Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The Hello Kitty Cake How-to...


Now the party's all over and the lounge has been de-pinkified, it's time to get on to some of those how-to's I promised. 


So here's how I constructed and decorated Miss S's Hello Kitty cake.  This idea would work for almost any character or motif.  You could replace Hello Kitty with something as simple as a butterfly or heart, or another fictional character that your child loves - the construction and icing techniques will be the same.


You will need:

* 2 rectangular white layer cakes measuring about 35 x 26cm and about 4 cm thick.  (Click here for the recipe I used, this recipe makes one layer cake.  I baked mine in a Teflon roasting dish which also gave me some nice rounded edges.)
* Sharp, non serrated knife
* An image of your character or motif that you can enlarge
* Computer and photocopier (to print and enlarge your image)
* Large cardboard cereal box
* Cake serving board large enough for the finished cake
* 4-5 cups of good buttercream frosting, stiff enough for piping (for the recipe I used click here - it was delicious)
* Piping bag, coupler and star tip (like a Wilton #16)
* Food colouring
* Palette knife (off-set spatula)
* Thinnish liquorice straps
* 6 toothpicks
* Wilton Decorating Gel in black and yellow

Just out of the oven, cooling and awaiting it's mission...

When your base layer cake is cool, place it on the platter or board you will be serving it on.  Put it aside.

Checking to see if the size is right...

To cut the shape out of the top layer, place layer on cling film, and then on a cutting board.  Blow up your image so that it fits on the cake.  I used this image and blew it up by 160%.
Stick your Hello Kitty face to the cereal box and cut around it.  You will need to cut off the whiskers that stick out from her face. 


Place the template on top of the cake.  Using a sharp knife cut around your template slowly with the knife pointed right down perpendicular to the cutting board to ensure straight sides.  
Transfer the top layer to the base using the cutting board and slide it off using the clingfilm.  This is probably the trickiest part (which may be why I didn't remember to take any photos of it - sorry!).
Slide the cling film out from between the two layers.

Crumb coated cake

Crumb coat your entire cake with buttercream using a palette knife.  A crumb coat is a thin application of icing that seals in the crumbs so they don't come loose when you apply the "top coat".  It also helps the top coat to stick.  This is also the time to use a little icing to repair any spots where the cake has come apart a bit.


Begin the piping on the bottom-side of the face where the two layers meet.  If you haven't done any piping before, try practicing on some baking (parchment) paper until you get the hang of it, or check out any of the helpful tutorials on YouTube on the subject.

Inexplicably this shot is in black and white... :)

Keep filling in the face as shown.  To reserve a spot for the bow, cut it out of your template and place it on the cake as shown.


Begin piping the pink base as shown.  Make the piping stars on your first round bigger than you made on the face to give you a bolder frame (by the "first round" I mean the round pictured above).


Fill in the pink base and peel off the bow.


Fill in the bow with your chosen colour.


Add details to the bow with liqourice straps, using your template as a guide.


Use toothpicks to hold up the whiskers.

Create ovals for the nose and eyes out of liquorice straps and fill in with your Wilton gel pens.  


All finished.  Now all you have to do is add candles, and write on the board with your decorating gel if you want to.


Please let me know if you have any questions regarding this, I'm only too happy to help.  Oh, and here's Miss S's cake from last year...

 This used a Wilton Ladybug/ Bumblebee tin and the same piping techniques as I used for the HK cake.  I made the candle holders out of Fimo :)

Update as at 24 June:  Miss S's Hello Kitty cake is now on Coolest-Birthday-Cakes.com.  Click here to view it!

34 comments:

  1. hi,
    my daughter and i love love the hello kitty cake! her birthday is coming up and she wants a hello kitty cake.. i was wondering if you have the template for the hello kitty that i can print? i tried looking for one online, just a printable hello kitty but its not showing me any that just has her face... thanks again and great job with the whole hello kitty party!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Jocelyn,

    Glad you are going to make the cake - I'm sure your daughter will love it.

    There is a link in this post to the template I used for Hello Kitty's face (by the photos of my template on top of the cake). I just tested the link to make sure that it's still working and it is. Here's the link directly, if it's a bit easier:

    http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_KBoWXnUf4eU/SdM-wWyEKcI/AAAAAAAAAKs/jfRjSNvPtsY/s400/hello-kitty-color.gif

    Hope that helps.... Any other questions, just let me know.

    LM x

    ReplyDelete
  3. Oh my! I've been looking for a nice example to work off of. This is too adorable! I think I am just going to make her head. Thanks for the great tips! I'll show you how it comes out!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hi Meesah - please do! I love seeing people's cakes (a bit of an obsession) :). Thanks for stopping by!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hi- I'm going to try this very soon! However I am in the UK and we don't have shortening over here... Can you suggest another recipe for the frosting? Buttercream isn't as white as yours! Many thanks, Aisha.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hi Aisha,

    I think you will find the equivalent of shortening is sold under the name "white vegetable fat" in the UK. I have looked on the internet and believe the brand name is "Trex". Apparently when left at room temperature it is the same texture as the American Crisco.

