ONEUS “Comeback Cake” – To Be or Not to Be

Ever since my daughter got into K-Pop, she gets excited for “comebacks” from her favorite groups. In K-Pop world, a “comeback” is when a group releases a new song/video. Apparently, it’s huge. The idea of a “comeback cake” started with the first group she liked — BTS. I believe it was their DNA comeback when I joked and said, “Maybe you should make some “Jung-cookies” (a play on one of their members, Jungkook’s, name). The cookies never came to fruition.

She recently started liking ONEUS and was quite excited for their new album and asked if I could make a “comeback cake.” She took over my Instagram feed so I could follow them for reference. Once the video was released I got inspiration for the cake to weave light and dark concepts.

Pan hack

I wanted to make a small cake since it would only be our family and maybe a friend or two eating it. The smallest cake pan on hand was 6-inches and I only had one. In order to make another layer I improvised a cake pan by layering two pieces of aluminum foil over the existing pan, forming it around the pan and rolling the edges for stability.

I placed the “foil pan” in a larger baking pan and filled it for baking.

By gosh, it worked.

Cake and Icing

The vanilla cake recipe came from Liv for Cake. I filled it with my go-to cream cheese filling and mangos that we recently purchased. I also used Minette Rushing’s Faux Swiss Meringue Buttercream icing. I think I have two new favorite recipes. The buttercream is much easier to make than the traditional version and it spread and piped beautifully.

After leveling the cake, I pipe a buttercream “dam” around the edge of the first layer to hold the filling in.

Although the filling is pretty sturdy on its own, it doesn’t make for good icing and will cause the cake edges to collapse if iced over. Making a “dam” is a sure way to prevent any filling “leakage.” I placed the filling and fruit then topped it with the second cake layer.

Decorating the cake

It was a constant battle with the heat in the kitchen as I made this. It has been humid and around 90°F during the day — quite unseasonal for San Diego. So I made use of the freezer, popping the cake in, when the icing started to get unmanageable.

When it comes to cake decorating, truth be told, half the time, I’m making things up as a I go. This cake was made at night, after a steep hike down a cliff to a beach and then back up. I probably would have been more detail-oriented if I was in better condition.

I made concrete-colored icing to spread over the crumb-coated cake. My intention was to make it completely smooth, but as I started working with it, I started to like the little holes and roughness.

I came up with a rough sketch of the cake and used a toothpick to scratch out the pattern. White sections were iced over then covered with sprinkles.

The dark vertical “ruffles” are added by using a petal tip with the “big opening” held towards the cake. Flowers were piped using a drop-flower tip. Leaves were then added using a small leaf tip.

“Gold sticks” are made from Pepero sticks. I initially thought I could dip them in yellow chocolate but my fear was realized when the existing chocolate on the Pepero stick started to melt after it was dipped. Instead, I had my daughter paint gold lustre dust on the sticks to create the gold effect.

The “blood drip” is made from coloring white chocolate ganache and spooning it onto the cake.

Of course, I included the album logo. A toothpick was used to draw out the lines on the icing. It’s less guesswork than trying to do it on the fly.

More to come?

I might just have to make these “comeback cakes” a thing. It was fun to do since I haven’t decorated a cake in a long while. Especially with the quarantine and lack of parties, I’ve had no occasion to make a special cake.

What would be a good group/concept for a “comeback cake?” Leave a comment below!

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