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Dr. Horrible Party Cakes

By: Pfoinkle

The Doctor Horrible's Sing-Along Blog Party Cakes.

The Doctor Horrible's Sing-Along Blog Party Cakes.


ahhhhh-ha-ha-ha. So that’s, you know, coming along.

If you know me (yeah, you do), you knew this was bound to happen. Afterall, I love Joss. I love Neil. I love Nathan. I love Felicia…

I love cake.

And I knew there had to be a way to bring all this love together in one (or nine) sugary tributes to Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog. I’ve been working on these cakes for longer than I care to admit… there were mistakes. And accidents. A surprising amount of profanity and something about a city ordinance that really…

Right. Cakes.

Dr. Horrible's goggles rendered in fondant.

Dr. Horrible's goggles rendered in fondant.


Ph.D. in Horribleness

I knew that for the goggles (and there had to be goggles) I would have to venture into the world of fondant. It was a scary journey, but past experience working with polymer clay got me through. It’s not an easy cake if you’re unfamiliar with fondant, but I found the cakey evil worth the brain pounding headache(s). Learn more about this cake…


Captain Hammer logo cake.

Captain Hammer logo cake.


Cheesy on the Outside

Let me be clear. There’s no cheese on (or in) this cake. It’s three layers of yellow and chocolate cake with a dark chocolate buttercream frosting with simple fondant accents. Definitely the easiest of the three major cakes. Learn more about this cake…


Food-shaped cake, always a fave.

Food-shaped cake, always a fave.


What a Crazy Random Happenstance

Of all the cakes I designed, I thought this one would be the easiest to create. I was wrong. Terribly. Horribly. Wrong. Learn from my mistakes. Learn more about this cake…


The groupies and the Bad Horse chorus cakes.

The groupies and the Bad Horse chorus cakes.


It’s Not a Perfect Metaphor

I knew I had to do cakes for both the groupies and the Bad Horse chorus and I chose mini-cakes and cupcakes because I also knew these cakes couldn’t steal the show from the leading cakes, but they had to be just as flawless, just as tasty, just as… Learn more about this cake…

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Ph.D in Horribleness (Dr. Horrible’s Cake)

By: Pfoinkle

Front view of the Dr. Horrible Cake.

Front view of the Dr. Horrible Cake.


When deciding to do party cakes for Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog, I immediately knew that Dr. Horrible’s cake would involve goggles. I made two separate attempts at carving goggles out of cake, but the funny thing? Once you carve a pair of goggles out of cake, there’s not a lot of cake left.

I made the decision that the goggles would be the cake “topper” and that the base of the cake would be a tribute to the work Dr. Horrible did to get into the Evil League of Evil (E.L.E). The bottom layer is part of the formula for the death ray and the top layer is a representation of the label on the death ray. The back of the cake… oh wait, you haven’t seen the back of the cake, have you?

Dr. Horrible Cake, back view with Bad Horse silhouette.

Dr. Horrible Cake, back view with Bad Horse silhouette.

The back of the cake is a tribute to Bad Horse — think of this as the cake served at the party where Dr. Horrible is accepted into the E.L.E.

The goggles for this cake are made (100%) out of fondant. And I’ll go through the step-by-steps for anyone who wants make their own goggles, but let’s start with the list of supplies and the cake coverings.

Cake Supplies

  • 2 – 8″ rounds baked in 3″ deep pans, or 4 – 8″ rounds baked in 1 – 1.5″ pans
  • Buttercream Frosting
  • Posts and cardboard for stacking support
  • Fondant
  • Gel Food Coloring (Red and Black)
  • Liquid food coloring (Black and Yellow)
  • Wilton’s Pearl Dust (White, Silver, and Gold)
  • Wilton’s Gum-Tex

Painting the death ray formula on fondant.

Painting the death ray formula on fondant.

For the front portion of the bottom layer, I painted the death ray formula copied from Dr. Horrible’s white board of evil onto white fondant. The “paint” is liquid black food coloring I purchased from my local grocery store (check the baking aisle).


Bottom layer wrapped with the front image.

Bottom layer wrapped with the front image.

Here is the bottom cake layer (if using the shorter baking pans, this would be two layers of cake) covered in chocolate buttercream and wrapped with the front piece of fondant.


The death ray label.

The death ray label.

For the top layer, I colored some fondant bright red and covered the second layer in the same way as the first. I cut the letters for “RAY” out of white fondant with cookie cutters and gently rolled them onto a strip of black fondant. I attached that piece to the red covered layer.

