This was what I was up to last weekend: making a 3D Elmo cake for a colleague’s son who turned one. He loves Elmo, so he had Elmo 🙂 This is definitely a new challenge for me. Even though I have made a 3D Minion cake before, but that didn’t require any carving or the complex support as it would for this Elmo cake. My colleague was super nice, she even found me a tutorial how to make this cake from Zerogravity with very detailed instructions. It looked very daunting at the start as you can see from his planning below!!!
I am trying to do a similar size Elmo cake about 30cm high and 15cm wide, not going to be strictly exact 😉 Instead of having arms, legs, eyes and nose made of rice crispies, I decided to make the legs and arms out of cake as well. So this is the amount of sponge cakes that I baked for my construction according to my rough plan below on the right (4 batches altogether):
For the body & head:
3x 22cm round cake of 5cm tall each (some carving will become 2 arms & 2 legs)
3x 15cm wide bowl cake (I used actual bowls to make hemispheres for this)
2x ramekins for the two feet
2x 9cm round for the smash cake
For eyes and nose: make shaped rice crispies then covered in fondant.
The filling between the layers was whipped thickened cream with lots of fresh strawberries.
I also made 2 batches of my swiss/french buttercream coloured in red for the fur of Elmo. Colouring red has always been a problem for me, but luckily it turned out well this time. I’ll write about how to make it deep red in another post.
So how did I get from the roughly shaped Elmo to this completed cake?
I put a piece of rolled out black fondant over the slit I made earlier for the mouth. Start piping the red buttercream using a grass tip to achieve the fur effect. I worked my way from the bottom up and tried to pull the “fur” in different directions so that it appears more natural. I have to say, piping this does get tiring after a while. I had to rest my hand several times and change to cooler buttercream portions as my hand does warm it up, and when it’s too warm, the “fur” strands don’t come out very well but clump together. I piped and piped… and piped all around Elmo until he is completely covered!
Next, I put on the prepared eyes and nose while the buttercream hasn’t totally hardened so they stick better. Then the smash cake followed to sit on top of the support base made of rice crisis, glued together by buttercream. I smash cake is also real sponge cake filled with strawberry cream, covered in fondant, decorated with a number “1” and few “lollies pops” surrounding it.
The remaining is task is easy. I just arranged the rest of the decorations including the little presents also made of rice crispies around Elmo. The last thing to do is rolled out different coloured fondant to shape the birthday boy’s name. I also use a black edible marker pen to draw on the ends of the letters to give them a crayon-looking effect. I think this is a great way to do names as an alternative to the letter cutters.
and… ta… da…..
I am more than happy to see that everyone loved how the cake looks, as well as liked the taste of the cake. I have to thank my colleague for the opportunity and her faith in my “baking skills” 🙂