It’s been a while since I have properly decorated a cake and I have never done a character cake. But, for my friend’s daughters’ second birthday I decided to make her an Elmo cake; it’s one of her favorite characters and was the theme of her birthday party. After going to three different Michael’s craft stores I was finally able to find the Elmo cake pan that I would need.
I used a basic yellow cake mix to make the cake. I have never been so apprehensive about making a cake. I was fearful that when I flipped the pan over Elmo would somehow be stuck to the pan or worse break in half. Thankfully I prepped the pan well and Elmo popped right out!
After cooling overnight Elmo was ready to come to life. First I needed to make the icing and color it. While I did use a box mix for the cake (my favorite is Betty Crocker) I decided to make the buttercream icing from scratch. Coloring icing is not always fun, especially when you have to make dark colors like red and black. I ended up using the entire 1 oz. jar of Wilton no-taste red to get Elmo’s fur the proper shade of red. Thankfully orange wasn’t as daunting to make.
Now that my icing colors were the right shade it was time to decorate. I started off with filling in Elmo’s mouth and icing his nose.
After an hour or so of meticulous work Elmo was done and I must say I was quite pleased with how he came out. His eyes took me a while to get right but it was well worth the time. He was a hit at the party and brought a great big smile to the birthday girl’s face.
Buttercream Icing (From Wilton)
1/2 cup solid vegetable shortening
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon clear vanilla extract
4 cups (1 lb.) sifted confectioners’ sugar
2 tablespoons milk
Cream butter and shortening with an electric mixer. Add vanilla. Gradually add sugar, one cup at a time, beating well on medium speed. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl often. When all sugar has been mixed in, icing will appear dry. Add milk and beat at medium speed until light and fluffy.