Alf, Care Bears, Smurfs, Ghostbusters, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, My Little Pony and more; they all conjure up images of childhood for anyone who grew up in the 80s!
I had the opportunity to make a cake bridging all these things together for a special 30th birthday party! The best part: the top of the cake would be a Rubik’s cube! Who didn’t spend hours of their 80s childhood trying to solve this puzzle?
When Linsday first asked me to make the cake, I wasn’t sure how best to begin. She had some pictures of cakes that she liked and she had a list of what she wanted included on the cake. It was for her husband’s 30th surprise birthday party. In addition to the fun outside, she wanted the cake to have a colorful inside.
Designing the Cake
We chose to use edible images and sculpted characters. Her husband LOVED He-Man when he was growing up and I wasn’t sure if I could make a photorealistic depiction of this TV show. Since I was ordering a sheet of edible images, I decided to make Strawberry Shortcake and the Smurfs from edible images too. Both of these could be created with fondant or gumpaste, but could be a bit more detailed if we used the edible images.
Use these tips when you make your own “Back to the 80s” cake!
- The black frosting is a very dark chocolate frosting made with black cocoa. It has black food coloring, but not nearly as much as you’d need if you started with regular chocolate frosting or with vanilla.
- The Rubik’s cube is made from Rice Krispy Treats. It is then coated with individual fondant blocks and held together with black icing.
- Make the stars from gumpaste and allow them to dry fully (3-4 days is perfect).
- Plan your cake before you order any edible images or sculpt any figures. Using cake pans, rough out the figures, draw your design etc. This ensures that you will fit everything you need in the design.
- Use the cake board as part of your display. I used the board for the 80s sunglasses and the Nintendo controller. It adds dimension to your cake!
- Use royal icing or another thick icing to affix things to fondant. Make sure everything is well secured so that it doesn’t slip.
- If you are sculpting things that will rest directly against a curved cake edge, allow them to dry against the edge of the same size cake pan. They’ll dry with the right curvature for the cake they’re leaning against.
If you are making your own 80s cake and have questions, let me know. I’m happy to help! Have you made your own? I’d love to know what TV shows, characters and items you chose to use for yours.