Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Inside Out Movie Cake / Disney Pixar Surprise Inside


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I've been SO excited to share this technique with you guys for such a long time!!! I was waiting. And waiting. Thought I'd save it for a book.


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But the cat is out of the bag now. Someone else figured it out recently on their own and shared it on Facebook and youtube. So my big reveal is now just eh. Hopefully you'll still find the tucking of tiny polka dots in your cakes as fun as I do!

Photo courtesy of Disney Pixar Inside Out
Photo courtesy of Disney Pixar Inside Out
When I learned that Disney was making a movie called, "Inside Out," the title alone made me sure that I HAD to design a surprise inside cake around it. And then I learned there were polka dots in the movie! Memory Orbs. Absolutely perfect for this method!

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Here are some earlier mini polka dots.
A surprise inside polka dot pumpkin cake.

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And this fun confetti colored polka dot naked birthday cake.

But we're here to talk about how you can make your own Surprise Inside "Inside Out" polka dot cake. So let's get started!!!

This method is different from my original Surprise Inside Polka Dot Cake in that it will produce the same size dots in every slice. And you don't need a special cake pop pan. Just some piping bags and you're set to go!


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I usually begin with white cupcakes for the crumbs so that the colors will stay true. I use two cookie sheets on the rack above to deflect some of the heat. This way the tops don't brown.

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Twenty four cupcakes from one Duncan Hines cake mix all baked and ready to rumble. Er, crumble.

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Perfectly baked and yummy looking but no tasting of these beauties just yet.

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I always try to use white paper liners when making cupcakes for crumbs. Any slight browning that occurs mostly sticks to the paper so you end up with whiter crumbs.

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The bowl in the front has crumbs from the same brand of cake mix baked in a jelly roll pan with parchment and cookie sheets above during baking. So much browner than the cupcake crumbs in the rear bowl. Which is fine if you're making dark colors. But I only used the white ones here.

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The white crumbs from one baked Duncan Hines mix were divided evenly (about 1 1/8 cups per bowl) between five bowls. Then about 1/2 cup of batter from a second double batch of white cake mix was added to each bowl.

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Once the crumbs and batter were well mixed, each bowl was tinted with Americolor gel color to coordinate with the Sixlets colors. I choose these candies for their bright and shiny finish, wide color assortment, perfect size and taste. They're chocolate. And delicious. Plus they are so tiny and cute that they couldn't possibly contain more than 3 calories each. I hope.

You can buy them in bulk by the color at some candy shops. I found mine at the local party supply but they don't seem to offer them online. Probably 'cuz they're chocolate. You can also buy them here.

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I used a number 12 round piping tip from Wilton. But I only had one so I measured 1" from the point of the the remaining bags and cut them to match the size of opening of the tip.

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Five fun filled piping bags filled with the crumb/batter mixture to match the Sixlets candies! BTW, these chip clips work WONDERFULLY for sealing up your piping bags. Just give the bag a twist after filling and snap in place. SO much easier to remove than a twist tie or rubber band when you need to refill or clean up. Thanks to Georganne of LilaLoa for this great idea!

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These were the templates I designed a couple of years ago and edited for this project. I only ended up loosely following them in the end.  I didn't have room for the last two rings in the center so maybe next time I'd start with a smaller piping tip. Or not. Six rows of dots in each slice was plenty.

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I used ten somewhat straight sided aluminum foil pans at about .25 each to avoid waiting for each pan to bake. I don't own that many real pans of the same size. But you can substitute real ones if you'd like. The price tag said they were 7 inches but they only measured 5 1/2 inches at the bottom so be sure to measure before you plan out your cake. Spray each pan with Baker's Joy or grease and flour. You may want to add a parchment round and spray again just to make sure they don't stick to the bottom.

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Add 3 Tablespoons of batter to each pan and tilt and rotate pan to distribute evenly. The batter barely covers the pan but that's what you want.

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Starting at the outside edge of the pan, pipe six rows of the crumb/batter mixture on top of the batter, alternating colors for each ring. Repeat for the remaining nine pans. Be sure to switch up the order of the colors. 

