Chocolate Cake Box Tier

I’ve been much to busy to bake, let alone post about it lately. Though, when my 23rd birthday approached I just had to make time to. My problem? My muse had totally abandoned me. I had no idea what to do. Then I randomly saw a picture of a round brown box with green trimming around the lid. I dislike green as a colour generally. There are precious few shades of it I like. Something stuck me about this colour scheme that I absolutely fell in love with. The whole theme for the party ended up following suit.

With the billion assignments I have, as well as working, my research project, general house duties and all the finger food I had to make for the party, I needed something simple, classy and not fiddly. This is an idea I had been sitting on for a while. Though I imagined it in white, as a wedding cake tier. I never imagined how ridiculously long it would take to make the boxes.

I started off with a chocolate cake recipe that was supposed to serve 20 people. I dunno how massive the slices are supposed to be, but I got a 7″ cake plus 26 cupcakes out of it, soo….

Cupcakes were topped with a chocolate buttercream and fondant blossoms.

I constructed bases for the boxes that turned out to be perfect for holding the cupcakes securely inside the box: even held upside down they did not dislodge.

All of the boxes were embossed. I was going for the effect of a 3-tier cake with different types of embossing on each layer.

The marshmallow fondant turned out lighter than the boxes, unfortunately. After the first batch going wrong, I didn’t have the time nor patience to knead as much colour as it took to match the boxes. Besides, this is what I presume led to my first batch going dry and cracking.

I decorated each layer with satin flowers to match the theme.

I chose not to do fondant ones for two reasons: 1) time constraints, and 2) I don’t see the point of spending a day making fondant flowers when they require a wire – it renders them inedible anyway, and satin flowers are just as effective (and quicker to make!).

The boxes worked especially well for this occasion: the previous year early leavers missed out on dessert and later lamented it, and by the time we got to dessert those that were there were mostly too full. Trying to wrap the cakes in fondant without killing the fondant cats atop was an adventure and a half. This way, early leaves and stuffed guests alike got to take one (or two… or three) home.

Close up of the embossing.

Inside the cake was layered with peppermint buttercream. I once heard Planet Cake owner Paris Cutler say that the secret to their cakes was really thin fondant. I’m a complete amateur and, as you can see, I’ve never done it any other way. I couldn’t contemplate the thought of a thick layer of fondant atop a cake. Ugh!

On to the recipes. The following chocolate cake recipe is ideal for a 3.5 litre baking dish. Feel free to halve the recipe unless you’re expecting a lot of people!

Gratuitously Large Chocolate Cake


2 cups (500ml) water

3 cups (660g) caster sugar

250g butter (chopped)

1/3 cup (35g) cocoa

1 tsp bicarb soda

3 cups (450g) self-raising flour

4 eggs, beaten lightly



1.  Preheat oven to moderate, grease and line your baking pan.

2. Combine water, sugar, butter, cocoa and baking powder in the largest saucepan you have (I mean, seriously large – bicarb soda expands, and you do not want to lose this all over your stovetop).

3. Stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil; reduce heat; simmer for 5 minutes. Transfer to a mixing bowl and allow to cool.

4. Add flour and egg; beat until smooth.

5. Pour into pan; bake for 50 minutes



185g butter, softened

2 1/4 cups icing sugar

2 tablespoons milk



1. Cream butter until light and fluffy

2. Add milk and any flavourings (if making chocolate buttercream, blend cocoa with the milk before adding) and beat

3. Gradually beat in icing sugar until well combined.


5 thoughts on “Chocolate Cake Box Tier

  1. Another very professional cake! It certainly did look like a wedding cake and I love how neat everything was done – the decorations, the boxes, etc.

    It was great that people were able to take home some in a handy little package too. 😉

  2. Another very impressive cake. =)

    This was the nicest tasting fondant I’ve had so far. Reminded me of musk sticks.

    I loved the eggs on top too – very tasty, as was the cake – nice and moist.

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