Black and White 3 Tier Cake (Sweet Sixteen)

If you follow us on Facebook and Instagram, you might have seen some images of a cake that Mom (Laura) and I made. It was fun sharing the ‘in process’ pictures with everyone and then unveiling the finished cake – also a little scary. It was a black and white 3 tier cake that we were asked to make for a very special girl’s sweet sixteen birthday party. It’s humorous to me that anyone would have faith that we could pull off this kind of a cake, but they did and we couldn’t very well let them down. Mom and I do a lot of baking and most of what we make tastes pretty darn good, but a cake like this a bit beyond our skillset. But we were up for the challenge.

Black and White 3 Tier Cake

Having not done a cake of this scale before, we turned to the internet. This spring we were asked to try out the Acer C720P Chromebook and it came in oh-so handy for our cake planning. It’s small, it’s quick, and it’s light. When Mom was sitting in the living room and found a cake design on Pinterest or via search engine, she could easily carry the Chromebook over to me in my office to show me what she found. It’s great for watching YouTube videos and we watched a TON of cake decorating videos. I can’t believe how many of them are out there… millions of them!

For recipe viewing the Acer C720P Chromebook sat nicely on the kitchen counter while the KitchenAid mixer was whirling away. It also has the very same cool touchscreen feature that our Intel AIO has. The whole family loves the touchscreen experience. Now if only the grandkids can get this thing away from Grandma Laura. She LOVES the Chromebook. I think we might just have to let her keep this one all to herself.

Acer C720P Chromebook

Our very special friend, Mycala, wanted a masquerade ball for her sweet sixteen party. Her Mom and Grandma did an amazing job of giving her just that. Laura and I were glad to do our little part in making the cake. Mycala had her heart set on a fondant covered cake. I am not a big fan of how the store bought fondant tastes, so Mom and I set out to find a recipe that would taste better and we settled on Marshmallow fondant. Everywhere we looked the basic recipe was pretty much the same as the Wilton recipe below. There were a lot of great general cake decorating tips on the Wilton site that we found, so it’s worth exploring if you are a novice baker.

Marshmallow Fondant Recipe:
1 package (16 ounces) white mini marshmallows
2-5 tablespoons water
2 pounds (about 8 cups) sifted confectioners’ sugar
1/2 cup solid vegetable shortening

1. To make marshmallow fondant, place marshmallows and 2 tablespoons of water in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave 30 seconds on high. Stir until mixed well. Continue microwaving 30 seconds more. Stir again. Continue until melted (about 2 1/2 minutes).

2. Place 3/4 of the confectioners’ sugar on top of the melted marshmallow mixture. Fold sugar into marshmallow mixture. Flavoring can be added at this point if desired. Place solid vegetable shortening in easily accessed bowl so you can reach into it with fingers as you are working. Grease hands and counter GENEROUSLY; turn marshmallow mixture onto counter. Start kneading like you would dough. Continue kneading, adding additional confectioners’ sugar and re-greasing hands and counter so the fondant doesn’t stick. If the marshmallow fondant is tearing easily, it is too dry; add water (about 1/2 tablespoon at a time) kneading until fondant forms a firm, smooth elastic ball that will stretch without tearing, about 8 minutes.

3. It’s best to allow Marshmallow Fondant to sit, double-wrapped, overnight. Prepare the fondant for storing by coating with a thin layer of solid vegetable shortening, wrap in plastic wrap and then place in resealable bag. Squeeze out as much air as possible. Marshmallow Fondant will keep well in refrigerator for several weeks.

4. When not working with fondant, make sure to keep it covered with plastic wrap or in a bag to prevent it from drying out. When ready to use, knead fondant until smooth. Roll out fondant 1/8 in. thick. There was one blog that recommended greasing the countertop when you are kneading the fondant, before rolling it out. Please don’t do this. We did this with our first batch and had to toss it out. It’s not necessary and your fondant will never become stiff enough.

Black and White Cake Construction

To make this 3 tier cake we used 12 inch, 8 inch, and 6 inch cake pans. Each tier is a two layer white cake make with Pillsbury White Cake mixes. The cakes were frosted with our favorite buttercream icing recipe and a different filling on each cake. On the bottom cake we used a prepared lemon curd filling, and on the middle cake a prepared apricot jam filling. It was nice to offer a little variety.

We purchased two sets of these damask design edible transfer sheets from Global Sugar Art. They were very easy to work with and turned out beautiful on the cake. We would totally use these again. This great ruffled fondant flower tutorial we found on Balancing Bites showed us how to make the flower you see on the top of the cake.

