Unleash your Inner Jimi Hendrix...

...or Eddie Van Halen...Jimmy Page...Carlos Santana...Thumper?
The crowd roars! Thumper it is.
Without further ado, I give you our newest Guitar Hero: Thumper!

Between Thumper and his sister they have a total of 6 (not all pictured) guitars in their possession.

Oddly enough, that's not what our rocker dude has been favoring lately. Granted, his ability to play an actual guitar is still in the embryonic stages. But, the dexterity in his fingers hovering over the --made in China-- stringless guitar makes this groupie squeal with utter delight. So much so, I baked him a cake.
Motherly? You bet. But, my offerings featured dark chocolate cake, chocolate flames, and a guitar facsimile made entirely of sugar, which he was encouraged to break into smithereens, after his concert performance.

The design was very simple, because the chocolate flames set up quickly, and the cake was simply iced in buttercream. Since the cake was covered with chocolate flames, it did not need to be iced perfectly smooth. Get thee behind me Martha!

Not to mention I only had one day to make this cake. Yes, desperate times call for desperate deeds...done dirt cheap. Any AC/DC fans out there?

You could forgo the buttercream, and use rolled fondant for the cake and royal icing for the flames. I chose buttercream because my dear husband has this silly notion that fondant and royal icing should be relegated to minor household repairs.
I tend to disagree. Besides, I have a feeling that someday, he'll learn to like fondant, and all it's gonna take is a gentle thwack of my cast iron pan upside his mangy little head.

In any event, the cake consisted of 4 layers, 2 - 8" layers, and 2 - 7" layers, all torted. I wanted a bit of a ledge, if you will, to support the massive wall of chocolate flames made to wrap around the cake.
For the flames, I melted 1½ pounds of white chocolate, and tinted it with a small amount of yellow paste food coloring. Using a dessert spoon I picked up a small blob of chocolate and dropped it onto parchment paper. I then used the tip of the spoon to quickly drag the melted chocolate to an irregular point.

Btw, roughly calculating the height of the assembled cake before making the flames --like I did-- is strictly prohibited. Please, carefully measure your torted and stacked tiers to determine the size needed for the flames on your cake. Keep in mind that at least half the flames should extend a bit beyond the height of your cake.

Once the chocolate flames were firm, I lightly airbrushed their edges in red. Don't worry if you don't have an airbrush. Brushing the flames with petal dust in the appropriate color will give you the same effect.

The pattern for the guitar was drawn freehand onto poster board, and cut out with an x-acto knife. The pattern was then placed onto thinly rolled pastillage (pastillage is a sugar based, modeling medium that dries faster and stronger than gum paste) and cut out. Once dried, the guitar was also airbrushed.

Again, if you don't own an airbrush, simply paint the guitar with paste (or powder) food coloring combined with clear alcohol, such as Gin, Vodka or Everclear. Lemon and Almond Extracts also work very well.

Because Thumper does not appreciate biting into a piece of chalky pastillage, the letters were cut out of green Tootsie Rolls, using mini-alphabet cookie cutters. Incidentally, you could use any malleable candy available in your area, such as Edo Candy Dough or Starburst candies.

The following chocolate cake is the birthday boy's favorite*

Chocolate Sour Cream Cake

4 ounces unsweetened chocolate
2 cups granulated sugar
1½ cups cake flour
¾ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup hot strong brewed coffee**
½ cup sour cream
½ cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 2 - 8-inch round cake pans with parchment paper. Melt the chocolate in the top of a double boiler, over simmering water. Or melt in the microwave, checking and stirring often, until almost melted. Remove and set aside, the residual heat will melt the chocolate completely by the time you're ready to use it.

Sift the sugar, flour, baking soda and salt together into a large mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk the hot coffee, sour cream and vegetable oil until blended.
With the mixer on low speed, gradually add the coffee mixture to the dry ingredients and mix until blended. Stop to scrape down the bowl several times while mixing.
Add the lightly beaten eggs, one at a time, and mix on medium-low speed until smooth, 10-15 seconds. Scrape the bowl each time. Add the melted chocolate and mix until combined.

