Thursday, April 18, 2013

Richard Goh’s Cake Deco Class 4: How to Make Cutout/Figure Cake? (Matcha Chiffon Cake with Blueberry Fillings)

31st March 2013

We have one week break last week. This week we are making cutout cake, in this class we concentrate on figure, A-Z or 1-9.

A cutout cake is a 2D cake formed in the shape of a particular character or image. The cake design is similar to, but simpler than, that of a 3D cake. Basically once you learn the principle you can turn just about any image into a cutout cake. They are all free hand cut, so you are not required to buy any special mould.

We were told to bring a square or rectangle cake this time. We also need to think of the figure we want to make and draw on paper. Richard will check our sketch in the class before we cut the cake.

What you need?
  • A square or rectangle basic sponge cakes (Richard suggested not smaller than 9”)
  • Turntable
  • Knife
  • Flat spatula
  • Whipping cream
  • Piping bag
  • Food colour

What I learn from this class?
  • Principle of cutout cake
  • Frosting of cake in irregular shape
  • Free hand cut of cake in irregular shape

How to make cutout/figure cake?

  • Take a piece of paper, same size as your cake and sketch the figure (in my case I am making “4”). The “body” must be broad; the principle is to minimize cut and wastage. Do not cut out any hole at the centre, we can pipe different colour of cream to represent the “hole”.   

  • Once you are satisfied with the sketch, cut out the shape.

  • Level and slice the cake as usual. Then place the cutout paper on the cake. Cut the cake according to the shape. When cutting straight line just hold the knife as usual (horizontally) but when cutting curve, you need to hold the knife vertically and move the knife in “up down up down” motion to cut the cake.

  • Once done, you can start to apply cream and add fillings to each layer. You can also do that before cutting out the shape.

  • Crumb coat the whole cake as usual. Then apply another layer of cream (the actual frosting). For the actual frosting unlike round cake which we start to frost from the center, for cutout cake we start from corners. After which, smoothen the top with spatula in one direction. For the sides, technique applied to round cake doesn’t apply here. To get 90 degree angle hold the spatula horizontally and “cut” downwards (like cutting cake). This is not as easy as it sounds! At our level it is difficult to get smooth and nice sides due to the shapes and angles, so Richard suggested us to coat the sides with chocolate rice, almonds flakes etc.

  • After frosting the whole cake you can start to decorate the cake.  

I only have one 8” and one 11” square tin. 8” is too small so I used the 11’ square tin to bake my cake. Since I was making number “4”, a rectangle cake should be more suitable. So I trimmed my cake into about 9” x 11”.

My cake decoration was very simple. I hided the ugly side frosting by piping little stars all over. I then piped shell around top and bottom borders. I also piped stars at the centre to represent the “hole” in the number “4”. (Note: Green - Wilton tip # 20, Pink - Wilton tip #32). When all the piping was done, I decorated with some ready-made icing flowers and marshmallows (in a way I also used them to cover flaws: P).

For the cake base, I made chiffon cake instead of sponge cake this time. It was matcha chiffon cake with blueberry fillings. First time trying this combination, believe me they are very matching.

I adapted the basic chiffon cake recipe from “Creative Making of Cake” by Chef Alex Goh. I replaced partial flour with matcha powder, replaced water with milk, cut down sugar and liquid in the recipe. The reason I cut down liquid was because I wanted a firmer cake. Nevertheless, the cake was still very soft and moist. Alex Goh’s recipe is always very forgiving. 

I am sharing my modified recipe.

Matcha Chiffon Cake

   8 egg yolk
   90g sugar
   100g milk
   140g vegetable oil
   1/4 tsp salt
   138g plain flour/cake flour
   12g matcha powder
   2 tsp baking powder
   8 egg white
   180g castor sugar
   ¼ tsp cream of tartar

  • Please refer to HERE.
  • The above amount is for my 11”x11” square tin. The egg whites only need to be beaten till soft peak. I only lined the bottom of the pan and did not line or grease the sides.
  • If baking in chiffon tin, beat the egg whites till stiff peak. The above amount is good for a 25cm (10”) chiffon tin or you can half the recipe for a 20cm (8”) chiffon tin.

I am submitting this post to Aspiring Bakers #30: it's Tea time! (April 2013) hosted by Food Playground.


  1. angel, u are making me ve the urge of attending class to.learn more on deco, now only rely on any how do lol

    1. Hi Jess

      I think the class is really worthwhile to attend. The course fee is very low as compared to private course. Most importantly Richard is an very experience instructor who is willing to share.

  2. 你的装饰蛋糕很棒列

    1. 鲸鱼,

      谢谢。这是so far我比较满意的作品。可能是颜色的关系,我觉得颜色很搭。

  3. 有这么棒的导师,肯定教出pandai的徒弟,

  4. Angel, I love everything with matcha!!!! your matcha chiffon looks absolutely yummy with the blueberry!!!!yum yum....

  5. 太棒了!!

  6. oh, you are attending baking class huh..Thanks for sharing what you learnt from the class.

  7. hi angel, im one of ur baking fans who live in manchester. can u teach me how to make those whipping cream for cake decoration as the whipping cream i made will melt easily even its winter. i just dun understand why and how to make it stand longer as im going to bake a cake for my lil one in june for his birthday!! thank you very much and i'll really appreciate on ur helpful tips!

    1. Hi Alecia,

      Thanks for your support.

      I suspect the cream you used is dairy whipping cream which is less stable. For cake deco i used non-dairy, just pour and whip and it is ready to be used. It is more stable and stand longer in room temperature.

      For dairy whipping cream you can stabilize it using gelatin. Refer to below link

      Other tips for u: chill your bowl and beaters in the freezer for one hour before using. When beating place the bowl on some ice cubes (if you are not using stand mixer) but for winter time I doubt this is necessary.

      I hope my reply helps :)

    2. thx angel!! i'll have a try on it and hope that i will b as pro as you!!

  8. HI Angel,
    I am gonna do this chiffon cake today or tomorrow for the house cake. Just checking with you, why did you beat the egg whites to soft peak only when the original pandan chiffon requires stiff peak?

    1. Hi Miss B,

      I hope my reply is not too late becasuse I just read your comment today.

      I learnt this tips from one of the Alex Goh's books. If you are going to bake the chiffon in big pan (eg making swiss roll), then you only beat the egg white to soft peak. I experimented beating to stiff and soft peak for sheet cake, in fact, soft peak yields better result. If you beat to stiff peak the cake will rise higher but it shrinks more after cooling.

    2. Hi Angel,
      I made the chiffon cake on Saturday for my son's bday party on Sunday. I whisked the egg whites to stiff peaks, yes indeed the cake sank quite a bit during cooling, despite letting it stay in the oven for 10 min to get used to the big difference in temp (my room temp was 20C).

      Thanks for your advice, I will keep that in mind for the future chiffon sheet cakes I make. I will post the link to my house cake so that you can take a look. Thanks for the step-by-step tutorial, it was really a good reference for me!

    3. Hi Miss B,

      I hope the tips really work for you. Do keep me updated.


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