Here's the order I used but you can mix it up any old way you'd like:
Ring One: Red, Purple, Green, Blue, Yellow, Red. 
Ring Two: Purple, Green, Blue, Yellow, Red, Purple. 
Ring Three: Green, Blue, Yellow, Red, Purple, Green.
Ring Four: Blue, Yellow, Red, Purple, Green, Blue.
Ring Five: Yellow, Red, Purple, Green, Blue, Yellow.
Repeat Rings 1-5 for the second set of five pans.

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I misjudged the number of rings since I thought the pans measured at least 6 inches across to match the templates. Silly girl with no tape measure! I also ran out of certain colors toward the end so I just piped what I had without following the 5th ring order for the last two pans. No biggie. The colors in the movie are supposed to be random anyways but I was attempting to distribute the colors evenly so as not to run out. And I almost made it!

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Here's a shot of the first five pans. There was a second set of five pans for 10 total layers. Sounds like a lot but they were very thin layers. Plus I wanted a tall barrel type cake to imitate the towers.

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Once the ten pans were filled with the piped rings, I added 3 more tablespoons of white batter.

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Then I used a silicone brush dipped in water to gently smooth the batter over the rings.

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Little foil tags marked the pans indicating which template was in which pan. This helped later when stacking the layers. The layers were baked at 350F in two batches. Mine were done at about 20 minutes.

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Here's a layer all baked. You can still see the ring colors so the labels probably weren't all that necessary but I wasn't sure about that part when I started this little project. And looking at the tag numbers was much easier than matching the layers to the templates during assembly.

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I wanted all of the layers to be level without having to trim each one and risk cutting off those precious dots. So I used the damp paper towel method for flattening. Once you try it, you'll be hooked and may never trim a cake layer again.

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The paper towel edges were folded over and then the layers were stacked with a couple of bowls to help flatten them as they cooled. Which took no time at all since they were so thin.

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Again, the rings are plainly visible so you don't really need the foil labels but I threw them in the bags just in case. This size fit perfectly in a quart Ziploc storage bag. Plastic wrap would also work but I just wash and reuse the bags for other baking projects.

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The layers were laid in single layers inside quarter sheet pans and then stacked in the freezer before the crumb coat.

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And then it was time for the buttercream. You can see how light it started out. I almost always get my shades too dark so this time I was extra careful and played it safe on the lighter side.

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Once the layers were frozen, they were stacked starting with template 5 at the bottom. Then 4, 3, 2, 1 and then the second set of five layers on top using the same order.

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The first crumb coat before they were off to the freezer to firm up again.

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Then the final top coat and back to the freezer. See how dark the purple buttercream turned out? An even layer thick enough to hold the Sixlets is all you need since there's already a good amount of icing between those ten layers. And you don't need to get all crazy with the smoothing on the sides since they'll be completely covered in chocolate.  Oh! Doesn't that sound nice? I want to be completely covered in chocolate too! Sorry. Squirrel. Just make sure you have nice level sides and a smooth flat top.

I started with about a cup of each of Sixlets candies for four of the colors and twice as much of the yellow since JOY was prominent in the movie. I only ended up using about a half a cup of each of the four colors and one cup of yellow when it was complete. Snacks!!!

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The shelves between each row of Sixlets were made of wafer paper. It's inexpensive and lightweight but you may want to tell your guest to peel it off before eating. It's not great tasting but rather tasteless. I added a drop or two of oil based candy flavor during the coloring process but the texture is well, like eating paper. Kids might love this part but adults . . . not so much.

I cut two arcs for each shelf and then placed them as I went. The ends were overlapped slightly for a continuous band. I also used four straight strips (not shown) to duplicate the vertical lines shown in the movie. Just slide the arcs between the rows and the buttercream will anchor them in place. My cake used eighteen shelves x2 per shelf or 36 arcs.

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The arcs and strips were colored with oil based candy color and a brush. I dabbed off so the excess color so that it wouldn't stain those lovely shiny candies.

