The Charmander cake is definitely my new favourite cake I’ve made! The kids loved it! My husband took a pretty great shot of the final cake, but for the progress pics, my camera had broken, so I had to use my phone to take pictures, and it’s not really the best phone for taking pictures. I still wanted to document the process though!
First, I baked two sheet cakes, and then made a two layered cake. Then, I drew on a piece of paper the basic outline of the head and body that I wanted to cut out. I cut out the shape on paper first, and put the paper on the cake. I cut out the outline of the body. (I missed this pic, but you’ll see me do it again for the tail. But in the pic below you can see in the background what I carved off when I did just the outline). Once I had the outline, I started carving. The aim with the head was to make it look like a teenage mutant ninja turtle head!
Then did the same thing for the tail. I drew what I thought the outline would be on a piece of paper with a pencil. I cut it out, and put it on the left over cake, and cut out the outline.
See how in the pic above, the body of the Charmander is wider and a tiny bit higher towards that head, than towards his tail? This is WRONG! As I was carving the tail, I just couldn’t figure out what was wrong with the body. I wasn’t 100% happy, but didn’t know why. That is, until my husband came to see how I was doing, and said simply, “You need to turn the body around, so it’s wider in the back…” Yay for husbands! That totally made it look better! You can see the difference it makes in the pic below of the carved tail.
Next I carved the legs. The back legs are a little wider, but shorter. This is because I will add the foot and toes later with fondant.
Then I covered the cake with buttercream. I started with a spatula, but the carved cake got a bit crumbly and delicate. I broke part of the head, and the legs and tail were impossible! So I switched to piping it on with a flat cake tip, as you can see in the pic below.
Next, I coloured and rolled the fondant. I completely rely on my large Wilton rolling pin when working with fondant! I used my favourite fondant of all time, Satin Ice! Bulk Barn used to sell Satin Ice, but now they sell Virgin Ice, though Satin Ice is available online. I like Virgin Ice fondant too. Both Satin Ice and Virgin Ice work well, and both taste much better than Wilton’s Fondant.
Just like when you roll out a pie crust, you know how you kind of roll half of it loosely onto the rolling pin when you go to put the pie crust on top of the filling? Same thing with fondant! I called over my hubby and had him ready to bring over the cake. I rolled the fondant loosely half onto the rolling pin, lifted it up, so only some of it touched the counter, and had him quickly put the cake UNDER my pin, and I slowly lowered the fondant over the cake.
I gently moulded the fondant over and around the cake with my hands, and trimmed off the edges as I went around.
Then I marked a crease between the hind legs and the body. Because it really isn’t part of the body there, the hind legs are beside the body, so I couldn’t have the skin smooth between them. I needed to crease it with the back of a knife. I also cut little triangles out of the front of the front legs to form claws. I needed to form them with my fingers after I cut them.
Then I got to pinch his nose! I made two little indent dots either side. And I scored where I thought the mouth should be with a knife.
Next I made the teeth. I formed little fondant teeth, just two.
I sliced the fondant mouth open a tiny bit, and put the teeth just inside the slit of his mouth. I also made the mouth look a little better by giving him a small smile. Just a tiny detail, and it made so much difference!
Next I did the back feet and claws. I formed them out of fondant. First the claws.
Then the foot. I had to search around the house to find the right sized tool to help form the foot and make holes for the claws to go in! Turns out it was a two-way radio that was the right tool!
I assembled the feet, and put some other creases in his skin between his toes with the back of a knife.
I rolled out the fondant for the eyes, and looked for a cutter that would help my cut them out perfectly. Turns out, it was an mini icecream cookie cutter!
It had the perfect curve at the top, and then I just cut the sides and bottom straight! Then I painted them with food colouring.
Do you see the creases behind his neck in the pic above? I added a few more creases to his skin with the back of a knife. He is a lizard after all!
