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When my toddler asked for a Rapunzel party I was very excited…until I realised she would need a cake…a Rapunzel Tower Cake.
I am not a good baker. I either burn things or undercook them, I can just never get it right. I used to blame over oven, but unsurprisingly after moving house and having a different oven I’m still not that great!
Before embarking on this baking challenge I scoured Pinterest in the hopes of finding a step by step walk through of how to make a Rapunzel Tower Cake but came back with nothing. So, hopefully this will help anyone else that has been tasked with making one!
First things first – I’m not a baker or anything like that at all. I wing most things so please use this advice as you see fit.
What will you need to make a Rapunzel Tower Cake?
- 2 x cake boards – 14 inch and a 7 inch board.*
- 2 x Baton lamp holders
- Cling film
- PVC pipe (preferably one for drinking water)
- Superglue or similar (Don’t panic – it’s not for the actual cake!)
- Rice Crispies
- Buttercream (About 4 tubs to be on the safe side)
- 2 cakes to fit your boards.
- Ready made icing*
- Off White colour
- Dark Purple
- Cocktail Sticks
- Piping bag and nozzle for grass
- Royal Icing Sugar
- Green food colouring
- Normal Icing Sugar
- Edible Glue*
- Flower cutters*
What do we do now?
First things first, we need to make our base. This took about a week of research on how to do this best. In the end I settled on fixing the two boards together using a PVC pipe. I figured it would give it enough strength and support to hold up the top cake. The hardest thing was finding the parts I needed! I ended up being rescued by a work colleague who thought he might have something that might help in his garage. The next day he came in with a lamp baton hold and it was perfect! Off I then went to screw fix to try and get a set of them. They did think I was a bit crazy when I explained I needed another one of ‘these’ and it was for a cake. But it turned out they had loads of them and they were only £2.09 each – a bargain!
Making the base
I first thoroughly cleaned and sterilised the pipe and the lamp batons. There wont be any cake near them but it’s obviously better to clear them all beforehand.
I then put a square of cling film onto the board and then placed the baton holder on top. We then screwed it into the cake board. We glued the piped onto the lamp baton so I knew that it wasn’t going to move. It’s a little hard to explain but you want the pipe to be a little bigger that the baton do it fits snug around the rim.
Once they are glued and dried we want to do the top board. Again take a square of cling film and place it on the underneath of your smaller board. The lamp baton is then screwed to the underneath of the board on top of the cling film. This one must be in the centre of the board so it doesn’t wobble. Then fix the top board to the pipe and glue.
Once the glue has dried, pull the clingfilm down and wrap it over the batons and the pipe. I then got more cling film and wrapped it around the rest of the pipe so all parts of it were covered. Leave this to dry completely overnight.
Making the support for your tower
I knew from the beginning that I would use rice crispies to support the tower. This was a big learning curve! I mixed 200g of rice crispies with 150g of melted marshmallows. I then sculpted it around the pipe and the batons to hide them and keep them away from the cake. The tops and bottom should both be slightly wider so it matches the shape of Rapunzels tower. I was really pleased with my first attempt. Until I came downstairs the next day to my toddler in hysterics as her tower was on the floor! The rice crispies has all come apart in the night and it was a mess. I was a bit nervous at this point!
The next time, I crushed the dry rice crispies using a potato masher until they were all broken and quite fine. After adding the melted marshmallows it was like cement! I sculpted this around the centre of the pipe where the previous rice crispies had fallen away. It was perfect! I wished I had done this to start with as it was so solid. Leave to set completely for an hour or so.
At this point I also made the pointed rood section for my tower. I started off making the entire roof but ended up cutting off the excess so I was just left with the ‘pointed’ section. Leave this to dry.
Making the grass bottom cake
I didn’t actually make the cakes – my mum came to my rescue and made them! We used a Madeira cake recipe as it’s more solid than a sponge cake.
I decided to start with the bottom of the cake first and work upwards. I didn’t want to get the top of the cake perfect and then knock it off as I was working on the bottom.
I took the larger cake and cut it in half down the middle. I then sliced them in two and filled with a layer of jam and butter cream. I then cut out a triangle shape on each cake so it would wrap around the bottom on the pipe. Once back together around the pipe, I used the small triangle sections and put them on the edge of the cake to make some little hills. I then covered the entire cake in more buttercream.
I then rolled out my green icing. I did this in 3 sections as I struggled to lift the icing on my own. A better baker might be able to cover it in one go but that’s just not me. I figured any joins I can cover with grass later.
