Cake Sculpting

Decorating By dbspencer Updated 28 Jul 2009 , 9:38pm by colagal

dbspencer Posted 19 Mar 2008 , 10:35pm
post #1 of 24

I would very much like to learn how to sculpt cakes, HELP!!!

23 replies
TooMuchCake Posted 19 Mar 2008 , 11:40pm
post #2 of 24

Can you give us an idea what you'd like to make? Do you want to do something carved but laying down flat, or carved and with height? There are lots of sculptors on here and we can help you once we know more about what you want to make.

Start with a sturdy cake. Some people carve them frozen, others (like myself) do not. You'll need to experiment a little and see what works best for you. There's no one way to get the job done.

Most of my sculptures are done in buttercream but I'm working on a big one for Easter right now that involves a lot of fondant and modeling chocolate. Are you comfortable working with fondant?


daveilg Posted 23 Mar 2008 , 4:56am
post #3 of 24

Ditto on Toomuchcake. If you let us know what you want, we can help. I also do 3D carving. I am more than willing to help, either on the forum or through PM's. Each shape has a little different technique to get what you want so say the word and we're there! thumbs_up.gif

jack109 Posted 23 Mar 2008 , 5:14am
post #4 of 24

Glad someone posted on this subject. My sons 18th Birthday is Wednesday and I am trying to replicate his car. I am a newbie and know nothing about the best way to carve or sculpt cake. He has a Honda Civic and I want to replicate it as close as I can possibly get. I have saved TJCanadian's Toyota Prius as my inspiration, but I am not really sure how to get there. Any help would be appreciated!

kansaswolf Posted 23 Mar 2008 , 5:15am
post #5 of 24

I'm a little newer than some of the cake sculptors on here, but I've learned a FEW things alont the way! Yes, it very much depends on where you're wanting to go with carving, because some of us will have more experience with one area or another: animals, topsy-turvy, scenery, etc...

kansaswolf Posted 23 Mar 2008 , 5:16am
post #6 of 24

On second thought, it's not so much where you want to GO with your carving, it's where do you want to START! icon_biggrin.gif Gotta start someplace, then build off of there!

TooMuchCake Posted 23 Mar 2008 , 1:57pm
post #7 of 24

Jack109, you could start with either sheet cakes stacked up and carve out the car, or you could start with the Wilton 3D Cruiser pan and carve your Civic out of the single piece of cake you'd wind up with if you used the Cruiser pan. If you're nervous about doing a lot of carving, I'd recommend starting with the Cruiser pan, because it already has wheel locations marked out for you.

I'd find a brochure or something that has a good side and front view of the car so that you can use those to do the math for scaling it down - unless you want to keep running out to the driveway to get measurements! LOL


jack109 Posted 23 Mar 2008 , 2:23pm
post #8 of 24

Deanna, you have to do math and measurements?! Oh I am doomed already! I purchased a wilton car pan but I just don't think it will work. It is not the cruiser, it is a sports car. I plan on just using sheet cakes. Should I freeze them first? Thanks for the help.


RatNTam Posted 23 Mar 2008 , 2:25pm
post #9 of 24

Hi all - I'm fairly new to decorating cakes as well, been doing it about 2 years now, but just now starting to "sell" them rather than just doing them for family & friends. My husband wants to know if I can do a sculped cake of a 356 Porsche for his boss, I have NO idea of where to even begin. I do have the cruiser pan (did that one for my son's 16th birthday) but a 356 doesn't look anything like that car -- any/all help, tips, suggestions would be Greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance!!

TooMuchCake Posted 23 Mar 2008 , 2:39pm
post #10 of 24

The Cruiser pan is pretty versatile, really, but if you don't want to use it, no problem. You'll need to carve away some cake regardless, and if you'd rather carve it off of sheet cakes, that certainly works.

Depending on how exact your son wants his car to look, some measurements will be important to get the proportions right. Pick something easy, like a wheel, and and figure out how many "wheels" tall the cake is, how many "wheels" long it is, etc. This gives you a way to check that the car isn't getting too tall to look right, or too wide to look right, or whatever.

If he's not particular, then you've got it easy and can just wing it. Sometimes I wing it, sometimes not, depending on how realistic I need something to turn out.

