Instructables
Picture of How to make a sculpted Hellboy cake
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Hello everyone!

This is the cake I made for my first cake show competition. It was for That Takes The Cake 2011 in Austin, TX. I've onyl been making cakes since August 2010 and this is still just a hobby for me until I get the funds to get everything I need to start up a business and I'm self-taught so I'm super happy that I even placed in the top 10 at the show. I came in 8th!

I had a lot of issues and mistakes but I learned a lot and am now planning and starting my next sculpted cake for a show at the end of April.

The theme for the Showcake category at That Takes The Cake was Super Heroes and Villains from comics, books, movies and TV. I chose to make Hellboy because I love Mike Mignola's work, as well as the movies and loved Ron Perlmann as Hellboy.

Depending on your artistic skill, this could be hard or easy. Towards the end of this cake I didn't get as many photos, as I was behind on time, but I hope this Instructable can at least give you the basics on how to make this!

The head and arms are rice cereal treats and the rest is Devil's Food cake (felt that was fitting for Hellboy) covered in fondant and then detailed and hand painted with gel food colors. One of my mistakes was hand painting the skin and base. I hadn't yet learned to use the airbrush I recently bought and was out of time so I hand painted it and it came out really splotchy, with brush marks and was way too wet and shiny for way too long. I would definitely recommend using an airbrush! Although the texture was great for the coat.

I also didn't build up the shoulders and I should have, as once the heavy fondant was on they shrunk in. Also didn't use enough support dowels and separators inbetween every few layers so his body started to settle and compress down with the weight of the cake (this is the biggest cake I've ever made, learned a lot!) but his head and top of shoulders were made out of the rice cereal treats and stayed up on the supports, so he eventually came apart, starting even before judging. The 4 hour drive to the show I think hurried the process along.

Here's a list of general supplies I used to make the cake:

• Cake pans for baking the cakes. I used a quarter sheet pan for all of the cake.
• General cake decorating supplies: Mixer, spatulas, turn-table, carving/clay/fondant/gumpaste tools, matt to roll fondant on, fondant rolling pin, gel food colors, knife, cake leveler, toothpicks, food-safe paintbrushes, small containers to mix food color "paints" in, tape, cake support dowels, etc.
• Ingredients to make cakes, buttercream icing, fondant and to mix food colors with (you will mix the food colorings with something like vodka or clear vanilla extract, not water.)

I had to make a wooden base to support such a heavy cake so I've shown that in this Instructable too. I used two 24" x 24" x 1/2" plywood pieces, and a larger wooden dowel and wood screw and then a pack of wooden cabinet knobs as the feet, so that it would be easier to get fingers under the heavy cake and board.

Here's the link to the alterations made to a box cake mix to make it a little stronger to better support sculpting. I altered this recipe a little, adding an extra egg and an extra half cup of flour.
http://cakecentral.com/recipes/7445/the-original-wasc-cake-recipe

Here's the link to how to make the marshmallow fondant, which is pretty yummy, although very sweet! Pre-made fondant can be bought if you do not want to make the marshmallow fondant but beware that some of the pre-made doesn't taste very appetizing. Two brands that do taste good are Satin Ice and Fondx. I've used the Wilton once before and it's not too great tasting.
http://www.wilton.com/forums/messageview.cfm?catid=7&threadid=137541&FTVAR_MSGDBTABLE=

Here's a simple recipe for the buttercream icing, a 2 lb batch. This uses shortening in place of butter. I'm in Texas and butter doesn't hold up as well. If you don't have a stand mixer or don't want to make your own icing you can buy some pre-made.

Ingredients:
2 Cups Shortening
2 lb bag Powdered Cane Sugar (or approx. 8 Cups)
4 TBSP Meringue Powder
2 tsp Vanilla Extract (use clear vanilla if you want your icing to be white)
2 tsp Butter Flavor (use clear flavor if you want your icing to be white)
1 tsp Almond Extract
Water

Directions:
Sift together powdered sugar and meringue powder into large bowl. Set aside.
Mix the flavor extracts together in a measuring cup. Add enough water to the mixture to bring the amount to 1/2 a cup. Put this into a mixer bowl with the shortening.
Add about 1/4th of the sifted powdered sugar/meringue powder mixture to the shortening and flavors in the mixer bowl. Beat on a slow speed with the paddle beater and the slowly incorporate the rest of the powdered sugar mix into the mixer bowl as it's slowly mixing. Once it's all in there I usually turn it up a notch in speed for about 1 1/2 - 2 minutes. Then it's done!
Keep it covered until you are ready to use it, as it will "crust" over if you are not ready to use it and leave it uncovered to the air.
 
 
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zomfibame1 year ago
great lookin' cake!
tchitwood (author)  zomfibame1 year ago
Thank you! :)
Faha2 years ago
EXCELLENT JOB! If you won 8th place at the show, you're definitely a Pro (#1) on Instructables!
tchitwood (author)  Faha2 years ago
Thank you!!! I have learned SO much, by trial and error, since I started this 2 years ago, but I still love it! Hard to fit in caking these days but getting back to it soon so I'm happy. :)
juicymoose3 years ago
BRILLIANT!!!
kinda strange really, watched hellboy last night. spooky!!
Good luck with the buisness
dark30003 years ago
yeah even experts have time constraints, great cake anyway!
xiambam3 years ago
I can't believe you are self-taught! This is really cool - great job! :) Good luck with your goal of starting a business!
tchitwood (author)  xiambam3 years ago
Thank you! I think it helps that I'm an artist and have been a graphic designer for the last 10+ years. At least with the sculpting parts! Each cake has their flaws and mistakes but I'm learning more with each one. I really enjoy it and I'm a step closer to making cakes for pay! Woot! I really hope the Texas Cottage Food Law passes! Would be nice not to have to rent a commercial kitchen :)
thegreat583 years ago
This cake is totally cool and a work of art, I love Hellboy movies and am his look alike (except for the horns) great job.
tchitwood (author)  thegreat583 years ago
Thank you! I love Hellboy :) That rocks that you look like him!
instruct393 years ago
awesome! the arms look a bit long for the torso, but im no expert. hey its the best ive seen! very cool!
tchitwood (author)  instruct393 years ago
Thank you!

