Frozen Themed Birthday Cake

Oh, where to go begin! So, unless you have been completely unplugged from the world for the past year or so you most definitely have heard of Disney’s Frozen and the two heroine sisters of the movie, Elsa & Anna. At some point you must have also heard the song “Let It Go,” or the more playful “Do You Want To Build A Snowman?” Hence it came as no surprise that when the time came to make a birthday cake for a friend’s daughter the theme would be Frozen. This cake and post is a special one as well since it marks my blog’s third blogiversary! It all started with a 2nd birthday cake for the same little girl this cake was intended for in the shape of Elmo’s head and ever since I have been blogging about other delicious treats I have made and some lovely knitted/crocheted items and handmade jewelry. But, I digress, back to Frozen. By far this was the most ambitious cake I have ever made and required numerous steps over the course of a few days.

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On the first day I made sky blue and violet marshmallow fondant. Thankfully I had done a test run of the process a few weeks prior so I pretty much knew what to do and what consistency the fondant needed to be. I lightly coated the fondant with shortening and wrapped it tightly in clear wrap and then placed it in a Ziploc bag to ensure it wouldn’t dry out. I then put it in the refrigerator so it could “rest.”

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I also made some white chocolate and dark chocolate molds of snowflakes, the number 5 and plaques by melting Wilton candy melts and pouring the melted chocolate into the molds and refrigerating them for at least 15 minutes and then tapping them out on my counter.

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The following day I made hard candy by dissolving sugar in water and light corn syrup by stirring it over medium heat. Once the sugar was dissolved I raised the heat to high and brought the mixture to a boil without stirring it to a temperature of 300 F.

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Once it reached 300 F I added a few drops of blue dye to the mixture and poured it into a greased rimmed cookie sheet and placed it in the refrigerator until it hardened – about an hour.

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I then unmolded the hard candy onto a sheet of wax paper and broke it into pieces so I could use it as a cake topper for Elsa’s ice castle.

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With all of the decorative pieces done it was finally time to bake the cakes. I started with baking the larger of the two cakes – a three-layer 9 inch chocolate cake. The recipe I was following was for a two-layer cake so I whipped up the batter twice and for the second batch I baked one layer and 12 cupcakes.

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For the smaller of the two cakes I baked a two-layer 6 inch yellow cake.

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Once I leveled the cakes I frosted the layers and the sides and tops of both cakes with chocolate frosting. I placed both cakes in the refrigerator overnight so the frosting could harden.

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The next day it was finally time to put the entire cake together! I began by rolling out the sky blue fondant…

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Which I used to cover the 6 inch yellow cake. After rolling out the violet fondant I covered the larger chocolate cake. I did end up with an air bubble on the blue cake and while at first I was upset and frustrated with it I soon realized it wouldn’t be a big a deal as I was going to mask it with the candy pieces and figurines.

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Then it was on to decorating… I wrapped the bottom of both cakes with silver speckled ribbon which I attached to the cake with double-sided tape. Next I attached the smaller chocolate snowflakes to the cake with small dabs of vanilla frosting – I rested the larger snowflakes against the cake. To create the ice castle I pushed down a few pieces of the hard candy onto the top of the smaller cake. And finally I placed the Frozen figurines – which I was lucky enough to find on the Disney Store’s website as they were sold out in all stores – on the cake.

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Here’s a close-up of the top tier of the cake…

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And after carefully transporting the cake – thankfully I wasn’t driving too far – without any of the decorations on it but the small snowflakes I “glued” on  I reassembled the entire cake to perfection once again!

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And of course there were Frozen themed cupcakes that I baked in Frozen themed cupcake liners and then topped them with white decorative sugar and a chocolate snowflake!

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This cake was a hit in appearance and as this picture suggests (and I can attest to as well) in taste!

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And if you are wondering, yes, all of this work was worth it! The Birthday Girl was absolutely thrilled with her cake and she enjoyed a nice slice of the chocolate cake!

