Making of the Elf Cake

I had a wonderful opportunity to bake “Rise of the Guardians” cupcakes for the release day at Dreamworks Animation last month. It was some of the funnest cupcakes I have ever made. The movie is just so inspiring and brilliant, so I was honored to take part in the celebration. Making those cupcakes inspired me to make an Elf cake (based on the Elfs in the film), for the Surfacing Department Holiday Party at Dreamworks.

What a great time!!! The Elf was created in a total of  14 hrs. I wish I had more time to sculpt him, but within the time I had I did what I could, focusing on the face first.

Here is what I did:

I started by building his rig (support). I used pipes from Home depot and covered it with cake tape.

The feet support are things you can find in the light section of Home depot. Next time I will use metal pipes, and sturdier wood. He was a little flimsy, because at the end he weight about 40 lbs.

Then I started piling on the cake.

The cake was pumpkin spice with layers of pumpkin buttercream and salted caramel. I layered three cakes then inserted support rods in the cake to support the rest of the cake and head above the shoulders. In total I used 4 cakes cut in 2, going from pan sizes 10-6. So no carving was needed for this cake.

I then started sculpting the face. The head was a combination of fondant, modeling chocolate and rice crispies. Because I knew we weren’t going to eat the head, I used styrofoam inside the head so I could save on rice crispies. The center of his cone head is styrofoam covered in melting chocolate, then covered in rice crispies.

I then dug a hole where I knew the face would go and covered it with modeling chocolate and started to sculpt the face.

For his eyes I bought gum balls that I rolled in fondant. I then painted the iris using Americolor food coloring and a small tip brush.  Before placing the eyeball on the skull I made sure to create holes for the eye socket, so the eyes sit in nice and natural.

Then I added more chocolate and started to sculpt the rest of his face.

Because modeling chocolate is VERY hard to paint on.. I then rolled out a thin layer of fondant which I pre-tinted to match his skin, and placed it on top of his face. Making sure to work quickly reshaping the face before the fondant dries out. Then I painted the fondant with a brush, vodka and food coloring. I started to run out of time so I stopped taking pictures… sorry about that.

I spent about 1.5 hrs on the face and the rest of the body was done very quickly.

Ideally you would want to pre-make the hands and ear beforehand using gumpaste so it dries hard. But in my case I didn’t have the time and had to use fondant on thin gelatin sheets (used to hold the shape) for the ears. And the hands had to be sculpted fast and put in the freezer to set.

There was SOOO much that could’ve been way better on this cake. But it was a fun fast project that turned out better than expected. I wanted his clothes to appear very rugged. I used tinted sanding sugar to add some texture and shine to his hat.

Six hours later after many pictures and attention,  he was devoured by 4o people. One person claimed his head.. and the rest indulged on the delicious pumpkin cake lol.. Great times!

I hope this inspires you to create wonderful 3D cakes. The possibilities and fun are endless. Please let me know if you have any questions.

May God bless you richly during this wonderful Christmas Season.

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6


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