Updated: Aug 24, 2020
A while ago I tried to make a Peppa Pig themed cake for my 3 year old cousin and I think a did pretty good at my first attempt!Now that we all have so much time we can try to make a character cake and if you want to make a cake for your sibling, parent or friend that loves a particular character you can make the same cake just with different decorations.
Steps to planning, making and decorating a character cake for an order- I have also included the number or days you need approx to make your cake. If you just want to see photos and the cake of the cake then skip all these steps. I know I went a little overboard but I want to give you the ultimate guide!
Step 1)- Day 1-2-Pick your flavour- Make the person who you are giving this to pick a flavour and if it suppose to be a surprise then ask their parents, friends or siblings what flavour they like the most. For this cake I made mini cupcakes each a different flavour and made my cousin and her parents try out the flavours, some of the flavours were- raspberry mint, chocolate fudge, carrot cake and PB&J but you can pick your own selection of flavours.
This is a photo of me with a whole line of batters and flavours!-
The mini cupcakes were so tiny which was helpful because we wanted to try all of them and pick our favourite!-
My with a mini cupcake tray filled with my batter!-
Step 2)- Day 3-Pick the character- For this cake it was not a challenge to pick the character, my cousin loves Peppa Pig and all the characters in the show so we decided to bake a Peppa Pig cake for her.I also sketched out the cake and figured out which decorations I can make using buttercream and which I can make using fondant . It was so cool to see my sketch turn into reality!
Step 3)- Day 3-Ingredient and material check- You might think skipping this step won't make a difference but it really does make a difference. Make sure you have all the basic ingredients for your recipe and more importantly make sure you have all the materials, things including- cake pans, rolling pins, cookie cutters, spatula's and a cake stand. If you are making a large cake then make sure you have double or 2 of everything as you might need back ups.
Step 4)-Day 3- Cake boxes- If you are making this cake for an order then you might want a cake box, if you don't think you need it then just skip this step but otherwise make sure your box is a little taller then the cake and make sure you measure your cake tines so you know how many layers and how tall is your cake going to be.
Decorating planning and preparing-
Step 1)- Make/buy your fondant- This step is pretty obvious but it's very important you keep at least a two day buffer for your fondant to dry and from the day you make your fondant decorations. I have tasted normal fondant before and to be honest it tastes and feels like an overly sweet and sticky Play Doh, but marshmallow fondant tastes like a sweet flavour marshmallow in a form of a dough!This the the best recipe for marshmallow fondant and I got from Rosanna Pansino but I added a twist with the flavoured extract!-
6 cups powdered sugar split evenly in two bowls
10 ounces of mini marshmallows
3 tablespoons of water
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract or a couple of drops of another extract of you choice( I like bubblegum, mango and cherry)
Combine water and marshmallows and mix well
Microwave marshmallows for 3 minutes in 30 second intervals, stirring each time
Sift one bowl of powdered sugar into a large bowl
After microwaving the mix add in the extract of your choice.
Make a well in the middle of the sifted sugar and pour in melted marshmallow mixture
Sift the second bowl of powdered sugar into the marshmallow and sugar mixture and then knead until smooth (roughly 5 minutes)
Note: to color the fondant, use gel food coloring so that you do not compromise the texture
Store in plastic wrap and in an air tight container
Step 2- Make your characters and decorations with your fondant- This is the step for you to be creative and have fun but just note that you might want to keep some extra powdered sugar so the fondant doesn't stick to the surface. You can use cookie cutter to be more creative with your fondant.
Me making o=fondant decorations with powdered sugar everywhere!-
Making the cake-I love strong flavoured and cakes with good structure and Preppy Kitchen's chocolate cake is perfect for a character cake.His website- preppykitchen.com
I used the same recipe but changed the assembly as I used vanilla buttercream instead of chocolate but I have given the recipe for chocolate.
Ingredients For the Cake
1/2 cup sour cream (120mL)
1 cup buttermilk (236mL)
3 large eggs
1 1/2 cup strong hot coffee (355mL)
3/4 cup vegetable oil (177mL)
1 tbs vanilla extract (13mL)
3 cup all-purpose flour (360g)
2 2/3 cup granulated sugar (533g)
1/2 cup cocoa powder (50g)
1 1/2 tsp baking powder (4.8g)
1 tbs baking soda (14.3g)
1 tsp kosher salt (5.7g) For the Chocolate Buttercream:
1 1/2 lb confectioner's sugar 680g
1 1/2 cup unsalted butter room temperature (338g)
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream (60mL)
1/4 cup Cocoa powder (25g)
1 tsp vanilla optional (5mL)
1 tsp espresso optional (5mL)
1/4 tsp salt (1.5g)
1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate (45g) For the Decoration:
1/4 cup cacao nibs or chopped chocolate (about 60 grams)
Instructions For the Cake:
Butter and flour 3 eight inch cake pans. I highly recommend using cake strips for a more even bake.
Sift together the dry ingredients (including the sugar) into the bowl of a stand mixer and whisk to combine.
Add the wet ingredients into a large bowl and whisk together.
Add the wet ingredients the dry ingredients.
Whisk to combine then mix on low for about a minute.
Distribute batter evenly to the three pans and bake for about 35-40 minutes at 350F (176C) or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. I recommend rotating the pans halfway through the bake.
Allow time to cool for 10 minutes then invert onto wire racks to cool fully. For the Chocolate Buttercream:
In a small bowl combine the semi-sweet chocolate with 2 tbs of cream then microwave for 40 secs on half power. Stir to combine then set aside.
Whip the butter for about 2 minutes using a paddle attachment (in a stand-up mixer).
Add the ¼ cup of cocoa powder, and the salt then mix to combine.
Scrape the bowl down and beat in the confectioner’s sugar slowly.
Beat in the cream. You may add the optional vanilla and espresso at this step.
Mix until you have a nice, even consistency.
Beat in the melted and cooled chocolate ganache.
For the Assembly:
Pipe chocolate buttercream between each layer.
Pipe the buttercream on the outside of the cake. Smooth with a bench scraper and offset spatula.
Add a smooth coat of chocolate buttercream to the surface of the cake.
Pipe on Some buttercream and add on your fondant decorations as you wish, feel free to be as creative as you like!
Me making the cake!As you can see it took me two days to make the cake( the different outfits)!-
Final decorations-For the cake I made I had to put the fondant decorations at the venue of the party as my Peppa pig was pretty big and was sure to fall on the cake on the car ride there. You might have to do the same and as a tip I recommend you bring some napkins or paper towels as you might want to clean up the cake stand before the final reveal.
I also would recommend you come to the venue at least 10 minutes before the host does to set all of these things up.
Me at the day of the party with my cake in the fridge-
Packing up my fondant decorations-
Adding on final decorations at the venue-
The reveal! I think my cousin loved the cake and enjoyed eating it as well! This cake was devoured in just 2 days!
That cake was good!-
Overall I think I did a pretty good job!
I hope this post and the photos inspired you to do something different and unique in the baking world! Rai