Introduction: DANCING Cake! Edward Scissorhands ANIMATED Cake!
For this challenge I decided to try and capture one of my favorite Halloween memories and make it edible! I also wanted to incorporate lots of different decorating techniques, and elements like animation, falling edible snow, and light!
every Halloween since I was a teen, I have watched Edward Scissorhands! To me, it isn't Halloween, until I've snuggled up with the family and watched this timeless Spooky tale!
My favorite moment in this beautiful story, is the hauntingly touching scene where Edward is carving an angel, and Kim is dancing in the snow, it's a moment that stays with you far after the credits roll. This cake took me around 40 hours to complete, but I'm not a professional, so someone with more experience and resources could probably do it much quicker! That being said, ANYONE can make cakes! I am proof of that! I'm a busy mom, who works part-time, but THIS is a huge passion of mine. If you love something enough, you can learn how to do it! I learn something new with every cake I bake! And I'm inspired everyday by the bakers I come across on sites like this. If you want to do this, YOU CAN.
Let's get started!
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Step 1: "Hold Me, ... I Cake" Bake the Cake!
Bake your cake!
This is my personal recipe for rich chocolate cake! I hope you like it!
2 cups water
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup vegatable oil,
1/4 cups white sugar
3 teaspoons hazelnut extract
1/4 cup Pero instant drink mix
NOTE For this particular cake I tripled this recipe.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
Grease 2 12 inch round cake pans.
In a large bowl, Mix wet ingredients together, oil, water, extract and eggs. In a separate medium bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder, cocoa, Pero and salt. Add the flour mixture to the wet mixture a little at a time, mix with whisk, or fork until evenly mixed. Spread batter evenly between the 2 prepared pans. Or if you only have one pan in this size, bake one at a time. Bake in preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes. Allow to cool fully.
Step 2: Hauntingly Yummy Buttercream Frosting
This is how I make my buttercream, it's so easy! And super yummy!
1/2 cup unsalted butter softened (but not melted)
2 cups powdered sugar (named brand is best)
2 tablespoons milk
NOTE For this particular cake, I tripled this recipe.
Cream room temperature butter by hand or with a mixer if you prefer. Gradually beat in powdered sugar until fully mixed in. Pour in milk and beat for an additional 4 minutes or so.
Step 3: Make Filling!
This filling is VERY Easy! It's just the same buttercream recipe, with 2 added ingredients.
- 3 tbs unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 tbs Pero
Mix by hand or with a mixer, and voila!
Step 4: Make Your Fondant
Yes, you can purchase fondant, but it is SOOO expensive, and not tasty at all! So here is how to make, delicious, cost-conscious fondant, and it is so easy!
16 ounces white marshmallows (use a good quality brand..trust me)
2 to 5 tablespoons water
2 pounds icing or powdered sugar (please use good brand Powdered Sugar for the best results)
1/2 cup Crisco shortening (To help your hands stay cleaner)
In a large microwavable bowl, melt marshmallows and 2 tablespoons of water in a microwave. Place the bowl in the microwave for 30 seconds, open microwave and stir, back in microwave for 30 seconds more, open microwave and stir again, and continue doing this until melted. It usually takes about 2 to 3 minutes total.
Kneading the dough: Place the powdered sugar on the top of the melted marshmallow mix. Now grease your hands GENEROUSLY, and heavily grease the counter you will be using and dump the bowl of marshmallow/sugar mixture in the middle.
Knead knead knead! It usually takes me about 5 minutes or so to get a firm smooth elastic ball type texture. You want it to stretch without tearing when you apply it to the cake. It is best if you can let it sit, wrapped with plastic wrap, overnight (but you can use it right away if you really need to. Set aside.
NOTE For this particular cake tripled this recipe. You will need enough to cover the cake, the back drop, as well as the base.
Step 5: Make Gum-paste!
You will need gum-paste for your figures as well as for your gingerbread house, so plan when to make it accordingly. It does dry out, even when wrapped, so be mindful of that.
I made my gum-paste for this project with 2 bags of this brand mix.
Simply follow the directions on the bag. You can purchase pre-made gum-paste, but it is very expensive!
Once it's made, add your food dye and keep it double wrapped tight! if it dries out, it will be nearly unusable. You can try wetting it a little and popping it in the microwave for a couple seconds, but for best results, don't let it dry out!