Divide the batter evenly between prepared pans and place them on the center rack of the oven.
Bake until a tester comes out dry, 35 to 38 minutes. Cool the layers in the pan for about 15 minutes, remove from the pans and cool completely on a rack before icing the cake.
Yields: 12 to 16 servings. Adapted from Rosy's Bakery All-Butter, Fresh Cream, Sugar-Packed Baking Book.

* I prepared two separate batches for the birthday cake.
** I used instant espresso, Medaglia D' Oro.

Well, looks like visiting hours are over. Crank up your ovens, my friends.


  1. Oh you little A+ Ace of Cakes..

    He is gorgeous:)You know who:)

    The guitars are so prettily photoed..and I know 2 boys/men /guitar players here that would adore that cake.
    You are ..undeniably..incredibly..talented.
    I love when you post:)


  2. Just when I think dear Sol cannot possibly FLOOR me yet again... THERE YOU GO!

    Magnificent! And Happy Birthday to Thumper. :)

    I adore the way you intertwine an entertaining story with a load of learning & techniques. Love you for that!

    Absolutely DAZZLING! xo~m.

  3. Oh man...I may have to order one of those for the guitar-boy of mine for his 37th! And for him, Eddie's still the man.

  4. Anonymous10/12/08

    Happy Birthday, Thumper!

    Sol, you have a way with words, in other words, YOU ROCK, my friend! Awesome post, awesome cake, awesome kid!

    dishesdone :)

  5. what a cutie! and how fun are you to indulge him into rock n roll hall of flames~

  6. You are one amazing creative woman and mother, dear one! Wouldn't know where to begin. Now, I could bake the Chocolate Sour Cream Cake but the rest is 'way over my head'. Is your Thumper a cutie or what? My youngest grandson (5) is getting his first guitar for Christmas ... keep this recipe handy ... I'll hire you for his first rock concert!

  7. Thank you all for the wonderful comments and birthday wishes!
    I forgot to add the birthday boy turned the big 1-0.

    Mme. Monique, Ace of Who? ;-)
    Your comments always make me smile.

    Dear Mari, you have a knack for flooring me as well.

    M, there's no question Eddie is a pretty amazing musician, but I'm still undecided on my absolute favorite. I hope I'll never have to choose just one, as they all rock.

    Dishes! I didn't know you were blogging! Now how will you ever get those dishes done!?

    Thanks my PQ! Like mother like son, or something to that effect.

    Sweet Joey, hurricane Thumper is both, a cutie and a whua!?
    He's the reason I'm the epitome of Mother Hen. And if you could see his high-spirited side in action, you'd understand why.

    Btw, could I get a pass to your grandson's first concert performance? If so, my services will be pro bono [G]

    Thanks for the lurve everyone!

  8. I love that Rock n' Roll cake! Fantastic! I'd love to have one like that for my birthday...

    Happy Birthday, Thumper! What a cutie! Already a rockstar!



  9. My boyfriend "Big Bear" loves the guitar, and used to manage a band in Florida. But we had to leave Clearwater in a hurry (legal reasons) and move to Atlanta.

    As soon as our food stamps run out, we will try to find a job and get his guitar out of hock. When we do, I am going to make him this special dessert (even though he weighs over 400 pounds and has lost most of his teeth).

    My friend Jerzee Tomato (http://profiles.aim.com/jerzeetamoto) from SeriousEats website told me that your recipe was one of the BEST!

  10. WOW, despite a rather strange comment immediately above, I would like the opportunity to post my opinion, if that is alright with Louise.

    i thought your post was awesome, and I and my wife, Dr.E., will be trying your cake recipe in the near future.

    Thanks for sharing.

  11. Thank you dear Rosa; I'll pass along all the birthday wishes to the rock star!

    Thanks again to all.