 

Marshmallow Fondant

Ingredients:

1 package (16 ounces) white mini marshmallows

2-5 tablespoons water

2 pounds (about 8 cups) sifted confectioners’ sugar

1/2 cup solid vegetable shortening

Directions:

1. To make marshmallow fondant, place marshmallows and 2 tablespoons of water in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave 30 seconds on high; stir until mixed well. Continue microwaving 30 seconds more; stir again. Continue until melted (about 2 1/2 minutes).

2. Place 3/4 of the confectioners’ sugar on top of the melted marshmallow mixture. Fold sugar into marshmallow mixture. Flavoring can be added at this point if desired. Place solid vegetable shortening in easily accessed bowl so you can reach into it with fingers as you are working. Grease hands and counter GENEROUSLY; turn marshmallow mixture onto counter. Start kneading like you would dough. Continue kneading, adding additional confectioners’ sugar and re-greasing hands and counter so the fondant doesn’t stick. If the marshmallow fondant is tearing easily, it is too dry; add water (about 1/2 tablespoon at a time) kneading until fondant forms a firm, smooth elastic ball that will stretch without tearing, about 8 minutes.

3. It’s best to allow Marshmallow Fondant to sit, double-wrapped, overnight. Prepare the fondant for storing by coating with a thin layer of solid vegetable shortening, wrap in plastic wrap and then place in resealable bag. Squeeze out as much air as possible. Marshmallow Fondant will keep well in refrigerator for several weeks.

4. When not working with fondant, make sure to keep it covered with plastic wrap or in a bag to prevent it from drying out. When ready to use, knead fondant until smooth. Roll out fondant 1/8 in. thick.

5. To color fondant: If you need to tint the entire batch of fondant, add a little icing color to the melted marshmallow mixture before adding confectioners’ sugar. For smaller amounts of tinted fondant, add icing color to portions of fondant as needed.

 

Chocolate Cake

Ingredients:

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for the pan(s)

3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, spooned and leveled, plus more for the pan(s)

2 cups all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 1/2 cups sugar

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

3 large eggs, at room temperature

1 1/2 cups whole milk

Directions:

1. Heat oven to 350°F. Butter the pans, line the bottoms with parchment, butter again, and dust with cocoa, tapping out the excess. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside.

2. Using an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar on medium-high until fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Beat in the vanilla, then the eggs one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.

3. Reduce mixer speed to low. Add the flour mixture in 3 additions and the milk in 2 additions, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Mix just until combined (do not overmix).

4. Transfer the batter to the prepared pans and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean – approximately 25 to 30 minutes for two 9-inch rounds. Cool the cakes in the pans for 15 minutes, then turn out onto racks to cool completely.

 

Yellow Cake

Ingredients:

1 cup cake flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/8 teaspoon salt

3/4 cups (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter

1 cup sugar

3 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350° F. Butter and flour two 6-inch round cake pans and knock out the excess flour.

2. Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the butter until soft and creamy. Add the sugar and continue beating until the mixture is light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes. (If you’re using the organic sugar, the texture of your mixture will be quite gritty.) Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Add the vanilla. On low speed, gradually add the dry ingredients until thoroughly blended.

3. Spoon equal amounts of batter into each pan and smooth the tops evenly. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until light golden and a cake tester comes out clean. Let the layers cool in the pans for 10 minutes, then unmold onto wire racks to cool completely.

Marshmallow Fondant

The last time I worked with fondant was a few years ago when I took a Wilton decorating class and while I did like the polish look fondant gave the cake I ultimately didn’t like working with it and more so didn’t like the taste of it. In the very near future (next week) I am planning on making a birthday cake that will look much better covered with fondant as opposed to frosting so I decided to try making Marshmallow Fondant ahead of time to see how the whole process will go. I am very much a planner and like knowing how to tackle a project as opposed to jumping in and trying to fix the bumps along the way. So, all you essentially need to make the fondant is mini marshmallows and confectioners’ sugar. You also need a few tablespoons of water and shortening which you use to grease your hands and countertop when you knead the fondant.

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First I melted approximately 8 oz. of marshmallows with a tablespoon of water in the microwave at 30 second intervals. Stirring the marshmallows after each 30 second burst.

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Once the marshmallows were melted I added in some gel based good coloring – I picked green because it was the first one I grabbed that was already open – and about 2 1/2 cups of the confectioners’ sugar, which I had sifted, and folded the three ingredients together.

