Blue's Clues Birthday Cake
Blue's Clues is adored in our house by everyone including myself. So when my son turned three this August I knew I had to make a Blue's Clues cake. When it comes to cakes I have a habit of biting off more than I can chew. This year I wanted to make a cake sculpture! What could be better than Blue herself? I certainly can't think of anything.From previous cakes I'd learned quite a bit and felt prepared to tackle this project.
- Make a lifesize Blue. According to the cartoon she's a 20lb dog. One of my own dogs is 30lbs so I want to make her about 2/3 the size of him.
- Have her posed in a way were she's relaxing on her belly and resting her head on one of her paws... inspired by the first song in the show when she's sitting on top of the thinking chair and they're singing "think, think... think"
- The body and back legs are made out of my boxed cake mix, my son can choose the flavor (he chose a vanilla cake that had colorful speckles throughout)
- The rest of the body is made out of rice cereal treats. This will be at least half of the Blue cake.
- Support large cereal treat ears with skewers.
- Reduce the amount of cereal treats slightly by supporting the head with two 6 inch round pans.
- Cover entire cake with buttercream icing in all the appropriate colors.
- Make a small classic round cake especially for the birthday boy. The candle will go into this and he can decorate it himself... since he just loves decorating cakes!
Sounds easy enough right? Well lets get started and see ^_^
If you choose to make this cake feel free to adjust and use whatever you have on hand. I know most people don't have an 18 inch mixing bowl.
- Mixing bowls of all sizes, including extremely large (we're talking 18" in diameter)
- Several pans. A few 13x9 inch, 8x8 inch and 2 each 4inch and 6inch round pans.
- Round pizza pan
- Aluminum foil
- Plastic wrap
- Mixing spoons
- Measuring cups
- Electric hand mixer
- Soup pot
- Wooden skewers
- Bread knife
- Paper towels
- Small birthday paper plate
- Number candle
On top of all these, you'll need lots of refrigerator space. I had to remove an entire shelf to fit Blue in there.
- 2 boxes Cake mix
- 6 eggs
- vegetable oil, amount required by cake box directions
- water, amount required by cake box directions
- 36 cups puffed rice cereal, that's about 2 of the large 18oz boxes of Kellogs Rice Krispies (you can use cocoa krispies as well)
- 60 oz marshmallows, Thats 240 large marshmallows or 24 cups of the miniature marshmallows
- 1 cup plus 4 tablespoons butter
- 2 batches buttercream icing, See link below for my hub on this.
- blue gel food coloring
- black gel food coloring
- 2 tubes premade decorating icing
Making the Actual Cake Part...
First we'll make the boxed cake. Preheat the oven to 350'F. Grease and flour two 9x13 inch pans plus two 4 inch round pans.
In a large mixing bowl combine the boxed powder with the eggs, oil and water. Beat on low until combined, about 40 seconds.
Beat on high for three minutes. Pour into prepared pans and bake as long as box directs for a 9x13 inch pan. You may want to check on the 4 inch rounds 10 minutes early.
Cool on a wire rack then put in the refrigerator for later. Being refrigerated will help them carve easier later.
Well... that was easy, so far so good!
Time to make 4 1/2 batches of rice cereal treats... oh I mean 6 batches!Click thumbnail to view full-size
I had exactly enough cereal and marshmallows on hand to make 4 and a half batches of rice cereal treats. I though that would be plenty. After molding most of Blue I found out I needed more and had to make a trip to the store. I was shocked when I arrived at the store to find they were all out of any brand of puffed rice cereal! I have never seen them out before. Luckily they had a box of Cocoa Krispies. That will work.
If you don't have a giant bowl then you'll have to make these in batches.
- Use 1 tablespoon of butter to lightly grease all the pans your using. I used three 13x9 inch pans and two 8x8 inch pans
- Measure out the cereal into a large bowl
- Reserve another tablespoon of butter and melt the rest in a large pot.
- Once butter is melted reduce heat to low and add the marshmallows. Cook and stir until they are completely melted.
- Pour melted marshmallows over the cereal and stir with a wooden spoon.
- Dump large clumps into the pans. This will look messy and not pretty but you'll fix it in the next step
- Rub some of the butter onto your hands. If you don't you will regret it, see the picture above ^_^ Use your hands to press the gooey cereal into the pans. Since you're going to mold these treats anyway don't worry about getting if perfectly flat just mostly compact.
- Let cool for about an hour and keep at room temperature until ready to use.
Time to Mold and Sculpt! My Favorite Part ^_^Click thumbnail to view full-size
We have seven items to mold and sculpt.
- Four paws
- Two arms
- Two ears
- Cake body
Lets go down the list. Have a picture of blue and refer to it constantly while working. I used several pictures, the actual cartoon on the tv and a stuffed Blue doll.
Head- The head will be supported by two 6 inch cake pans taped together and wrapped in plastic wrap. Place the head on them often to ensure size and stability. Blues head is kind of clover shaped. Start with a tall dome, press and compact the cereal treats together. You want it to be thick and sturdy so get your muscles going. Once you have the dome start building out the snout and cheeks. Blue has adorable hound dog like cheeks that come together at her mouth into an upside down heart shape. In one of the cheeks you want to make a slight indention where the paw will go. Once you have your cheeks and snout made make a little chin for her.