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Here's a shot of the rows before I added the 4 vertical strips. 
(And before I froze it. Try to avoid this. Read on . . . )

The topper for the cake was a hand cut black fondant silhouette with chocolate lettering inspired by one of the movie's teasers. Really easy to do. And you never want to expose yourself to my attempts at modeling figures! I truly can't afford the therapy costs involved for all parties. Myself included.

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Do you hear voices? I've never been properly introduced to all of mine but they're in there. The purple disk behind the silhouette is chocolate so that the topper could be removed easily before slicing.

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Here's the cake with the vertical strips in place. They were just tucked under the top and bottom shelves once the cake was complete.

And then it was time to cut it open and see how many Sixlets would fly across the floor. I almost always try to slice my cakes when they're frozen or very chilled but once you add the Sixlets and wafer paper, putting the decorated cake in the freezer is a big no-no. The coating on the candies will dull slightly and get watery as the cake thaws. Not a great look. This cake WAS frozen after decorating. My mistake. So you don't have to make the same one. I know, I know. Do as I say. Not as I do.

The four previous photos show the cake after freezing and thawing. Although the pictures don't show it well, those little candies got quite moist and could no longer be touched without smudging.  Good news is that the wafer paper stayed in place and didn't warp. There was an excellent chance of that since wafer paper shrivels and shrinks when it comes in direct contact with any moisture (and buttercream) but it held up well for whatever reason.

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Here's the sliced cake! Tah-daaaa!!! It's really just half a slice or 5 of the ten layers. That kind of slice would require an entire platter. And a turkey fork.

From inside your head to inside your cake to inside your jeans in a matter of hours! Unless you don't have a slice. Dare you. Double dare you.  


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One of those little voices is surely saying, "Go on, have a bite." And the other, "DON'T. DO. IT." Which one will prevail?


NOTES:
I was only kidding about the Sixlets flying over the kitchen during cutting. But they did. EVERYWHERE. Perhaps cutting over a tray with a lip would help. Or leave the outside plain for even more contrast and surprise. Just throw a few candies on the plate during serving.

The wafer paper doesn't slice so easily. I'd like to say that the cake sliced nicely when using a hot knife. It didn't. Maybe remove the wafer paper before cutting.

Since the cake is too tall (7 inches! and about 6 1/2" across with the candies) for one lengthwise slice to be a serving, use a second cake round between the sets of five layers. I like the plastic corrugated kind that hold up better than cardboard. Especially in a cake this moist. I didn't use any straws or any other type of supports and the cake held up just fine.

The white cake between the dots almost disappears which is the look I was after. Yay! And finally, the cake stayed really moist with all the frosting!


Stuff you need for this: 

The colors I used were Americolor Super Red, Regal Purple, Electric Green, Royal Blue and Lemon Yellow.

I used a total of 3 Duncan Hines white cake mixes and the ingredients called for on the box along with a double batch of buttercream. There was some batter and frosting left over.

Sixlets: about 1/2 cup of four colors and 1 cup yellow for a total of about 1 1/2 pounds.

Wafer paper is available online. I used 3 or 4 of the large sheets. You'll also need candy color and an edible marker for tracing your template as well as scissors and a ruler.


Thanks for stopping by!

xoxo,
Deborah









27 comments:

Anonymous said...

Very nice work. Thank you .

L. Z.

Deborah Stauch said...

Thanks so much L.Z.!

Elliott #3 said...

Can't wait to try this for my daughter's birthday coming up. Will let you know how it turns out!

Deborah Stauch said...

Hope it all goes perfectly Elliot#3!

Anonymous said...

This is awesome! My daughter is turning 9 next month and she want to have a inside out cake. I just started making my kids' bday cakes last year and I think I got the hang of it. I'll try to do this for her in a smaller scale and maybe just use the sixlets on top, and like you suggested "sprinkle" some on their plate. Thanks for sharing

Deborah Stauch said...

So good to hear that you are baking your kids' birthday cakes. Makes them even more special. Hope you'll share pics!

ditotani said...

Is there a link to how you make the confetti polka dot cake? or is it simply random colors with a smaller tip for piping?
thanks!

Liliana Ortiz said...