Step 6: Stack and Frost Cake
Stack and frost your cake:
- Cut two cake rounds the size of your cake.
- Place cake on round, on spinning cake plate (if you have one)
- Trim the outside rim of your cake.
- Dowel your cake ( you can use wooden dowels or plastic ones) I used straws as dowels for this cake!
- Cut dowels to size, and place in cake.
- Add filling, spread it evenly.
- Add the other cake round
- But some more filling on that
- Then add your second cake
- Trim both cakes evenly
- Dirty ice your cake
- Chill for an hour
- Make a small hole insert for your dancer
- Make a fondant cup to set you dancer in, and insert it into the hole
- Frost the rest of the cake
- Let chill for at least another hour
Step 7: Cover Your Cake
Here comes the fun part! Rolling out and transferring your fondant! Don't be scared, it's easier than you think!
- Place your cake on a large rectangle cake board with some buttercream to hold it in place
- Place wax paper on your smooth surface
- Roll out your fondant big enough to more than cover your cake
- Pick up your sheet from underneath, and flip it over your cake
- Pull back wax paper
- Trim off the access fondant, and cut out the hole for the dancer ( deep enough for her platform to be level with the cake)
- Add a small sircle of cake board to the dancer hole
- Smooth cake with a fondant roller or smoother
- Add a trim to the bottom of the round cake with a ribbon, or a fondant strip.
- Chill again until needed.
Step 8: Make Royal Icing
Royal icing will be used throughout this cake making process, so have at least 2 batches made, and waiting.
2 cups powdered sugar
1 large egg white
In a medium bowl, combine the sugar, egg white, and water. Mix the ingredients together with a fork or whisk, until the icing is thick and smooth, about 2 or 3 minutes.The icing will keep for about 2 days in an airtight container in the refrigerator. If it seems too thick, stir in very small amounts of water .
Make 2 batches, and set aside.
Step 9: Make Your Backdrop!
I really wanted to try and tell the story of Edward Sissorhands with this cake, so I decided to paint an edible scenic backdrop, to set the tone.
Here is what you'll need:
- Canvas 18X24 inches
- One full batch of home-made fondant
- Powdered sugar
- Fondant roller
- 1/2 batch royal icing
- Wilton food dye (whatever colors you chose, I used black and violet)
- Paint brushes
- Fresh lemon juice (or vodka if you choose)
- One black Wilton sugar sheet
- Exacto Knife
- Plastic cups or bowls for (dye)
Making the Canvas
First roll your fondant out next to your canvas, to make sure you get it the right size. Roll it pretty thin, about 1/4 of an inch. We don't want this canvas to be too heavy. or it won't stand freely. Use plenty of powdered sugar as you roll it out, so it doesn't stick too the counter.
Drizzle royal icing onto the canvas to act as a glue for the fondant. Spread it out evenly.
Add fondant to the canvas, it doesn't have to look perfect, so if the transfer doesn't go perfectly, remember you can even it all out later. Just be sure the canvas is completely covered, with no holes.
Use an exacto knife to cut off the excess fondant.
Smooth out fondant with a roller or a smoother.
Set aside and let dry lying down. (overnight is best)
Painting the Canvas
Make your paint medium, by squeezing some fresh lemon juice into plastic cups (one for each color)
You can even use a lemon cut in half, to dip your brush in between strokes. Many people use Vodka for this, but I prefer this method.
You can either mix a little of the dye into some of the lemon juice, or for a darker color, dip your brush directly into the dye, and just dip your brush in lemon juice from time to to time to clean it.
Use a medium bowl to get your moon shape. The slight indentation will be enough.
Then start painting your snowy night sky by brushing the fondant canvas with the black and violet tones. Then paint a black hill (leaving room for the mansion sugar cut out) GET CREATIVE! I even used my fingers as one point to get a texture I liked (messy but worth it)
Making Your House On A Hill
I had a hard time finding the silhouette I wanted for Edwards mansion, so I ended up sketching it myself. But there are many online that would work.
Trace your mansion onto the sugar sheet with a food writer. Then cut it our with scissors.
Apply it with lemon juice on to the moon area, then add more black dye to fill in the blanks, and go over the mansion, so that it all bends together.
Let dry laying down (overnight is best)
Step 10: Make Your Gingerbread Suburban House
I wanted to bring another element into play, by having one of the little iconic suburban houses all lit up. So I decide to make a gingerbread rendering of one of the homes in the film. Here is how to do it!
