Work Boot Cake

Work Boot Cake from Cake My Day!

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Yes, that’s a work boot cake covered with caramel “leather” from none other than our friends Karen Tack and Alan Richardson. These two are hands-down some of the most creative bakers around (don’t miss our interview) – and their goodies are always very accessible to the home baker. Their book Cake My Day!is packed with fun projects such as this and this starts with a frozen pound cake, so as Karen says, you can get to the fun decorating right away! We have done our best to duplicate the book’s contents. Read the entire post through to make sure you understand the work flow. You start with a Master Work Boot, then move on to the actual boot you see in the image. In the book the Master Boot Cake is also used to make rain boots and their version of Uggs and even a pastel, sparkly high-topped sneaker.

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Excerpted from Cake My Day!, © 2015 by Karen Tack and Alan Richardson. Reproduced by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.

cake my day cover


Give boring party cakes the boot, and cobble together footgear that suits your guest of honor. With store-bought pound cake and ready-made doughnuts, you can start decorating right away.

1 family-size (16-ounce) frozen all-butter pound cake, thawed (Sara Lee)

6 cake doughnuts (flavor specified in the recipe)

1 can (16 ounces) vanilla frosting

Place the pound cake on a work surface. Make a copy of the sole template (below), enlarging it 200 percent. Use the template to cut the cake into the foot shape. Trim the top edge of the cake to slightly round it. Place the cake on a cardboard cut to fit.

drawing of boot cake sections

Line a cookie sheet with wax paper. Reserve 1 doughnut to form the instep of the boot. Spread the top of a doughnut with some frosting. Arrange another doughnut on top. Repeat the process 3 more times to make a stack of 5 doughnuts. (For the Work Boot, make a stack of 4 doughnuts and reserve 1 doughnut for use in the recipe.) Spread the top of the heel area of the cake with some frosting and place the stack of doughnuts on top.

Cut the reserved doughnut in half, crosswise, to make 2 semicircles. (For the Work Boot, there will be 1 additional doughnut remaining for use in the recipe.) Cut 1 inch from the rounded top of 1 doughnut half, reserving both pieces. Using frosting to secure the pieces, attach the semicircle doughnut piece, crosswise, to the top of the cake, cut ends down and one flat side against the stacked doughnuts. Attach the trimmed semicircle piece, crosswise, cut ends down, in front of the semicircle piece. Attach the remaining piece, crosswise, to the top of the intact semicircle, cut side against the stacked doughnuts (see illustration).

drawing on “Boot Master Cake” page

Insert a drinking straw down the center of the doughnut stack and into the cake. Trim the straw with scissors and push it down to cover completely. Spread the remaining vanilla frosting over the cake and doughnuts, mounding it over the top of the toe area, and smooth. Transfer the cake to the freezer for 30 minutes to chill.

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Got sole? The sole of your boot may be hidden on the bottom, but finding the right candy for it will go a long way to making your design look real. You need a candy or snack that is firm enough to hold the weight of the pound cake and doughnuts stacked above. Once you choose your candy, creating the sole is fairly simple.

Cut a sole shape from the cardboard lid of the frozen pound cake or from any light cardboard.

Pipe a few dots of frosting on the cardboard sole, then arrange the candy along the edge of the sole, placing it with the most soleful side facing out.

Fill in the center of the sole with additional candies or cookies to make a solid support for the cake.

Transfer the chilled cake to the sole, adjusting the candies as necessary to support the cake.

If you’re using chocolate-covered wafer bars, like Kit Kats, line them up on a work surface and pipe some dots of frosting on top. Place the cardboard sole or the trimmed cake on top and use a serrated knife to trim the wafers to fit.