I really want to use this but I would have to do a much bigger cake, such as a 1/2 sheet to a full. Any ideas or tips you can give me?

Deborah Stauch said...

Liliana: you can refer to cake serving guides like the one by Wilton to increase the amounts. My pans were about 5 1/2 inches across and I used one cake mix for the crumbs/colored dots and a second white mix for the raw batter underneath and on top of the rings of dots. So if you double those amounts, you should end up with a cake twice as big as mine or about ten 10" thin cake layers. Hope this helps! Would love to see photos of your creation!
hugs,
Deborah

Bonnie Rodriguez said...

I love this! My daughter is having an Orbeez (waterbeads) party for her 4th bday next month and I was trying to come up with a cake to match the theme. I've made the larger cake pop polk a dot cake you did previously and came back to it thinking it would work again. But then I saw the new tutorials at the bottom of the page! Brilliant! Can't wait to make this and surprise her! Thank you for sharing!

Lora Petersheim said...

Can you tell me more about the paper towel method to get your cakes flat without cutting the tops? Thank you!

Bonnie Rodriguez said...

I'd like to I know as well :)

Deborah Stauch said...

Lora and Bonnie,
Thanks for your interest. As soon as you pull your cake(s) from the oven, lay a double thickness of damp paper towels or a damp clean dish towel over the top of the pan(s) and press down to flatten out the uneven dome. You can use your bare hands if you are careful. The cake will release steam when you press down and you can easily burn yourself if you’re not cautious. It's safer to use another flat bottomed pan or cake board about the same size or smaller than your cake instead of your hands. Press down all around until your cake is totally flat. Cool for a few minutes more in the pan and then remove your cooled and flattened cake from the pan. Easy and no crumbs or wasted cake from trimming!

Stacey Paintner said...

I am wondering how long you baked your cakes for once you had the prebaked circles in them. I'm assuming it was less time then was on the box.

Deborah Stauch said...
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Deborah Stauch said...

The cake layers were very thin with only 6 tablespoons of batter in each 5 1/2 inch pan (3 T above the dots / 3 T below them) so they weren't your typical cake layer. I didn't note how long it took to bake them but I'm guessing about 8 to 10 minutes. Set your timer at eight minutes and watch them closely. The cake should spring back when touched gently in the center if it's done. hope this helps. Would love to see your finished cake!

Chandres said...

I'm making a modified version of this cake now! 12 layers, with six 9" layers and six 6" layers. My youngest daughter is thrilled to have an Inside Out cake, and loved telling me which emotion to use next as I was adding them to the pans.

I can't wait to cut into the cake on Saturday! Thank you for the great tutorial!

Deborah Stauch said...
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Deborah Stauch said...

So happy that you're giving it a try! Hoping you'll share some pictures because I can't wait to see the inside too!

Anonymous said...

I love this! I am going to try it for a birthday next week, my only question is: how long do you bake the layers for?

Deborah Stauch said...
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AK said...

I just wanted to say that I made this cake for my daughter's Inside Out birthday party last weekend and it was a HUGE hit! It took a decent amount of time to make, but was not hard! I was a little worried about the taste and texture with the double baking, but it tasted great! Everyone at the party wanted to know how I did it. Thank you so much!

Deborah Stauch said...

Thanks so much for sharing your experience AK! I'm pleased that it worked out so well for you. Happy baking!

NatarshaOz said...

Hello. This is an amazing technique. My mind is spinning with possibilities, but I have never done anything at all like this before. Do you think this method would work to make star shapes if I used an appropriate nozzle on a piping bag? Or would the detail be lost or come out wonky? I suppose what I am asking is how well do the pipped colors hold their shape? Thanks, Natarsha

Deborah Stauch said...
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Deborah Stauch said...

Stars are a little trickier than rounds and may lose their shape and less the better fills in all the gaps between the points to support them during baking. You may want to try some loose cake crumbs to fill in those areas before piping the rest of the batter around the star. Hope this makes sense and is helpful. Happy baking!

NatarshaOz said...

The gaps! Of course. Thank you, Deborah.