Learning how to use a shaped cake pan was how I learned to decorate cakes- so therefore, it’s how you should learn to! Hahaha!! Just kidding. Using a shaped cake pan is ONE of many ways you can learn to decorate, and since it’s the way that I’m familiar with, I chose to show you in this tutorial. When using a shaped cake pan, the lines and indentations are made for you, so the spatial piece that comes with design isn’t as tricky. There is still some amount of challenge as you have to figure out where each line is connected, but all in all, it is way easier than free-handing a complicated design.
When baking the cake batter in the cake pan, I will be honest and tell you that using a box mix is probably the better choice. For whatever chemical/preservative reason, the baked box mixes come out of the cake pan much easier than a cake from scratch does. I’d rather not think anymore about what that reason is!
There are many ways you can go about decorating a shaped cake, but I find it easiest to start with the outline, and then do the little areas that are other colours, or specific shapes etc, so once those are all done, you can quickly fill in the rest of the cake with the main colour(s).
There are a number of companies that sell shaped cake pans, but Wilton seems to lead the way in shaped Character pans. A simple Google or Amazon search will offer you hundreds of choices of characters! Garage sales or yard sales are also an excellent source of cake pans. Cake pans sometimes serve a one time birthday purpose, and then collect dust in the bottom of a cupboard. If you are lucky like me, you head to a garage sale from a former cake decorator and you hit the mother load of shaped cake pans! That is how I acquired the many shaped pans that I had, but when I stopped decorating cakes as a business, I sold them on an online site- which brings me to the point that online buy and sell sites are also great places to get cake pans. There’s no need to pay the full amount (usually $25-$50) when you can get it for $5 second hand.
As when exploring anything as a beginner, reaching perfection takes time. Don’t give up. Practice until you’ve got it perfectly decorated. And then you can thank me later. Haha!
- Prepared two layered cake mix (1 box)
- Black buttercream
- Navy blue buttercream
- Sky blue buttercream
- Gray buttercream
- White buttercream
- Transformers Wilton shaped cake pan
- Using white icing, cover the top centre area with smooth buttercream.
- Pipe outline of Transformer by using black buttercream fitted with a small round tip, such as #3.
- Switching tip on the black buttercream to a star tip #14-#18, and pipe contouring lines and shadows.
- Using sky blue buttercream, pipe the eye slots and smooth.
- Pipe black stars around the outside of the eyes.
- Using white buttercream fitted with a star tip #14-#18, pipe highlights.
- Using the grey buttercream fitted with a star tip #14-#18, fill in all of the areas on the bottom of the face, and lower sides.
- Using the navy blue buttercream fitted with a star tip #14-#18, fill in all of the remaining blank areas.
- Serve immediately, or refrigerate until ready to serve. Remove from the fridge 1-2 hours before being ready to serve.