Monday, February 17, 2014

Disney Frozen Cake-step by step picture tutorial

This is a step by step picture tutorial of how to make a Disney Frozen cake, so if you're not interested in making cakes, just skip this post :). It's a long one! Click here to see another Disney Frozen cake I made with buttercream rosettes on the top tier! I decided to break down the cake making part and include specific steps for that as well, a long with instructions for making fondant. There are lots of pictures because there are lots of steps and cakes take a lot of time. When I made the Disney Frozen cake I did it over several days because I don't ever have large chunks of time, but rather I can usually manage to find a couple of hours a day, while the baby sleeps, as long as I'm willing to let some cleaning and cooking go, which my family, I'm sure, does not appreciate but they enjoy the finished cake product :). Alright, so here we go:

Wednesday (day 1 of 4):

-Make candy 'ice', fondant and butter cream frosting.

Recipe for candy ice that I used from AllRecipes:

This recipe may not work when it’s humid outside… the humidity level can alter the way the candy sets up.
  • 3¾ cups white sugar (must be white granulated sugar)
  • 1½ cups light corn syrup
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon lemon, or other flavored
  • extract-( make sure that you use a non colored extract or it will tint the finished product)
  • ½ teaspoon food coloring (optional) I used 4 to 5 drop of NEON food coloring from McCormick and a drop of teal gel food coloring from Wilton… I could have just used the blue NEON and had similar results.
  1. In a medium saucepan, stir together the white sugar, corn syrup, and water. Cook, stirring, over medium heat until sugar dissolves, then bring to a boil. Without stirring, heat to 300 to 310 degrees F (149 to 154 degrees C), or until a small amount of syrup dropped into cold water forms hard, brittle threads.
  2. Remove from heat and stir in flavored extract and food coloring, if desired. Pour onto a greased cookie sheet. Let cool, and break into large pieces that resemble broken ice. Store in an airtight container.

In order to get the liquids to 300-310 degrees I found that it needed to boil for about 20 minutes. I removed it from the heat as soon as it got above 300 degrees. From here you need to work quickly. Have a rimmed cookie sheet (jelly roll pan) out lined with parchment paper. I also sprayed it with Pam. Immediately mix in your color and flavored extract and then quickly but carefully (remember, really hot!) pour out the liquid onto the cookie sheet and move pan around so that it'll spread all over pan. If you need to use a large spoon to help that's fine, but move quickly because it'll start to harden immediately as it cools.

I had hot pads under my pan because it gets really hot. Allow it to sit on your counter and cool completely. Then you can break it up and store it in an airtight container or Ziploc bags. I wanted big pieces for my cake which wouldn't fit in any Ziploc or Tupperware I owned so once mine cooled down I just covered it with saran wrap and I kept it that way until Saturday when I added it to the finished cake.
Next you'll want to make up some fondant. I like marshmallow fondant or MMF. Here is the recipe I use:
Marshmallow Fondant
10.5 oz mini white marshmallows
2-3 Tbsp water
6 c powdered sugar
1 Tbsp Crisco (this is just to grease your hands while you knead so have it in a bowl that's easily accessible.)

Melt mini marshmallows and 2 tbsp. water in microwave by placing in micro for 30 second intervals and stirring in between, repeating until melted. Dump 4 cups powdered sugar into marshmallows and stir with large spoon. Once combined stir in more powdered sugar. Keep stirring until fondant gets a little dry. Now grease your hands and knead fondant. You'll knead for about 5 minutes. Add a little water, a teaspoon at a time, and knead if you need to. You want it to get to a smooth elastic ball that will stretch without tearing. If you see tiny bits of powdered sugar, knead and maybe add a few drops of water. To store, coat with Crisco, wrap in plastic wrap or parchment paper and put in a Ziploc bag, squeezing all air out. It can be stored in fridge or on counter for several days.

Once I finished my fondant, my candy ice had cooled and when I moved it to another spot in the kitchen, a few cracks formed on their own which was perfect for my ice castle creation.
The last thing I did on Day 1 was to make my butter cream frosting. I made a double batch and had some leftover. Here is the recipe I used:
2 c Crisco (not butter flavored, it needs to be white)
2 lbs powdered sugar (8c)
2 Tbsp Meringue powder (you can buy this at Michaels, it helps the frosting set up and get crusted over enough that you can smooth it out)
8 Tbsp water
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp butter extract
1/2 tsp almond extract(you don't have to use butter and almond extract; could use all vanilla instead)
Cream together for a couple of minutes until light and fluffy. I took out a couple of cups and put it in a separate bowl and then colored everything else a light blue color.

