Adventures in Cake Decorating!

About a month ago, our new neighbor Angela asked me if I knew of a bakery that made character-themed cakes for children’s birthdays. I told her that unfortunately, I did not. About a week after that, she asked if I could make her son an Angry Birds cake for his birthday. I love anything arts and crafts related, so naturally I accepted the challenge! She really liked the looks of the fondant cakes, but I have very limited experience in fondant, and one of the cakes she liked had actually been created by another technique called Frozen Buttercream Transfer. After doing my research on the technique, I moved to the design phase!

First, after finding out her son’s favorite colors and characters, I drew a design (freehand), and then I scanned it to my computer and flipped the image in Microsoft Paint. Clever, right? Then, I printed the flipped image to serve as my stencil.

Noahs 6th Birthday 001r

This is my flipped design. My freezer is tiny, so I used the flat side of my panini press plate to act as a base, tape the design to the plate, and then taped a piece of cooking parchment over the top.

Noahs 6th Birthday 009r

It’s go time! After a super horrific expensive buttercream creation fail, I started anew with a different recipe. I used the wisdom of the Internet and used cocoa powder to make the icing brown before using food coloring to darken it to black. Here I am beginning the outlines.

Noahs 6th Birthday 014r

Powdered sugar is very expensive here, so I made my own. It resulted in an icing that was a little gritty, and as a result, I could not use the finest tip as I had wanted to. So, here I am touching up lines with a toothpick.

Noahs 6th Birthday 022r

Here are some of the colors used in this cake. In all, I made 10 colors (not including white) for this cake using only the primary colors, black, and cocoa powder. Japanese food dye is powder, and is so much better than US food dye. It is much more vibrant and has NO TASTE. Not even the red and black!

Noahs 6th Birthday 026r

After freezing the outlines for 15 minutes, I got to work on the brown and white parts.

Noahs 6th Birthday 037r

Continued progress on the cake. With this technique, it’s best to freeze in between applying adjacent colors to prevent bleeding. I froze for 10-15 minutes between each step.

Noahs 6th Birthday 040r

I have finished applying the yellow, and am checking for gaps. Many FBCT tutorials recommend using a piece of plexiglass as the base so you can pick up your design and check for holes, but I just used a careful eye.

Noahs 6th Birthday 044

The characters have all been colored! After another freeze, it will be time for the background.

Noahs 6th Birthday 047r

I’ve finished applying the light blue, and now I’m changing to dark blue.

Noahs 6th Birthday 050r

Here I am, using a toothpick to close any holes.

Noahs 6th Birthday 055r

The design is complete, and is ready to be frozen overnight.

Noahs 6th Birthday 058r

This morning, I frosted the cake with dark blue icing, and then prepared myself to apply the transfer. Said preparation involved prayer, a spatula, and a steady hand.

Noahs 6th Birthday 059r

Victory is mine! The transfer made it in one piece without cracking!

Noahs 6th Birthday 063r

Next, I added a border to hide the edges of the transfer, and to decorate the very bottom of the cake.

Noahs 6th Birthday 067r

Angela is lighting the candles!

Noahs 6th Birthday 069r

Rainbow candles! Japan has it all!

Noahs 6th Birthday 076r

I was so happy to see his happy little face!!

Noahs 6th Birthday 077

Make a wish!

Noahs 6th Birthday 093

After cake, Noah built the Lego car Teddy and I gave him for his birthday, mostly by himself! Happy Birthday, Noah!!


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Shirley Donehoo
    Sep 21, 2014 @ 08:40:10

    This is so cool, Jen! A lot of work, too, but you seemed to have enjoyed it. Glad Noah liked his cake!


  2. Barbara Lange
    Sep 22, 2014 @ 05:36:48

    WOW! Great job! Reminds me of the Christmas tree cake you made for us one Christmas! Lots of love and work!


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