gift box
of pearls
Sometimes the best gifts are made at home and
come in the smallest packages. This endearing
cake is so pretty and realistic, it may be hard
to eat! With white gumballs masquerading
as pearls, you can achieve a luxe look
without breaking the bank.


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gift box of pearls
Serves 2
Level of difficulty: 2

special tools
1 (18- to 22-gauge) silver wire,
18 inches long
1 (6-inch) cardboard cake circle
covered in grease-resistant
wrapping paper
Small offset spatula


1  make the strand
of pearls

Bend one end of the silver wire to
prevent the gumballs from falling
off. Start the hole on each gumball
with a safety pin and then thread
them onto the wire. Once the
gumballs are strung, leaving even
amounts of the wires exposed,
twist the ends together to form a
bracelet. Set aside.

18 white gumballs, regular size
2 (10.75-ounce) frozen pound cakes
(we use Sara Lee), thawed
1½ cups vanilla frosting
(1 16-ounce can)
Paste or gel paste food coloring:
blue and green (see Sources, page 201)
17 sticks Wrigley’s Doublemint gum
¼ cup white chocolate melting wafers
(see Sources, page 201)

1 large white gumdrop
1 white Necco wafer

2  make the gift box
Lightly trim the tops of the pound
cakes to make them completely
flat, and remove the side crusts.
Cut off equal amounts from
each end to reduce the length to
6 inches. Cut both loaves in half
so that you have four 3 × 3-inch
pieces. Discard 1 piece.
In a bowl, tint the vanilla
frosting turquoise blue, starting
with blue food coloring and
gradually adding a touch of
green. Scoop ¼ cup of the frosting
into another bowl for crumbcoating, and use it to attach one
of the cake squares to the center
of a 6-inch cardboard cake circle
covered in grease-resistant paper.
Stack the second cake on the first,
attaching it with a little frosting.
Set aside the third cake piece; it
will become the lid.
Drape the pearl bracelet on
the edge of the gift box and
bend it so that 2 pearls lie in the
mouth of the box and the rest falls
naturally. The bottom should touch
the cake board to help support its
weight. (Positioning the bracelet
in advance avoids damage to the
box when you finally place it in
Step 3.) Remove the bracelet and
set aside.

Using an offset spatula, crumbcoat the cake. Clean up the cake
circle and refrigerate the cake
until the frosting is firm, 15 to
20 minutes.
Turn the remaining cake
square on its side and cut its
thickness in half; discard one of
the halves. Attach the remaining
piece to a plate with frosting, and
crumb-coat it. Clean up the plate
and refrigerate until firm, about
15 minutes.
Working with one cake at
a time, take them out of the
refrigerator and frost them. Dip a
spatula in hot water, shake off the
excess, and carefully smooth the
frosting. Clean up the cake circle
and plate, and refrigerate the
cakes until firm, about 30 minutes.

3  decorate the cake
Take the larger cake, and put
1 stick of gum vertically in the
center of each side. If the gum
doesn’t reach the top edge, use
another stick and cut each piece
to fit.
Spoon the remaining turquoise
frosting into a zip-top plastic bag
and cut ¼ inch off the tip. Pipe a
border around the bottom of the
box. Position the pearl bracelet
on the box as before. Bend the
excess wire and insert it into the
cake. Refrigerate.

4  finish the box top
Take the small cake, put 1 stick of
gum on each side flush with the
bottom center, and drape it over
the lid. All the sticks of gum should
meet in the middle but not overlap;
cut to fit.

108 extreme cakeovers

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In a microwave-safe bowl,
melt the white chocolate wafers at
10-second intervals, stirring until
smooth. Spoon the melted white
chocolate into a zip-top plastic
bag, and cut ¹⁄8 inch off the tip.
Take 5 sticks of gum and fold each
one to make a loop. Cut off the
corners to form a point. Attach the
points of each loop together with a
little melted chocolate.
Evenly space the ribbon loops
on top of the lid to form a flower
shape with all the points meeting in
the center. Secure the points to the

lid with a little melted chocolate.
Cut the bottom third off the white
gumdrop and discard the rounded
top. Using the melted chocolate,
attach it, cut side up, to the middle
of the bow, and then attach the
Necco wafer, printed side down, to
the gumdrop.
Cut 2 sticks of gum in half. Cut
out a triangle on one end of each
stick, and cut the other end to a
point. Put the points toward the
bow at the four corners of the lid.
Refrigerate until the frosting is firm,
about 30 minutes.

5  assemble the box
Squeeze a dollop of turquoise
frosting onto the top center of the
box. The frosting should be higher
than the pearls, so that when the
lid is placed on top, the frosting
won’t squeeze out the sides.
Carefully place the lid on top,
resting on the pearls.

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