Saturday, October 18, 2014

Elsa Doll Cake Tutorial


I made this Elsa doll cake for my niece who absolutely loves Frozen.  I was looking to replicate the scene where she sings "Let it Go" so I knew that the traditional doll cake wasn't going to work, which is why I decided to try this peeking-leg-style cake.  I found that it was a pretty forgiving design, since the fondant is layered.


A couple of days prior to making the cake, I made the top part of Elsa's dress so that it would have time to harden before I had to handle it.  I started by taping her legs in the position that I wanted them (one foot in front of the other) so that she wouldn't move while the top part of the dress was drying.  To make the top part of her dress, I rolled out some dark teal fondant and cut one side with a pizza cutter so that it had a straight edge.  One thing that isn't really noticeable in the final pictures of this cake is that there are actually two different shades of teal in this dress - dark teal for the top/middle, and light teal for the middle/bottom.  




Then I brushed the top half of her body with a little bit of water and wrapped the fondant around her with the straight edge up and the uneven edge down.  I used a sharp knife to cut away the excess in the back where it overlapped, and then I cut the uneven edge off of the bottom.  I used my thumb to smooth out the seam as best as I could.  Then I cut a small, rounded "V" in the front of her dress on her chest.  The good news is that she has arms so she was able hold herself up while the top of her dress dried. :-)


 

I used my clay extruder to make a thin strip of light teal fondant to go around the top edge of the dress and attached it with a little bit of water.




Lastly, I brushed on a little bit of luster dust (my favorite!) and I left her to dry on the counter for a couple of days.




The other piece that I made in advance was the cake board.  I decided that I wanted to decorate this cake directly on the cake board, which would have been difficult if I had used a fondant-covered cake board.  So instead of covering my cake board with fondant, I stacked three white 12-inch cardboard cake circles and covered them with a layer of sheer, sparkly teal fabric.  Then I glued ribbon around the edge and covered the whole board with clear contact paper.  This made the board really easy to clean.  (It also worked out really well in the end because my niece asked if she could keep it to use it as a dance floor for her dolls.)  :-)


To make the cake, I used the Wilton Doll Pan and an eight-inch round pan.  When the layers were cool, I leveled them, filled them with frosting, and stacked them.  I ended up cutting the doll pan layer in half (horizontally) so that I could add an extra layer of frosting.  Then I cut a notch in the front of the cake where the doll would later stand.  I didn't take measurements to see how tall the cake was, but it came up to the middle of the doll's thigh.




Next, I smoothed out the sharp angles (from where I had just removed the chunk of cake) with a serrated knife.  I used most of the parts that I had cut to fill in the back of the dress.  I attached these scrap pieces to the cake with chocolate frosting.  Here are side and top view photos of the cake at this point (along with a huge mess of cake scraps!).




Once I finished attaching the scrap pieces, I covered the cake with a crumb coating of vanilla frosting and covered it with light teal fondant.  Then I cleaned up the cake board... The great thing about using cake boards that are covered with contact paper is that they are super easy to clean!



Next, I attached the doll to the cake.  To do this, I wrapped a wire around one of her legs and twisted it together in the back, leaving about three inches of wire protruding from the back.  Then I wrapped the wire with white electrical tape and pushed it downward into the cake so that her leg was in the notch that I had cut into the cake.  I used a strip of fondant (brushed with piping gel) to hold her back foot in place and I adjusted her legs to be in the position that I wanted them (unfortunately this doll came with non-bendable knees).  Adjusting her legs caused some of the top part of her dress to break off where her legs met her torso (as you can see in the picture below) but I ended up covering this part later, so it really didn't matter.


I also added a clump of fondant onto the back of the cake so that the dress would have a more gradual flow.



