Elmo’s reconstructive surgery. (Or, how to turn a bear cake into an Elmo cake.)

The Munchkin is 21 months today. I can’t even believe it! Time’s going fast, so I’ve started thinking about what to do for her birthday party (in 3 months… yes, I am that mom… I may or may not have had her whole 1st birthday planned out a full 5 months in advance…). The only problem is, while I have a couple themes in mind, it’s hard to plan specifics without knowing where we’ll be living or if we’ll even know anyone to invite! So I started looking back at last year, & thought I’d post what I did for her first birthday party. (This is the perfect opportunity to play with this nifty “1960s” effect from Picnik… You know, since it’s in the past… ? … Just go with me here.)

For her actual birthday, I wanted to make my then-Elmo-obsessed Munchkin an Elmo cake. But we were staying with my inlaws at the time while My Husband The Studious studied for the Bar, & they just had a bear cake pan. I accepted the challenge.

My big mistake was using a white cake mix (I wanted to save my energy for the actual decorating part). It was too light to hold its shape. My other molded cake pan efforts have been with scratch yellow, spice, or even pumpkin cake recipes, & they’ve held together much better. The cake also stuck to the board I was cooling it on; scraping Elmo-to-be off of the board entailed major surgery (read: lots of frosting). So do yourself a favor: please make a scratch recipe, or at least use the whole-egg white cake variation on the white cake mix box or a yellow cake mix.

Once I got my patient safely out of Code Blue, I proceeded to saw the ears off the sides of his head & attach them to the top. This would become the eyes. Then I crumb-coated like crazy while I mixed the colors for the icing. When you need colors this vivid, gel food coloring is a MUST. Liquid won’t cut it. I wound up going through like 3 tubes of the kind you buy in the grocery store to get the red; it made the frosting a little on the crunchy side, so next time I need something this red I’m going with Wilton’s no-taste red because it’s more concentrated. But with red I’ve found you always need twice as much as you think you do anyway. I used black gel because it was easier than mixing up black icing (see previous sentence).

I should have done the borders before filling with the star tip, but I was in a rush to see how it looked, so I didn’t plan out as well as I should have.

Regardless of my errors & lack of foresight, & the fact that it used to be a bear, The Munchkin was ecstatic when she saw it the next morning, & she enjoyed mashing him up & eating him that night. Let’s just say all that red food coloring made her next few diapers look really interesting…

Tomorrow & Friday I’ll be posting about her colorful birthday party the following weekend! Come back & check it out!

works for me wednesday at we are that family



Filed under Recipes

4 responses to “Elmo’s reconstructive surgery. (Or, how to turn a bear cake into an Elmo cake.)

  1. leahsinger

    I am so impressed! Great job. Don’t you love Picnik? I edit all my photos with it.

  2. I love this idea! Thanks for sharing it.

    I am visiting from WFMW. Stop by and say hi anytime. I love new visitors.


  3. So cute! My little one loves Elmo too, but I only have a 3-D bear mold. Hmm…a 3-D Elmo? I loved the diaper comment too.

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