I Accept

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing to browse the site you accept the use of cookies as outlined in our Privacy Policy.

You are here: Recipes > Book Cake

Book Cake

How to cover and decorate a book shaped cake. Learn how to make a birthday cake based on someone’s favourite book.

Recipe by Vanessa Presdee

Uploaded by

Time to make

Skill Level



10 people

Baking ingredients

  • 200 g butter
  • 200 g dark chocolate
  • 1 tbsp instant coffee granules
  • 85 g self-raising flour
  • 85 g plain flour
  • 0.25 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 200 g light muscovado sugar
  • 200 g golden caster sugar
  • 25 g cocoa powder
  • 3 medium eggs
  • 75 ml buttermilk

Decorating ingredients

  • 750 g Burgundy Sugarpaste
  • 250 g Renshaw Flower and Modelling Paste
  • 250 g Renshaw White Ready to Roll Icing
  • 250 g Gold sugarpaste


Baking the cake:

Step 1

Butter a rectangle cake tin (7.5cm deep) and line the base. Preheat the oven to fan 140°C/conventional 160°C/ gas 3.

Step 2

Break 200g good quality dark chocolate in pieces into a medium, heavy-based pan. Cut 200g butter into pieces and tip in with the chocolate, then mix 1 tbsp instant coffee granules into 125ml cold water and pour into the pan. Warm through over a low heat just until everything is melted – don’t overheat. Or melt in the microwave on medium for about 5 minutes, stirring half way through.

Step 3

While the chocolate is melting, mix 85g self-raising flour, 85g plain flour, ¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda, 200g light muscovado sugar, 200g golden caster sugar and 25g cocoa powder in a big bowl, mixing with your hands to get rid of any lumps. Beat 3 medium eggs in a bowl and stir in 75ml (5 tbsp) buttermilk.

Step 4

Now pour the melted chocolate mixture and the egg mixture into the flour mixture, stirring just until everything is well blended and you have a smooth, quite runny consistency. Pour this into the tin and bake for 1 hour 25 - 1 hour 30 minutes. If you push a skewer in the centre it should come out clean and the top should feel firm (don’t worry if it cracks a bit). Leave to cool in the tin (don’t worry if it dips slightly), then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely. Once cooled, cut horizontally in half and fill with ganache, then give the top and edges of the cake a coating with buttercream.

Decorating the book cake:

Step 5

I covered the "pages" first by rolling a strip of white icing and sticking along 2 short and 1 long edge of the cake.

Step 6

I then rolled out and cut enough burgundy sugar paste to cover the top and binder of the cake, leaving enough overlap to give the impression of the book cover. I then cut thinner strips to create the illusion of a back cover on the board. I used the blade of my hand to press down the edge of the binder,where it met the cake.

Step 7

I used ganache to support the binder where it sat against the cake and then used rolled up bubble wrap on the ends to support them whilst the sugar paste dried. This then ensured they kept their shape.

Step 8

About 15 mins into the sugar paste drying period, I then used my ball tool to create creases and cracks so the cover looked like old worn leather. I also used rolled up bubble wrap on the corners of the book to make it look "well thumbed".

Step 9

Then I embellished the cover with gold sugar paste. For the pages I used my Dresden tool to create the individual pages look.

Step 10

Make the cup and saucer out of flower paste and the biscuits out of coloured sugar paste.