You can find pics of your cars on the 'net, a side view, front and top if you can, and enlarge them to the size you need and use those for templates to carve around. That might be the easiest way for the two of you to get started.


ladyonzlake Posted 23 Mar 2008 , 2:47pm
post #11 of 24

I just recently carved my first car cake and what I did was to find a side view photo of it on the internet and I made it the size I wanted. I made 2 copies (one for each side of the cake) and I used it as a template to carve my cake with.

daveilg Posted 23 Mar 2008 , 3:54pm
post #12 of 24

Kim, Deanna has you going great. In addition I usually print out a front, side, and back pix of the car. Then I use them as a guide I can hold up next to the cake so I get the carvings at least as close as possible. Remember this is cake and no one will measure to see if the wheels are the right size or if the proportions are accurate. Stop fretting and just have FUN with it!!!!! My Lightening McQueen was way off but everyone still enjoyed it.

JUST HAVE FUN icon_biggrin.gifthumbs_up.gif


paolacaracas Posted 23 Mar 2008 , 4:14pm
post #13 of 24

I know this been asked before, but what is the better recipe for a carved cake?

daveilg Posted 23 Mar 2008 , 4:18pm
post #14 of 24

The absolute best are pound cakes but I'm not happy with their heavy texture so I just use a basic chocolate or yellow cake and have had pretty good success. They seem to hold up well when carving, as long as they are cooled well first, and everyone loves the taste.

TooMuchCake Posted 23 Mar 2008 , 4:38pm
post #15 of 24

The best recipes to use really depend on what you're making, and you have to take your skill level into account. I don't like any beginner sculptors in my classes to use anything other than pound cake, but I often use "regular" cake when I'm doing it myself because I've done this often enough before that I know how the cake will behave and how certain ones hold their detail. Beginners are often easily frustrated, and I think it's wise to give them all the tools you can to ensure their success - such as dense cake and templates.

The Cake Mix Doctor books have some awesome pound cake recipes in them. YUM!


jack109 Posted 23 Mar 2008 , 6:35pm
post #16 of 24

Dave, thanks for the encouragement, I so want this cake to work out and look just like my son's car. He works on it all the time and is his pride and joy. I went out today and took pictures of the small details such as the head and tail lights, his license plate, the outside mirrors and his tires. I am making the tires out of RKT like someone suggested. I have the cake doctor book so I will look up a pound cake recipe. I was going to use a box french vanilla cake, but I think I will do whatever will work best for my first carved cake. If anyone has a recipe they would like to post I would appreciate it! By the way, your car cake looks great.

daveilg Posted 23 Mar 2008 , 6:47pm
post #17 of 24

Toomuchcake is right, I also would, as my first attempt, a pound cake. They're easy to bake and even easier to cake.

Good luck and post a pic!!!


jack109 Posted 26 Mar 2008 , 7:45pm
post #18 of 24

Okay, I finally got the cake done. I have lost alot of sleep over this cake and finally it is done. It didn't turn out as good as I wanted, but my son liked it and knew it took alot of time. Thanks to all who helped. Using the pound cake was a lifesaver I think. It was much easier to sculpt than what I would have thought regular cake would be. I froze it also and burnt my electric knife up carving it. I guess it was still too frozen!

prplnoodles Posted 26 Mar 2008 , 10:08pm
post #19 of 24

I know that you have now finished the cake, but another suggestion that I have for a model is to use Hot Wheels or Matchbox cars. I can set them right on top of a container on my counter and I have a 3-D replica of the car I am trying to carve and can turn it any way I need to. You can find almost any make and model of any vehicle you might want.

colagal Posted 28 Jul 2009 , 9:23pm
post #20 of 24

I have been a cake decorator for 30 years on and off. I am also an artist and sculptor. I want to expand my skills into cake sculpting. Where do I begin. If I want to do clay pots with flower and a garden swing with a bride and groom on top. Where do I begin?

TooMuchCake Posted 28 Jul 2009 , 9:33pm
post #21 of 24

Colagal, you can go to my website at and look through the free tutorials on there.


TooMuchCake Posted 28 Jul 2009 , 9:35pm
post #22 of 24

Sorry, double post!

daveilg Posted 28 Jul 2009 , 9:35pm
post #23 of 24

If you want a garden scene I would start with a flat cake , then, depending on how big you want the flower pots, stack and carve them from rounds. I have seen people who get real clay pots, new, clean and prepar them as a reg cake pan and bake the cake right in them. As for the swing I would use dowels as support and cover them with rice krispie treat then with your icing of choice. The seat of the swing could be done the same way and would support a bride and groom of fondant or modeling chocolate.

Hope this gets you started!!

ps: send me a PM or you may call if you need extra help. 910-867-7908

colagal Posted 28 Jul 2009 , 9:38pm
post #24 of 24

I have been a cake decorator for 30 years on and off. I am also an artist and sculptor. I want to expand my skills into cake sculpting. Where do I begin. If I want to do clay pots with flower and a garden swing with a bride and groom on top. Where do I begin?

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