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Next I dumped the mixture onto my shortening covered countertop and kneaded it as though I was kneading bread incorporating about another cup of the confectioners’ sugar into the fondant. I knew it was “ready” once it was pliable and didn’t tear when I stretched it. Having worked with store bought fondant before I more or less knew when it was ready. You don’t want the fondant to be too dry and you also don’t want it to be too rubbery. Remember you will be rolling this out and covering a cake with it. Once I felt that it was ready I formed the fondant into a ball, coated it with a thin layer of shortening, and wrapped it in plastic wrap, put it inside of a Ziploc bag and then placed it in the refrigerator. Now, some recipes I came across didn’t mention putting it in the fridge but I opted to do so. I figured it wouldn’t hurt it at all since it was covered fairly well.

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I only intended to leave it in the fridge overnight but I ended up leaving it in there for four days, which I am happy I did. Now I know for sure that the fondant can be made quite a few days in advance of me using it. I took the fondant out of the fridge early in the morning so it could come to room temperature by the time I was going to use it. Following that I warmed it in the microwave for two five-second bursts so that it would be easier to work with. Now I was ready to roll it out.

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Since I was covering a 6-inch cake that was about 4-inches high I knew I needed to roll out the fondant at least 14 inches.

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Once I had it rolled out I wrapped it around the rolling pin…

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And then rolled it over the cake.

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I then trimmed the excess fondant off the bottom of the cake…

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And then did a little test decorating. I brushed the edges of the cake with water and dusted it with shimmer powder – the outcome of which I wasn’t all that thrilled with – and then I soaked a ribbon in water, squeezed out the excess water and then wrapped it around the bottom of the cake and used double-sided tape to hold it together.

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Overall I think I am set and have figured out all the little tricks to make sure when I work on said birthday cake I will be prepared. Oh, and yes this fondant definitely tastes better than store-bought fondant. I probably would be more thrilled with it if I liked marshmallows though! I used to like them but as I got older I just didn’t have the taste buds for them anymore.

Below is the recipe I followed to make the fondant, one thing to note, I halved the recipe (I used 8 ounces of marshmallows, 1 – 3 tablespoons of water and 1 pound of confectioners’ sugar)

Rolled Marshmallow Fondant

Makes about 2 pounds

Ingredients:

1 package (16 ounces) white mini marshmallows (use a good quality brand)

2-5 tablespoons water

2 pounds (about 8 cups) sifted confectioners’ sugar

1/2 cup solid vegetable shortening

Instructions:

1. To make marshmallow fondant, place marshmallows and 2 tablespoons of water in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave 30 seconds on high; stir until mixed well. Continue microwaving 30 seconds more; stir again. Continue until melted (about 2 1/2 minutes).

2. Place 3/4 of the confectioners’ sugar on top of the melted marshmallow mixture. Fold sugar into marshmallow mixture. Flavoring can be added at this point if desired. Place solid vegetable shortening in easily accessed bowl so you can reach into it with fingers as you are working. Grease hands and counter GENEROUSLY; turn marshmallow mixture onto counter. Start kneading like you would dough. Continue kneading, adding additional confectioners’ sugar and re-greasing hands and counter so the fondant doesn’t stick. If the marshmallow fondant is tearing easily, it is too dry; add water (about 1/2 tablespoon at a time) kneading until fondant forms a firm, smooth elastic ball that will stretch without tearing, about 8 minutes.

3. It’s best to allow Marshmallow Fondant to sit, double-wrapped, overnight. Prepare the fondant for storing by coating with a thin layer of solid vegetable shortening, wrap in plastic wrap and then place in resealable bag. Squeeze out as much air as possible. Marshmallow Fondant will keep well in refrigerator for several weeks.

4. When not working with fondant, make sure to keep it covered with plastic wrap or in a bag to prevent it from drying out. When ready to use, knead fondant until smooth. Roll out fondant 1/8 in. thick.

5. To color fondant: If you need to tint the entire batch of fondant, add a little icing color to the melted marshmallow mixture before adding confectioners’ sugar. For smaller amounts of tinted fondant, add icing color to portions of fondant as needed.