Saturday, May 19, 2012

Life Size Banjo Cake Tutorial

We had so much fun making this cake! It has been a little crazy around here with college finals and cakes but we made it. Now to post this hoedown good cake tutorial. I had some trouble with my camera so I didn't get pictures of each step. I will put the step by step below the last pictures.

Dean Osborne's Birthday @ Kentucky School of Bluegrass Music


Buttercream icing
Icing color - black and brown
Water or Vodka
Small paint brush
Food safe marker - black
Piping bag and tip
Small star fondant cutter
Large cake board
Cardboard for neck support
Sharp knife

First you want to frost and cover your cake in white fondant. This is the only part on the banjo that is cake. We used a 10 inch round cake that is 2 layers thick.

Now mix a few drops of brown food color  into some water or vodka. We use vodka because it drys much faster. It doesn't take but about 5 to 6 drops of chocolate brown color from Americolor.

Then just paint you covered cake. See the run there... Those are ok. Just spread them out. No one will ever know. Be sure to leave streaks and darker spots. That makes it look more like the wood on a banjo. Painting will leave it glossy too, making it look more real. :)

This is just a long Wilton cake board we cut into a shape of a banjo neck. Its not perfect. lol But it will work after the fondant is on it. :)

Color some fondant black. I use Americolor super black.

Finished. :) Looks like I need to smooth it a little more. lol I see a thumb print. All the imperfections are all hidden now.

Here you can see the cardboard supports holding up the neck. We just used the left over long Wilton cake board for this. They are folded and tapped down. We covered the ones closest to the cake in black to make it look like part of the banjo.

Here is where I lost my camera. So I will go through the steps and describe it all. :)

1. Before adding the neck we need to make the gray / silver rim on the cake.

2. Color some fondant gray with just a little dab of black color to white fondant. It will need to be large enough to make a ribbon to go all the way around the 10 inch cake.

3. Roll out the gray fondant and use a ribbon cutter to cut a one inch wide ribbon. You can also use a ruler if you are that good. I'm not the good. lol A ribbon cutter is a lifesaver for me.

4. With the same gray fondant, roll a thin long snake. Cut the "snake" into 1 and half inch lengths. Glue them in place all around the top of the gray ribbon with a small amount of water.

Here you can see a better picture of the rim and brackets.

5. With the gray fondant roll tiny balls to make the buttons. Once you roll small balls press them semi flat and "glue" them into place.

6. For the bridge in the center of the banjo, we just cut a long brown ish strip of fondant and placed a thinner gray strip of fondant in the center of that.

7. With white fondant, I cut out some small stars with the Wilton stars set. I used the smallest star. You could use any shape you want. I placed them on the black neck spread out some.

8. Now glue the black neck to the cardboard supports with some icing. We also used some dry spaghetti in the end of the neck to add support to the neck. We pushed it up into the fondant on the neck leaving it stick out some. Then pushed what was sticking out into the cake to secure it.

9. With gray fondant shape some tune nobs and secure with spaghetti in the same way as the neck. They go at the top of the neck and one about half way down. You can google some images of banjos if it will help you with placements.

10. With a fine tip and buttercream icing, pipe on thin lines for each fret. Then do the same for each string.

You have finished your banjo cake!!!

Please let me know if you have any questions. I am happy to help all I can. Fastest way to get a reply is to leave a comment. :) Thanks for stopping by!!!


  1. hi, i was racking my brain for ideas for my dads 60th and it looks like this is the solution. My dads prides and joy are his banjos so this is a great help. Thankyou!!

  2. I love your banjo. I need to make a banjo cake for my Father-in-law's 70th bday. I was long is the banjo neck?

  3. I love your banjo cake. I am going to try to make one this weekend. Could you tell me how long the banjo neck is?


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