A Dr. Seuss themed party wouldn’t be complete without a Dr. Seuss themed cake. Decorating a cake to resemble the famous children´s book character can be fun and actually pretty simple with the right tools and advice. In this article you will find ways to trim your cake, trace a design and icing tips to get the perfect Dr. Seuss cake.
After you decide how you want your cake to look, a standard 2 layer sheet cake with Dr. Seuss themed colors and characters or a cake carved into the shape of Dr. Seuss, you will need atleast two good pictures of the Dr. Seuss you want to use for your cake copied on a plain white piece of paper. You will use one picture as your guide and the other for tracing and trimming for your cake so it will need to be the same scale as your cake.
It is important to get the right color combinations of the Dr. Seuss theme. The four key colors you will need are blue, red, white, and black. The decorating supplies you will need are white fondant (optional), blue and red food coloring or blue and red icing, white icing, a black cake decorating pen, black licorice for the whiskers and eyes, Ziploc bags or piping bags for decorating, icing tips, parchment paper, sharp knife, and piping gel.
For a both a carved cake or sheet cake, the best cake pan size to use would be a 12x18x2 silver pan. The size and depth of this pan ensures a large, professional looking cake. It is also the perfect size for carving your cake. After mixing your favorite cake batter, spray the inside and sides of the pan with Pam Baking Spray. Bake your cake until it is a light golden brown and allow to cool before removing from pan. If your cake doesn’t easily come out of the pan or seems to be stuck in some places, fill your kitchen sink with a little over an inch of warm water. Carefully place the bottom of the pan in the water, count to thirty, and remove. On a cardboard cake board flip your cake upside down and gently remove the pan.
For the sheet cake, once both sheet cakes have cooled completely, use a spatula to cover both cakes with a thin layer of white icing. If it is your preference, you can add a thin layer of strawberry jam to the middle layer of your cake to give it a strawberry filing. Now carefully stack your sheet cakes on top of each other and allow icing to set, about 30 minutes. Tape your Dr. Seuss picture to a cookie sheet our counter. Place piece of parchment paper of the Dr. Seuss picture and trace with the piping gel. Once you completely traced your design onto the parchment paper, flip the paper upside and place on top of your cake, transferring the gel onto your cake. Now you have a outline to follow when icing your cake
For a carved cake, cover only the bottom layer cake with white icing and place the top layer on the layer with icing. Trim your paper copy of Dr. Seuss in sections as you carve them. Place the shape over the cake and secure wit a toothpick. To begin carving your cake you will use a sharp knife and in a sawing motion, gently cut pieces away from the cake to shape the hat and work your way down to the arms and body shape. Be sure to refer to your picture and take your time removing piece by piece until your cake takes shape. Little pieces that are not exactly to scale or if you took a little too much off a certain area are okay, after icing these little flaws will be unnoticeable.
Once your shape is complete, cover the whole cake with a thin layer of white icing. While waiting for the icing to set, begin mixing your icing colors. When mixing blue food coloring with white icing, you will get a light blue similar to Dr. Suess’s theme. Usually 1 drop of food coloring per 1 cup of icing will give you the exact blue, but depending on the consitency and type of icing, you may have to mix more to get it to match perfectly.
If you are using a buttercream icing, after mixing in your red food coloring you will need to allow the icing to set for 1 to 2 hours to allow the red to deepen. To get a deep red icing, you will need paste food coloring. Wilson sells a really good red paste. Mix in one teaspoon at a time to your white icing until you achieve the desired red. It can take as much as 1 oz. paste food color per one cup to get the deep red required to match Dr. Seuss’s colors.
Once your icing colors are ready to go, place 1m tip in the bottom of decorating bag or simply cut a small hole at the tip of a Ziploc bag. Place the bag over a glass cup and fold the sides down around the edges of the glass. Fill the bag with the color icing you want to start with. It is recommended to start with the white icing for the outline and repeat with another bag for the blue icing for the background color. Gently pull the bag up from the glass and squeeze the icing to the bottom. Twist the top of the bag tightly, holding the twist between your thumb and first finger, securing the bulk of the bag in your palm. Using the bag with the white icing, begin outline your cake and any main details with a thin straight line. Keeping the white line thin will ensure you can go over it easily later. Or if you prefer, squeeze a thick white line on any areas you are filling in with white. Lightly begin to squeeze the icing, as it begins to come through the hole, once the icing comes through stop squeezing and while keeping your hand stationary, rotate your hand, then move to the right or left. This should leave you with perfect icing drops. Cover the background of your cake and the side of your cake with the blue or white icing drops. Once you have completed the blue and white areas, move on to the red, setting the blue and white aside for touch ups.
To get Dr. Seuss’s whiskers trim the licorice into to three thin one half inch strings and immediately place over icing a centimeter apart from each other. Once the icing has set the whiskers will be secured in place.
For Dr. Seuss gloved hands, knead and roll the fondant on floured parchment paper, roll flat to one tenth thickness. Place your the hands on your Dr. Seuss picture over the fondant and lightly trace with a pencil or tooth pic, pressing just enough to make an indent on the fondant. Now with a sharp knife trim the excess fondant around the hands. with your fingers gently rub the edges of the fondant to a smooth out any rough areas. Immediately place over icing and press into place.