For all you novice cake bakers/decorators: know that this cake is within your reach. For I am a terrible decorator. Crumb layer – I never bother. Fondant – what’s that? But for my daughter’s birthday, I wanted to make something special. And the cake part of this at least is pretty foolproof. You can just buy an elmo face shaped cake pan from your local Michael’s or Party City. Then use your favorite two layer cake recipe and bake for the recommended amount of time (maybe a few minutes longer since all the batter goes into a single pan). I used Beatty’s Chocolate Cake. The best. Chocolate. Cake. Recipe. Ever. I do enjoy Gourmet‘s and Smitten Kitchen’s chocolate cake recipe, but there’s just a bit too much coffee for my liking. This is one is just perfect every time, as evidenced by the 1,000+ positive reviews, and is easier (only one type of chocolate, not two).
Wilton walks you through the steps of preparing the frosting and tips for achieving decorating success. I outsourced this once again to my doctor-by-day-cake-decorater-by-night friend Moury. So, there aren’t many words of wisdom for me to impart to you except for the following:
- Freeze your cake to minimize crumbage (yes, I just made up a word)
- Chill the frosting after filling up your pastry bags. Room temperature stars look completely splayed.
- Use corn starch (not corn syrup!) to even out the frosting on the eyes and nose