Making the House
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup dark molasses
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons water
In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter, brown sugar, molasses, cinnamon, nutmeg and baking soda together until the mixture is smooth. Blend in the flour and water to make a stiff dough. You want it to be stiff, but not crumbly, so if it needs a little water add a tiny bit at time until it's stiff. Chill at least 30 minutes or until firm. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Cut out the paper pattern for the gingerbread house template:
Place dough on a cookie sheet covered in wax paper. Rool out dough to about 1/4 an inch thick. Place your cut out blue-prints on top of the rolled out , and cut around blue-prints with a very sharp knife. Bake at 350 for about 15 minutes. You want to dough to be slightly golden. While still hot, trim a second time! Let cool fully before assembling.
For assemblage and decoration:
Use about a half a batch of royal icing in a small sand-which bag, with a small hole, to adhere walls.
Assemble on a flat surface, and use small boxes from the pantry to hold your walls in place until they dry.
Color a fist sized ball of fondant a nice lime florescent green.
Roll out fondant.
Cut out walls using your paper pattern dimensions (don't forget windows)
Adhere fondant to house with royal icing.
Make a little grey fondant as well for the roof, using the same method. You can add roofing texture with an exacto knife, or a fondant mold.
Add a garage. I made the garage with gum-paste, because it will adhere better to the fondant than more fondant would.
I was going to hand make little fondant lights, but then I realized that rice looks just like thos eold-school Christmas lights! Glue each piece of rice to the roof-line with royal icing. Then paint each light with your magic lemon and food dye pallet!
Step 11: "I'm Not Finished" Make Your Gum-paste Figures
Here is how I made my gum-paste figures.
First you make a wire models with craft wire, wore cutters and needle nose pliers. They can be very simple, just keep in mind perspectives, you don't want your Kim to tower over Edward ect. Think of them like skeletons for your creations. This is the step where you will glue your wire Kim to the animated spinner. (you can find these at most hobby stores, or online. Some make music! This one was only 1 dollar at a craft store. They are mainly used to make music boxes and snow globes.
Next cover your models with a thin layer of gum-paste. It doesn't have to be pretty! Just think about the shaping.
This is where you cover the models with the final top layer of gum-paste. This is where you need to think pretty! Take your time, ans use small fondant tools to help shape your figures smoothly. Use lemon juice to adhere gum-paste!
Use small fondant tools to form your head shape. Remember that the eyes are most important, so start there. Then take your time smoothing and shaping until you reach your desired look.
Details and Paint
Make your small details, like Edward's straps, and Kim's hair, by cutting out finely rolled pieces of gum-paste. Adhere them with lemon juice. With the angel I wanted her to have texture on her wings, so I used an exacto knife to create feathers.
To paint your figures, use lemon juice and food dye again. For the delicate parts like the face, use a pintip tool or a needle to get those tiny details right.
Step 12: Make Edible Snow Storm!
I really wanted to create the illusion of falling edible snow! So I set out to figure out how to create this look. Here's what I came up with!
- Cut long strands of clear fishing line
- Place strands on wax paper
- Tape the strands straight, by taping them on both ends to the wax paper. Spread each strand an inach apart. (it will look like guitar strings)
- drip on drops of royal icing
- Then sprinkle with edible glitter
- Let dry
- Create a wire halo out of craft wire
- Adhere to back of canvas with duct tape (white looks best)
- When fully dried take each strand and tie them to the halo to create your desired look
Step 13: Edwards Ladder
Edward's ladder is just craft wire, covered in a little fondant at the top. To make it follow these instructions:
- Bend one long piece of wire in half
- Now find the middle and twist tight (2 inches of twisted wire)
- Cover the twisted part, with a smaller wire
- Now with the four pieces long, form the legs by splittling the bent half at the bottone with wire cutters
- To make the steps, use a slightly smaller wire, and wrap down, alternating sides
Step 14: Details!
Assemble your cake! And here are some details to remember:
- Use a tea light LED to light up your gingerbread house
- Use leftover edible glitter to give some sparkle
- My canvas was light weight and had enough depth to be free-standing, but if your's is not, build a brace for it, or stack some books behind it.
Enjoy your magical creation!
PLEASE vote for me for the Halloween food Contest!