it was just another plain cake.

Basic Chiffon Cake
3 egg yolks
20g castor sugar

60ml corn oil
pinch of salt
100ml water

110g cake flour
1/3 baking powder

3 egg whites
1/3 tsp cream of tartar
30g castor sugar

  1. In a bowl, using hand whisk, whisk yolks and sugar till sugar dissolves.
  2. Add oil and salt, whisk and add water. Stir well.
  3. Fold in sifted flour and baking powder, mix well.
  4. In another bowl, using an electric mixer, beat till the whites are frothy. Add in Cream of Tartar and beat till soft peaks.
  5. Add in sugar gradually and beat till stiff peaks.
  6. Fold in 1/3 of the whites into the yolk mixture using a rubber spatula till incorporated.
  7. Pour the mixture to the remaining egg whites and fold in gently till incorporated.
  8. Pour the batter into 7" round pan. Bang the pan on the table to get rid of bubbles.
  9. Bake at pre-heated oven of 170 deg.C for 20 mins.
  10. Turn down the temperature to 160 deg.C and bake for another 20 - 25 mins.
  11. Reduce the temperature to 140 deg.C and bake for a further 5 - 10 mins to brown the surface.
  12. Remove from the oven and invert the pan. Remove the cake from pan when it's completely cooled.


Casey said...

very nice round piano cake! haha...a good idea to use Kit Kat for the black keys.
My 6 year-old girl just gave up her piano lesson after 1 year attending the class, I am still striving to persuade her back to the lesson, headache!

Blessed Homemaker said...

I think it's very individual. Take DD1 for eg, she is doing so well that her piano teacher wanted her to go for her grade 1 exam in Feb 2011. I told her to put it on hold first as I don't want to stress both the child and the teacher. As for my son, he is still way way behind, ask him to practice, he seems like entertaining me, just play one piece and that's it.

WendyinKK said...

Eh, nice what...Why u tell me not nice la. I flavoured the layers,so each colour is a different flavour. I think, if you added chocolate rice to cover the supposely dark areas, the cake will really look like a piano.
I couldn't do that last time, because my niece loves purple.

Blessed Homemaker said...

Compare to yours, not nice lah...

I wanted to add some chocolate rice as I've got a pack sitting in my fridge for the longest time but I really can't spare that 5 mins. This cake was decorated while kids were having their dinner and all waiting excitedly to eat the cake :P

Happy Homebaker said...

Give your son more time...I am sure he will slowly fall in love with music. My younger son didn't show much interest initially, but now both my boys love music! Your piano cake looks very pretty! I am thinking of making one too :)

Bakericious said...

BH, the cake is very pretty, your son must b very happy!

KWF said...

Good job! I love the color combination of the chiffon. I haven't try playing with colors with chiffon yet.

Kitchen Corner said...

I like the cake crumbs! It looks very soft and fluffy!

DG said...

You did a good job, the cake looks nice and yummy. It's such a good idea using kit kat for the black keys, looks so real!
Looking at what your DD3 poked the cream, remind of my DS2 always do that too, LOL. I have to scream & keep remind him to get rid of his finger out of it. :)

Elin Chia said...

Hi, that cake looks great...made with love and I am sure your boy loves the cake :)

Anonymous said...

wow!! u r really great!! Looks nice and delicious! How i wish i can hv a bite. :) ....MH

MaryMoh said...

What a beautiful piano cake! My daughter would love this as she loves piano.

Edith said...

Nicely done! I wonder why they didn't wow at this cake?

Casey said...

I read through all your konnyaku jelly postings, there are really nice and looks yummy.
I never try to do the konnyaku jelly yet, I will try some of your recipes, thanks a lot!

Cosy Bake said...

wow, i like that soft and fine sponge! makes me feeling hungry.... looking at the pix as if I can taste the cake. hahah...

Just my 2 cents... Since the piano teacher thinks she is ready then you should let her go for it. Unless the child is telling you she is not ready. Or else should let her have a try. Be it pass or not, it's not the real matter. From there she has the experience of what a Piano exam is like. ( I am taking my piano teaching course now, so I just wanna share my thought, hope you don't mind) Yum yum cake!! :)

ann low said...

I think this is awesome.
I saw a piano cake from my friend's daughter birthday but she made it with butter cream and I don't like butter cream, will of course use fresh cream :)

Coraine said...