The straight left arm seemed the right length, but the right arm was a bit longer. His right arm is longer than his left normally, but with the bend in the elbow I think my proportions got off and I made it a little too long, at least for the movie version.

I originally wanted to make 2 cakes, back to back, one movie version and one comic version because I so love the art of Mike Mignola, but time constraints didn't allow me to do that. I definitely learned a lot entering this show, one thing being to better manage my time between making cakes, work, yoga and leisure time!
yeah even experts have time constraints, great cake anyway!
tchitwood (author)  instruct393 years ago
Yes, they sure do! They have some crazy time constraints! :) I know better for the next show to start a lot earlier! I guess as I make more cakes I hope to get better at time management. I don't see how the experts and those that compete on the Food Network Challenges and Ultimate Cake Off do what they do in such a little amount of time! Even at cake shops it's crazy the volume of cakes they have to make. They are all a huge inspiration to me. :) I hope I start getting a little faster within the next 6-12 months! Like they say, "practice practice practice!" Thank you again!
mslaynie3 years ago
WOW! This is absolutely phenomenal... Yes, I see where you have room for improvement, but you've already figured out how to fix the few issues I saw, and seem really good at evaluating your work honestly. That's really hard to do!

You are so inspiring!! I can't wait to see what you make next!! And congratulations... 8th place is nothing to sneeze at!!
tchitwood (author)  mslaynie3 years ago
Thank you!!!

I knew the flaws in it, but still had fun at the show and didn't sweat it. I think of it as a fun learning experience! I totally didn't think I was going to even place so when I came in 8th I was surprised and stoked!

When I was younger I guess I might have gotten stressed out and upset but have learned to let it go nowdays and enjoy the ride. In the 1994 when I was in a climbing competition and stressed myself out so bad and got really upset (and was sure I wouldn't even place and ended up coming in 2nd, lol), I vowed I'd never do any kind of competition again, lol.

So glad I've grown, hee hee! Sometimes I start knitpicking and I think I can be my own worst critic but then my husband sets me straight!
You are so right! I was talking to my husband recently about this- I used to get so caught up in everything that I'd stress myself out because I felt like things had to be perfect. I'm learning to enjoy the ride, to not focus so much on the flaws of a project and instead to enjoy the learning process. (At least, most of the time!)

And just think...if this is what you're doing now.... what will you be doing in a year's time? :D
So where is your next cake show i don't mind going
tchitwood (author)  JohnnyTheGreat3 years ago
The next show I'm going to is the North Texas Cake & Sugar Art Show at the Cascades Event Center in The Colony, April 30-May 1:

http://www.sugarwonders.com/cakeshow2011.html

I've registered to enter the sculpted category but going in a completely different direction since there's no theme for that category, it's open! And starting now so I'm not so last minute like I was with this cake, lol. I was actually painting it in the back of the van by light of the van light because it was 3:30am Saturday morning and set-up started at 7am; while my husband drove us down to Austin. That's why it was still so shiny :( Heh heh, it was a trip!
i was there at the show very nice job well done
tchitwood (author)  JohnnyTheGreat3 years ago
Thank you so much! There were so many amazing cakes at the show. I'm still very new to making cakes and have a lot to learn but it's loads of fun and seeing all the great cakes there were a huge inspiration.
erichoward3 years ago
Lolzzz whats this. I am really afraid..:-P
tchitwood (author)  erichoward3 years ago
Hee hee!
That hellboy looks more like a Sumo Wrestler.
tchitwood (author)  mike-locksmith3 years ago
LOL :) It's all the cake he ate...
Another masterpiece!!
I knew it was you (the maker), when I seen that cake!

GREAT job!
I really enjoy your instructables.
Keep em, up!
tchitwood (author)  Greasetattoo3 years ago
Thank you! I'm glad you enjoy them. I enjoy making them! :)
WVvan3 years ago
As I look at the your awesome cake I keep hearing Ron Perlman's voice as Hellboy saying "Eat me."
tchitwood (author)  WVvan3 years ago
Ahahaha! That is awesome :)
adamazing3 years ago
Legendary. Truly...awesome, just like your other cakes. 5 stars :)
tchitwood (author)  adamazing3 years ago
Thank you! :)
piaferre3 years ago
woooowww awesomee! I want onee
tchitwood (author)  piaferre3 years ago
:) !!!
eross-13 years ago
that's great!
tchitwood (author)  eross-13 years ago
Thank you!
Morrighan3 years ago
LOL! Wow... O.o I can't say anything... simply awsome
tchitwood (author)  Morrighan3 years ago
Thank you! :)
canida3 years ago
Wow, that's incredible!

(I just love the big stack of cakes lined up on the dowel - it's just SO much cake.)
tchitwood (author)  canida3 years ago
Thank you!

LOL, it sure was a lot of cake! They sure get heavy with so much cake, icing and fondant!
mrmath3 years ago
If this took 8th, it must have been a REALLY tough competition! That thing looks awesome!
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