Wednesday, 5 October 2011

How to make an Elmo cake

This is a cake I made for a my friend's son's first birthday. And here is how you can make it too!*     

Step 1: Bake a round cake.
There were to be about 20 guests, so I made a single layer 10" cake.
Step 2: Put it on your board and trim about 2.5cm/1" from the "top.
Make it a slightly rounded cut. 

Step 3Torte the cake. [Cut in half horizontally.]
You'll notice it's a bit crumbly. For fewer crumbs, pop your cake in the freezer for an hour or so.

Step 4: Dam and fill the cake.
I made a raspberry Italian meringue buttercream for the filling. It's a bit denser than regular IMBC so I made a dam of icing around the perimetre of the cake to prevent any unsightly leaks.

Step 5: Using your trusty, clean, kitchen shears, trim off the sharp edges of the cake.

Step 6: Brush away any loose crumbs on and around your cake.

Step 7: Pile on a good amount of icing.
It may look like a lot - because it is a lot. But that is the secret to having no crumbs sneak into your icing while you're covering your cake. The fact it, more than half of that icing you see, ends up back in the bowl.

Step 8: Cover the sides of the cake, pushing the icing from the centre of the cake, removing most as you go. Use a palette knife or spatula. 

Step 9: Clean up the sides.
Here, I'm using a bench scraper that has never scraped a bench. :)
Handiest icing tool I own.

Step 10: Remove all excess icing. This does not have to be perfect. It's okay if you can see the cake in some parts, it will be covered by fondant. Pop the cake in the fridge now and let it rest there for at least 15-20 minutes.

Step 11: Completely clear your workspace of crumbs and icing. Then weigh out your fondant.
For a 10" cake, plus the board, I use about 1 kg. This will be more than enough. Technically, you can get away with using about 800g, but with a bit more, there is more room to play.

Step 12: Add your colour. RED. I'm using a good amount of Super Red gel paste colour.

Step 13: Start kneading. And kneading. And kneading....
This may take about 10 minutes.

You may want to use gloves. :)

Step 14:  Once the colour is mixed in, let it rest for about 15 minutes or so. This would be the perfect time to wash your hands. 

Step 15: Prepare for rolling out.
When I'm rolling out coloured fondant, I always use icing sugar instead of corn starch.
The icing sugar is absorbed into the fondant, whereas the corn starch will remain on the outside and will spoil some parts of the colour.

Step 16: Knead your fondant into a ball. Slightly flatten with your hand.

Step 17: Start rolling!
To get a near perfect circle: roll up and down twice....

....then twice to the left....

...then twice to the right....
and repeat until it is the size that you want.
Only roll out to about 1/8" thick.

Step 18: With your rolling pin near the top of the fondant, flip over about 1/4 - 1/2, then lift your fondant to rest.....

....over the cake.

Step 19: Smooth out the top of the cake with a smoother or your hand chasing out any air bubbles. Smooth out sides, and on to board.

Step 20: Cut excess fondant away from cake.


Step 21: Using a blunt edge tool or cel stick, imprint the smile. 

Step 22: Using your shears, cut in the fur, trying not to cut all the way into the buttercream.

Step 23: Using a cel stick or other similar tool, lightly imprint the fur texture.

Almost done!
At this point I airbrushed the entire cake red to give the colour more depth, but this is not a necessary step.

Step 24: Take 4 crisp rice treats. I find that the store-bought variety are more conducive to molding than homemade.

Step 25: Scrunch them up into a ball.

Step 26: Using your shears, cut the ball in half.

Step 27: Form the nose using 3 crisp rice treats. 

Make sure they are the right size for your cake!

Step 28: Roll out a small amount of white fodant. 

Step 29: Cover the eyes.

Step 30: Cover the nose with a small amount of orange fondant. 

Step 31: Attach them to your cake with a small amount of icing. 

Step 32: Fill in the mouth and add the eye details with black icing.
I used royal icing.

Step 33: Stand back and look on in awe at your creation.
Try not to giggle maniacally.

So....what do you think? Did I leave out any steps? I'd love some feedback!

*[Please note that Elmo's image is protected under various laws and such and should not be sold in any way without rights. This cake was made for personal use.]

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  1. That is so cool!!! Where do u buy the fondant and all the other cake making stuff?! I don't know how to make the filling! Air brushing?? Really? U make it look so easy.

  2. Wow! That is insanely cool. You talented, talented thing.

  3. @AThriftyMrs: Thank you for your kind words! You can see more of my work at ;)

    @StillASeeker: I use McCalls' fondant and purchase most of my supplies through their wholesale dept. for my business. Some other great places to check out: Golda's Kitchen, Icing Inspirations, Flour Confections. I'll prepare a post with a tutorial for making my fave icings...

  4. Wow! This is adorable! Fantastic tutorial. Thanks. Following from the Sasse life Sunday Social.


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