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Work Boot Cake
Makes: 12 servings
  • 1 Boot Master Cake made with 6 chocolate-covered cake doughnuts (Entenmann’s)
  • 1 can (16 ounces) vanilla frosting
  • Yellow food coloring (McCormick)
  • 1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ¼ cup dark chocolate frosting
  • 61 soft caramels (Kraft)
  • 16 extra-large chocolate-covered wafer bars (two 4.5-ounce Kit Kats)
  • 14 small yellow candies with a hole in the center (from a candy necklace)
  • 2–3 yellow licorice laces (Rips Whips)
  • ½ cup chocolate cookie crumbs (Oreos)
  1. Tint ½ cup of the vanilla frosting light brown with the yellow food coloring and ½ teaspoon of the cocoa powder and spoon into a freezer-weight ziplock bag. Spoon the dark chocolate frosting into a freezer weight ziplock bag. Press out the excess air and seal the bags.
  2. Line 2 cookie sheets with wax paper. As you make the parts, transfer them to the cookie sheets. For the toe of the boot, soften 24 of the caramels in the microwave for 2 to 3 seconds. Press the caramels together and roll out on a sheet of wax paper to an 11-inch oval, about ⅛ inch thick. Make a copy of the toe template from the pattern for the boot, enlarge it to 200 percent, and use it to cut the caramel with scissors or a small knife. Repeat the process to cut out the remaining boot pieces, using 5 caramels for the boot tongue, 10 caramels for each side, and 10 caramels for the heel. Roll out 1 caramel for each of the 2 logos and cut them into 1-inch circles.
  3. Place the chilled cake on a work surface. Spread the remaining vanilla frosting over the cake assembly, rounding the top of the toe, and smooth. Starting with the toe piece, drape the caramel over the front of the boot, centering the caramel on the toe and allowing it to extend to the bottom of the cake at the front. Gently press into the frosting to secure (see photo, below). Press the sides of the toe piece into place, making sure that the caramel extends to the bottom edge of the cake. Rub gently with your fingertips to remove any creases or bubbles, stretching the caramel to fit, if necessary. Place the tongue piece, lengthwise, on the front center of the cake, with the wide end slightly overlapping the toe piece and the tapered end extending about 1 inch beyond the doughnut stack. Add the 2 side pieces, slightly overlapping the tongue on the front of the boot, with the top edges extending about 1 inch beyond the doughnut stack. Press the caramel into the frosting to secure. At the top of the boot, make a 1-inch vertical cut in the extended caramel about 1 inch in from the curved front edge of each side piece to create the eyelet flaps. Gently fold the excess caramel over the doughnut stack, leaving the eyelet flaps loose (see photo for step 3). Add the heel piece at the back of the cake, overlapping the 2 side pieces and extending to the bottom of the cake. Use a small knife to cut a clean edge of caramel along the base of the cake, removing and discarding any excess. Use a drop of water between the caramel pieces to secure to each other, as necessary.
  4. Snip a small (1/8-inch) corner from the bag with the dark chocolate frosting. Arrange the chocolate-covered wafer bars, side by side, bottom side up, on a serving platter. Pipe some dark chocolate frosting over the wafers.
  5. Transfer the cake from the cardboard with a large spatula and place it on top of the wafers. Use a small serrated knife to trim the wafers flush with the cake for the waffled sole of the boot. Brush away the crumbs.
  6. Use a drop of water to attach 7 of the yellow candies, evenly spaced, along the outside edge of each eyelet flap. Use a toothpick to poke a hole in the caramel through the hole in each candy. Gently thread the yellow licorice through the holes as the laces. Tie a knot at the end of each lace.
  7. For the logo, use a toothpick to score the outline of a tree on each caramel circle (or to customize your cake, adding initials or numbers). Lightly rub the scored circles with the remaining ½ teaspoon cocoa powder to enhance the tree shape. Use a drop of water to attach 1 circle to each side of the boot.
  8. Pipe some dark chocolate frosting on top of the doughnut stack (and any folded-over caramel). Add the remaining chocolate-covered doughnut and pipe a decorative edge around the base of the doughnut to secure.
  9. Snip a very small (1/16-inch) corner from the bag with the light brown frosting. Pipe a line of frosting around the base of the cake, where the caramel meets the wafer sole. For the stitching, pipe a ¼-inch dashed line just above the piped line at the base of the cake and along the straight edge of the 2 side pieces and the 2 vertical edges of the heel piece.
  10. Sprinkle some of the chocolate cookie crumbs on the serving platter around the base of the boot to resemble dirt.
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