Witty sayings. To-do lists. Inspirational quotes. Shopping lists. No matter the message, letter boards are the perfect blank canvas for personal expression, and we’re more than a little obsessed. (If you haven’t noticed, the Internet is, too.) Today we’re combining our love for letter boards with our love for cake to create a totally customizable treat that feels especially relevant this back-to-school season.
The technique is simple (even if you’ve never used fondant before) and the personalization options are endless. You’ll just need your favorite chocolate cake recipe, some black fondant, and white chocolate letters. Let’s begin!
You will need:
- White melting chocolate or white candy melts
- Piping bag
- Letter mold
- Black fondant
- Rolling pin
- Confectioners’ sugar
- Pizza cutter or sharp knife
- Narrow wooden dowel (⅛-inch diameter)
- Chocolate cake
- Serrated knife
- Chocolate icing
- White fondant
Step 1: Make the chocolate letters
Heat white melting chocolate or white candy melts in a microwave-safe bowl in 30-second intervals until smooth.
Fill a piping bag or a plastic sandwich bag with the melted chocolate and snip off the bag’s tip.
Plan the message you’d like to spell out on your cake and pipe melted chocolate into the corresponding letters of the mold, smoothing the surface of each filled letter with a spatula. Let sit in a cool place overnight or until the letters have fully hardened.
Step 2: Prepare the fondant
Warm a fist-sized lump of black fondant by kneading it on a baking mat or a sheet of waxed paper. (Black fondant can leave dye on surfaces, so be sure to cover anything you want to protect from stains.)
Using the rolling pin, roll out the fondant until it’s thin and smooth. Lightly dust the fondant with confectioners’ sugar if it’s sticking to your surface or the rolling pin.
Measure the cake pan you plan to use for baking on a piece of paper so you know the size of fondant sheet you’ll need. Cut out a paper template, place it on top of the fondant, and cut to size using a sharp knife or pizza cutter.
Gently press the wooden dowel into the top of the fondant to create parallel rows of evenly spaced indentations, each about 1/4 inch apart. (Be careful not to press all the way through the fondant.) This will mimic the ridged texture of a letter board. Let the fondant sit for a few hours, until hardened.
Step 3: Make the cake
Bake your favorite chocolate cake; we made ours in an 8-inch-by-8-inch pan. Once the cake has cooled, use a serrated knife to carefully level the top of the cake.
Step 4: Decorate
Completely cover the top of the cake with a thin layer of chocolate icing to help hold the fondant in place.
Gently place the hardened fondant on top of the iced cake.
Next, knead and roll out the white fondant.
Cut the white fondant into four ½-inch-wide strips. Trim the corners at a 45-degree angle so that they’ll fit together like a picture frame.
Lightly brush the back of the white fondant strips with water and position them on top of the black fondant, forming a border at the cake’s edges.
Remove the letters from the candy mold.
Pipe a small amount of icing onto the back of each letter and apply to the top of the cake to spell the phrase of your choice.
Admire your work, then cut and enjoy!
Did you complete this project? Post it on Instagram and tag #Etsy so we can see your letter board creation!
Projects, styling, and photography by Hannah Bridge, Brigette Muller, and Jessica Ulrich.
Hannah Bridge is a Social Media Specialist at Etsy. When not scrolling through her social media feeds, she can be found experimenting in the kitchen and binge-watching an embarrassing amount television.