    If you can't find it, here is a good buttercream recipe that uses only butter:

    http://www.marthastewart.com/336452/billys-vanilla-buttercream

    But as you say, you won't achieve that nice bright white, so if you can find the shortening, I'd use that.

    Happy baking, and thanks for visiting my site!

    LM x

    ReplyDelete
  7. When I follow the link to your cake recipe, it calls for two 9" round cake pands, not a single layer rectangle. I am not experienced enough to know how to adjust the given recipe for a rectangular pan. I do have a roasting pan as you suggest. Do you change the temperature/bake time for the larger pan?

    ReplyDelete
  8. Sorry, me again. ;) I was also thinking of making the recipe as a chocolate cake. Can you offer any help with that? Thanks so much!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Hi Jessica,

    For the cake, I would just bake it all in one roasting dish for the amount of time shown, check with a skewer and then keep baking it at 10 minute intervals until the skewer comes out clean. It will take a bit longer than if you were baking the mixture in two 9" pans, you are right.

    I have a great chocolate cake recipe which I have cut and pasted below. It is the one I used for both my kid's cakes last year and many others too.

    Chocolate Celebration Cake:

    450g plain flour
    1 & 1/2 cups good quality cocoa
    1/2 tsp salt
    1 tsp baking powder
    3 tsps baking soda
    3 eggs
    2 & 1/2 cups caster sugar
    1 cup oil
    2 tsp vanilla essence (extract)
    Double shot espresso or 1/3 cup of very strong black coffee (instant is OK if you can't make espresso easily at home)
    1 1/2 tbs white vinegar
    2 cups (500ml) water

    Line and grease a 26cm spring-form cake pan. Make sure that the lining on the sides of the tin comes up about 3 cm above the lip of the tin - this cake is a real riser!

    Sift together the flour, cocoa, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Beat together the eggs and sugar, then add the oil, vanilla, espresso, vinegar and water and mix thoroughly. Using an electric mixer, beat the dry mixture into the wet mixture until smooth. Mixture will be very dark and quite runny.

    Bake for 1 & 1/2 hours at 180 degrees c. Check at 1 hour. Cake is cooked when skewer inserted into it's centre comes out clean.

    Ice with ganache, buttercream, cream-cheese frosting - all are fantastic accompaniments to this cake. Enjoy!

    ReplyDelete
  10. such a gorgeous cake! congratulations.

    i will make "meoowwww" cake, as my daughter calls her! love hello kitty!!

    thanks for the inspiration :)

    ReplyDelete
  11. Oh, you are a life saver. This is JUST the idea I needed for my daughter's 4th birthday party.

    One question - how do you make your fabulous cake boards? Mine always look bumpy and unprofessional, and I've tried foil, paper, bought cake boards... nothing works well.

    Your cake board for the fairy cake (a 5th birthday party) matched the green icing, wow!

    I hate having a fab cake on a unattractive plate. Do share your secrets!

    Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Hi Amy, thanks for visiting and commenting! Glad the cake instructions might help you out.

    The cake board I used for this cake is the top of an Ikea side table :). I've used it for quite a few cakes. But in general these days I like to cover my boards in fondant, such as the ones I did for my Kiwi Party cake, Enchanted Forest cake and Upsy Daisy cake.

    I buy cake boards from a website (you may be able to just find them in the baking section of your supermarket or cake decor supply shop, but I have to order them online here in Switzerland). These are the cake boards which are made from compressed woodchips and then covered in a kind of silver foil.

    I then cover the board in fondant. Roll out your fondant to about 3-4mm thick (not too thin as fondant misbehaves when it's rolled too thin). I then use a clean paint brush to brush the cake board with a little water. I then pick up the fondant, (by rolling it over a rolling pin), and transfer it to the cake plate.

    I then balance the cake board on something raised like an up-turned bowl and then trim around the edge with a sharp knife. You can also add ribbon to the edge if you like, securing it with a pin. You can cover your board days in advance of the party, just keep it in a warm, dry place with a cloth over to protect it from bugs etc. It is probably a good idea to do it a day or two in advance so if dries a little bit and becomes hard-ish.

    The only problem with this technique is that you can't re-use the board - it has to be thrown out when you're finished.

    Hope that helps. I agree with you about taking time to make an amazing cake and then serving it on an unattractive plate! I think the plate deserves as much time and attention as the cake since it is all part of the same presentation.

    LM x

    ReplyDelete
  13. I am making a dora cake with this same idea shaping the face from one cake and placing on a 9 by 13 cake...my only question is did you support hello kitty or just place her on top? you did a wonderful job:) I made a hello kitty shaped cake from wilton pan last yr fro my older daughter

    ReplyDelete
  14. Hi Angela,

    Thanks for your comment. I didn't use any supports for the top layer as the layers were not all that thick. I do use doweling supports on my cakes where the layers are thick (like the enchanted forest cake and the Royal wedding cake), but this one, it really isn't necessary.