Next, I half cut/half tore off a piece of rolled-out black fondant for the “death” portion of the label. I painted the word “Death” with a mixture of Wilton’s White Pearl Dust and water.

Because of the weight of these extra thick layers (plus the fondant), I used the stacking method described by Pix.


Download the Bad Horse and Horseshoe Silhouette pattern in PDF format.

Download the Bad Horse and Horseshoe Silhouette pattern in PDF format.

For the back of the cake, both layers are covered in one piece of black fondant and then decorated with a silhouette cut-out of Bad Horse and two silver horseshoes. Download the silhouette and horseshoe patterns PDF and use these as you guide. The horseshoes are made from grey fondant dusted with Wilton’s Silver Pearl Dust.

Once that is completed, cover the seams (on the sides where the fondant meets) with a strip of fondant in the color of your choice. I chose gold and wasn’t 100% thrilled with that, but once it was attached… well, I decided it was just dandy.

For the top of the cake, cut a circle of black fondant. If you’re feeling whimsical, use a special cutter that will give you a scalloped or wavy edge. Just place that circle on top of the cake and press down. Make sure that the circle is thick enough that the weight of the goggles won’t easily tear it or poke through.

Building the Fondant Goggles

In truth, you really do have to start with the goggles — there is a fair amount of “waiting for fondant to dry” involved. Several days worth, in fact. So build your goggles first — otherwise your guests will be oohing and ahhing over really pretty, albeit stale, cake.

Making the mold/form for the fondant goggles.

Making the mold/form for the fondant goggles.

I was sitting in front of my computer staring at pictures of Neil Patrick Harris as Dr. Horrible and trying to mold a miniature pair of goggles out of polymer clay. I just wanted to get a feel for the shape of the goggles.

It was not going well.

Mr. Pfoinkle walked in and when he realized what I was doing, he offered, “Would it help if you had a pair of the goggles to look at?” I just stared him. He said, “What? They’re welding goggles, I’ve got a pair in the garage.” Yes, I knew Mr. Pfoinkle had done welding and I knew he had welding goggles. But I’d never seen them. And I didn’t know these goggles were welding goggles.

Mr. Pfoinkle got the goggles. They’re not identical to Dr. Horrible’s, but they were a huge assist in creating the form for the goggles. And this is the critical part — building the form. Mine is made from fondant. If you’re wondering why the fondant looks so lumpy… well, let’s just say that when you break a pair of fondant goggles that you’ve been working on for days, you might just decide to completely redo the everything, including the form… and you might just find that when you rework a big block of fondant that has been drying for days…

I wasn’t worried about the lumps. Dr. Horrible’s goggles are pretty beaten up anyway.

I wish I could give you step-by-step instructions to build your own form, but getting the shape right is more about pushing a big lump of fondant about until it looks right than it is about me figuring out a way to explain the process in five easy steps.


Goggle form covered in shortening.

Goggle form covered in shortening.

Once your goggle form is completed (I covered mine with a layer of red fondant because I had leftover red fondant from another project and okay, I was a little concerned about how lumpy it was), you’ll have to let it harden for several days.

After the form is hardened, slather it with shortening. The shortening provides a barrier that keeps the fondant of the goggles from permanently fusing to the form.


Grey fondant shaped on form.

Grey fondant shaped on form.

Roll out enough grey fondant to cover the form. Because I had already made (and broken) one set of fondant goggles, I added a 1/4 teaspoon of Wilton’s Gum-Tex (purchase at cake supply stores) to the fondant — this makes the fondant a bit tougher and less prone to breakage.

Cover the form the exact same way you would do if you were covering a cake. Trim off the excess and shape the fondant to the form. Be gentle. Be forwarned that the weak points of the goggles are the center points on the front and back. You’re most likely to see cracking and crumbling at the nose piece and in the same spot of the rim on the back of the goggles.

Once the goggles are shaped, allow them to dry for approximately two days.

Now is a good time to start wondering how you’re going to remove the goggles from the form.

Using pneumatics in cake construction.

Using pneumatics in cake construction.

Two days after making my first pair of goggles, the fondant had dried. And I knew I was in trouble. Oh, I had known I was in trouble much earlier on, but now there was no getting around it.

There was no way to get the fondant goggles off the fondant form.

I called in Mr. Pfoinkle. We tossed ideas back and forth. Most of the ideas I had already thought through and dismissed, but then Mr. Pfoinkle said, “What if you could take something, say a straw, and cut holes in the fondant and then blow air into the holes… no that won’t work, forget it.”

