This past March, I was asked to make a frozen cake for my niece's birthday. I've made a few cakes before, but this is my first "Frozen" cake. I didn't plan on making it into an instructable, but there are some great contests going on so I thought why not?
Step 1: Make Your Cakes, Fondant, Etc.
Since this is just a hobby for me and I have a full-time job and a small child to wrangle, time management is critical. I try to make as much in advance as possible. First things first though, figure out how much cake you will need based on the number of guests (if that matters). There are lots of calculators out there, but I like to use this one:
I like to use this recipe for the cake posted by user Heartsfire. It's a very moist cake that as the name suggests, is very durable and lends itself well to carving.
I make the cakes a couple weeks in advance and then wrap them well in plastic wrap and then aluminium foil and freeze them. Be sure to put them on a cardboard cake plate so you can stack them later. I pull them out of the freezer the day before (or sometimes or morning of) when I'm going to decorate.
I also make my marshmallow fondant in advance. It should sit for at least 24hrs before you use it. There are lots of recipes out there, but I tend to use this one from Peggy Weaver:
A couple of tips- if you have a stand mixer with a dough hook it will make your life easier and keep the mess down when making the fondant. Don't worry if you don't though, you can just knead the fondant on your countertop, just make sure you cover your hands and the countertop with a layer of Crisco to keep the marshmallow from sticking to everything! Because a fair amount of blue is needed for the base colour, I made one batch in the blue by adding a couple of drops of a gel-based food colouring into the melted marshmallows. The little bits of colours (orange, brown, etc.) I make later when I'm decorating.
Make up some black fondant- I have never had much luck trying to colour a piece of white fondant to a true, dark black, so I use this recipe from user jayde because it looks fantastic and has the added bonus of tasting like chocolate
The icing can also be made at this point too. I tend to use the Wilton icing recipe found here:
You can use your own favourite recipe though. Just keep in mind if your venue is going to be pretty warm you should use an icing with a higher percentage of shortening than butter so it doesn't melt.
Step 2: Make Your Toppers
I like to keep things simple, so I make my toppers out of the same fondant I cover the cake with. Marshmallow fondant can get sort of droopy when it gets warm and you don't want Olaf melting so sprinkle in a little tylose powder while you are shaping and it will firm things up.
I just found a picture on the web that I liked and started shaping away. I order to keep the snowballs aligned, I threaded them on a kebab skewer that runs from his foot all the way through to his head. I left enough sticking out the bottom ~3" to anchor him in the cake. The details are stuck on using either clear vanilla or vodka "glue"- unlike water, they evaporate relatively quickly attaching the part without leaving a sticky mess. The arms and hair I made and let dry for a couple days before attaching- I poke a little hole and then glue them on. Be sure to support them while they dry. It's also not a bad idea to make a couple spares in case you break one.
Sven is made in the same way- make your antlers ahead of time and let them dry. They started out as little ropes of fondant and then I used small scissors to make little snips to make the branches. I added more detail later on by brushing on some dark brown food colouring watered down with vanilla.
The snowflakes were created by using some fondant cutters.
Store them in a cool dry place in a cakebox or other cardboard box. Don't use anything like Tupperware, you want them to "breathe"
Step 3: Make Your Ice
The icy looking bits are made from isomalt which I've coloured. It was my first time using isomalt crystals and I was pretty happy with the results. Just follow the directions on the package to melt and add a little colour. My decorations had a few little air bubbles in them, but I wasn't concerned about it. You will need to work relatively quickly with this.
The pond on the top was made by just pouring out some of the isomalt on some parchment paper and letting it cool. For the letters I used silicone moulds. Just be sure to scrap the excess off the mould before it hardens or you will have a hard time popping out your letters.
Leftover isomalt can be poured onto parchment paper and let cool. Then you can smash it up and put it in a ziplock bag (kind of breaking bad-ish looking) for later use.
Step 4: Putting It All Together
Depending on if you want to or not, you can cut you cake layers in half and add a filling. There are all sorts of fancy cutters out there but all you need is a big bread knife and a good eye to keep your cut as level as possible. If you decide to go this route, you will need to make a dam of thicker icing around the circumference of the cake to keep the filling from leaking out.
After you've filled your cake (or not) and carefully put the top back on, you will need to ice the entire thing. Don't worry if you've knocked a piece off or cracked it somewhere- icing fixes everything, so fill in any mistakes. Why do I need to ice it when I'm covering it with fondant you might say? The icing provides a nice cushy layer that allows the fondant to have something to stick to and to keep your fondant smooth looking. Most people suggest getting your icing layer as smooth as possible (you can Google Viva paper towel method for tips) but you can see from the photos I don't get too crazy.
Roll and cover with your blue base layer- the fondant recipe link provides some tips on how to get the proper size and how to drape and smooth it out. I usually set my cake up on a coffee can or something to allow the fondant to hang past the edges and I smooth any folds out with my hands. Excess I trim with scissors or a pizza cutter. Roll a smaller, uneven piece of white to drap overtop for that snow-topped look.
With multi-level cakes, it is a good idea to provide some support to keep the upper level cake from squishing the bottom level. To do this, I use bubble tea straws trimmed to the same height as the bottom layer, and push them into the bottom layer where the top layer will cover them. For this cake I used 3. Repeat the fondant covering method for the top.
Next comes the fun part- stick on all your decorations using your glue. I also piped a border around the edges of both layers to hide the seam/ any gap. The snow around Sven is just some leftover icing I clumped around him.
I think that's about it