And I thought I should document what my kitchen looks like on days like this :). Disastrous! Stuff everywhere! Kids lunch stuff left out, dirty dishes, cake supplies everywhere.

Thursday (Day 2 of 4)
-bake, cut, stack, and frost cakes.

You will bake 2 9inch cakes and 2 6inch cakes. Line each cake pan with parchment paper and then spray with "Pam with flour". Be sure to get the sides of pans.

You can buy 'bake even cake strips' from michaels or other arts/crafts stores. I like these because my cakes come out fairly level which means I'll only have to cut a little off the top rather than a lot which will make my cakes not as tall and pretty. Follow the directions for the bake even strips by soaking them in cold water, ringing them out and then wrapping them around your cake pans.
Mix up your cake batter according to directions and then fill cake pans a little over half way full.
Bake in preheated oven and then let sit for ten minutes in pan before turning them onto cooling racks.
Allow cakes to cool completely before you frost them.
Make sure you have some cardboard cake circles ready, a six inch and a nine inch circle, so that once your cake is cool you can put it on your tinfoil wrapped cake circle. I cut out my own from diaper boxes or other cardboard boxes I have lying around. Just trace the bottom of your cake pan onto the cardboard and cut it out.
Next you'll want to level your cake. This is very important if you want a cake that's not leaning or tilted. A couple of times I haven't been as careful with my leveling as I should have been and I sorely regret it later. Ask my hubby. I can't stop whining talking about it when that happens!

Then you'll put a layer of frosting on one of your leveled cakes and then stack the other leveled cake on top of it. The leveled parts should be facing each other.

Frost the cakes. If you're getting way too many crumbs, first do a crumb coat where you frost a thin layer, stick it in the fridge for 20 minutes and then frost a thicker layer over top. I don't usually do this just because I've had so much practice that I can do it without the crumb coat, but a crumb coat might be a wise idea.

Once it's all iced, let it sit out for about 20 minutes to allow that meringue powder to do it's thing. This will allow the frosting to crust over just enough that you can smooth the cake with parchment paper or I like to use a mini foam paint roller. I don't actually ever use it for painting. Just for cake smoothing.

Looks much better now!

I lightly covered my 2 cakes with a little saran wrap just to keep them from collecting any dust. And that's day 2!

Friday (Day 3 of 4)

-Roll out fondant, put buttercream details on cake

I took out a chunk of fondant, maybe a cups worth, and rolled it out onto parchment paper (it'll stick more to the table and to wax paper). I used my pans to judge the size. I wanted it just a little bigger than the pans, but not so big that I couldn't write on the cakes in butter cream. I used a pizza cutter to go around the edges....going for a 'snow' look.
The top of the frosting was dry so I used just a tiny bit of water on a paintbrush to stick the fondant to the cake.
Once the fondant is in place, you can do the writing or other butter cream details.

Saturday (day 4 of 4)

-stack cakes, finishing touches

Saturday a couple of hours before the party I stacked the cakes onto my cake board, put a border on(tip 10 circle for top and tip 12 circle for bottom/base), frosting on the board for snowy look.

Added the characters using a little frosting on the bottoms for glue.
Add the candy ice. Leaned it slightly against the cake with a little frosting as glue.

Back view


reny herawaty said...

What a beautiful birthday cake... thanx for the tutorial..and the recipe of course inspiring....

Syndell said...

Did you use dowels between the two levels of cake or was it light enough to not need them?

Syndell said...
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Alex said...

Beautiful cake! I had the same question as Syndell. Did you use dowels or some type of support? Also, what cake recipe did you use? Thank you for the tutorial!

Elisa said...

nope no dowels I just stuck one cake on top of the other, though they of course each had a cake board underneath. As for cake recipe, I used a box mix for this one(I know, lame) but I really like the cake boss recipes. I recently used his vanilla cake recipe which was awesome. Just Google search cake boss cake recipes or buddy valastro cake recipes...he was on Rachel Ray a couple of times and she posted his recipes online

Brittiany Nation said...

My daughter is in love with Frozen and her party this Saturday will have the theme as well. I came acrosee your blog while searching party ideas and I have to say your cakes are absolutely wonderful. I have been making my daughters birthday cakes the past few years and was going to do something very similar to yoursfor the Frozen one this year. I did a test run on just the cakes and was wondering how many box cake mies you used? Mine didn't seem to be as near as tall as yours. Thanks so much!!

Brittiany Nation said...
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Elisa said...

I would have used 2 cake box mixes.