I ran to get a straw. Because of the ornaments going on the goggles (the lens and the side vents), I knew I could make a series of holes that would not be visible once the goggles were built. I used the end of the straw to cut through the goggle-layer of fondant (not the form) and remove the small plug. Then I placed the straw back in the shallow hole and blew. At first, nothing, then I saw a section of fondant release (thank goodness for the shortening) and not break. I cut more holes and did more blowing.

Sure, I blacked out a few times, but it worked.

The form covered in plastic wrap with the goggles sitting on top.

The form covered in plastic wrap with the goggles sitting on top.

Once you have the fondant goggles removed from the form, gently wipe off any remaining shortening from the inside of the goggles.

Do NOT place the goggle back on the form, just… trust me on this one.

Cover the form in plastic wrap. Now you can place the goggles back on the form.


One of my favorite tools for painting.

One of my favorite tools for painting.

Now comes the painting portion. You’ll be making liberal use of both gold and silver edible pearl dust. Technically, the goggles are silver in color, but in the Sing-Along Blog, they have a much warmer glow that requires the addition of a bit of gold coloring.

The finished goggles have several layers of paint/dust and I won’t go through each step, but I’ll give you some tips. For the goggles, I never mixed pearl dust with water (or alcohol) to make a “paint”. For my tastes, I achieve better results by dry-brushing the dusts onto the fondant or by applying a coat of food coloring to the goggles and dry brushing the dusts over that. To get the “golden glow”, I painted the already silver goggles with yellow food coloring and then dry-brushed gold dust over that. All of these methods require a very light touch. Too much pressure and the surface of the fondant turns to a sugary mud and you’re right back to grey (having disolved the metallic dusts).

The goggle lens, deconstructed.

The goggle lens, deconstructed.

Once you’ve finished coating your goggles (or when you’re waiting for the latest coat to dry), you can begin work on the lenses. Each lens is made from eleven pieces of black fondant.

The center of the lens is a thick hockey puck of fondant. If you don’t have a cookie cutter the appropriate size, you can make a low usage cutter out of brass shim stock and duct tape.

Or you can cut a circle out of paper and use that as a pattern.

Once you have your hockey puck, roll out a thin piece of fondant that is long enough to wrap around the lens and just taller the lens. This forms the lens “rim”.

Roll out a skinny piece of fondant (again, long enough to wrap around the lens) and wrap this around the bottom of the lens. This forms the base of the lens.

Closeup of the finished lens.

Closeup of the finished lens.


Now cut out eight small rectangles that are the height of the hockey puck minus the piece you just wrapped around the base. These form the deelie-doos that go on the side of the lens.

To give the lens that nicely distressed and well-used look, lightly brush the sides of the lens with powdered sugar or flour. If you get dust on the actual lens (and you will), don’t worry about it too much — once you’ve finished all the dust applications, paint the lens with black food coloring to get that nice glossy look.

Now make another lens. Try to make it the exact same size as the first one. Good luck with that.

The top of the goggles and making that black base piece.

The top of the goggles and making that black base piece.

Having made two pairs of goggles (remember? the first pair broke), I cannot stress enough the importance of this next piece. The black layer of fondant sitting on the top. I didn’t have the piece on the first set of goggles (I had just made a t-shape that went between the lenses).

Remember? The first pair BROKE.

This piece really adds a lot of strength and stability to the goggles. To make this piece, roll out some black fondant. Flip the goggles upside down on the fondant (your goggles are dry, right?) and cut around them. Flip the goggles right side up, place them back on their form and place the piece you just cut out on top of the goggles (don’t moisten it, we’re not attaching at this stage). There will likely be some overhang and places where it just doesn’t fit correctly. But this is fondant, squoosh it around until it looks right. Once you’ve got a nicely fitting piece, remove it, moisten it, and attach it to the goggles.

Attach the lenses to the goggles in the same manner.

Now cut two small and one long rectangles of black fondant. These form the two littly nubby bits over each lens (in real goggles, these are hinges) and the long less-nubby bit over the center (also a hinge). Get those to a pleasing shape and attach them.

Making the goggle vents.

Making the goggle vents.

You can make the six black discs (which are vents) at any time. Just don’t attach them until just before you attach the straps. Otherwise, you will knock them off, they will go shooting across the room and under the sofa and you will be making more because you can’t find the ones you’ve knocked off.

You’ve been warned.

