Tuesday, May 25, 2010
Wilton Castle Cake Tutorial
I had a LOT of comments here and on facebook about this cake and a lot of disbelief that "I" actually made it. Yes, I did make it...TWICE! The first one wasn't seen or enjoyed by anyone because the party had to be canceled due to widespread flooding in the area. But the second was seen and loved and enjoyed...and that made me feel sooo good! I think the birthday girl was sneaking a taste here in this pic!!!
This cake is doable and isn't really super hard. You'll see once you start reading how I did it. I didn't even use a piping bag for heaven's sake! It will take time and a LOT of patience...but you too can do it just like I did!
First you will need the Wilton Romantic Castle Cake Kit. I purchased mine at Walmart and it was $18. It comes with plastic castle pieces and specific instructions on how to put it together, as well as an icing and cake recipe. You will also need to purchase a 10" and a 6" round cake pan. The instructions called for you to make like 200 royal icing forget-me-nots, but there was no way in hades I was doing that! haha. But I did go to a cake decorating specialty store and I purchased 100 of them for 10 cents a piece, so $10 for all of them. And they really add a lot to the cake, so I encourage you to find some. Or of course, make them yourself if you have the patience. Instructions are in there.
I also purchased a sturdy piece of cardboard and purple foil to wrap it with for the base of the cake. I think it added a lot and was really pretty. Also, at the cake store, I bought purple sanding sugar. Since I used almost all of it on the first cake last year, I had to buy more. All I could find was a coarse purple sugar at Walmart, but it ended up working just fine. And of course, you will need to make butter cream icing. I noticed that Walmart also carries Wilton butter cream frosting in tubs. I made two batches and it was the perfect amount to do a crumb coat and the final coat on the cake.
For the decorations, I used...get this....frosting in those squirty cans!!! I'm not kidding! I didn't have a piping bag or tips, so in the 11th hour I decided to use those cupcake icing cans. One, because they came with different tips and 2 because they came in different colors. And I'm actually REALLY glad I did. They were sooo easy to use and I didn't have to fool with tinting icing and and piping from a bag. My only regret is that I assembled the cake with the towers before I added the green borders, etc. And it was nearly IMPOSSIBLE to get those cans in the tight spot. Oh well, you live and you learn.
Ok, so here are the steps.
This is the hardest most time consuming part! Trying to ice and sugar all of the plastic pieces! That's why I did this the day before and allowed them to set in the fridge until I was ready to assemble the cake completely.
Again, follow the instructions and look at the pictures and you'll be fine. For the towers, windows and doors I used white cookie icing in a tube with just a plain round tip to act as glue for the sugar. Then I spooned the sugar from a paper plate over the icing. I then added the green canned frosting using the star tip and pressed on the little flowers and placed them on a wax paper lined cookie sheet to dry and set.
This is the worst part by far...icing and sugaring the turrets! I guess it's the cone shape that makes them difficult to roll around. Not to mention that you can't touch it...yeah...not fun. But I just used spooned sugar on the parts that didn't get enough. I also tinted the icing for the turrets purple so that if the sugar didn't adhere completely, that you wouldn't see a stark white and purple contrast! So first, ice the turrets with your purple frosting in a thin, even coat. Then roll them around in the sanding sugar. That's pretty much it...but like I said...not easy!
The next day (or the same day...but freezing them overnight), bake your cakes (hey...don't tell, but I just used a boxed yellow cake mix...but with an extra egg per cake mix, so the cake would be a little more dense) with a piece of parchment at the bottom so that it will come out easily and allow them to cool completely. Using a serrated knife, level off the rounded parts so that they're flat. Place small pieces of wax paper on your cake base (this is so that when you ice the cake you won't get icing on your pretty foil base! You will slide them out from under your cake when you are finished icing it), then stack your cakes, layering them with icing in between. Then pile on your frosting and ice the cake as smooth as you can. This first coat is called a "crumb coat." It's not meant to be perfect and it's not meant to be really thick. It's meant to give you a smoother base when you go to really frost it. After you apply the crumb coat, put the cake in the fridge for a little while, to sort of chill and set. While the cake is chillin', you can either take a breather and chill yourself or you can make another batch of frosting for the final layer of frosting. I will admit that my final layer was not smooth perfection, but it was pretty good. I just figured that since so much of the cake is covered by the plastic towers and little plastic windows and flowers and green icing, that a perfectly smooth white layer of frosting was not necessary. So, I iced it as best I could and that was that. When you're finished pull out the wax paper from underneath the cake...and voila! Your base is clean and beautiful!
After the cake is iced, and the plastic pieces are decorated and sugared and beautiful, then it's time for the fun stuff...putting it all together!!!! YAY. You're on the home stretch!!!!
Once you get your cake frosted, then you can start putting you plastic pieces around it. I didn't use any sticks to anchor the cakes together or extra frosting to anchor the plastic towers to the cakes. You can of course, I just didn't because I found that they stuck pretty well without extra frosting. The only thing I had to do that was a little hard was I had to stick the 3 towers on the top layer quite far down into the cake to get them to stay and to keep them straight.
Then you need to add your green "grass" around the base and the edges. Like I said, you may want to do some of that before you add the towers, but don't stress...I didn't. Also add your reserved sugar forget-me-nots around the cake as you choose...make it pretty. I just looked at the picture on the box and tried my best to replicate it.
I promise that when you go to add the turrets, you'll smoosh the sugar at the top and knock off your sugar, but you can just add a little bit of frosting and a bit more sugar, gingerly, with a spoon once you get them in place.
So, here's the finished pic again.