I am inspired by art and one of my favorite artists of all time is Frida Kahlo. A Mexican self taught artist who spent most of her time painting herself after a near death accident, Frida expressed her emotion, showed her vulnerability and created a style that was uniquely her own in every painting. I then thought, “what kind of cake would Frida want if she was alive?” That’s when I started to brainstorm ideas for my Frida Kahlo Cinco de Mayo Cake.
I baked up three 6 inch chocolate cakes and had some left over buttercream from my Modern Cake. I knew I wanted to stick to Frida’s surreal style and incorporate the Geode cake trend of carving a chunk out of a cake. Instead of rock candy filling in the space, I wanted to use bright flowers. Sounds crazy right?After stacking, icing and carving, I was left with this pretty cool looking cake ready for fondant!
My tip when carving a cake is to make sure it is cold and that you go slow. You can always take more off but its difficult to add cake back on. Take your time and just go with it. I knew I wanted a fairly large opening since I was going to add a ton of flowers and greenery.
Once I covered the cake in fondant, I started to paint a somber landscape which is something Frida used in so many of her paintings. I think it turned out pretty cool!Now that I had the painting portion done, I got started on my flowers. I noticed in a lot of her paintings, Frida uses lush greens and wears flower crowns for a pop of color. She was the original flower crown snap queen! To get started on my fantasy flowers and greens, I used 3 kinds of petal dust (eggplant, lime and orange) to add depth to the flowers and greens, a ball tool, brushes, a tiny orchid cutter, a tiny flower cutter, rolling pin and a foam round. I also dyed small pieces of gumpaste pink, orange, lime green and a darker shade of green. I highly suggest you use gumpaste since it dries faster than fondant.
From there, I started creating my flowers and hand cutting my leaves. You can see how I made these and the rest of the cake in my video below.For a final touch, I added brown sugar around the rim of the board for a sand effect and made a tiny sugar skull to add to the bottom of the flower waterfall.
This cake combined all of my favorite things: flower making, painting and Frida! If she were alive, I hope she would love this cake as much as I do. Instead of making a typical boozy cake to celebrate Cinco de Mayo, I wanted to pay respect to a Mexican artist who not only inspires me but also reminds me to be creative, reimagine and stay true to myself. Frida was an incredibly strong woman who was complex and redefined what it meant to be a female artist in a patriarchal society. Thank you Frida for being you!
Check out my YouTube video below to see my Frida Kahlo Cinco de Mayo cake come to life!