Yep, another Paw Patrol cake! The night that I finished this bad boy, I woke up at 3am and had a panic attack that I made a different character than the client had requested. Sure enough, I done goofed. As I started to cry, Rubble, one of the lovable pups from Paw Patrol, magically appeared and together we made a new cake! Then I woke up. I TRIPLE checked that I hadn’t actually messed up my order, then headed back to bed and mumbled to myself that I obviously needed to cut back on the P.P. theme.
This time around I actually had the time to take a few pics showing how I made this cake, so I hope this is helpful to someone out there. Some of the pics are less than stellar quality, but I hope they will suffice!
It all starts with two nicely iced cakes. Here, I am using a 9″ chocolate mud cake base and a 7″ tier. Both are wrapped up in vanilla Swiss Meringue buttercream.
Now, Marshall’s uniform is red, so I opted to cover the top tier in red fondant and design it to look a little more personalized to him. The thing about red fondant is that it can be a bit of a, well, bitch. Scuze’ my language. Any fondant that is super rich in color like black or red is far more likely to give you the elephant skin or cracked look. While I still have my issues from time to time, I have a few tips that make the process of using them a little easier.
I normally make my own marshmallow fondant because customers prefer the taste, but in the case of black and red, I will be using Wiltons brand store bought fondant. The rich colours are extremely difficult to achieve on your own, and if you add too much colour to your white fondant it can “break” the fondant and the consistency goes all wonky.
First off, use as little (or preferably none) cornstarch or icing sugar on your countertop/mat as possible when rolling it out. Cornstarch dries the fondant out way faster and while you may be able to get away with it with lighter colours, it definately is your enemy in this case. I like to lightly grease my area with shortening. Secondly, knead the heck out of it. Often I see people kneading their fondant only until it softens and then away they go. Fondant needs the heat/workout from your hands to activate the gums that give it its elasticity, making it more pliable and thus easier to work with. I like to give mine a good 3-5 minutes of kneading before I begin to roll it out.
Once you place it on the cake, work quickly to smooth the top and secure the edges as this is one of the first places your fondant will tear. Be careful when smoothing your fondant down the sides that you don’t tug too harshly when you are fanning out the skirt. Work at smoothing it gently down the cake and try to press it against the cake with one hand while the other is continuously straightening out the folds that form at the base. You risk stretching the fondant too thinly if you continuously pull at it too harshly. Sorry for the potato photos!
After I covered by top tier I did my bottom in white using the exact same technique!
I then doweled my bottom tier and added buttercream to help secure the top.
An easy way to help yourself ensure the top tier is centered on your bottom tier is to take a circle that is the same size as your top and use it to mark out the center. That way when you lift it off you have a nice little guide for where your cake needs to be, 🙂
Ta-Da! Once your tiers are stacked and ready to be decorated you want to start the design! I wanted to have Marshall’s “collar” going around the top so I used a cue card to help guide me in a straight line once I cut the black strip out. Once I had that where I wanted it, I cut out his badge using a template I made myself and added the flames that I just free handed using an xacto knife.
I used templates again that I had just printed out to cut out the Paw Patrol logo. Use a picture reference to make it easier for you!
Once you cut out the yellow for the lettering, trim down the edges so that you’ll have a smaller template for the blue that needs to go on top. Glue the two colours together using a little bit of water. Use your modelling tool or a toothpick to mark the “bolts”.
Cut out the shield and make the metallic border by painting on some silver luster dust that you mix with some clear alcohol, I’m using vodka.
Add the lettering to your shield and set it aside to dry. Cut out the bone and draw the “patrol” lettering on with an edible marker or food colouring and a fine tip brush.
Before I start Marshall’s head, I like to roll out a ball and using the end of my small rolling pin I indent a circle. I brush this with cornstarch and use it to place Marshall’s head on while I am working on his face. This is so his head keeps a nice rounded shape instead of flattening against my counter.
I used a reference picture for Marshall’s head. Be sure that your hands are especially clean when using white fondant as it will show EVERYTHING. Wipe your hands using paper towels instead of a cloth so none of the little fibers transfer to your fondant.
I then let the head set up and worked on the body. First I put a skewer in the middle of the cake and rolled out a sausage of red to slide through it. I rolled out his legs and then added his little feet, scoring them with my xacto knife for his fingers. I added the cuffs where his arms met his body and made a little emblem for his badge. Once the head was a little more stiff I added that to the top as well. I then made his fireman’s helmet and added black spots!
I added little black balls of fondant around the base of the first tier and then stuck on the paw patrol emblem with water.
Using circle cutters I added black paw prints to the bottom tier.
For a final touch I used a leaf cutter I had and changed the shape of it a bit using my xacto knife to create little flames to go around the bottom tier.