This is my second attempt at a 3D cake. I learned a lot more from this cake too. I did make a lot of the same mistakes again too though. lol. Lord Sauron is from Lord of the Rings series if you didn't know. We did, yep you guessed it, a Lord of the Rings movie marathon. Thank goodness this was before The Hobbit came out! My buddy had every cartoon, TV show, ad, movie and whatnot to share with us for the marathon. Felt like I was glued to his couch by the end of it all. I almost made it, but caught a few zzzz toward the end.
Step 1: Supplies
2 box cake mix. I tend to stick with a butter recipe because it stands up better to sculpting, and movement.
A lot of frosting. I ended up using a lot. I always do. It gets used as "glue" for every part of the cake.
Fondant. The box I had came with two squares of fondant inside. All was white
Fondant Gel dye. It's used to color the fondant.
Fondant glitter gel dye.
All purpose flour.
A wood board to place your cake on top of. Measure size needed based on the cake pans you use and then give yourself a few extra inches.
Wood dowel and skewers. I used the large dowel in the center of the cake to keep it upright, and then used the skewers to help make the points on his helmet.
Cake decorating paint brushes
Foil. I used this to cover the board my cake sat on.
Round cake pans. I had only 2, but if you had 4 that would be awesome.
AN EMPTY SHELF IN YOUR FRIDGE!! This is the most important! The cake works best cold, you will have to continue to place the cake and fondant inside the fridge to chill it. The warmth from our hands and working with it warms things way too much. This helps prevent cracking and also just works 100% better.
Step 2: Bake Your Cake and Frost It!
Bake 4 round cakes according to the directions on the box. Let each cake cool and trim the tops flat of each layer EXCEPT the top layer. (That curve works for the top of the helmet).
Place a layer of foil on the board. I didn't do this first, if I could go back, I would do that step first. If you don't use the foil you could use fondant or frosting with a piping bag; that stuff could go on later, but it's all up to your creativity!
Put a layer of frosting down on the foil and place down your first layer of trimmed cake. Frost in between each layer and continue up until you have the untrimmed cake at the top. Frost all around all layers with a "Crumb layer." I placed the thick wood dowel in the middle of the cake to help it stand.
Place your board with your cake in the fridge to chill.
Step 3: Fondant.... Dye Dye Dye!
My fondant came out in a pretty solid brick. It needed to be rolled, stretched, and kneaded thin. I added the black gel dye to the brick and started to knead it. As you can see my hand was dyed for about three days after. So I attempted to place the fondant in a zip top bag and knead it in there. Worked pretty well.
Next I had to roll the fondant out thin. Here's the tricky part. Not too thin and not too thick. If it's too thin, it will tear easily. If it's too thick it will crush the cake. I used all purpose flour to help roll out the fondant. It kept it from sticking to the rolling pin and the counter. I rolled out several big pieces and cut what I needed to lay down on the cake from there.
Step 4: DECORATE!!
I'm missing a bunch of pics, but it was hard to use my camera while trying to mess with the fondant gel dye. lol.
I placed down my first layer of fondant, because I was not looking forward to trying to make a black fondant I made a HUGE MISTAKE. If you attempt this, I would purchase pre-dyed black fondant. I took the fondant gel dye and used a cake paint brush to cover that inner layer. That fondant gel is only to be used in small amounts.... it is really bitter!
I then shaped some pieces of fondant to help sculpt underneath the next layers of the fondant for depth.
I placed four skewers inside the top of the cake where the spikes of his helmet go out.
Here I had to take a break and chill the cake.
Once it chilled for about 30 min, I then laid down the next layer of fondant. I didn't really have a great plan for this. I kept using images from the movies and internet as reference. I used a knife to cut eye holes and make the jagged edges of the front of the helmet. It's all guess work and your creativity! Once I had enough gray layers of fondant down I took more of that fondant gel dye (Another mistake! I'd use that gel cake decorating stuff you see in the grocery store for birthday cakes, or even use frosting.) and outlined all the bumps under the 2nd layer of fondant and I outlined the front of the helmet.
I put the cake inside the fridge again for another 30 min. This time I also put the left over fondant in the fridge to cool too.
Once that was back out I cut long strips of fondant to cover the skewers. You have to work fast and you have to work with little touching to the fondant. I took and frosted the insides of the strips and then placed one on each side of the skewers so they were completely covered. It actually would be smart to do this while the cake was inside the fridge and you with the fridge door open. Years of my Mom yelling at me about leaving the fridge door open wouldn't let me do this ;)
Added touches: I took a little bit of leftover white fondant and made a ring out of it. I used the yellow sparkly fondant gel to dust it and I placed that on the other side of the cake on the foil, making sure to put a dab of frosting underneath to keep it in place.
On the other side I took a sharpie and wrote "One Cake To Rule Them All!" That was the hit of the party, right there.
Step 5: Finished Product.
This time around we had half a cake left over. I honestly think it was because of the bitter fondant gel dye and the bad taste fondant has unless you really edit it's flavor. The cake inside was moist and chocolaty which worked for me!
Other than having purple hands for the rest of the day, I think it turned out pretty well!.