Sunday, April 6, 2014

Surprise Inside Cake - Hidden DIVERGENT Factions with Template



An old friend was visiting recently and shared that her daughter Lauren was longing for a DIVERGENT cake for her birthday. The party was scheduled for the opening day of the movie. 

Although Lauren was hoping for a cake for each of the five factions, I made a suggestion to incorporate all the colors into one cake. Seemed more manageable and practical since it was a small party and the idea of five separate cakes seemed daunting to her Mommy.

Since I couldn't be there to make the cake for her, I fashioned a plan for her to take back home & bake/decorate in stages. Keeping it simple was the goal since my friend is not a Dauntless baker.
Here's the plan I came up with:


This is NOT however the plan I used. The bottom tier ended up half white, half black. I used clear piping gel rather than white buttercream between the layers. And I added a core of Sixlets candies in all the faction colors to symbolize the DIVERGENT or bits of factions in most all of us.

The layers were made from one Betty Crocker white cake mix per directions on the package. The batter was divided into 6 colors with the black and white layer using half as much batter as the other layers since they were combined to equal one layer. Does that make sense? Candor is both white and black in the book.


Colors were from AmeriColor in Royal Blue 202, Super Red 220, Super Black 201, Bright White 226, Egg Yellow 206 and Ivory, 208. The ivory was added to the Egg Yellow and Super Red layers in an attempt to more closely match the colors of the faction symbols I'd found online.

Not sure if these are the true faction colors since the book doesn't mention all of them. Haven't seen the movie. Yet.


The symbols on the first cake plan were changed to add banners with the name of the faction and the meaning. They were all printed to card stock then cut out and punched with a 1.5" round paper punch.

I added a black circle punched from black card stock and attached it to the back of the plastic coffee stirrer to finish off the back side and hide the tape. Not so fond memories of Kerry Vincent yelling at Food Network
contestants for not finishing the back of their cakes came to mind.


I decided to use disposable aluminum pans since I'm not sure I had enough real pans of the right size. And why would I? I'm not a bakery.

The dimensions of the aluminum pans were not as listed on the package. Actual size was 5.5" at the bottom of the pan and 6.25" at the top.


The plastic bowl I used as a mold for the black exterior frosting of the cake and to assemble the layers was part of this set I'd found at Home Goods. The one I used for this project was 7" across and 3.25" tall.

You are gonna LOVE the way this one gets frosted! Invest in a set of these for future use for cakes of all sizes. Trust me.

While the cakes were baking, I cut and punched the outside decorations out from card stock. Cheating, I know. But this is meant to be a simple project and making all of these elements edible didn't meet the criteria.

The banners and symbols were taped to black plastic coffee stirrers using double stick tape.

You can download a copy of the template HERE.


As soon as the cakes were done baking, the damp paper towel method of flattening was used to smooth out the tops.


Another advantage to the paper towel method is that it pulls off the topmost crumb layer that almost always has a slightly browned appearance. No need to trim!

Once the cakes were cooled, they were wrapped and frozen. The frozen layers were stacked with clear piping gel between.

A core for the Sixlets candies was cut in a ring around the cake so that each cut would reveal the candies. A center core would work as well. Be sure the layers are quite firm before cutting the core or stacking them.

Return them to the freezer before the "frosting" step which should really be called the "Not Frosting" step. Just pour and chill. No smoothing. It's that easy!

I don't have great photos to show you : ( but here are the directions:

Spray the inside of the plastic cake shaped bowl with butter flavored Pam and wipe out excess. Make ganache from 2 packages of black Candy Melts and 2 sticks or 1 cup of butter melted together and cooled. I added a bit of black AmeriColor to deepen the color.


Pour a bit of warm ganache inside the plastic bowl and swirl around to coat the bottom and sides. Let the excess stay in the bottom and set the bowl in the frig to cool for a few minutes.

Remove from frig and place the frozen and cored layers inside. Be sure to put the gray layer against the bottom of the bowl so it will be on top when inverted later on.


Fill the core with Sixlets candies.  I didn't love the blue but it was all I had on hand. I'm sure you could match the color better if you'd like.

Pour the remaining ganache around the sides and on top (which will really be the cake bottom) and gently tap on counter to level and remove any trapped air bubbles. Place the filled bowl in the freezer until ganache is firm.

Unmold to cake plate or pedestal. To unmold, simply turn the bowl upside down on the plate and it will slide right out.


The texture isn't completely smooth but I rather liked the finish for this project. So it was left exactly as is.


The faction symbols with banners were stuck in the top in an evenly spaced row. Well, not really evenly spaced if you look closely but, "good enough for government work" as Grandma used to say.

The DIVERGENT logo stuck to the cake with no "glue" since it was tacky from it's trip from the freezer. You may want to use a small amount of piping gel or corn syrup if needed.

Here's the finished cake! Clean and simple. And so very easy to make.


Surprise!!! I added more Sixlets for the photo just to make it more purty but there is already a generous amount in each serving.

The ganache is easy to cut even when frozen and sort of feels like cutting a layer of fudge. Delish!

Happy Birthday Lauren! Hope it was fabulous.



Amanda said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lillian Rachel Essentials said...

Fantastic! Thank you for sharing these directions. Is there somewhere online I could find that frosting bowl? I have no idea even what they're called.

Deborah Stauch said...

The bowls can be found at Family Dollar or some limited sizes at the Dollar Tree. I found my set at Home Goods and I belive the brand is OGGI so you can try searching for it online.

Gemma said...

oh MY goodness.
This looks abbbbbsolutely fantastic!!! You amazing human! the colours look great, and I love the idea of the ganache icing. and i LOVE this comment, haha 'and why would I? I'm not a bakery'
love it.
thank you for sharing this, i love divergent!

gemma @

Deborah Stauch said...

Thanks Gemma!

Anonymous said...

This looks awesome! What is the damp paper towel method of flattening?

Deborah Stauch said...

The flattening method using paper towels allows to you level your cakes without trimming. As soon as the cake comes out of the oven and while still in the pan, place a damp paper towel over the top of the cake and press gently with your hands. A second cake pan of a slightly smaller diameter also works well for this. Allow the cake to cool for 10 minutes in the pan with the paper towel still on top. Invert the cake to a flat surface. Top with a flat cookie sheet or other flat item and add some weight while cooling if the uneven areas are particularly stubborn.
Hope this helps!
You can see a tutorial on this prepared by my friend, Jessica Harris at Scroll to the bottom half of the post.
Happy Caking!

Unknown said...

Woww!! Amazing cake!!
How did you make your plan?

Deborah Stauch said...

I used a combination of Microsoft Word and Printmaster Premier to create the plan but any software you're comfortable with should work.
Hope this answers your question!

Kelly's Specialty Cakes & Confections said...

This is why I read these blogs!! My fiancé laughs that even though I'm done with culinary school, I spend more time learning now than ever! I can't wait to try the damp paper towel trick!! Thank you for sharing! :)

Deborah Stauch said...

It seems like I still learn something new everyday! Keeps it exciting . . .

Anonymous said...

Tried to print these logos on editable images but I was told by bakery that I needed your permission. Do I have your permission?

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