And now, the fun part!  The remainder of the cake is all about layering strips of fondant.  It's my favorite part because it is what gives the illusion of movement (a very important component to capture this dramatic scene of the movie) AND there is lots of room for error.  I didn't measure any of the strips of fondant that I used for this.  Instead, I just rolled out each strip, pleated it, attached it to the cake with piping gel, and then trimmed the bottom to my desired length.  I started by attaching a strip behind the knee of the front leg, bringing it out from behind her leg and then pulling it toward the back of the cake (so that it looks like the wind is blowing her dress back as she walks).  Then I added a diagonal strip starting from her left hip (our right), covering most of her front leg and all of her back leg/foot, and then sweeping back.  It's difficult to describe, but it's pretty simple.  Hopefully the picture will make sense:



This part ended up cracking when I was moving the cake, so I had to try to add in another piece later on. :-(

Once I put these initial pieces on the front, I started working on the back and the sides of the dress.  For each of these pieces, I rolled out a strip of fondant (again, no measurement needed) and curved the sides with my fingers to give it a rippled effect.  Then I pinched the top edge and attached it to the piece of fondant just below Elsa's waist (This part got covered later, so it didn't need to look perfect).  For a couple of the strips, I made a little bit of a crease down the center, just so that they wouldn't all look exactly the same.  Once I attached all the strips to the side and back of the dress, I used a pizza cutter to cut and round the ends of the strips.


This is the only picture that I took during this stage.  I added the middle piece to the back first, then the sides, and then filled in the rest.  You can see where I initially added some white ruffles, which I later decided to remove and replace with another strip of teal. 




To finish off her dress, I added three shorter dark teal strip around her waist (this helped to cover up the spot where I attached the strips to the back/sides of the dress).  The first strip started at her right hip (our left) and wrapped around to below her left hip.  The second strip started at her left hip and wrapped around to the back.  The last strip started in the back and wrapped around to the front/center (this is another situation where it might just be easier to look at the picture).  To finish the cake, I added a few fondant snowflakes, and covered the entire cake with luster dust.  I also used a small triangle of dark teal fondant to cover the top of her exposed foot.




Let it go!

*It was recently brought to my attention that there is an original creator of the walking doll cake.  It was not my intention to copy any particular cake that I saw online; I was trying to replicate a particular scene from Frozen. If you are interested in purchasing a detailed, professional tutorial for walking doll cakes, please visit the Ipoh Bakery website.  Their cakes are amazing!  Here are some photos of their walking doll cakes:

Ipoh Bakery's Walking Doll Cakes



61 comments:

  1. beautiful cake and brilliant instructions, thank you for sharing :)
    karen xx

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  2. Great tutorial! Thanks for sharing! Do you think this could be replicated using the Wilton ball pan set?

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    1. Yes, definitely! I would put a six or eight inch (depending on which ball pan you're using) round layer under it to give it some height.

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  3. Oh! muy bonita la tarta! me encanta! felicidades!

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  4. Thank you!! awesome tutorial and very well executed. Thanks a million!!

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  5. Absolutely beautiful!! Will be trying to create this for my daughter in December. Thank you for sharing. You are very talented!!

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  6. How did you do the pleates in the fondant for the dress?

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  7. Very detailed, thank you for sharing, can't wait to give it a try !!!!

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  8. Replies
    1. I got it from amazon.com. It came as part of the "Disney Frozen Royal Sisters" set.

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  9. Lacey,

    Thank you for your tutorial! It was so easy to follow, and I was able to make a very beautiful cake for my daughter! I wanted to send a picture but there isn't a place to do so!

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    1. Yay! I'm so glad to hear that, and I would love to see the picture! My email address is laceytodd@hotmail.com. :-)

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  10. Thanks for sharing. God bless

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  11. Thank you for the brilliant tutorial Lacey.
    Your creativity re emphasises that in the little corners of our world, different people often get the same inspirations, what you decide to do with it makes the difference.
    Once again, thank you for the time you have taken to share. God bless you and yours.

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  12. Your cake is so beautiful Lacey, thank you so much for sharing your work. I hadn't realised there was an original creator of the walking doll........
    @ Abiose I couldn't have said better what you have so eloquently

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    1. Thank you! I didn't realize that there was an original creator either, until someone posted something about it in the "Tutorials for Cake Decorating" group on Facebook. The Ipoh Bakery has some amazing doll cakes.

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  13. FABULOSA, TOMO CLASES SRA. PORQUE ESTA GENIAL

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  14. Beautiful cake! Was wondering if you used florist paste at all. Just wondering how the cake kept its shape

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    1. The fondant that I used for this cake dried semi-hard so I didn't really need to mix it with gum paste, but in hindsight, mixing it with gum paste or adding a little bit of tylose powder would've made it dry harder.