Anyway, these are pretty easy to make (which is great since you need six of them). Cut a thick (thicker than you want the final piece to be) circle of fondant that’s smaller than the final size. Flatten that circle (but keep the circle shape) with the rolling pin. Use the same cutter to cut the center from the flattened circle. Place the new disk on the table and flatten it out just a bit more. Moisten one side of the ring you created and attach it to the disc you just flattened. Then smoosh it about to get the shape you want (which should be rounder than the one pictured).

The fondant strap of the goggles.

The fondant strap of the goggles.

For the strap, I mixed about 1/4 teaspoon of Gum-Tex in with a fairly small amount of brown fondant. This makes for some very tough dry fondant. It also makes the fondant pretty darn easy to work with in ribbon format.

Though I wouldn’t recommend it for fondant that you actually expect to be eaten — it’s got a kind of tangy bitter kick.

I rolled out the fondant and cut a ribbon. Then, because I wanted rough edges and because this Gum-Tex laced fondant was already so dry, I gave it another pass with the rolling pin. This created those rough almost crumbly edges you don’t usually want with fondant, but that were perfect for the strap on the goggles.

Creating the metal pieces that hold the strap in place.

Creating the metal pieces that hold the strap in place.

To attach the strap to the goggles, you need to flat u-shaped pieces of fondant. I created mine by draping ribbons of fondant over two square chopsticks (just happened to be the right width for my goggles) and then trimming off the excess fondant. Allow the fondant to dry on the chopsticks and then paint/coat them to match the metallic finish of the goggles.

Make sure that these pieces are wide enough that the strap fits within the sides.


Attaching the strap with the metallic holders.

Attaching the strap with the metallic holders.

Turn the goggles upside down. Place the strap in the goggles with the ends draped over the sides. Moisten the edges of the u-shaped piece and press it over the strap attaching it directly to the goggles. Repeat on the other side. Allow these pieces to dry thoroughly with goggle resting upside down.

And now you have just created the weakest point on the goggles — not the u-shapes, but the stress they place on the fondant strap. When you place the goggles on the cake, make sure to support the weight of the strap at all times and never let it just dangle. Gum-Tex is good, but it doesn’t work miracles.

And um, that’s pretty much it. Easy-peasy, no?

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Cheesy on the Outside (Captain Hammer’s Cake)

By: Pfoinkle

Captain Hammer Logo Cake with buttercream frosting and fondant accents.

Captain Hammer Logo Cake with buttercream frosting and fondant accents.


Let me be clear. There’s no cheese on (or in) this cake. And it’s not pie. I know Captain Hammer’s cake should be a pie, but this is a blog about cakes.

I don’t know how to make pie.

Captain Hammer Cake Supplies

  • 3 Cake Layers, two yellow, one chocolate
  • Buttercream Frosting
  • Fondant
  • Gel Food Coloring (Brown, Yellow, Black)
  • Wilton’s Silver Pearl Dust

And sometimes there's a third, even deeper level.

And sometimes there's a third, even deeper level.

Yellow cake seemed an excellent choice for Captain Hammer (you know, because of his logo), but I didn’t want just a yellow cake. The top layer is yellow cake, the second (middle layer) is chocolate, and the bottom layer is yellow cake.

And sometimes there’s a third even deeper level and that one’s the same as the top surface level.

Frost the cake with chocolate buttercream frosting and use the paper towel method to smoothe the buttercream.

Making the fondant Captain Hammer Logo

Making the fondant Captain Hammer Logo

The logo on the top is made from fondant. Download theCaptain Hammer Logo pattern and cut the circle out of yellow fondant, the hammer haft out of brown fondant, and the hammer head out of grey fondant.

Dry brush Silver Pearl Dust on the grey fondant hammer head. Attach the hammer to the circle my lightly moistening the back of the pieces and placing them on the circle.


Pressing the fondant logo into the buttercream.

Pressing the fondant logo into the buttercream.

Allow the fondant logo to “rest” for 10-15 minutes and then place it on top of the buttercream frosted cake. Gently press the logo edges down into the buttercream.


The Captain Hammer cake before adding trim.

The Captain Hammer cake before adding trim.

At this stage, I thought I was finished with the cake. But it needed more, something to pull it together.

Something to make it look less like a big chocolate ball.


The manly cake ruffle.

The manly cake ruffle.

I thought about piping a buttercream border around the base, but dismissed the idea as “too feminine”. Imagine my chagrin when I ended up making a fondant ruffle for the base of the cake. When I realized what I had done, I considered removing the border. But Mr. Pfoinkle walked in and as I was bemoaning the ruffleness of it all, he stared at the cake. And then he said,

“Lacy, gently wafting curtains.”

I married well.

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