When Beyoncé and Jay-Z were in Philadelphia for the Made in America concert last year, it just so happened to coincide with Queen Bey’s September 4 birthday. So of course she needed a decadent cake to cut. Lily Fischer and Nima Etemadi’s Cake Life Bake Shop in Fishtown answered the call, crafting the singer a multi-tiered black and yellow cake designed to look like a geode and topped with a gold crown. The geode effect is created by cutting a crevasse into the cake and filling it with edible colored sugar crystals.
A big, elaborate crystal-covered cake like the one Cake Life head chef Becca Craig made for Beyoncé goes for about $3,500. But smaller versions of the geode cake — like the one in this video — are available too, starting at $900.
First, Craig makes the crystal mixture, which is poured onto a baking sheet, left to harden, and later smashed with a hammer. Meanwhile, she’s also baking, stacking, and frosting cake tiers.
Next, the baker rolls out fondant and drapes it over the tiers. She cuts a crevice, about an inch in at the deepest part, and covers that with more fondant to make a base for the crystals. Craig places the crystals on the cake one at a time, with the darker colors deeper inside. For more decoration, she paints designs on the cake using more food coloring and adds gold leaf.
And then it’s ready to eat, though you probably want to spend a while admiring it first.