My son turned 18 recently and announced he would love to have a birthday cake in the shape of an x-box controller, avid gamer that he is! I scoured the net and found a few versions of the cake that I liked and decided to give it a go. I reckoned it would be simple enough to make a rectangular cake and then carve out the shape I needed. Using Nigella's buttermilk birthday cake recipe (a favourite for larger cakes) I made the cake in a 12" x 8" roasting tin. I found a photo of an x-box controller on the net which I copied into a graphics program and re-sized to fit a full A4 page, printed and then cut out.
The template was placed on the cake (which I should have said was put into the freezer for about an hour to firm up) and then I cut out the shape with a serrated knife. Next I sliced the cake horizontally to create two layers and filled the cake with raspeberry jam and vanilla buttercream, then covered the whole cake in a thin layer of the icing (sometimes called dirty icing!) to seal the cake crumbs. Another stint in the freezer followed to firm up the icing before I added another layer of buttercream.
I attempted smooth icing the cake with the buttercream using a technique called the 'Viva technique' that I found on YouTube but it proved difficult to get the icing smooth around the inner curves so I gave up and covered the cake in white fondant instead. Using my template I fashioned the buttons and controls out of coloured fondant, adding a bit of black colouring to white fondant to make the grey thumb buttons and the grey trim at the front. I used my trusty Noridcware cake tester as a modelling tool to carve the A, B X & Y on the buttons and other details in the cake. Overall I think it was a pretty easy project with nothing too technical or detailed to worry about and most importantly my Son's friends were impressed!