Captain America Birthday Cake

Captain America Birthday Cake with Chocolate Figurine Transfer
Planning a Captain America Party?  Here are a few ideas you can use to make a Captain America Birthday Cake to go with your theme.  For the basic version, we decorated a basic 9-inch round cake with fondant and a shield.  If you wanted to dress up the cake some more, add a Captain America Cake Topper to it using chocolate transfer image. A DIY tutorial follows…
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Captain America Birthday Cake: Ingredients

Serves 12.

Here is what you will need:

Tools for cake:

  • Large rolling pin
  • Powdered sugar
  • Parchment paper
  • Pencil
  • Kitchen Sheers

For the Captain America Cake Topper : (Optional **)

  • Captain America Image
  • Red Chocolate Wafers (got them at Michaels Crafts in baking section)
  • Blue Chocolate Wafers
  • Dark Chocolate Wafers
  • Black and Blue coloring gel
  • Captain America Image (download from internet)
  • Parchment paper
  • Scotch tape
  • No. 1 piping tip
  • Piping bag
  • Toothpicks

(**Optional): Skip Steps 1 to 3 if you are opting for just a cake with a shield, without a Captain America topper.
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Captain America Birthday Cake: Directions

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Captain America Birthday Cake - melted chocolate

Step 1. Dark Chocolate prep (Chocolate Transfer) – Place a small amount of dark chocolate wafers in a microwaveable bowl (I used a ramekin and filled to the top), and microwave it according to the package instructions.  You may have to test the first time to see how much time is needed to melt your chocolate since microwaves vary in strength and type.  We just got a new microwave after 18 years and this one is much stronger (plus to my delight, has a working turntable!).  Start by microwaving at 50% strength and about 1 minute per ounce.  So microwave a little bit at a time to see what your best time would be to do a batch.  Be careful to not to overheat otherwise it becomes hard and grainy.  If that happens, throw out and start over again.

Piping Bag. Once you are satisfied with the timing, dye the dark chocolate with black food gel.  Dip a toothpick in the dye gel and add coloring until you are satisfied with the intensity.  After you have dyed the chocolate, pour the chocolate into a piping bag with a No. 1 tip attached.

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Captain America Birthday Cake - Trace image with melted chocolate

Step 2. Pipe Outline (Chocolate Transfer) – Tape the parchment paper to the print out of Captain America.  Then pipe the outline of the figure.  This was the toughest part of this whole cake process.  As a non-professional baker / cake decorator, I was not sure what I was doing but I just had to try this technique to see how this would turn out.  I must add, I am also not the most patient person, so that combined with my horrible piping skills did not make for a happy Captain America.  As a matter of fact he looked pretty sad.  I actually ended up attempting this chocolate transfer THREE times.  The first time it turned out OK, but as I was transporting the cake, my precious superhero-stud fell off and broke.  Second time, I thought that I’d combine royal icing and chocolate in one transfer but somehow the chocolate and the icing did not play nicely together and the figure just crumbled, so into the garbage that went.  Third time, was the charm.  I guess after all that practice, it got a bit easier.  I learned a few things along the way, and here are some tips (in other words, don’t do what I did):

Tip: Don’t mix materials.  Keep with chocolate only.  Or if you are using royal icing, stick with strictly royal icing.

Tip: Don’t put the chocolate figure in the fridge.  It will sweat when you take it out and will make it more fragile and crumble.

Tip: If the chocolate hardens inside the piping tip, use a toothpick to loosen and if needed, cover the tip with a moist paper towel and microwave for a few seconds.

Tip: Chocolate transfer toppers are probably best for cooler seasons!

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Captain America Birthday Cake - Fill in spaces with colored chocolate

Step 3. Piping (Chocolate Transfer) – Had to position Captain America horizontally in order for me to have access to all the areas of the chocolate transfer.  So the shot was from my piping position.

(a) First black outline.  Outline all the areas you see in black.  Once you have piped the black outline, go back and pipe another layer on top of the first one to reinforce the black piping.  This way when you peel the chocolate from the parchment, the transfer chocolate should not crumble if you made the chocolate thick enough.  Resist the temptation to peel the chocolate from the parchment to take a peek.  I learned the hard way as I kept peeling and looking which caused the chocolate to crumble.  Didn’t I say I was impatient?

(b) Next color up is blue.  I had some blue chocolate wafers from Michaels but somehow they were not the right color blue.  So I also added some coloring gel to that to bring the color to the right hue.  Fill in the blue areas with the blue chocolate.  Use a toothpick to spread the chocolate evenly all over.  Make sure all gaps are filled with chocolate.

(c) Continue doing the same with the red areas.  Use the toothpick again to smooth out and to fill in small gaps.

(d) Last color would be the white. Pipe in all the rest of the areas with white chocolate.

(e) For the last step, layer the back of the chocolate figure with any remaining chocolate you have left as reinforcement.  No, it doesn’t look pretty but I promise it will look better once you flip it.  Once you have filled in all the colors, let the chocolate dry and harden in a cool, dry and quiet place.

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Captain America Birthday Cake - Flip the chocolate figure

(f) Once the chocolate has hardened, gently peel away the parchment paper.   The chocolate does not take very long to harden but since I made this on a hot summer day (AC could not keep up), I left the flipping and manoeuvering to the very end right before the party.

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Captain America Birthday Cake - Supplies needed for rest of cake decorating, fondant

Step 4. Cake Decorating with Fondant - Some of the supplies needed for decorating this cake with fondant – plain Wilton White Fondant, Wilton Red Fondant Sheets, Wilton Blue Fondant Sheets, and powdered sugar (for the surface when rolling out the fondant).  I saw these sheets for the first time at Michaels Craft Stores so I had to give them a try.  This cake was the perfect opportunity to play with these.

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Captain America Birthday Cake - roll out fondant on smooth surface

Step 5. Prep Fondant.   Cut off about 1/2 of one package of  Wilton White Fondant.  (The Wilton Fondant pack comes with two foiled wrapped fondant packs). Knead the fondant in your hands for about 5 minutes.  Dust some powdered sugar on a clean counter.  Roll out with a rolling pin to about 1/8″ thickness.  Make sure the cake is nicely iced so that when you place the fondant on top of the cake, it will stick to the cake.

Captain America Birthday Cake - fondant covering cake

Step 6. Place fondant on the cake.  Place the fondant on the cake and cut off excess from the bottom.  Use your hand and fondant press tool to flatten and smooth out the fondant, and remove any creases or air bubbles.

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Captain America Birthday Cake - cut red fondant in strips

Step 7. Strips of red fondant.  Measure the circumference of the cake.  Or you can calculate using the old school formula = 2 π r

Divide the circumference into equal distances and figure out how many strips you need and how wide you want them.  Measure the height of the cake as well.  Cut the amount you need from the red fondant sheet.

Let’s take an example, say your cake’s circumference is 28″.  You need 28″ : 2 = 14″ of white fondant to show and 14″ of red fondant to show.  If you want your strips to be 1″ wide, you’ll need 14″ : 1 = 14 strips of red fondant.  The height of the strips depend on how high your cake is.  Pull the sheet of red fondant from the packaging.  Using a kitchen sheers, cut the strips to size.  When done, put back the rest into the bag and seal off.

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Captain America Birthday Cake - attach red strips to cake

Step 8. Attach.  Attach the red strips using icing.  With a small spatula or small spoon, ice the back of one strip and place on the cake.  Continue with the rest of the strips until the entire cake is covered.

Captain America Birthday Cake - trace star

Step 9. Star Template. Use one 9″ cardboard cake bottom to trace a star.  Cut out the star.  This will be your template for the star on the top of the cake.

Captain America Birthday Cake - cut out star from fondant

Step 10. Star Fondant.  Dye fondant dark blue ( black + blue gel + fondant ) and roll out.  Use the star template to trace and cut out the star.  Cut out using a sharp utility knife or kitchen knife.

Captain America Birthday Cake - place the star on the cake

Step 11. Cake Top.  Use icing to secure the star in place on top of the cake.  Let dry.

Captain America Birthday Cake - Make a fondant shield

Step 12. Shield.  Make a shield for Captain America similar to the way the cupcake toppers were made.  However, add a few more rings to make the shield larger than the cupcake toppers.

Captain America Birthday Cake - pipe icing all around the edge of the cake

Step 13.  Cake #1 – Captain America Cake With Shield.  Place the shield on top and secure with extra icing and a dowel in the back for support.  Insert a dowel in the back of the shield and secure with lots of icing.  This is the finished Captain America cake with a shield.

Captain America Birthday Cake - attach Captain America to the cake with icing

Step 14. Cake #2 – Captain America with Super Hero Cake Topper.  However, if you were up for a challenge and completed the chocolate transfer in step 1-3, you can add it to the top at this point.  Secure with lots of icing and two skewers in the back.  Let dry and set in place.

Captain America Birthday Cake - Ready for the Captain America Birthday Party

Step 15. Party Time.  The birthday cake is now ready for the Captain America Birthday Party!


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