When I made this cake, I did not have a blog and never dreamed of posting these pictures anywhere.
If I could go back in time, I would have taken pictures of every step. A picture is worth 550 words, you know?
Since I did not take pictures of every step, I will use 550 words to describe the process.
I made this cake for my daughter’s 1 year-old birthday party.
Her name (made with tip 2 blue buttercream) is blurred out on the sign for privacy.
The cake design is from a Wilton Yearbook.
If you follow the directions exactly from the book this is what you’ll get.
Here’s how I made this cake:
2 tier cake, bottom layer 14 inch, top layer 12 inch.
This cake serves ~120 people, but I only needed ~70 slices, so I made the 12 inch layer using styrofoam rounds instead of cake, and covered the rounds with fondant. You can find these rounds at Michael’s.
The bottom tier that I served was iced with buttercream instead of fondant, because I don’t care much for the taste of fondant.
Outside of America, fondant is used to preserve the freshness of cake.
Only in America do we eat fondant! Everything that is edible should not be eaten.
Yellow Triangles Surrounding Elmo
The curved yellow pieces are made from fondant. I cut the triangles from rolled fondant, then laid them on a round surface to dry.
The fondant will dry hard and hold this curved shape. I used the plastic half-circle forms from Wilton to dry the fondant but a cardboard paper towel roll would work just as well.
Yellow royal icing holds the fondant pieces to the cake.
Borders And Letters
The ball border is tip 12 icing piped into a ball shape.
Rolled fondant cut from alphabet cookie cutters make the “HAPPY BIRTHDAY” message.
Hands And Crayon
Elmo’s hands are formed from rolled fondant. I just eye-balled the shape of the hands from the Wilton yearbook picture. To get the split for fingers, I cut in between and smoothed out the edges by hand, then left the pieces to dry.
The yellow crayon is rolled fondant. I rolled it between my palms to get the long-round shape, then made the end pointy. With a knife carve a little indent around the top. Use a similar method to get the two thin black lines. I rolled black fondant between my fingers until it came out long and thin, then wrapped it around the crayon.
Yellow food marker makes the yellow scribble marks on the yellow tier cake.
Wilton Yearbook Instructions That Do Not Work:
The Elmo head.
Using the Elmo cake pan, Wilton says to melt white chocolate and fill the eye area, orange chocolate to fill in the nose area, and 4 pounds of red chocolate to fill the pan.
I was scratchin’ my head on this one. I couldn’t figure out how I would get a round object that is over 4 pounds to stand up straight on one end without falling over.
I never figured that part out. I couldn’t even get 4 pounds of chocolate in the pan without having massive cracks in the chocolate.
When all was said and done, these instructions simply did not work for me.
I was seriously sweatin’ this one, cuz my daughter’s birthday (70+ people) was the following day, and my kitchen was a total disaster area.
The Hub had to take time off from work to care for our daughter while I experimented and figured out an alternative.
I DID come up with a better idea, and I loved the final result!
Here’s what I did:
Using the Elmo head cake pan, I colored gumpaste with colors to correspond with Elmo’s features: red for Elmo’s face (close as I could get to Elmo’s color), orange for his nose, white for his eyes, and black to fill in the mouth area.
Roll out the gumpaste as thin as possible. Set the gumpaste over the Elmo head cake pan to imprint the gumpaste with the lines of Elmo’s face.
Press the gumpaste into all the indentions of the pan to bring out the features. Then roll out white, black and orange with similar thickness and use the same technique to cover the eyes, nose and mouth.
Before the gumpaste dries, trim all the edges.
Once all the gumpaste dries, remove the gumpaste form from the pan.
The gumpaste will be very hard – breakable if it drops!
The shade of red and the texture of the gumpaste didn’t look like Elmo.
To get a more textured Elmo look, I melted some red chocolate and brushed it on the face and hands.
This technique was exactly what Elmo needed.
It was the perfect color, and the texture looked more like his matted hair.
To make Elmo’s face stand up straight on the cake, take a piece of cardboard trimmed in the shape of the pan. Tie-wrap the cardboard to a piece of round plastic. The plastic tier support works great. You can find these plastic pieces where Wilton cake supplies are sold.
This cake served ~85 people.
It’s A Backyard Party
Again, not a blogger at the time. I didn’t even get a picture of the backyard once it was all set up before the guests arrived (boohoo!).
Elmo Party Favor Bags
The party favor bags are red bags from the party store.
I cut out Elmo face features from construction paper and glued them to the bags. Then filled the bags will goodies.
Balloons And More Balloons
My daughter loves balloons. What kid doesn’t?
We had 6 dozen balloons scattered around the tables and every other flat surface we could find.
If only I had taken more pictures…