Wah nice!! =) I must try this~!

Shirley @ Kokken69 said...

I do remember Wendy's purple piano cake... It is something I can never imagine myself attempting. Thus I applaud you for making this. Black and white is very chic... I am sure your kids are delighted!

Noob Cook said...

so clever to use kit kats for the keys! the cake looks really cute and yummy :)

Miss B @ Everybody Eats Well in Flanders said...

Such a beautiful cake! I am not good at cake-decoration but I am gonna try practising soon so I can make one for my baby for his 2nd bday next year. We are also thinking of sending him for piano lessons (although he may be still too small) but I think he will bang at the piano instead of play it. :P

Cooking Gallery said...

What a beautiful looking cake! Using Kit Kats is a very clever idea indeed :)!

Nate @ House of Annie said...

It's a really beautiful cake, and the Kit Kat save is perfect!

Bakertan said...

hi blessed homemaker,

this cake looks very well decorated and the cake layours are very colourful, nice job!

I know how you feel when the dairy whip cream melts, our weather is too warm here.

The Experimental Cook said...

So cute ! Esp the part that is licked off.

Dimah said...

Wow that cake is gorgeous!Fantastic job!

Thanks for stopping by my blog and for the kind comment :)

Anonymous said...

Hi Jie
;) leaving my 1st note in ur blog... u spur me to make one for my pa's the colour combi..Luv,SL

The Chambs said...

how fun!!!
i'm a new follower from
Hope you can stop by and look at the lemon cake my hubby made for me.
Have a great day!

Blessed Homemaker said...

Thanks for the reassurance. During the last lesson, his piano teacher did mention that he had grasp the method to read the music notes so he's improving now :-) Can't wait to see your piano cake!


Blessed Homemaker said...

You've done so well in your chiffon, maybe you can try playing with the colours now, like your steamed rainbow cake ;-)

Kitchen Corner,
Thanks! It's soft because it's a chiffon base ;-)

Blessed Homemaker said...

I just cannot understand why kids love to poke their fingers into cakes hahaha!


Blessed Homemaker said...

If your boys are into piano too, you can try baking them one ;-)

Join our next gathering, maybe I can bake a cake then.

Blessed Homemaker said...

Thanks! Try to make one for your daughter, I'm sure she'll like it!

Thanks! But I think it'll be better if I were to use fondant. I also don't know why they didn't go wow...

Blessed Homemaker said...

My personal preference is konnyaku jelly so I make them quite often ;-)

Blessed Homemaker said...

Honey Boy,
Thanks for your insight but we have just missed the registration for Feb's exam so will wait for the next exam.

Blessed Homemaker said...

Thanks for your kind words.

I'm not a buttercream person too ;-)

Blessed Homemaker said...

Let me know when you make this, I want to see!

Blessed Homemaker said...

Thanks for visiting. The kids were extremely happy to see Kit Kat on the cake :-|

Blessed Homemaker said...


Miss B,
My decoration sucks big time, uneven frosting and lousy deco :P But at least it's the one and only in the world, even a copycat version will turn out different. I'm sure your son will appreciate your effort.

You might want to send your son for music appreciation course first, to cultivate some interests ;-)

Blessed Homemaker said...

Cooking Gallery and Nate @ House of Annie,

Blessed Homemaker said...

Even on rainy days, the whipped cream melts on me! Argh!!

Experimental Cook,
Kids just love doing that, don't they?

Blessed Homemaker said...

Thanks for your kind words

Blessed Homemaker said...

Pa's birthday coming, can't wait to see your cake!

Blessed Homemaker said...

The Chambs,
Thanks for visiting. You are so fortunate to have a husband that does the cooking and baking!

Anonymous said...

Hi Blessed Homemaker,

Your piano cake is awesome, so beautiful, esp the cross section. Am thinking of making one for my dd's bday. But I only have one size cake pan, do I need 3 separate pans of the same size? Since this is a layered cake, may I know how do I go about baking the different layers?
Thank you very much for your time.

P/s : Many SAHMs have benefited from your blog, from cooking to baking and many other tips. Jia You! And please keep posting..

Have a good day, cupcake

Blessed Homemaker said...

I used 2 similar size cake pan and baked 2 colours. If you only have 1 cake pan, you might have to bake them separately if you want different colours for each layer.

And thank you for your encouraging words. I need them :-)