Hooray! I have a new baking order. This time it will be a birthday cake with birthday wishes and a little surprise. No, it won’t be a pinata cake (at least not this time). No, the birthday girl will be surprised with a trip to the Hamburg Dungeon. I can say that now, because she already received the cake. I had to combine both things on the birthday cake which was a bit tricky.  It took some time. But this is my final version.

A birthday cake with the garland and the Hamburg Dungeon logo.

You want to know how I came up with this? Well, just keep on reading!

The problem of the cake

The birthday girl loves marble cake, so she will get one for her special day. And I opted for a small version of it. I thought a big one would be too much for 4 to 5 people. Unfortunately, this meant less space to place the wishes and the Hamburg Dungeon logo. One option has been to use the distinctive lettering for the birthday wishes. That would have been a bit morbid.  A birthday is something pleasant after all and shouldn’t be connected with a bloody lettering. So, I finally decided upon a two-piece design. The upper part of the birthday cake is meant for the birthday, and the lower part hints at the Hamburg Dungeon.

I have to put my thinking cap on. The Hamburg Dungeon is located in the warehouse district. That is a good subject and might be realisable with wafers. There pattern is similar to the those red bricks. But the wafers weren’t red. I covered them with red dyed milk chocolate. But without success. The colour wasn’t visible. In a last attempt I used edible watercolours. For the final touch, I attached a banner with the Hamburg Dungeon logo to the edible warehouse district.

With the inspiration of Küchenmiezen, I made a garland with streamers which was labelled with “Happy Birthday”. Knowing my flash of genius, you can go on reading the instructions. Maybe this birthday cake is something you want to try out as well.

Step-by-step instructions for the birthday cake

The marble cake is still raw. It's covered with wet towel paper and tinfoil.First, the marble cake needs to be prepared and filled into a 6 inch springform pan. In order to get an even baked cake, you can apply the insulating method. For that reason you should cover the inner rim of the baking pan with parchment paper. It won’t be problematic if the paper is higher than the rim itself. Of course, it is possible without parchment paper, but you will get a better result with it. For the outer rim you have to fold drenched paper towel into tinfoil and attach it to the rim of the springform.  You can secure the ends with a paperclip. This method needs a lower temperature. Instead of 320F (160°C) the oven needs to be preheated to 266F (130°C). And the baking time will be longer. Instead of 60 minutes, your cake will be ready in 90 minutes.

The birthday cake is covered with apricot jamIf the cake is cold enough you can straighten the top and turn it upside down. Then you can heat the apricot jam. Jelly would be the best because it’s without pieces. If you choose a normal jam you can use an immersion blender to get rid of all the pieces. If you are ready, you can spread the hot jam onto the cake. Of course, you can skip this step but you might risk that the chocolate seeps into the cake and doesn’t stay smooth.


The birthday cake is glazed with chocolateLet’s get to the chocolate glaze. You have to melt 2/3 of the chocolate on a pot on hot water. And the rest has to be chopped and added afterwards. The chocolate shouldn’t be warmer than 91F (33°C). That happened to me. The chocolate loses its shininess and gets white dots. That isn’t dangerous but doesn’t look that good. Anyways, to spread the chocolate, you should heighten the cake with a glass or something.  This glass or whatever you use should be narrower than the cake itself, so that the remaining chocolate can drip down. Pour the chocolate over the cake and spread it evenly with a spatula. The sides need to be covered as well.

Chocolate covered vanilla wafers to imitate the warehouse district of HamburgThe wafers can be prepared ahead of time. I used wafers filled with vanilla cream and cut them in halves. Half of it can be cut into towers with pointy roofs. The other half stays rectangular but will be shortened a bit. Die sides and the front can be covered in melted milk chocolate. Mix water and red food colouring together to get red watercolour. Colour the fronts of the wafers with it. For more details, you can form teeny weeny windows of white or bright yellow fondant and attach them to the pointy towers..

The birthday cake with chocolate glaze. The warehouse district wafers are secured with an elastic bandIf the chocolate glaze has dried a bit, you need to attach the wafers to the cake. Do it in turns: first a pointy tower, then a rectangular one. As long as the chocolate glaze still needs to dry, you can secure the wafers with an elastic band to keep them in place.



The white fondant sign with the Hamburg Dungeon logoFor the banner or sign, roll out a piece of white fondant. Craft a stencil of the Hamburg Dungeon logo and lay it on the white fondant. Take a rolling pin to imprint the logo. This way it is easier to draw the contours. Attach the banner to the wafers. If it won’t stick to them, use shortened toothpicks or similar utensils.



pink streamers with "Happy Birthday" written on itAttaching the garland will be the last step. You can find a link with templates and an instructions further up this entry. The garland has to be placed on top of the cake. Just keep in mind that it needs to be in the same angle of the banner.




Oh my gosh! I am in love with this cake.

The birthday cake is finished. It stands on a cake plate and is decorated with the garland and the Hamburg Dungeon logo

With this in mind,

Enjoy the cake.