kim's kitchen

Why not make a hamburger out of cake?

Posted 4/21/21

There are few things in the world that smell as good as a hamburger sizzling on a grill, and I say this even though I really can’t digest red meat.

What says “summer” more than …

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kim's kitchen

Why not make a hamburger out of cake?


There are few things in the world that smell as good as a hamburger sizzling on a grill, and I say this even though I really can’t digest red meat.

What says “summer” more than an outdoor barbecue with delicious food and cold beverages?

One of the joys that cooking gives me is the fact that food can bring people together, which is exactly what we all need as we emerge from our COVID-19 nightmare.

That’s why this month’s project is, well, a hamburger!

And since a hamburger can be made out of beef, turkey, chicken, fish, tofu, or a vegan substitute, I thought, “Why not make a hamburger out of cake covered in fondant?”

“What, exactly, is fondant?” I’m often asked.

It’s actually a kind of icing, though the texture of fondant is completely different from, say, buttercream.

Most fondant is made from sugar, water, corn syrup and glycerin (some variations include powdered sugar and marshmallow). This formula allows a baker to roll it out—much like dough—rather than spread it on as you would with other icings. And because you can roll fondant out, you can cover a cake almost flawlessly—after a little practice, that is. (Another advantage of fondant is the lack of raw eggs, which are a potential allergen.)

Once you’ve mastered the art of rolling fondant, your cake decorating skills will take a giant leap forward. People will be very impressed by how clean and elegant your cakes look.

This hamburger project is the perfect way to develop your fondant skills.

First of all—unlike, say, a wedding cake—your hamburger doesn’t have to look perfect.

Second, the hamburger project can teach you how to add support structure to your cake efforts—a very important concept, since most people don’t understand exactly how heavy and potentially unstable cake is.

And third, it’s always fun to serve a dish that looks like standard dinner fare—only to have your guests gasp in surprise when it’s revealed that your burger is actually a cake!

As always, I encourage you to put your own stamp on your burger. My tutorial is a way, not the only way—at least in decorative terms.

But don’t take my word for it. Get some cake and some fondant and “grill up” some sweet burgers yourself!

Materials needed.

Bake a cake in the flavor of your choice. Carve four separate layers into the bottom area (which will hold the fries), the bottom bun, the burger patty, and the top bun. Cover all the cake layers in chocolate ganache and refrigerate for 2 hours.

Roll out beige fondant. Cover the bottom bun area. Trim excess and shape.

 Push five cake straws into bottom bun through to the cake plate.

Roll out fondant for burger. Add texture. Cover burger cake layer, trim excess, attach burger layer with buttercream.

Brush the bottom bun layer with edible color.

Roll out yellow fondant (should be very thin). Trim it to look like a slice of cheese. Stack it on the burger layer.

Roll out red fondant thickly for tomato slice. Cut out with round cookie cutter. Carve out and shape tomato interior with a cake tool. Detail with white edible paint to make it shine.

Marble together white/green fondant (should be very thin). Shape like lettuce, and add details with cake tools. Add to top of cheese.

Slice tomato in two. Add the halves to the lettuce and attach random red fondant strips to simulate ketchup.

Roll beige fondant, cover top bun layer, trim excess, and shape. Attach to top of burger with buttercream.

Detail top bun with edible paint.

Make tiny sesame seeds out of white fondant. Add to top bun.

Roll out more beige fondant (it should be thick). Cut into strips and shape like French fries.

Add fries to plate layer. Paint and dust in details with edible colors.

Kim M. Simons is an award-winning artist, food artist and cake artist. She and her team—The Bah Hum Bakers—were crowned champions of Food Network’s “Holiday Wars” in December 2019. Most recently, Kim competed on Food Network’s “Cakealikes,” which can be streamed on Discovery-plus. Kim’s cookbook of gluten-free recipes—“Get All Cook-Y With Kim”—can be purchased on



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