Nose- Start by making an oval shape. Use your thumbs to indent one side. Attach a small ball of cereal treat to make a teardrop shape coming out of the indention. Cut or break a wooden skewer in half and attach the nose to the head with it.
Paws- Make a very rounded triangle. Use your thumb and fingers to make the intentions between her toes. For the front paw against her cheek mold it so it fits snugly in the cheek indention. Use a skewer to secure it in place. For the other front paw flatten the side that will be laying against the table so it sits how you want better. Make the back paws slightly bigger and slightly flatten the heels.
Arms- For the arm laying down simply make a log of cereal treats. Taper the end that connects to the body against the 6 in cake pans. Use another skewer piece to connect the arm and hand. This piece stays separate, when your setting your cake out for the party simply put it in place. Unless you're using a board or pan that can actually fit it. The other arm is a little more difficult. Do your best to mold it in its proper position. It should come from the paw mostly strait down to the table so that it's resting on it's elbow. The rest of the arm will mostly disappear into the cake pans but press more cereal treat against the pans to give a rounded arm shape. Refer to picture's I'm afraid I'm having a difficult time explaining that particular arm.
Tail- Easiest of them all! Make a curved cone shape, much like a cornucopia. Set it aside for later after the actual cake has been placed and carved. Use a skewer piece to keep it in place.
Ears- These I made flat on the front side and rounded on the back. They look like saxophones. See my picture above.
These were a huge pain in the butt! Before attaching them to the head I kept them in the fridge overnight. The next morning they were nice and hard and I attached them with two skewers a piece. They felt really sturdy and I was very happy. I started on adding the body and dirty icing the cake. I set blue in the fridge for about 20 minutes to let the frosting set. I then started adding the light blue frosting over the cake. This took a good bit of time and when I was just about done the ears started coming apart. They had gotten too warm and became soft. I added a whole bunch more skewers and stuck it in the fridge to harden again. I used various things to hold the ears in the proper positions and went to bed worrying. Tomorrow was the party and I didn't know if Blue would survive the night enough for me to even bother fixing the next morning.
Luckily the ears survived well enough to where all I had to do was make sure no skewers were showing and re-frost them. I took the cake out a couple minutes before the party and it lasted the whole hour before we decided to cut the cake. Whew... So... Be sure to use more than two skewers per ear and decorate in bursts so the cereal treats don't get too warm. Take the cake out somewhat close to when it will be eaten. Ours lasted at least an hour, but I don't know how much longer it would have lasted.
Cake Body- Take your two 13x9 inch cakes and cut them both in half so you have four 6.5x4.5 inch cakes. Put the 4.5 end up against the 6 inch support pans and cut a little semi-circle out of three of them so they blend into the pans. Add frosting or filling to the layers as you stack. The cake without the semi-circle cut out goes on top. Once they're all stacked take a sharp bread knife and carve her body so it's somewhat rounded. Use the semi-circles you cut out to make the legs. The third one should be cut into two layers, one for each leg. The curved end goes towards the body. Cut the point off the end that attaches to the paws and use a skewer to secure the paw in place.
Getting Down and Dirty... Icing ^_^
Dirty Icing is a very helpful step. Also called crumb coat, it is a thin layer of frosting added to seal in the crumbs and fill any gaps. Once the cake has been dirty iced the actual frosting can be added with ease for a clean smooth finish. Use some of the buttercream frosting for this. Only the cake parts need to be dirty iced. Put in the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes before continuing with your actual frosting. You also want to stack and dirty ice the 4 inch round cake on one of the birthday paper plates. Once set completely frost the 4 inch cake with the white buttercream.
What is left of the buttercream can now be colored light blue. Reserve a small amount (tablespoon or so) of uncolored frosting for the eyes.
Once your dirty icing has set carefully cover the entire cake, except the nose with the light blue buttercream. Once it's as covered and pretty smooth let it sit in the fridge for about half an hour. This will let the frosting set and hopefully prevent the ears from getting too soft. Keep the frosting at room temperature while you wait. Reserve about a cup of the light blue frosting in case you need to fix anything later and color the rest so it's a dark blue.
Use the dark blue frosting to create large spots on blue. Refer to the cartoon for placement. Add any extra spots if needed to cover messy areas. Don't forget to frost her nose.
Use the reserved white to make two ovals for her eyes and two smaller circles of black gel color for her eyeballs.
If you want use the dark blue to add cartoon lines between the toes and where her paws and ears touch her head. It's also a good idea to make paw prints on at least her back paws (something I meant to do but forgot.)
I do believe she's complete! Now hurry up and get her back in the fridge before she falls apart!
Getting the Birthday Kid Involved!
Don't forget to invite Mr. Salt and Mrs. Pepper!
Give the child the pre-frosted yet undecorated cake. Give them some decorating icing tubes and some sprinkles and let them do their stuff. My son loved this! Although he spent about half an hour putting 10 sprinkles on. He doesn't like to make messes. ^_^ When it's time to sing and eat cake give the child their own cake they decorated. Any candles can be placed on it as well.