Keeping Up with the Kake Purse

Cake purse tssHummingbird Birthday Cake

Several weeks ago I received an email from a good friend of ours…”My sweetie’s birthday is coming up soon – please, please can you bake a cake?”  Absolutely!  For good friends, cake is always possible.

I already knew about her love for cinnamon (Hummingbird Cake); choosing the flavor of cake was the easy part.  “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” is her guilty pleasure.  And somewhere along the way, she shared a story about her mum’s Christmas cake and the marzipan and the fruit bits.  That’s plenty of good stuff to work with in creating a special birthday cake.

I’ve never constructed a cake like this purse cake.  I’ve never covered a cake in anything except buttercream.  I looked online for some ideas and then struck out on my own.  It’s not perfect.  There are flaws.  But, it was my first attempt…this is test kitchen techniques for sure.

I baked the cake in a jelly roll pan; it was close to midnight since the temperatures are well above 32Celsius (do not turn on the oven during the day!).  It cooled and set in the cake fridge over night.

I cut three sections, stacked with vanilla buttercream, and then sculpted a trapezoid (I had to look that up).  After crumb-coating the cake went back into the fridge.

I rolled out the Marzipan – I bought this in Paris, it was already tinted and ready-to-use, off the shelf.  Due to the heat, it was a bit sticky so I couldn’t work with it for long periods of time. The first piece to go on was the green center.  I measured, rolled out the marzipan, and trimmed the excess.  I decided I’d add a flower embellishment – out came some cutters and the pearls.


Both front and back were covered in pink (those were the only two colors I found).  Trimming could have gone better, and I’m happy it went this well.

Deciding on a closure was a bit tricky.  I like this little flap I used.  I could have gone with some type of buckle or twist knob or zipper…but those were too complicated for this first effort.

The handle was more challenging.  I wanted a handle for this bag and tried talking myself into going without one.  It wasn’t working; the whole thing was nagging me.  These balls of marzipan strung on a zip tie is quite charming.  The result was worth the effort in seeing the project done right.


I added a small embellishment on the back and gave the flap a hint of “stitching.”
What kind of cake purse would it be without some purse essentials?  I bought these chocolates already made.

I learned so much about cake and cake decorating and cake sculpting.  I’m so happy our friend emailed and invited us to join in celebrating his fiancé’s birthday – through cake and a marvelous dinner out.  It’s a wonderful feeling to have a community.

post script:  Expecting catastrophic failure, I prepared this little cake to ensure we had something.

You may also like...

4 Responses

  1. Charlotte says:

    What an amazing creation! I think you are on your way to your own TV show on the Food Network when you get back to the US. : ) P.S. Thanks for the wonderful postcards the past few weeks!! It is the next best thing to travelling with you. : ) Love you and miss you.

    • Julia Murphy says:

      Love you and miss you so much! I can’t wait until we can bake cakes and cupcakes together. Technically, I have no idea what I’m doing – but I just figure things out as I go along – that’s not new though 🙂 And of course, I look forward to being in rehab. You’re always on the A-list for postcards; what are BFFs for?

  2. Afton says:

    You are just amazing. I love to cook, but baking and cake decorating are not in my list of talents. I cannot wait to meet you and sit down for a piece of cake and a chat!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *