Monday, July 14, 2014

Frozen Themed Cake

My good friend Dusty from To the Moon and Back asked me to make a cake for her sweet little daughter. Her daughter is in love with the Disney movie Frozen, just like all other little girls, so Dusty searched Pinterest and found some great ideas that she wanted me to mesh together.

Cake and Icing

Cake Flavor

If you've read any of my other posts, you know I am a box cake kind of gal! LOL Not by choice though, because I have truly tried to come up with my own recipe. It just hasn't worked out as well as I'd hoped, so my plan was to stick with box cake until I came across something absolutely delicious. Well, Dusty wanted the cake "from scratch", so she provided me with a link to Martha Stewart's Versatile Vanilla Cake recipe. And, it is the yummiest vanilla cake recipe I've ever tasted!! I don't know why it never occurred to me to just use buttermilk for such a great flavor. And, I'm also sure that the 3 extra fatty egg yolks have something to do with it as well ;) This will definitely be a go-to recipe for me from now on!

Cake Batter Colors

Dusty wanted me to create a little colorful surprise inside the cake. Her idea stemmed from a white, purple and blue color scheme by Baked by Rachel. I was really excited to try this, because I had never before colored my cake batter! And, it was soooo easy to do. BUT, that purple wasn't going to match the colors on the cake. So, I tried the burgundy I used to color Anna's cloak. I had to use a LOT of burgundy to get Anna's cloak that color, and I didn't want to do the same thing with my cake batter and end up over mixing it, so the first layer ended up coming out baby pink :/ That was not going to work, so I did convince Dusty to let me change the colors to variations of blue, because the purple just wasn't going to match, and I wasn't sure if I could get burgundy as deep as it needed to be without messing up the batter. And, of course, I wasn't able to get a snap shot of the inside of the cake, so Dusty was kind enough to take that for me :)


I really don't know how to do anything other than buttercream, as far as icing goes, so that is what I went with here. However, Dusty requested a rosette design which I had never tried. My friend Kendra with Kendra's Bakery Creations has made some beautiful ombre rosette cakes, so I asked her for tips. First, she told me I would need icing tip 1M for big rosettes or 21 for small rosettes. The cake would also need to be the same number of layers as colors/rows needed. I planned to do three shades of blue, so that meant three layers of cake. Next, she suggested starting by coloring a portion of my icing the darkest color I would use (the bottom row). Then, add a little white icing to some of the leftover dark color to make the next color (second row). Then, add a portion of the leftovers from the second color to more white icing for the third color (top row). And, I just used white on the very top to resemble snow. I learn well by demonstration, so I also found this YouTube video by GlobalSugarArt:

I wasn't thrilled with how the ombre effect turned out. You can see the variation in color a lot better in person than in the photo, but I still wish I had made sure there was a bigger difference in color between the rows. I also know there is probably a better way to hide the "tails" of the top row of rosettes, but I couldn't figure it out on this cake. It's probably turning the tails onto the top of the cake instead of onto the top of each rosette. I'll have to watch the video again to figure it out. Here is a photo of the cake before putting on all of the decorations:

Cake Decorations

Coloring the Fondant

I make my fondant from scratch because it simply tastes better. But, I don't like to make another batch for a color I missed. So, I start by compiling photos and/or guides for my colors. I use those guides to make the list of colors I will need for the whole cake. Then, I estimate which portion of the fondant will need to be used for each color and I break the fondant into separate balls. I wrap the balls separately in plastic wrap to prevent them from drying out. Next, I lay out my colors next to the relevant fondant balls so that I don't forget which color goes with which ball. When I blend my colors into the fondant, I always start with the lightest color just in case I get some on my hands and can't get it off. I also wash my hands in between each color, because I don't want to accidentally mix my colors. Shortening comes in handy when mixing dark colors. Adding food coloring to the fondant can cause it to get sticky, so I have a bowl of powdered sugar to mix in as needed. Here is what my table looked like before I started adding color to the fondant:

Below, you can see separate piles for Anna, Olaf and Elsa. Plus, just in case, I always try to keep a ball of white for something I might have missed. For example, I forgot that I would need some of the same colors to make snowflakes...LOL. Here is what it looked like when I was finished:

Fondant Topper

First, Dusty found a fondant topper with Anna, Olaf and Elsa hugging made by Isabella's Sweet Tooth. I love her work! She is very talented and shows so much detail!

I definitely did not do this justice, but it still turned out pretty good. I did find out that I am apparently horrible at judging size...LOL. I made the characters too short and squatty and too wide for the cake. But, once the rosette design was all done, they fit a lot better than I thought they would. I also wasn't thrilled with the shape of Olaf's mouth, but he wasn't going to be able to sing In Summer anymore if I kept pulling and tugging at his lips...LOL. So, I just left it as you see it below. Another obstacle I ran into was Anna's cloak kept cracking. I kept having to wet it a little bit and rub the fondant to smooth out the cracks. And, I bet you didn't notice that Anna and Elsa only have one arm each!! LOL Their backs were going to be hidden, so I didn't see the point in the extra work ;)


There was some immaculate detail in the snowflakes that Dusty showed me by Cake by Kim. I wonder if those are stenciled or came from a sugar sheet?? I don't know. That is one talented cake artist though, so she definitely could have done those herself! But, there is no way that I could have recreated that exact effect. Instead, I used the same three snowflake fondant plunger cutters that I used for the Pink Snowman Globe cake. They are not as detailed as the snowflakes Dusty showed me, but they worked well. However, I do wish that I would have had a way to "splash" or "spray" the burgundy color onto the cake under the snowflakes. That is such a neat effect. It really makes the snowflakes pop. Here are my little snowflakes drying on a sheet pan covered with wax paper:

Rock Candy Castle

This was by far the most challenging part of the cake. First of all, I wasn't able to find the colors I needed. And, once I found some close, they were not cheap! It left me wishing that I had just done a little science experiment with the kiddos and made some. I also had to figure out how to elevate and stagger them to look like the "castle" in the photo Dusty found. So, I decided to stack a few different sized pieces of cake, ice them, stick in the candy rock suckers and place "sugar crystals" all in the icing. But, when stacking the pieces of cake, I had forgotten the mistake I made when creating the Yo Gabba Gabba cake. I had stacked the cake in a direction where the pieces would easily split apart and really had no structure. So, once I put on the weight of the candy rock suckers, the piece of cake closest to the edge started falling off! Oooops! I was able to place my hand on the entirety of the "build" and push it back onto the cake, but I knew the weight would make it start to fall off again. So, I actually had to (don't laugh) use a piece of yarn to secure the "build" just long enough for Dusty to get the cake home and keep it until her daughter's celebration. Good thing it was for a friend who is understanding!! Anyway, here are a few shots of the rock sucker creation:

I had a lot of fun creating this cake. Both Lalo and Bubby are in love with the Frozen movie, so they really enjoyed watching this come together as well. Lalo is talking about her next birthday party being Frozen themed, so if she sticks with that idea, we'll see what happens next :) Thank you and happy baking!

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