Desserts · Food · Wonderfully Quirky Thoughts

On Cake Decorating… and an Elsa Cake

My little girl is growing up.  For her fifth birthday, she requested an “Elsa birthday”.  At our house, this means an Elsa cake.

See the transformation from baked cake layers to fully decorated HERE.

On Cake Decorating... and an Elsa Cake @

For the past several years, I have enjoyed baking cakes for my family members for their respective birthdays.

Then I discovered the world of piped buttercream.  Flowers, swirls, shell borders, and on and on, so many fun possibilities!

I wanted to try it.  I bought a few piping tips and bags.  I made and decorated some cupcakes with buttercream flower petals and swirled roses.

I had a blast.

Plus, my husband walked into the kitchen, tasted one, and said, “Wow.  They almost taste even better because they’re so pretty.”  He’s more of a savory food lover.  When he compliments my sweet creations, I pay attention.

I watched several YouTube videos to learn buttercream techniques.  And when my family celebrated a birthday, I got a chance to practice not only my baking, but my decorating as well.

On Cake Decorating... and an Elsa Cake @

I am not an expert.  A quick search on Pinterest will show you a multitude of fancier, more inventive, and more skillfully decorated cakes.  I don’t get a lot of practice besides birthdays, and I don’t decorate with fondant.  (I just can’t reconcile myself to the idea of putting something almost nobody wants to eat on a cake.) But I LOVE decorating!

There is something exhilarating about transforming food into art.

On Cake Decorating... and an Elsa Cake @

We don’t throw parties or decorate the house (though I’m sensing birthday parties in the future–my daughter is just discovering the excitement of having friends over and LOVES it).

Cake decorating is a way for me to show some extra love to my family (and get to be creative).

On Cake Decorating... and an Elsa Cake @
Waiting for her cake while Daddy lights candles

I confess that it was my original dream to do a buttercream transfer for Elsa onto the top of the cake.  This is a technique where you make essentially a coloring sheet in icing, freeze it, and transfer it to your cake.  It’s not a complicated technique, but I was pretty nervous about it.  I had tried it once before and the black icing outline bled like ink all over the picture as the icing thawed.

On Cake Decorating... and an Elsa Cake @

So, I opted for the easy, fool-proof option.  I bought a small, plastic Elsa to put on the cake.  It was not my first choice, but I’m so glad I did it this way!  It kind of takes the joy out of decorating if the kitchen fills up with tension, and it wasn’t worth pleasing the perfectionist in me by doing everything from scratch.

Elsa cake tutorial @

Check out the tutorial here.  Just in case you were wondering, it’s a chocolate cake with white chocolate buttercream and filled with an improvised mocha mousse.  It was yummy.  🙂



3 thoughts on “On Cake Decorating… and an Elsa Cake

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