Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Buzz Lightyear: A New Hope

My friend Scott requested a Buzz Lightyear cake for a birthday party last Saturday. I had already done a Buzz Lightyear cake before and was at least familiar with the work that was involved with such an undertaking. This one, you may recall, requires seven different icing colors and whole lotta stars. It's a "fun" cake to do, but also a lot of work.

The last time I made this cake, I was SO mad at Wilton because I thought the instructions were faulty. The insert in the pan that has the picture you're suppose to follow for colors and lines actually became inverted once the cake was out of it. So what you end up working with is a mirror image of the cake you need to create. I panicked when I discovered this, but my brother came to my rescue. He scanned in the picture from the pan and did a mirror image print of it for me. It totally made things a little easier, but my husband also helped me out by etching the lines of the image into the buttercream for me. I'm artistic in a sense, but my art is really limited. I can't free-hand draw to save my life, but I'm happy my husband can. I think the cake I made for Dylan last year turned out very well, all things considered.

So, when I was asked to do this cake again, I knew there would be a lot of work involved in getting it done. I baked the cake. I had it filled and crumb-coated and asked my husband to help me out again by free-hand drawing Buzz's image to the buttercream. But as he was doing it this time, I realized that what we were doing was completely insane and unnecessary. I'm a Wilton INSTRUCTOR for crying out loud!!! I KNOW better that this! A piping gel transfer was the answer I was looking for.

I took the paper insert that came with the pan and placed a piece of wax paper over it. I then began tracing the image onto the wax paper, like this:

When it was done, I took the wax paper, flipped it gel-side-down and carefully placed it on the crumb-coated cake. Then, I took a paint brush and lightly traced the pattern onto the cake, like this:

(The picture of Buzz you see in the background was the one my brother made for me last year. It's the mirror image of what comes with the pan. )

After all of the tracing is complete, I carefully removed the wax paper and was left with this edible image on the cake.

After doing all of the outlining and filling in with stars, Buzz turned out like this:

I had some extra batter and frosting and threw in a few cupcakes as well.

I hope the birthday party went well! And I hope that the next person who tries to tackle this cake, finds this blog. Seriously...the piping gel transfer made all the difference!

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