Elmo Pull Apart Cake

Baking By ConnersMama08 Updated 1 Nov 2010 , 5:02pm by momto2pottsy

ConnersMama08 Posted 26 Oct 2010 , 5:32pm
post #1 of 10

Hi! I just joined, in need of baking tips. I am not really a newbie to baking but this will be my first time doing a birthday cake.
My son is turning 2 on December 27 and I want to make him a pull apart cake in the shape of Elmo.

My questions are...
what kind of frosting tip will I need to make Elmo's fur?

I have heard that you should freeze to prevent cakes from crumbling, when frosting them. How long would I need to keep the cupcakes in the freezer?

What part of the cake would you frost first? I am not sure whether it will be easier to start with his mouth or not...I'm just don't want to mess this up.

I have never had much luck at getting frosting to turn red. Even with red food coloring, my frosting always looks pink. Any tips on achieving a bright red color?

Any other useful tips you have on making a pull apart cake will be much appreciated. Thanks so much!!! I need all the help I can get! icon_smile.gif

9 replies
pmarks0 Posted 26 Oct 2010 , 6:20pm
post #2 of 10


A cupcake cake is really quite easy. I've never frozen the cupcakes first. I guess you could. The way I was firs taught was the following:

1. Decide you you're placing the cupcakes on your cake board to minimize the number of holes and then use a little frosting on the bottom to "glue" them down.
2. Regardless of whether you're doing a picture (ie Elmo) on top (see my Halloween cake in my photos) or you're actually going to make the whole cake a picture (see my Santa cake in my photos), you need to put a fairly thick layer of icing over all of the cupcakes to make a base and a smooth area for the image. If you're doing something like my Santa cake, you can use a bit less as you'll be adding quite a bit of icing on top.
3. Once you've got your cake iced, you can take your picture of Elmo and using piping gel, place a piece of waxed or parchment paper on top of the picture and draw the outlines of the picture with the piping gel. When done, turn it over onto the surface of your cake and using a light brush, gentle "paint" the outline onto the cake surface.
4. Then using your colours outline the picture in black (or another colour if desired) and then fill in the picture with whichever colours you're using and your choice of tip. I used a star tip for the Halloween image. If you want to do Elm's fur, you could use a grass tip like #133. I think there is another that is also a grass tip.


poohsmomma Posted 26 Oct 2010 , 6:32pm
post #3 of 10

Hello, and welcome to CC! I'll be glad to help with what I can...

First, the frosting. I love Indydebi's bc. It's a shortening based recipe, and it tastes great.
Here's a link: http://cakecentral.com/recipes/6992/indydebis-crisco-based-buttercream-icing

I freeze cakes, but not cupcakes. There's not much crumbling that happens when you frost the top of a cupcake.
If I were frosting Elmo, I would lay out the cupcakes in the shape I needed. I would frost the whole cupcake cake with white buttercream, and then use the grass tip to pipe the red bc on in the shape of Elmo. I would color the mouth first before piping the "fur" around it. I would use fondant for the eyes so they pop up like Elmo's do.

I have made a couple of pull apart/cupcake cakes. I used a small glue dot, available in craft stores, on the bottom of the cupcakes to hold them to the board. I preferred this to having icing on the bottom of the cupcake that might get on the kids' clothes.

momto2pottsy Posted 26 Oct 2010 , 7:00pm
post #4 of 10

Hello! I'm also doing a pull-apart cake for my daughter's 2nd birthday next week.
I just have a couple of questions: Even though you "glue" the cupcakes to the board, do they move around when you're smoothing the bc?
@ poohsmama: I also use IndyDebi's bc(best tasting bc I have ever had!) Do you just use more ps to get a stiffer consistancy? I used it this weekend and it was a perfect consistancy at first, but as I kept using it the heat from my hands started making it runny. Also, when i added more milk to make it thinner to ice the cake, it turned grainy when I added colour. Did I not mix it long enough?
Any help would be much appreciated!!! Thankyou guys in advance!

KMKakes Posted 26 Oct 2010 , 10:56pm
post #5 of 10

I have similar questions and a post about it as well: will the cupcakes move when icing them, even with thick icing will it still fall between the cupcakes? How do I keep the outside edges of frosting on the cupcake cake from droopy or looking extra sloppy (some designs look better with sort of clean edging?)
I use indydebi's icing as well. I have some similar issues with the icing consistency as momto2pottsy: perfect at first, then becomes runny, it did become grainy (I even sifted my ps) and with the gel colors it seemed to separate (color streaked/beaded up after tons of remixing in between).

I have frozen leftover cupcakes in the past, but when baking for others outside of my own home I baked them fresh. After thawing the top of the cupcakes are moist.
thanks pmarks0 for clearing up some of my other questions!!!

pmarks0 Posted 27 Oct 2010 , 2:53am
post #6 of 10

KMKakes - you want to position the cupcake to minimize the gaps between them as best you can. You don't want big gaps or the icing will fall between. And no, I didn't find that the cupcakes moved around once they were "glued" down. Doing the initial thick layer I would use medium consistency. And to get a smooth edge around the outside edge, just run your spatula around it, much like you would the sides of a cake, without icing the sides of this cake. icon_wink.gif When your ready to pipe the design, I would use a thin consistency as it will be easier to pipe stars and such with as well.

I don't use IndyDebi's icing; I use SugarShack's and I've never had any issue colouring it. All I can think of that might be happening is that perhaps you're adding too much in that it will thin the icing? But that would have to be an awful lot. The other issues would have to be addressed by either IndyDebi or someone who uses her icing.

KerrieD Posted 27 Oct 2010 , 3:13am
post #7 of 10

I just did an Elmo cake and I needed 1 1/2 cups red icing. I used about
1 1/2 jars of Wilton no taste red with a tiny bit of orange (according to Wilton instructions). It takes alot! I read somewhere that Americolor red is good also but I haven't tried that.

madgeowens Posted 27 Oct 2010 , 3:37am
post #8 of 10


This is not pull apart or cupcakes, but I did elmo with butter cream and used the grass tip
I also used a lot of no taste red by wilton........it gets redder over night

poohsmomma Posted 28 Oct 2010 , 9:06pm
post #9 of 10

Sorry, momto2pottsy, I just saw your question. (I'm still not having success with the "view posts since last visit" button.)
Anyway, I just use the regular Indydebi BC recipe. The icing doesn't have to be stiff for a cupcake cake. I use it just as the recipe states for crumb coating, frosting, and decorating a cake. The only time I use a little less milk in the recipe is if I know I have to add a lot of gel color to get a bright or vivid shade.

momto2pottsy Posted 1 Nov 2010 , 5:02pm
post #10 of 10

Thankyou poohsmama! Sorry it took me so long to reply, busy wkend! I'm making the pull apart cake this weekend! I'll let you know how it goes!
Thanks everyone!

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