Next, I broke up a couple of candles. I took two cheap white birthday candles, and broke off the wax. Then I tied the two wicks in a knot. I know I could have done this with regular string, but the wicks from the candles had soaked up some wax when they were being made, and so burned slower and better when we light his tail as the candle.
I used a pointed dowel to make a hole at the end of his tail…
I put in the wick, and formed the tail around it.
And he was party ready!
Hands down my favourite cake so far! And the kids were super impressed! One boy was sad to eat him. Even my son was hesitant to blow out his tail. Apparently, in Pokemon, if the Charmander’s tail goes out, he can die! But once we cut into the cake, and they saw the cake, not the character, they were quite happy to eat some cake!
I hope I have inspired some other cakers out there! Not all my cakes work out. (Check out my Minecraft cake post just the year before, and my Thomas cake at the beginning of my Gordon Cake post… not my most shining cakes!). That’s why I started out only do cakes for family and close friends who won’t be upset if it doesn’t work out! They know my heart is in it. But the more I do worked at it, the higher the success rate! And the Charmander cake is proof that persistence and practice pay off!
Happy Caking! >^,,^<
If you’re planning a Pokemon Party, I have another post that may give you some ideas for your celebration! Aiden’s 8th Birthday Party was Pokemon Themed, and I have some printable party favors on my blog post “Poke-ball Cake… a Poke-Cake! Birthday #8!”
I’m not sure how often you check this. I want to make one for my son tomorrow. I just wanted to know how many cakes you had to use. Also, my first time making fondant so, any info let me know.
Hi Rachel! I’m away from home and my laptop right now so I can’t check my extra pics from last year to see how many cakes I baked! I know I layered the cake, it was easier to carve being a bit taller. I remember I used at least three sheets of cake. Two were definitely 9×13. Now that I think about it, I think I may have baked two 9×13 and two 9×9, (One of each twice). Sorry, I would check the other pictures I took, but you needed a response sooner than I get home!
I have only made fondant twice, I find it more convenient to buy Satin Ice or Virgin Ice from bulk barn as it takes a while to make. It also takes a long time to colour, so if they sell pre-coloured orange, it would save you a lot of time. This cake took me about 8 hours over the course of two days, and I didn’t make my own fondant. There are two main types of fondant I have worked with and made. I found marshmallow fondant cheaper and easier (just Google marshmallow fondant). But use shortening or lard on the surface when kneading as it is super sticky (I use icing sugar on the surface when working regular fondant). Marshmallow fondant doesn’t dry out as much as regular fondant, and is more elastic, so doesn’t tear quite as much when working with it.
I hope your cake and party go well! I love planning and doing my son’s parties and cakes! Thanks for visiting the site and your comment!
Specifically how any cakes did you make? And we’re the layered cakes round? Was it four? Sorry was a little confused and I have a little boy who is in love with this cake. It’s amazing.
I wish I wrote down how many cakes I baked! I know that I used 9 x 13 cake pans. I think I baked four. Two layered for the body, and two layered for the tail and the head. Looking at the third and fourth pictures in the blog, (the second and third instructional pics), you can see the left over cake in the background. I used the left overs for the legs, but they were really fragile and crumbly, so if I did this again, I’d use rice crispy treats for the legs. This cake isn’t my design, I saw it on Pinterest. But I could not find the original site where it was posted, so I can’t find where to link to give credit! It definitely is a great design! Thanks for your comment!
Birthday cakes are my passion for the past 3 years and I honestly love making them. Thanks for posting this.
hmmm really nice .
Oh my gosh! I just made this for my 19year old boyfriend 🙂 YOU GAVE ME INSTRUCTIONS I COULD ACTUALLY FOLLOW! AMAZING CAKE!!
Hi Emily! Your comment makes my heart happy! 😀 I hope your boyfriend appreciated how long it takes to make this cake! LOL! But when it works, it’s all worth it! Edible Art for the ones we love!
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