3 cups flour, plus more for dusting
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
1 to 2 tablespoons finely ground nettle (to taste)
½ teaspoon salt
Zest of 1 lemon J
uice of 1 lemon
1 cup buttermilk
2 sticks butter (1 cup) at room temperature
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste
5 large eggs

Ingredients for the icing:

1 cup of butter (at room temp)
3 tsp vanilla bean paste
5-6 cups powdered sugar (sifted)
2-4 tablespoons half and half + more if needed

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour your pan. I used a 9-by-13-inch one.

In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, nettle, and salt. In a small bowl combine the zest and juice of the lemon with the buttermilk. Set aside.

In your stand mixer cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add in the vanilla paste, then the eggs one at a time. After all the eggs are blended, turn the mixer off and scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl, making sure there isn’t any unmixed butter and sugar.

With the mixer on low, add the buttermilk and flour combinations from the two bowls you set aside. Alternate between the flour and buttermilk until both are incorporated. You may need to scrape the sides a few times. Mix until evenly distributed.

Pour the batter into your greased pan. Make sure to fill only halfway. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean.

Allow the cake to cool in the pan for a minimum of 30 minutes. After 30

minutes flip the cake out carefully onto a wire rack and allow to cool for another 30 minutes.

To prepare the icing:

In a medium-size mixing bowl combine the butter, vanilla bean paste, and 2 teaspoons of half and half. Add in the powdered sugar a half cup at a time until desired consistency is achieved. Add in more half and half if the icing is too thick and more sugar if it’s too thin.

Now you’re ready to make your cake into a book!

How I made this cake Into a book

½ pound fondant, store bought or homemade
Rolling pin
Brown gel food coloring
Wafer paper
A sharp knife or kitchen shears
A soft paint brush

Start by cutting your 9-by-13-inch cake in half, making two 6.5-by-9-inch sections. Stack the two cakes together. Spread the vanilla buttercream icing evenly in between the two layers and over the top and sides. Only a

quarter-inch layer is needed. Cover and set aside.

Roll out your fondant, which should also be about a quarter-inch thick. You’ll want it to be approximately 9 by 10 inches. Place the fondant on the frosted cake to look like a cover and spine. The fondant should cover one long side (the spine) and the top. Leave three sides free to be pages. Use a knife or scissors to trim the excess.

Paint the fondant to look like leather by using gel food coloring mixed with a few drops of vodka.

Cut your wafer sheets into long strips

about a half-inch wide. Slide the strips horizontally into the exposed cake frosting to look like pages. (Do not put pages in the fondant!) I stacked mine tightly to keep it realistic and avoid gaps.

Decorate the book to your liking! You can create a foraging book, a work of classical literature, or a science fiction novel—there are no rules here, only imaginations.

Enjoy, friends!


Spring Book Lovers Cover by Enchanted Living MagazineEnchanted Living is a quarterly print magazine that celebrates all things enchanted. 
Subscribe now and begin with our Spring Book Lovers issue!
Previous articleThe Ink, the Devil, the Wicked Errata
Next articleIdeas for Organizing Your Books