Learn how to make a Burn-Away Cake with this easy step-by-step tutorial. Create a visual delight for your taste buds.
If you’re looking to create a show-stopping dessert that combines visual magic with delicious flavors, look no further than the trendy burn-away cake. These cakes have been setting social media on fire (literally!), and I’ll guide you through the process of making your own.
What Are Burn-Away Cakes?
Burn-away cakes are the latest sensation, captivating audiences on TikTok.
Here’s the secret: these cakes start with a printed image on their surface. When you set the image on fire, it smoothly burns away, revealing another hidden image beneath. It’s like edible magic!
I created this burn cake for a Super Bowl party.
It looks like a football…… but when burned, it reveals the real reason I’m here.
For the Super Bowl Commercials and the chance of seeing Taylor Swift!
This type of cake would be perfect for a gender reveal, or any other fun surprising announcement.
Materials and Supplies needed to make a burn-away cake:
Cake – it can be homemade or store-bought.
Frosting – we’ll use a lot! I used both white and brown frosting for my football cake.
Edible paper – also known as edible icing or wafer paper.
– I bought this package of 25 sheets from Amazon.
– You can also order custom-printed images of any photo or graphic that you create.
– It’s also possible to make your own edible paper at home! I haven’t tried it yet, but will report back when I do. This site has three different recipes to try.
Edible Markers – These were a great deal; 12 colors with dual-tips.
A template – if you’re drawing on the edible paper with your edible markers. I find it’s much easier to trace or color in a design so that I don’t worry about spacing or spelling mistakes.
💜 If you’re making the Football & Taylor Swift cake, you can download design # 141 – Football-Shaped Burn Cake PDF from the Free Files Folder.
* Links to products are for your convenience in finding tools and materials, however, they are affiliate links.
As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. *
How to create the image and secret message on edible paper
You’ll be making two different designs on the edible paper.
One is the secret message that goes on the cake and will be revealed when the top layer is burned away.
The second design will be the top layer which should look like the top of a normal cake, but it will actually be lit on fire and go up in flames. (So much fun!)
I find that it’s so much easier to have a template to draw over, rather than just doing it freehand.
It helps with the spacing, and you won’t worry that you’re going to spell something incorrectly or forget part of the message.
If you’re making a football cake like I did, you can download the free printable (design # 141 – Football-Shaped Burn Cake PDF) from the Free Files Folder.
If you’re making another type of cake, simply create your design in a document or image editing program and print it out in black and white.
My edible paper has two sides, one rough, and one smooth. I prefer to work on the smooth side.
Grab your edible marker pens…
… and start tracing. Don’t worry about getting the text or design exact, just go with the flow. It’s just a template.
Try to draw quickly and smoothly to get even color.
I used the stiff marker tip for the text and to outline the block letters.
I used the brush side for the signature and to color in the blue block letters.
Now, I’ll do the top layer.
I used a silver marker for the lacing.
I found that coloring in the football caused the paper to warp because of all the moisture of the marker.
To counteract this, I flipped the paper over and also colored in on the back to try to make it curve the opposite way.
Make the Cake
I made a round cake using my favorite Extreme Chocolate Cake recipe. (Make sure to use hot coffee instead of boiling water for an even more chocolatey taste.)
To cut it into a football shape, remove a 2-inch strip from the middle. Here is a more detailed tutorial at this link.
Put a crumb coat of frosting on the top of the cake. (A crumb coat is a coat of frosting that prevents crumbs from getting into the second layer of frosting.)
I used a white frosting because the background of the secret message is white.
I often put the cake into the fridge to get the first layer of frosting to set up more quickly
Put on the second layer of white frosting.
I learned that you want to get the top layer very, very flat. The middle can even be slightly lower than the edges, but you definitely don’t want the cake to round up in the middle.
If there isn’t enough space between the two layers, both layers can burn.
Cut out your secret message on the edible paper to fit the cake. Make it a little bit smaller than the cake itself; there’s no need for it to go all of the way to the edge.
Press the message on smoothly to the top of the cake on fresh frosting.
Again – make sure that it is flat.
Pipe a thick layer of frosting around the edge of the cake.
This is not decorative; it’s there to create height between the two messages. My frosting was not super stiff, so I put it in the fridge again to let this layer firm up.
Pipe a second layer of frosting on the top of the first. I put it in the fridge again.
Here you can see the double layers of frosting, which create a space between the two layers of edible paper.
Pipe just a bit of fresh frosting on the top of the second layer so that you can press the top layer of edible paper into it. (This is the football or the top burn-away message.)
Frost the sides of the cake all of the way up as you normally would.
Now, pipe the rest of the decorative frosting on.
Cover the edges of the paper, pipe around the bottom of the cake, and pipe on the side around the edge of the paper.
And it’s done!
Light it up! How to reveal the secret message on your burn-away cake
You definitely want to use a long-handled lighter to start the cake on fire.
Perhaps it was because I had so much marker on the top layer, but it took about five seconds to ignite the paper.
It’s burning away to reveal the secret message.
The flame will go out when the flame meets the frosting.
You can see that there is some “ash” lying on top of the cake. I questioned how it would taste…. I certainly wouldn’t want to eat paper ash!
To answer that question: It’s just like burnt marshmallow!
It actually taste and smells exactly like a burnt marshmallow. I think that the burning paper smells like cotton-candy, to be honest. It smells good while burning. If you eat just the plain paper, it really has no taste.
A burn-away cake is a really new, trendy thing to make, so go ahead and ask me anything!
Leave your questions or thoughts in the comments’ section below.