Fondant Ruffle Flower

After doing some research with our Acer C720P Chromebook about the architecture of tiered cakes, we learned that we should support each layer of the cake with wooden dowels. We put a cardboard round beneath each cake. Then we cut wooden dowels to size for each cake and placed three inside of each cake to support the next layer. We transported the cakes separately and assembled them on site and added a simple shell border to cover the seams.

Black and White Cake

That’s me and Laura with the finished cake. Can you guess who’s who behind the masks?

Below is the beautiful birthday girl and her handsome boyfriend (who happens to be Laura’s grandson).

Mycala's Sweet Sixteen Party

I almost forgot to mention that we made cupcakes too! Just some chocolate cupcakes with buttercream icing. We used candy molds to make some chocolate bows for to tops and added some cute polka dot wrappers. They turned out darling.

Black and White Cupcakes

The Sweet Sixteen Masquerade Ball was a huge success. The kids danced the night away and cake was enjoyed by all. Doing a cake like this requires a lot of planning and takes several days to do. Did our cake turn out perfect? Far from it. But it was an adventure and a lot of fun to do, and most importantly it made someone we care about very happy. Many thanks to our sponsor Intel AIO for providing us with the Acer c720P Chromebook to review.

#spon: I am in a partnership with Intel. Through this partnership I gain access to content, product, or other forms of value.

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  1. Nicole Dz says

    I love the whole theme of the party, and the cupcakes are my favorite with the bows. And the damask design on the cake is so gorgeous. You guys did a awesome job!

  2. says

    WOW! I am impressed. The cake turned out amazing! It definitely looks professional and the designs are lovely. I bet it tastes just as good as it looks!

  3. says

    That came out amazing. I have done marshmallow fondant, but just didn’t have the patience to execute a cake to look like it was professionally done. I’m inspired to try again.

  4. says

    I am impressed. My sister is the baker in the family and I am always in awe of the things she creates. I stick with box mixes and premade icing.

  5. Betsy Barnes says

    Such a beautiful cake!! You guys did a fantastic job! I would never attempt it for sure, very impressed with the talent. I love the photos, it looks like everyone had a blast at the The Sweet Sixteen Masquerade Ball :)

  6. Shannon says

    What a gorgeous cake and a fun party. Thank you for sharing and happy belated sweet sixteen!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  7. April Farley says

    Lady that is talent ! I SO wish I could decorate a cake. I can bake till the cows come home. It always taste pretty Yum. When it comes to decorating.. Well it looks like a preschooler has been at work in my kitchen. I can make a bunny out of two 8 inch round cakes . LOL
    You dis such an excellent job on this !

  8. Jo-Ann Brightman says

    Your cake looks beautiful and I hope it tasted as good as it looked. I like the cupcakes too. I am glad that the party was a success.

  9. M.Clark says

    The cake is very pretty, it looks like a wedding cake, the cupcakes are pretty as well. Thank you for sharing the marshmallow fondant recipe. I have never made fondant before, I would love to give it a try.

  10. says

    What a beautiful cake! I’ve always wanted to work with marshmallow fondant but have been intimidated. I have a good friend who makes incredible cakes and one day I’m going to have her teach me!

  11. says

    The cake is gorgeous, thought it was for a wedding not a birthday! I haven’t every tried working with fondant, but you make it look possible

  12. Tammy S says

    The cake looks amazing! I would et you two make a cake for me anytime! :) I think making a cake for a special occasion like this is so much better then just buying a cake.It has a lot more meaning to it. Great job!

  13. says

    That’s absolutely beautiful! You say it’s not perfect, but it looks like it to me. I’m so impressed…and grateful I have a few years to practice before I have to make a Sweet 16 cake like that.

  14. says

    So beautiful for sure!! That took a lot of work too! It looks perfect. I am lucky to get a cake to look straight! She looks so happy about everything too!! Thanks for sharing.

  15. Kamla L. says

    The cake is absolutely GORGEOUS!! It looks so professional. I have never been brave enough to attempt fondant but the marshmallow recipe you used makes it seem less intimidating.

  16. says

    What an amazing cake.
    My mom used to bake cakes for weddings, etc.
    I just love the look of this black & white cake.
    You did a superb job!

  17. Sandy Cain says

    This is all too amazing to me! I am definitely challenged in the baking department – I could never in my life make something like this, but I sure love seeing your pix of it. I bet it tasted great!

  18. Kelsey Louise says

    Oh wow you did an amazing job on the cake, it is absolutely gorgeous, cupcakes too!! What a fun party theme, Happy Birthday!!!

  19. Lynne says

    What a gorgeous cake – I’m sure you are going to be getting lots more requests for similar looking ones, this turned out beautifully.

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