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  15. thanks for a very detailed tutorial. i'm trying to recreate to the best i can, i hope u don't mind. thanks again!

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    1. I don't mind at all. In fact, I'm honored! Good luck! :-)

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  16. Thank you for this. Can I ask how long it took you and if I did this a few days before the party would it last? Thanks

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    1. It probably took me about three hours to decorate, after the cake had baked and cooled. I'm sure it would last for a few days, as long as the filling/frosting doesn't need to be refrigerated.

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    2. Brilliant thank you for your help. I will let you know how it goes :-)

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  17. Great work done. Loved each stepped beautifully explained on the tutorial. Keep up the good work. xx

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  18. Great work done. Loved each step beautifully explained on the tutorial. Keep up the good work. xx

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  19. You are simply amazing. God bless you for sharing. I agree Abiose's comment above. Thanks for an amazing well detailed tutorial

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  20. You are simply amazing. God bless you for sharing. I agree Abiose's comment above. Thanks for an amazing well detailed tutorial

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  21. looking for the doll head or Barbie elsa doll for a cake I am doing could you tell me where you got this from

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    1. I got it from amazon.com. It came as part of the "Disney Frozen Royal Sisters" set.

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    2. thank you so much

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  22. Hi!! Just wanted to know the quantity of fondant that aproximately took to make the whole dress...because I don't to end up doing a second batch and not matching the exact same color...thanks

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  23. This tutorial is awesome, thank you so much for sharing, my 5 year old was thrilled with her cake thanks to your detailed notes.

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  24. hi, thank you for the instructions, awesome cake. I am wondering how did you cut the fondant into snowflakes? Thanks

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    1. I used snowflake cutters that I bought from Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Longzang-3-Piece-Decorating-Fondant-Embossing/dp/B00KVBL0CA/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1433337063&sr=8-1&keywords=snowflake+plunger+cutter

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  25. Hi Lacey, I just wanted to say thank you for this awesome tutorial! I thought you might like to know that I used your tutorial to make a cake for my daughter's birthday party this weekend and it was a huge hit. I blogged about the cake I made here - http://www.craftmehappy.com/2015/06/frozen-themed-elsa-cake.html and I've linked to this page. I was wondering if you would allow me to use a photo of your cake on my blog so that people can see my inspiration? Thanks again, Kathryn

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  26. Hi Kathryn,

    Your cake came out beautifully! I love your idea of adding darker blue luster dust around the edge of each piece of fondant. It really gave the cake dimension. I would be honored if you included a photo of my cake on your site. :-)

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  27. I intend on making this for my 30th this week. Thank you so much for posting this very kind and very well described each step. It's stunning well done!

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  28. Beautiful, you did an amazing job. I love it!

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  29. I made one too! Fantastic tutorial. See the final result here. https://fbcdn-sphotos-c-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-xtl1/v/t1.0-9/12105864_10153005452762811_8002853235836122890_n.jpg?oh=63634c379397485b91cdba2679473e4f&oe=56860905&__gda__=1452562788_6320e004dd576bed02c97365b7cb165a

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  30. For many such doll cakes at Bangalore, log onto www.warmoven.in

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  31. Hi, can you tell me how much kilos was this cake? The tutorial is really helpful...thank you

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  33. Really wish there was someone in mumbai who could make this cake for my daughters birthday but not even the cake shops here can make it. Apparently they dont make cakes with fondant :(

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  34. Beautiful cake!
    Try Sugar Flair concentrated food colour. I find that I get the darker more intense colours better than the other brands, especially with buttercream icing.It is best site for cakes n cookies nagpur

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  35. Making cake is so simple after seeing your this recipe. Thanks alottttttt….
    http://www.cakengifts.in/cake-delivery-in-delhi

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  36. Absolutely Breathtaking dear, simply amazing! I really enjoyed the tutorials , thank you so much hmm i will try to replicate this. In a short time by God's grace.

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  38. Nice Article, Surprise your loved ones with thoughtful, delicious and beautiful looking
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    from country ovens special range.

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  39. OMG!! This frozen birthday cake looks elegant. Want to have similar cake for my niece’s birthday party too that will throw at one of event space San Francisco. Will have frozen themed party cake that will look really good for the party.

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