That’s Frozen the Disney movie and not frozen things! So I have been discovering in the last few months. When you don’t have kids you can fall behind in these trends, or rather have them pass you by altogether. But my niece made me aware of its wonders on our recent visit to Italy, she told me the whole story and was waxing lyrical about it. Then my friend contacted me a few weeks ago to ask me to make her daughters 6th birthday cake and guess what she is obsessed with? You guessed it, Frozen. She was having a joint party with her friend and they wanted a cake each! I was commissioned to make two Frozen cakes, exactly the same.
As I have not seen the film my first port of call was the interwebulator to get some idea of what we were talking about and lo and behold there were hundreds nay thousands of pictures of Frozen themed birthday cakes. I say it again, I love the internet. After looking at some of these I decided that Olaf was my best bet in terms of a character to sit atop the cake, the quirky and slightly wonky snowman of the piece. I found a tutorial on how to make Olaf on Cake Central (a great website for all things cake decorating) which was easy to follow with lots of pictures to help me along. The final design was a 10 inch round chocolate sandwich cake (both girls like their chocolate!) with ice blue butter cream icing, a “snowfall” of white fondant, fondant snowflakes, mini fondant snowballs circling the bottom of the cake and Olaf atop. Once this was approved by my friend I began the preparation.
Normally, for cakes like these I would ice the cake drum in fondant but I thought that the silver of the drum would work well with the theme so that was one less thing to do! The most important item to get right were the Olaf figures so I started them on Wednesday, it’s good to let them dry completely to help with structure and stability. And stability proved to be the biggest problem with Olaf. If you have seen any pictures of him then you will have seen him standing on one leg with a big head that is tipped to one side.
You can see what I mean from this picture. The tutorial on Cake Central was very good and very detailed with hints and tips to help with the wonkiness! I bought some CMC powder from my local sugarcraft shop which makes fondant more sturdy and helps it to dry and harden quicker. You can use sugarpaste instead but this way I can just use fondant for everything and add the powder if I need to. It certainly made a difference to the drying time and was especially useful for the arms and hair! Safe to say it wasn’t all plain sailing, they both fell over a few times and when it came to attaching the arms it was a disaster. In the end I put a piece of dry spaghetti through the top part of the body and moulded the arms around that, they weren’t pretty but they did the trick. The tutorial said to use a wooden skewer to help him stay together. When I did my cake decorating course they said never to use anything that wasn’t edible on a cake, especially when it is for a child. She recommended using spaghetti, it probably means a less sturdy figure but I think it is worth it given what could happen if a child tried to eat an Olaf made with a wooden skewer. Although I made both Olaf’s at the same time they were very different, one was a bit more wonky than the other!!
I began baking early on Saturday morning, the cake baking is always the easiest thing for me, this is the bit I am confident with so it went without a hitch. By 10am I had all four layers baked and cooling. The next stage was to sandwich them with chocolate butter cream and put a thin layer all over the cake to give a good foundation for the final butter cream layer. Once this was done they went into the fridge for about 30 minutes to set the butter cream.
I was worried about getting the right ice blue colour for the butter cream, it was one of the things that kept me awake in the week before. I made a basic vanilla butter cream (butter, vanilla extract, icing sugar) and then added some Ice Blue Sugarflair food colouring, adding it bit by bit until I got the colour I wanted. It was very easy in the end, I got a lovely “frozen” blue.
Once both cakes were covered in there ice blue layer they went back in the fridge for another 30 minutes and I made preparations for the final touches. I wanted to have a fondant “snowfall” on top of the blue icing. To do this I rolled out white fondant to about 12 inches in diameter and then used a pizza cutter to cut around the edges to create a snowfall effect. I placed this on the cake and patted into place, it was a nice effect. The next stage was the mini snowballs around the end, this took the longest time of everything that day, it probably took an hour to do both cakes. But worth it in the end, I think.
Now I was into the final stages, just the finishing touches. Snowflakes of varying sizes stuck on at random and then Olaf put in position. The solution to keeping him upright on the cake was a toothpick inserted into his leg and then into the cake. It broke my edible rule but it was really the only way I could think that he would stay standing (I made sure both parents knew about the toothpick when they picked up the cakes). The final, final touch was to sprinkle both cakes with Waitrose sparkly sprinkling snow which gave a lovely shimmery finish.
The cakes were picked up yesterday morning and overnight one of the Olaf’s hair had fallen off (the cake box wasn’t deep enough) but when Ella (one of the birthday girls) saw it she said that he was bald and that she would have the bald Olaf as it reminded her of her Dad, bless! Catastrophe averted.
Messages after the party were all positive, happy children, happy parents. All worth it in the end. Now I just need to see this film!