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PVC structure for cakes

    I am still a new cake artist, and am far from perfect. I had an order for a children’s birthday party, in which the customer wanted a 3D character from a popular children’s show, Yo Gabba Gabba. I searched all over Cakesdecor and CC, as well as on the web, and was not able tyo find very many tutorials, let alone info on how to build PVC armature. I found a premade armature set on Caljava, but for $90.. well, that’s a tad expensive. I studied the structure, and went to my local hardware store and purchased all of the items I needed. For this particular cake, here are the items I purchased:

  • 3/4 inch PVC pipe (the white one)
  • 2- 90 degree 3/4 inch elbow
  • 2- 45 degree 3/4 inch elbow
  • 1- cross connector ( not sure if that’s the proper name for it)
  • 4 inch PVC cutters (which work great dor cutting dowels also)
  • A small sheet of partical board
  • wood screws

    I sketched up a rough draft if what I wanted my cake to look like before I went to the hardware store. 
My total was roughly about $25.00. I cut a 16 inch board to use as my base, and two 10 inch rounds to use as the cake supports where I would be stacking onto. Here is a picture of my structure.

    I cleaned all the pipes and flanges, and I measured how long I wanted his torso, his head etc., and used the cutters to cut where needed, then put everything together. I used the 90 degree elbows for his legs, the 45 degree elbows were used for his elbows lol and the cross conector is what I used to connect his torso to his head, and arms, and legs. Once I got him put together, I decided where I wanted to place him on the board, and once I found a placement that I liked, I then drilled the flanges to the board using the wood screws. I did this in the beginning of the week.


    I baked off my cakes (rainbow cakes :D) and the following day torted and stacked them. I precut holes in my cake board so that I could slide them down the PVC pipe with ease, when stacking. I used a small round cutter to cut holes in the cake as well.


    I also made RKT to use for the arms and legs of my character. I use the basic recipe, but in case you don’t have it, here it is :

3 tablespoons butter or margarine
1 package (10 oz., about 40) regular marshmallows
— OR —
4 cups miniature marshmallows
6 cups Kellogg’s® Rice Krispies® cereal

1. In large saucepan melt butter over low heat. Add marshmallows and stir until completely melted. Remove from heat.

2. Add KELLOGG’S RICE KRISPIES cereal. Stir until well coated.

3. Using buttered spatula or wax paper evenly press mixture into 13×9 x 2-inch pan coated with cooking spray. Cool. Cut into 2-inch squares. Best if served the same day.

In microwave-safe bowl heat butter and marshmallows on HIGH for 3 minutes, stirring after 2 minutes. Stir until smooth. Follow steps 2 and 3 above. Microwave cooking times may vary.


    I made about 4 batches for what I needed. Sticking them to the PVC pipe was a bit tricky. I used plastic wrap to prep the arms and legs where the RKT would be. I used melted marshmallows to adhere the RKT to the PVC. I then stuck the structure in the refridgerator to firm up, and once they were hard I began to stack the cakes on, I slid them onto the pipe. I then crumb coateded the cake, and allowed it to firm up, and used a grass tip to pipe  his fur detail. Once his fur was on, I iced the board, and used brown sugar for the “sand” on the ground. Brobee land is kinda brownish orange, so I thought it would go with it lol. I made a plaque similar to the YGG logo, and piped the inscription.

    As I said earlier, I am still new at this, and this was my VERY FIRST 3D cake. I wanted to post this because, even though I am not the best, I thought it would help anyone looking for info on 3D structures. Hope it helps. And if you have any feedback, please let me know.


Here is my finished Brobee, he stood 2 feet tall, and boy was he heavy! lol:-P


Comments (25)

That is simply wonderful.  To know that someone can make a 3D cake at home without 50 shop assistants is GREAT!
Wow! People have no idea how much work there is behind a cake like this! Awesome!!  
MBalaska Thank you :-) 
Swedish Cakes yes!! my wrist is STILL hurting from all the piping lol
Thanks a bunch!..:)
He looks just Awesome! Thanks for taking the time to share!
You did an amazing job he looks perfect!! And you're totally right, this posting is extremely informative!! I will definitely be referencing it if I ever get a cake order of this nature so thank you in advance!!
 awesome - wow, amazing!
Wow we never know what"s in us until we try, just amazing
 Love this.  Great job.
I love the result of your hard work and the sharing; good job, thumbs up!
You did an amazing job and should be VERY proud of yourself! You not only made a great cake but you also wrote a clear, concise tutorial. Youve inspired me to wander over to the hardware store today! If this was your 1st attempt I cant wait to see your next one!!
Wow amazing for your first structure! Excellent description for tutorial,
Great cake!!  I went to my local box hardware store tonight & they did not have the metal base piece.  Can you tell me what department you found it in?  Thanks!!
How were you able to do the torso? And how many hours do you think everything took? It's absolutely amazing! You should be very proud!
This is just adorable... Love, love, love it! You are so very talented 😊
Great job for a VERY FIRST 3D CAKE! You are AMAZING! Thank you for sharing! Love it!!! XO
Thank you everyone for all the kind comments
mppooh I got it in the plumning aisle. It's a metal flange 
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