I was thrilled with how my son’s birthday cake turned out this year. I’ve been making cakes for my kids birthdays for the past 5 years and I think I’m beginning to get the hang of it now. I adore the How to Cook That videos by Ann Reardon, who is a complete cake and desert making genius and have learned a lot from her tutorials.
- First I made Mary Berry’s foolproof sponge tray cake and buttercream icing (225g softened butter, 450g icing sugar, 1 tbsp of milk mixed for 10 mins on medium speed)
- Then using an A4 print-out of the image below as a template I cut the cake into the profile of Sonic’s head.
- Afterwards i covered the entire head in a thin layer of undyed buttercream icing and put the cake in the freezer for 30 mins to harden. This is called the crumb-coat and prevents crumbs getting into the decorative layer of buttercream icing.
- While the cake was chilling I dyed the rest of the buttercream icing dark blue.
- Once the crumb-coat had hardened I covered the cake with the dark blue buttercream icing.
- I had some black fondant for the eyes and nose from a previous cake so I just had to dyed some white fondant the right colour for the mouth area.
- I then cut out the eyes, mouth and ears parts of the printout and used them as templates to cut fondant icing for these areas.
- Next I rolled the black fondant into eyes and a nose, checking the size against the template.
- Finally I rolled a snake of black fondant for the mouth and outline for the ears. I could have done a little more of this detailing but after 3 hours decorating I was done!
- If you’re going to make a few cakes invest in proper gel dyes. You simply don’t get strong colours with the cheaper water-based food dyes.
- I wouldn’t bother trying to dye fondant icing dark colours. It’ll use up a ton of dye and take FOREVER and if you want black fondant don’t even bother I’ve found it’s impossible to make at home!
- Dying fondant and buttercream by hand takes much longer than you think so your food processors mixing bowl to get the job done in a jiffy. Make sure to start with the lightest colour first if you have to mix up a couple of different colours.
- Print out templates and use them to make your cake. This is the thing I learned the most from Ann Reardon and she very helpfully provides templates for the cake she’s made.