August 2016 saw our little girl turn 4, and as well as marking my fourth anniversary of becoming a mum, it also marked my 3rd cake making Anniversary, having made my first decorated cake for her 1st birthday!
For her last two birthdays I’ve been pregnant, and pregnancy for me entails being sick, right to the bitter end. 😳 🤢 So the last two years I’ve had to scale back my plans and simplify my designs to make it more manageable. So this time I was able to be a bit more adventurous! The last three cakes I’ve made for her have been tiered cakes, so I also wanted to make a non-tiered shaped cake this time!
I bought a Cake Frame Starter kit back in 2014 when it first came out and used it for a Christmas Tree cake and for my daughter’s ‘Olaf in Summer’ 3rd Birthday Cake, but wanted to really test it out and have some fun with it!
I asked my daughter what she wanted for her cake. The answer kept changing between Finding Dory, Paw Patrol & Toy Story!
I based the design on the Toy Story 3 Poster (she LOVES the Toy Story films and Toy Story 3 is her favourite), and added the cake and present to make it more birthday related (and obviously changed the 3 to a 4!) and also because I wanted to have a go at a gravity defying cake with the Cake Frame!
First I started off by finding a picture of the Toy Story 3 poster and scaling it up to the size of the Cake Frame pieces I was going to use. I then played around with the Cake Frame pieces to sort out the structure and ended up ordering some extra bits that aren’t in the starter kit to be able to make it.
I made all the bits I was going to ‘add on’ first, so that they’d have a couple of days to dry and firm up. I always liked working with Wilton fondant (the old type) for modelling, but when they changed to a new recipe it had a completely different and much softer texture which I didn’t like for modelling. I’ve used Carma Massa Ticino fondant for covering my cakes for a while now, but had never used it for modelling before. As it now comes in so many different colours, I decided to give it a go with some tylose powder mixed in to firm it up. It worked really well, and the colours are lovely and bright, although I had to colour my own blue as it was out of stock!
I used the scaled picture to make sure I made all the pieces the right size. I’ve got a set of oval cutters, and they came in so handy for this cake! I used them to shape and mould the ears and eyes as well as the moustache.
The first moustache I made ended up being quite thick, so I ended up doing another one as I was worried the first one was too heavy and might not stay in place. I shaped it using the oval cutters and then scored lines in it to add detail.
I made the hat in two separate parts, moulding the top part over a small hemisphere cake tin, and using a baby bowl to shape the rim part of the hat.
The oval cutters came in handy again for making the shoes. I cut the soles of them and then made the upper part using an oval shaped measuring cup.
To make the eyes I placed cling film / saran wrap over the fondant before cutting it. This pulls the cling film tight and rounds the edge as you cut it.
I then left all the bits to firm up for a couple of days.
I added the cake to the frame and built it up around it. The cake was 6 inches diameter and I then carved it into shape, constantly referring to the picture to try and get the right shape. I covered it in ganache and allowed it to dry completely before covering it in Carma Massa Ticino fondant.
For the arms I rolled some white fondant really thin and wrapped it around the supports to cover them and make them into arms. I shaped the hands out of white fondant and made holes in them to slide over the frame and slot onto the arms.
I made the present and ‘cake’ cakes separately ready to add on at the end. I made a bit of an error here by making them out of cake. The present cake alone weighed 1kg, and as they were different shapes the ‘cake’ cake was slightly lighter. This caused some balancing issues and really tested the frame. I ended up hollowing out a small section of the present cake to try and even them out. If I made this cake again, I would definitely do those parts out of Rice Krispy treats to make them a lot lighter and put the frame under less strain!
The finished Mr Potato Head was just shy of 12 inches tall and was definitely a hit with the birthday girl! The kids wanted to eat the present and ‘cake’ cake first, then gradually worked their way through his features!
I think this has got to be my favourite cake to date! 😁