  12. Sol, you ROCK! Over the top ROCK! Please extend my sincerest happy birthday wishes to your rock star.

  13. LOVE the cake! That recipe from Rosie's is my all time go-to chocolate cake recipe. My son is 15, a huge AC/DC fan and a bass player. Maybe by his birthday next summer I'll be able to make the flames and guitar.

  14. Happy Birthday to the little rock star! That's an awesome cake. I have a sneaking suspicion my boyfriend would love something like that too (big Guitar Hero fan that he is). Martha is certainly not a patch on you! :)

  15. Happy B-Day little Big Rock Star! Amiga, what a fabulous cake. I am speechless. The design was simple you say? I don't think so:) It would be a hell of a lot of work for me but with your talent I bet it was not difficult at all. It's simply out of this world. Your Rocker Son must be proud of his mami:) Happy Big Day, Thumper! And by the way, I am a December child too:)) But not there yet:)

  16. Wow what an amazing creation. I thought the flames were flower pedals at first.

  17. That is one rockin' cake. Beautiful, I love the flames. I bet a lot of rockers would love a cake like this! Everything you touch turns to gold Marysol!

  18. That is one fabulous creation! I adore this cake, only wish I had someone to make it for.

  19. G'morning my Guitar Heros!

    Glad you liked the cake. It was fun, as well as a piece of cake to make (That was lame. Forgive me). Anyway, I know anybody can do this.

    In regards to the game, I hardly rock, if my GH scores are any indication. But I promise to work on that [G]

    Fari, you're a December baby! Capricorn or Sagittarius?

    Thank you all very much for your lovely comments!

  20. He's gorgeous! And the cake? **THUD** That's the sound of my jaw hitting the ground!

    You are so talented in so many ways! I wish I live next door to you. Think of the trouble we could get into!

  21. what an amazing creation!!! :)

  22. Oh Kathy, the fun that would ensue if we were neighbors. But seriously, don't you think we're too cute to go to prison? ;-)

    Thank you very kindly Mikky!

    Mme. Monique, I thought I had addressed your comment concering "you know who."
    It's funny, but as I type this, there's some commotion over Thumper's name on some baby names forum.
    It seems some members are wondering whether that's his actual name.

    Tee hee. Is it legal to have this much fun?

    Have a great weekend my friends!

  23. Anonymous12/12/08

    Hi Sol, happy birthday to the cutest Rock Star I've ever seen (great cake too).


  24. Marysol,
    You're one cool mom! Happy birthday to your little rockstar...
    I was just reading about my favorite french singer yesterday: he obsessively taught himself how to play the guitar during his teens and by the time he was in his 20s he was a success... Obsession is a good thing. Have a great weekend!

  25. Wow! You are one cool mama!

  26. fwah..you rock indeed!

    and Happy belated Birthday to the birthday boy. Mazel Tov!

  27. Your Thumper is adorable and what a great photo!!! thats one for the wall!!
    Love the cake!
    And the post made me chuckle!

  28. Woodie! You have no idea how happy I am to see you.

    Alexa, Jessica, FB and Leslie, I don't know where his interests will take him, but I know I'll always be his biggest fan.

    Thank you guys very kindly for all the birthday wishes. Much appreciated!

  29. What an awesome cake! You so totally rock!

  30. My husband was totally and utterly unable to recreate this, sorry. We had thought the Aricept was working, but perhaps he needs his dosage adjusted.

    Thanks anyway.

  31. Fantastic job! I have a couple of teen aged nieces that are Guitar Hero fans and would freak over this cake.

  32. You know, the day will come when Thumper will no longer think of me as his 'cool' mom.
    So, I hope you won't mind if I save all your wonderful comments, for posterity [G]

    Thank you guys very much!

  33. Anonymous28/12/08

    DocChuck has no problem posting people’s information online and since I Love the cake! Specifically the cake's real name is
    Charles Treuter
    You can find his cake at
    5633 Columbia Road Unit #102
    Columbia, MD 21044
    Here is a nice picture of the cake he lives in
    Give get this cake by calling &410-245-4750&