Today I'm going to show you how to create a quick, cute, "no-bake" cherry chocolate cake in Adobe Illustrator with a heavy emphasis on the Pen Tool (P) and transparent gradients. This tutorial will show you how easy it is to make such a delight from scratch.
1. Draw Your Basic Cake Shape
Using the Pen Tool (P), draw a wedge shape as seen below. Alternatively, you can use the Rectangle Tool (M) and manipulate the anchor points with the Direct Selection Tool (A).
Add a dark brown stroke to your shape. This one is set to 2pt Stroke Weight with Round Joins.
2. Add Icing to the Cake
Using the Pen Tool (P), draw around the outside of the cake piece, adding a carefully scalloped edge for the sides and a large bump on the right for a fancy "crust" design.
Add additional pieces where you feel it's necessary.
3. Define the Layers of the Cake
Using the same dark brown as the icing, add an angles strip in the middle of the cake piece.
Same deal as the previous step, but with a smaller strip of a rosy red for some cherry filling.
4. Add Cake Details
Using the Pen Tool (P), draw a shape similar to the one in the image above. It only has three points. Reduce the Opacity to your liking in the Transparency panel.
Repeat on the other side.
Use the Line Segment Tool (\) to draw a light brown line from one end of the cake to the next. This defines the separation between the cake's side and its top.
5. Add a Cherry to the Top of the Cake
Draw a super curvy shape; like a heart with no point. Stroke the shape with the same dark brown that you used before.
Accentuate the groove in the cherry with a gradient shape going from cherry red to dark brown.
Apply the same gradient to the cherry itself.
Draw a shape the follows the contour of the cherry. Make it dark brown and reduce the Opacity in the Transparency panel to 30%.
Add a highlight shape to the cherry with a Linear gradient going from light, creamy yellow to cherry red.
With the Pen Tool (P) draw a stroked line following the curve of the cherry.
Add a dark brown stem shape with the tool of your choice.
6. Add Some Cake Toppings - Yummy!
Group (Control + G) together your cherry pieces, Copy (Control + C) and Paste (Control + V) cherries around the top of the cake in a formation you like.
I used the Pencil Tool (N) to doodle up this dollop of whipped cream. The shape has a 0.75pt Stroke Weight added to it.
In order to add the thick stroke behind the cake's topping elements, Group (Control + G) together your cherries and whipped topping, Copy (Control + C) and Paste (Control + V) the group, and Unite in the Pathfinder panel.
Set it as the same dark brown from before and add a thick stroke to it (with Round Corners). Align it behind your other topping pieces.
7. Render the Whipped Topping
Carefully draw curved shadow shapes on the whipped topping with the Pen Tool (P). Apply a Linear gradient going from light cream to dark brown. Repeat as you see fit around the whipped cream shape so it looks layered.
Add white curve shapes, thin ones, for highlights on the whipped cream.
Draw lines from each side of the whipped topping that further accentuate its curves and show how its piled on top of itself.
8. Finishing Touches
Draw a simple heart shape with the Pencil Tool (N) in one of the scalloped edges of the cake's icing. Copy (Control + C) and Paste (Control + V) the hearts around the cake to add a little dose of cuteness.
For the cute little title to the image, I drew it out using the Pencil Tool (N). Nothing fancy; just my handwriting. You can trace a scanned piece for this, draw it free-hand, or use a font you dig.
Select All (Control + A) of your cake pieces and Group (Control +G) them together.
Add a large rectangle to your picture plane with a radial gradient going from a creamy yellow to white.
You're Finished! It's a Shame You Can't Eat It!
Your cute little cake is complete! Use this as a starting point to create a whole menu of sweets or your favorite dishes.
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