Giantsfan26 said...

Your cake is beautiful and your tutorial is so helpful!! I'm making a similar cake and I'm wondering how you made the snowflakes on the top tier? They're perfect and I would like to make similar ones!!!

Giantsfan26 said...
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maria jó souza said...

Amei seu blog família muito bonita parabéns sucesso. O bolo ficou fantástico bela ideia.

natasha ragin said...

Thanks this tutorial was very helpful for me also...especially the part when u measured the fondant for the snow...i start my day 1 tomorrow..the cake is due on friday.

Ruth Tysoe said...

Lovely cakes. Will try something similar this weekend for my daughters 7th birthday party. Thanks

Elizabeth Garratt said...

I also loved your blog. I tried to do the frozen ice toffee but it did not work. It didn't set properly. It was too sticky and just melted. I didn't have a thermometer and boiled for 15 minutes. I did the test into cold water and a drop set in the water so I thought it would be ok. Any advice?

Ellenb8 said...

What color is the blue you used for frosting? Sky blue, light blue, teal blue?

Also--did you refrigerate your fondant for a little while before using?

Did you refrigerate the cake once done?

Lindsey Brown said...

How many people will this cake feed?!

Elisa said...

Lindsey, servings totally depend on how you cut it. If you cut the cake in triangles (like a pie or pizza) you'll get much less. I cut a big circle (maybe 2 in from the edge) and then do little 2 inch slices. If you do it that way you should be able to get about 20 servings from the 9 inch and 10 from the 6 inch so the cake could serve 30.

Elisa said...

elizabeth, sorry about your ice candy. I would suggest buying a candy thermometer (they're only a few bucks) before trying it again.

Ellen, I did not refrigerate cake, though I also didn't use any milk or butter in my frosting...if I had, i probably would have kept in the fridge. I use the color electric blue

Leigh said...

Is the frosting recipe provided already doubled or do I need to double it? Thanks!

Tom Murdoch said...

I like your post.
Nice Blog . thanks for share.
Frozen Food Warehousing

Crein76 said...

Hi! Great cake! Can you tell me the blue frosting brand and color you used? Thanks!

Einhart said...

When I made the Disney Frozen cake I did it over several days ...

Debbie Kelso said...

I wanted to thank you for your very helpful tutorial. I made and decorated a Disney Frozen cake for my 4year old granddaughter this past weekend. Mine was not exactly like yours but pretty close. I followed all of your directions for the cake,ice candy,frosting and fondant.I had success with everything. It was my first time with fondant. It was so much easier than I thought.My ice candy was a little green but worked fine. The only thing I should have done differently was to purchase a cake level. I tried to do it with a knife and yes it didn't come out so straight. I told everyone to remember Elsa was on a mountain so there were SLOPES. My little granddaughter thought it was beautiful and the color of the cake looked just like Elsa's dress .
Everyone else agreed. Thanks for such great explanations, I couldn't have done it without you. dress

pamela paterson said...

I am in the UK - what is the equivalent of corn syrup that i can use? Can i use golden syrup?

Elisa said...

Pamela, I'm not familiar with UK products; I'd suggest doing an internet search for corn syrup substitute in UK. Good luck!

pamela paterson said...

Liquid glucose! It worked a treat!! Thank you so much, my daughter was thrilled with it! x

Cathy Ash said...

Hi there
I really need to know if the frosting recipe is already doubled or do I need to double it? I'm making the cake now x

Elisa said...

It's already doubled

Cathy Ash said...

Thank you!!!

Cathy Ash said...

Hi sorry to bug you again, quick question: I've made the frosting but it is really thick and sticky. If I try and ice with this stuff it's going to rip my cake apart. Any tips on maybe slackening or thinning it out or how to ice with it?

Elisa said...

Cathy, if it's too thick to work with you can definitely add more water. I would add 1 tsp at a time and mix thoroughly before you add more. A little will make a big difference.

Cathy Ash said...

And this is where I go ah, I forgot to add any water. The frosting has actually loosened up over the day but I will look at adding water tomorrow when I ice the cake (if it needs it). I'll try and post a photo of the finished cake X

Cathy Ash said...

And this is where I go ah, I forgot to add any water. The frosting has actually loosened up over the day but I will look at adding water tomorrow when I ice the cake (if it needs it). I'll try and post a photo of the finished cake X

Regan said...

I'm planning on making this cake for my daughter's 5th birthday. Are the cake pans that you used 2" or 3" high? I'm online trying to figure out which size to choose so hopefully you see this.

Thank you!