    Good luck with the Dora cake - I'm sure it will make the little birthday girl very happy indeed!!

    LM x

    ReplyDelete
  15. Hi

    Please can you tell me which nozzle you used for the buttercream icing

    Thanks

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi,

      I used a Wilton star tip #16.

      LM x

      Delete
  16. Thank you so much for sharing your wonderful creations, I am half way through making this for my daughters 4th birthday on Sunday and I am so delighted at how easy it is thanks to your step by step instructions.

    I am so excited to see my daughters face when I have finished making it.

    I am going to tell all my friends about your blog.

    Thank you again

    Joanne

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Joanne!

      I hope the cake worked out well. I'm sure your daughter will have loved it! Happy birthday to your little Hello Kitty fan!

      LM x

      Delete
  17. Hello

    I am going to try and make this wonderful cake for my daughter's 3rd birthday (getting nervous!!) i have a couple of questions -hope you don't mind.
    The cake recipe you gave uses only egg whites is that right?
    Can i make the cakes a couple of days before?
    And can ice it the day before the party?

    Thank you

    Seema x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Seema,

      Just to answer your questions... The cake does indeed only have egg whites in it. I think that's what makes it quite light, as opposed to a madeira cake which has the yolks and is a bit heavier.

      You can absolutely make the cakes a couple of days before. I think from memory I baked the cakes one night, iced them the next and then served the cake the following day. If you want to make them further in advance you can always wrap them in clingfilm and freeze them. Simply let them defrost on the bench at room temperature (in the summer this never takes too long). You can begin working on the cakes when they are still chilled but not frozen - this is actually preferable. A chilled cake creates less crumbs when cut.

      And lastly, yes you can ice it the day before the party. Because the cake has no fondant on it I would say go ahead and store it in an airtight container if you have one big enough. I stored mine under an upturned Tupperware container that fitted over the cake without touching the edges. Try and keep in the coolest part of your house (if it's summer where you are!)

      Hope that answers your questions. Good luck for the cake making and decorating... I'm sure your daughter will LOVE her Hello Kitty cake, and happy birthday to her :)

      LM x

      Delete
    2. Thank you so much for the great ideas and speedy response i will let you know how it goes.

      Seema x

      Delete
  18. Hi Just seen your hello kitty cake and it looks fab. Am definetly going to try it for my daughters 3rd birthday cake in 2 weeks, been looking at other photos but yours looks the best for my capabilities. This is the first time I've been on your blog.... love it! I used to be creative before the kids, you are giving me notions......
    Will let you know how it goes
    Katrina x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi! Thanks for your comment. I'm glad the cake is what you're looking for, and good luck with making it. I'm sure your daughter will love it. I like the idea that you are having notions - notions are good! :)

      Delete
  19. Hiya the recipe says cake flour in the uk we har plain flour or self raising flour which is what we use in most cakes is it self raising we would use? Cake is great ive done something similar by using rOlled icing for kitty but want to pipe the base like urs. It's great!

    ReplyDelete
  20. Hi,
    Thanks so much for your instructions.

    Do you find that the stars are a little too wet, can I add more sugar to give it a stiffer consistency?

    How many days in advance can I make the icing? Also, did u use piping gel for the black and yellow parts on the cake or just the buttercream?

    Thanks Again for your generosity

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Me again, did u have a lot of icing left?

      Delete
  21. I made a very amateur version of this cake for my son's second birthday party this weekend and blogged about it here: http://wearychef.com/2013/04/22/hello-kitty-birthday-party/ I'm hoping to not see myself on Cake Wrecks soon. Thanks so much for the awesome tutorial and inspiration!

    ReplyDelete
  22. Loved the tutorial and I am planning to make this cake. I live in India and we don't get shortening here. Not sure what is a good substitute for it? Can the cake be made a day before and stored in the fridge?

    ReplyDelete
  23. How can I substitute liquorice straps......I'm from India.... And is margarine ok instead of vegetable shortening...

    ReplyDelete
  24. Hi, I followed your instructions and made a similar cake for my fren for her daughter's 1yr old celebration! It just turned out fabulous! However I did not have liquorice and so I left the space just like you instructed for the ribbon and pipe in the black lines instead. It still turned out perfect! Thanks for sharing the idea!! Love it!! :)

    ReplyDelete
  25. Oh my I so so love Hello Kitty because she's a cat and she's a theme of PINK! <3 I am so fond of this character that makes me compile stuffs of her like wallpapers and just lately I started a collection of Hello Kitty Birthday Party ideas . I am just so happy I could pick some from your site. Credits will be added dear!
    God bless!
    -Meow

    ReplyDelete
  26. I made the cake according to my own recipe, but used your Hello Kitty idea, it turned really well. The kids were super happy and excited :-) Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
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Hi,

Thanks so much for your comments - I really appreciate them!

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