Saturday, February 16, 2013

Monsters, Inc. Cake

I started this post in June of 2012, right after James' birthday party. Unfortunately, it sat unfinished for months and months - darn procrastination got the better of me!! Here it is though...finally. I have done a couple more cakes since this one, so hopefully I can get those posted fairly soon as well and put the kabosh to my procrastination demon. ;)


When I finished school in March, one of the things I was most excited about was to expand my creativity when it came to my kids' birthday parties and cakes. I definitely feel that I achieved that with James' 5th birthday cake. =)

James is absolutely obsessed with Monsters, Inc. Every time the kids get to watch a movie he always begs for this movie, and could literally watch it over, and over, and over again. Because of this, I figured there was no better choice of a party for him.

If anyone else has tried to have a Monsters, Inc. birthday party, you would realize that there is pretty much NOTHING out there in terms of invitation, decorations, etc. Oftentimes, it is easy to use figurines or different little items on top of a cake in order to make it what you are hoping for - that wasn't possible with this cake. I had to get a little more creative....after searching the internet (which is AWESOME for finding cake ideas), I figured out what I was going to do.

It all started with dying cake batter the two different colors of Sully's fur, teal and purple:

Then I took wax paper, cut it the same size as the bottom of my pan and laid it on the bottom:

Next I began by putting 2 tablespoons of the teal batter right in the center of the circle pan, followed by 2 tablespoons of the purple batter. I just continued this pattern until half of the batter was in the pan (I did two cakes, with only one pan, so I had to do one cake and then wait to do the second one). I learned about this awesome method at a fellow cake lover's blog post, where the blogger mentioned that you shouldn't shake the pan to level out the batter. Just let gravity to it's thing...

After baking the cake, my next step was to decorate the cake!! I began by printing off an enlarged picture of Sully, Boo, and Mike from the internet (I also reversed the picture so that the lettering was backwards):

I taped the picture to my kitchen counter, and then took wax paper and taped that over top of the picture:

Next step included starting with the black outline of the picture with a fine, icing tip:

Once all of the outlines were done, I started adding colors:

The final piece to this puzzle, included adding a thick white layer of frosting on the entire back of the piped picture (it doesn't have to be pretty, it only has to cover the whole back of the picture):

I put the wax paper with the frosting in our freezer overnight. The next morning I frosted the cake with plain white frosting, took the frozen "picture" out of our freezer and easily placed it on top of the cake, and then added a little more icing around the "picture" part so that it blended nicely together:

It was hard for anyone to believe that I had actually piped the picture on the top of the cake, and I think they were even more surprised when we cut into the cake and it reflected the movie as much on the inside as it did on the outside:

It was a HUGE hit with the kids (and adults!!) and I was so excited to find a new way of making the kids' birthday cakes fun! I love finding new cake-baking methods, and this one definitely is a new favorite.

Happy 5th Birthday, James!!


  1. I love this! I've been looking at tons of Monsters Inc. cakes online and yours is my favorite! I'm not a fan of fondant, so I love your cake! I might be missing something, though. How do you not squish your "picture" when you put the white frosting on the back before you freeze it? It looks like you have it facedown on the counter, so I'm confused. Thanks!

    1. Sorry for the late reply, life just gets so crazy busy sometimes!! :) You don't squish the picture, because you're only putting a light layer over top of the picture you created. You don't put it on in any special way, or push down when putting it on; just a thick layer of icing put all over it. It's mainly to cover up any holes that might be in the picture, and gives you a foundation to lay on the cake. I had a hard time wrapping my mind around it the first time I ever did it, but once I just did it - I was amazed at how nice it looked! Good luck on making your own awesome cake!! :)

  2. Love this idea!!! Thank you...I'm borrowing it for my 3 year olds birthday party September 1st! I love that you can use the same concept each year for whatever the child's latest favorite is! Thanks again!

    1. I'm glad you like it!! I can't wait to hear how yours turns out in September! It definitely is fun when you can make a special cake for your little one.

  3. This is the buttercream transfer method. I love it. I've done so many cakes with this method. I usually make my own buttercream, so that I can let it crust, and smooth it out with a viva paper towel. It gives the cake a nice finish. I don't pipe a thick backing on mine, either. Just a thin layer that will be enough to do the job. I've found the thicker I make it the more icing I have to use to blend it in. I've even done actual human faces this way. Anyone can do this. :) Here are my cakes if you're interested: