Andersonville Chicago, IL
Believe Cakes Cakes Birthday Season 2020 – Captain Underpants Cake

Birthday Season 2020 – Captain Underpants Cake

Captain Underpants Cake

Inspiration

My son Zackary just turned 9 (which is crazy to me how time has flown so fast!). For the past year, he’s been obsessed with reading & re-reading graphic novel series like “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” & “DogMan.” So not surprisingly, he chose Captain Underpants for his birthday cake. For those unfamiliar with this particular character, he is a not-so-smart, silly comic book superhero who flies around in his underwear & cape 😂. He transforms between a mean school principal (Mr Krupp) & Captain Underpants when 2 best friends/comic creators (George & Harold) snap their fingers.

Book cover of the first book in the Captain Underpants series

As usual, I went about looking for inspiration from other baker’s creations found on the web. Every result came back with Captain Underpants as a cake topper. I didn’t think having a small figure of Underpants on top of a cake would do him justice. I also figured that his egg-shaped body would be perfect for a 3-D model as a cake. So then I was determined to design this never-been-done cake.

Planning & Structure

Captain Underpants Cake Sketch

I used graph paper to sketch the design to figure out the cake dimensions & scale (each square representing an inch). From there, the size of the cake board & base was determined. Since the cake would be standing on two legs, I had to figure out a way to elevate the cake with enough support to hold up the weight of such a tall cake. Rather, I passed off the engineering task to my handy, wood-working husband. Because 2 legs would not be stable enough, he decided to elevate the cake board with 3 wooden dowels. After a trip to the home improvement store & use of the power tools, voilà!

Since the cake layers would need to total 10 inches high, I stacked 2 X 8″ cakes plus 3 X 7″ layers and shaved away to get the egg shape. NOTE: I originally thought that all 5 layers would stack fine without needing additional support. I was WRONG! As I spent more time cake shaving & dirty icing, the bottom 8″ layers were slowly collapsing under the weight of the top layers 😮. The challenge with my chocolate cake recipe is that it includes mayonnaise which results in a really moist cake. Albeit delicious, moist cakes are not structurally firm on its own & not conducive to supporting much weight above it.

I immediately needed to remove the top 3 layers and insert straws/dowels & a cake board to hold the weight of those layers before I put them back on. Luckily, I was able to rectify the mistake before the whole cake collapsed & would need to start all over. Whew! 😌

Arms Vs Gravity

After I got the body of the cake completed, I realized the position of Mr Underpants’ arms were going to be tricky. I decided to make the arms out of Rice Krispies treat covered in fondant so they wouldn’t be as heavy as solid fondant. Even so, they ended up being heavy enough where gravity was slowly bringing down the arms after they were attached. For the arm pointing up, I had to cut the length down twice to get the weight down so it could stay upright. As far as the fist on hip arm, I ended up propping it up on an actual Captain Underpants book. Somehow, I want to believe that the book helped to bring the cake altogether 😜.

Time Lapse Video

Longer format video that shows entire fondant process
https://www.instagram.com/p/B7OZYpFH9mW/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link
Instagram 1-minute video

Tralalaa… It’s Party Time!

Now I take to the sky like an ostrich!

Captain Underpants
360 view of the Captain’s Underpants Cake
Seven 8 & 9 year old boys yelling while everyone else is singing Happy Birthday 🎵
Farewell Captain Underpants! It was sweet knowing you. 🤤
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