Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Princess Elsa Cake: All the Details!

As mentioned in my previous post, the best aspect of the party (in our opinion!) was the cake I made. This was my first time ever making a cake and for some insane reason I decided to have my first cake experience the night before their party. At 2am Saturday night I was wondering why in the world I decided to do this. In the end it turned out better than I expected and it was definitely a hit. My greatest compliment was that it looked professional. The one that meant the most was Ellie's. At bedtime I asked Ellie her favorite part of the day and her response was, "The cake!"

I had gotten the idea from my friend Melanie who made an Ariel cake for her daughter last year. She bakes cakes all the time and told me how easy it was.....needless to say it was difficult for me being a novice. Prior to Saturday night I watched lots of You Tube videos, read about the cake making process online, and purchased all of my supplies. I also had never experimented much with Wilton decorating accessories so this was another thing I had to learn while making the cake. By the second batch of icing I had it down.

My friend had mentioned her cake wasn't tall enough for the Ariel doll she used so I baked an additional 8" cake to place below the princess mold. Wilton sells this Wonder Mold Set. It includes a plastic barbie-like head, which I replaced with an Elsa doll and wrapped her legs with Saran wrap as other reviews had mentioned. My greatest struggle with the cake was removing it from the pans as I feared it would all fall apart. After reading online I wrapped both of the pans with Saran wrap and aluminum foil and put them in the freezer hoping for the best. I woke at 5:30 (yes, only 3.5 hours of sleep). I crossed my fingers that the cakes would come out in one piece and they did! Thank goodness. I was so happy and so relieved.

The next part was the icing. I used this buttercream recipe and highly recommend it. I had ordered these gel icing colors from Amazon and, again, it was my first time making icing and decorating. I had to make so much icing. Thankfully my Kitchen Aid mixer works so well and my arms wouldn't have lasted if I had to use a hand mixer! The one pain was that the butter kept sticking inside the whisk and I had to use a knife each time to get it out after mixing. I wonder if there is a little trick I should know about... The key step in the icing is to make sure you invest in a really good vanilla (my friend suggested this). I bought one from Williams Sonoma and I really think it makes a difference. After making the buttercream each time I transferred it to a bowl and added the gel. I misunderstood the directions when it said the color would be darker on the cake than in the icing (if that makes sense). Then, again I was also a little out of it from lack of sleep and the stress of getting it done. My icing was a light aqua and for some reason I thought it would show up darker as I decorated it. Well, it did not so Elsa had a light aqua dress. As my friend Melanie said, the kids won't even notice and she was right. No one even pointed it out. Seriously, I think they were more fixated on Elsa and her big beautiful dress made of cake!

As mentioned, I wrapped Elsa's legs in Saran wrap and after removing the metal pole in the center of the dome I stuck her in there. She was, in fact, too tall for the cake so I started with the 8" cake. I added a layer of white buttercream icing (no gel), then layered the dome cake on top. I pushed Elsa all the way down into both cakes and it was perfect.

I used this recommended technique (Glorious Treats) of putting the bag into a glass and folding down the sides to scoop in the icing, then bringing the sides of the bag back up. It worked perfectly. It took a few vertical lines on the cake to figure how the best way and I was able to fill in the imperfections afterwards. I also covered the Saran wrap above with the icing to conceal it. I had to do two double batches and was able to match the second batch of icing perfectly. After finishing the cake I had to make an additional double batch of icing to ice the 24 cupcakes I had also made the night before. I kept half the white and half blue. The blue came out the color of Elsa's dress and I topped with silver sprinkles and snowflakes. Perfect for the theme of Frozen.

I had to teach myself how to use the icing tip. I used decorating bags and cut the end off to fit the Wilton icing tip. I also bought couplers, but I didn't have the correct size. The tip I chose was a large tip, open star (Wilton 1M). I also bought decorating bags. At first the icing wasn't sticking to the bottom 8" layer, but I managed to get it on there once I had the technique down.

I'm glad I decided to make two dozen cupcakes because there was only one left after the party. Everyone commented how delicious the cake and cupcakes were and it was definitely the buttercream icing. The cake stayed moist (the freezer actually helps). I used Betty Crocker chocolate for the cakes and cupcakes. Maybe one day soon I will try to make my own cake recipe (now that I know what to expect)! After all the time, effort, stress and anxiety over making the Elsa cake it was still rewarding since it came out so well and I really enjoyed it. I love party planning and I love doing things to see the smiles on my daughters faces. Ellie lit up when she saw her Elsa cake and was so excited. I know I will be making another princess cake in the future!

 I think Ellie is thinking about eating the cake!
// Back view of cake //
 And, here is Summer ready to blow out her candle!

The Inside:
I'm still thinking about this cake and how delicious it was!

I also want to note the pink cake stand I used. I bought it from Design Darling (also mentioned here) and knew that I would get a lot of use out of it having two girls. 

Also, a huge thank you to my friend for all the encouragement along the way and to Glory at Glorious Treats. The buttercream icing was amazing and the step by step instructions were so helpful. Not to mention, her cupcake pictures are gorgeous!

One more look! 

** This is not a sponsored post. I just loved these products and wanted to share! Affiliate links are included in this post.

1 comment:

  1. Fabulous birthday cake!! I am in love with the design of this princess cake. Thanks for photos of this cute birthday bash. I need to host such a cute princess party for my daughter and your post is a great inspiration. Also looking for suitable outdoor party venues in NYC!