My family is a huge fan of Doctor Who. In fact, I watched so much Doctor Who when pregnant with the twins that after they were born the theme music or the sound of David Tennant’s voice would be enough to calm and quiet them down, as they were familiar noises that had heard during their development. Even to this day whenever I watch Doctor Who and the boys hear the title music they’ll drop whatever they’re doing and turn their attention to the screen, transfixed.
So, as both a Whovian and a massive geek, I decided I wanted to make a TARDIS cake for the boys first birthday.
I’ve baked plenty of regular cakes in the past, but I had never baked a specialty cake before. Though I’d seen my share of Cake Boss, Ace of Cakes, and other similar programs, watching and doing are two entirely different things. I also don’t have my own bakery, or access to many of the materials and ingredients used by the professionals, but still, I had a general idea of the basic concepts and what I wanted to do, and was pretty sure I could pull it off, even if it wasn’t perfect.
With a general concept and game plan in mind, what I thought would be the most difficult part – finding fondant – actually turned out to be quite simple, as I discovered they sell pre-packaged rolled fondant in the baking section of one of my local grocery stores. Although I’d never worked with fondant before, it was an important part of the cake design, and the instructions didn’t seem terribly difficult.
I wanted a TARDIS cake that actually had the shape of the police box. I didn’t want to just draw a TARDIS on top of a cake. The TARDIS is vertical, not horizontal, so I knew I would have to stack cakes to make it work. Without wanting to make it too impractical or large, I decided to make a flat cake and cut smaller square pieces until I got to the right height. This would be my TARDIS, and then I’d put this on top of a second cake to make a scene featuring the TARDIS landing on a grassy field, which would also ensure I’d have enough cake for the guests, since the TARDIS itself might not be big enough.
First I decided to make a regular size, chocolate rectangular cake to use as the base, and used butter cream frosting tinted with green food coloring for the grass.
I cooked a smaller, thicker white cake in a square shaped pan that I would use to stack my TARDIS. Since there is often orange colored lighting flowing out of the TARDIS, I decided to use food coloring to tint the batter (and thus the cake) so that when you cut inside, it would be orange in the middle. I cut the smaller cake into quarters, trimmed them to the same size, and leveled the tops to make them easier to stack.
I then iced between the layers and stacked them on top of the other cake, and dirty iced the outside to give the fondant something to stick to.
Even though the TARDIS would be covered in dark blue fondant, I also dyed the butter cream frosting I was using to dirty ice the cake blue as well. This is the frosting that would serve as the glue between the layers of cake, as well as the cake and the fondant to hold everything in place.
I placed a wooden kabob stick down the middle of the stacks and into the base cake to help give it a little extra integrity and hold it upright.
I then rolled out my blue fondant and placed it around the four sides, giving the TARDIS it’s color and holding the shape together.
I used edible food coloring markers to draw the pattern on the fondant to outline the doors and windows, and to write “Police (Public Call) Box” at the top.
I used black and blue gel icing to seal the seams, then used blue decorating icing and a few marshmallows to make the top of the police box shape of the TARDIS.
To fill some of the blank space on the cake, and to complete my scene, I decided I’d make two Daleks, posed and ready to attack, waiting just in front of the TARDIS. I formed these out of Rice Krispie treats, shaping them by hand until they hardened.
I covering them in red fondant, then used black decorating icing to create their distinctive pattern. I then inserted toothpicks with a marshmallow at the end for the Dalek laser arm.
And this was the end result.
As I said before, this was my first attempt at a themed specialty cake, and my first time working with fondant. I had no previous experience, but I did have a plan, and all in all I was rather pleased with my results.
I’d love to hear your thoughts and opinions on my Doctor Who TARDIS cake, and hear your experiences as well. Have you ever tried to make a geeky themed cake or other creation? If so, what? Feel free to share below in the comments.