They needed enough cake to serve 50 people, and so we decided together that I would make two cakes. First would be the glass of iced tea cake, and second, a Dunkin' Donuts paper bag cake. That way the iced tea cake didn't have to be very tall, aiding stability. The cake would be chocolate, with oreo filling and chocolate ganache on the outside. (I had suggested a Chai tea flavored cake, but Lisa loves chocolate. I can't argue with that.)
Making a cake that looks like a glass iced tea is a challenging task. Cakes are opaque; iced tea is translucent. I knew I could get the cake into the shape of a glass of iced tea, but how was I going to make it look like it had ice inside? The answer was airbrushing. I painted the cake tea-colored using the airbrush, but left areas lighter around the top third of the cake to give the impression of ice cubes inside the "tea". I think the effect worked, particularly once I topped the cake with a slice of lemon (made from fondant), a straw (made from gum paste), and sugar ice cubes (made from melted sugar that had been poured into a mold).
The paper bag cake was carved by hand from a rectangular cake. I wanted to add enough wrinkles thrown in to give the impression of paper. The rolled over top of the paper bag added to the illusion.
When I delivered the cake, Lisa was thrilled! She and others at the party were amazed, and everyone had a laugh at Lisa's Dunkin' Donuts habit. I heard back from Lisa and her family, and they told me that the cake tasted even better than it looked. That's the kind of feedback that makes my day!