Don’t worry about getting it perfect near the base of the tower – this will all be covered with icing grass later on. As long as all your cake and board are covered in green icing you can leave it as it is for now.
Tip – use a lot of icing sugar and when lifting the icing up, wrap it around the rolling pin so it doesn’t rip.
Similar to our grass – don’t worry about covering this all in one go. Any joins can be covered by brick decoration or icing foliage later on. Firstly, we want to cover the rice crispie tower in butter cream. Roll out your off white icing and begin wrapping it around your tower. Try and stick it to the bottom of your top board. I used some of the edible glue to stick it in place.
At this point you can either decorate your tower and grass or wait until you have the top cake in place to do so.
I chose to decorate the tower and the grass section now. Mainly because I was pretty nervous about tackling the top cake!
I made some royal icing up to do the grass on the bottom section. It works best if it’s very very thick. I then used my piping bag and covered up all the green icing joins. I then added some little flowers and rocks made out of icing. I had some little flower cutters to make the flowers which was a lit easier.
Next for the tower, I only added the stone detail at this point – I did the green hanging foliage at the very end.
To make the stones, take some of your grey and brown icing and roll out some tiny balls. I then flattened them using a plastic spoon and stuck them on using the edible glue. Again I tried to cover as many of the joins as possible. Any that were too big I left until later to cover using the green icing and flowers.
Congratulations! You’re halfway there to completing your Rapunzel Tower Cake!
Attaching the top cake
I wont lie – I was pretty nervous at this point! I also don’t have too many photos as I was a nervous wreck!
Rather than put the cake on straight away, I put it on an upside own toddler plate on top of a plastic tub so I could spin it around to get the icing on it. I cut the cake in half (through the middle) and filled with jam and buttercream. Once it was sandwiched back together, I covered the entire cake in buttercream. I then rolled out come more of the off white icing and covered the whole cake. Don’t worry if the bottom edge isn’t neat – we will be covering this in a moment.
I then used a fish slice to help lift the cake up and place it onto the top cake board.
Tip – I placed some clean tea towels around the bottom half of my cake. It’s inevitable that bits might drop off and I didn’t want the bottom getting covered in all sorts.
Once its attached, roll out your brown icing. This is going to be the ‘wood’ effect trim that will go around the bottom of the cake. It will also cover up any of the cake board that is still on show. After rolling it out, I dragged a knife along it to created a wood effect. You then want to cut it into strips so its big enough to cover any of the cake board on show (about 1.5cm wide). I then cut it into 3 inch strips so it was easier to work with. Use your edible glue to stick it all around the bottom of the cake.
At this point you need to decide where your window is going. I used some of the black icing and stuck it to the cake where I wanted it to go. This then helps line up your ‘wooden beams’.
Once that is done, make the underneath supporting decoration. I rolled my brown icing out into a sausage and then cut it into 2 inch lengths. I then rolled each length a little to give it a flat wooden shape. I then indented the middle with the handle of my fish slice. I then used the knife to carve wooden markings into them. I then used the edible glue to stick them to the top of the tower and onto the underneath of the top board. Try and get them as even as possible. I had 9 around my tower.
I then rolled more brown icing to do the wooden decoration on the side of the top cake. Again using the knife to add wooden carved effects. I then used the edible glue to stick them to the sides of the cake, lining them up with the wooden supports we just added underneath. I added some on a diagonal too so it made it look like they were supporting the tower.
The Tower Window
To create the top part of the window, I made this out of the off white icing. I moulded it into a half moon shape and fixed to the cake using cocktail sticks and the edible glue. Don’t make it too tall or you might have trouble adding your roof tiles on later. I then added some more of the wood effect brown icing to the top of the window so it looked like it was supporting the roof. I created the window sil out of more of the wood effect brown icing. I then inserted some small cocktail sticks and edible glue to secure it to the window.
The Tower Roof
To start with I cut a circle of dark purple icing out and fixed it to the top of the cake. It’s not necessarily seen once the tiles are on but I thought it would be easier attaching the tiles to it and to raise them up a little bit. I then stuck some cocktail sticks into the rice crispy roof I made earlier to help fix it to the cake. I then stuck it on the top of the cake (not quite central – more to the back of the cake). I then cut out what felt like a million roof tiles. I used a mixture of light and dark purple icing for this. I started at the bottom and worked around in rings. I also used the edible glue to fix them on. Once all the tiles were on, I made a small pyramid-shaped topped that would sit on the very top point of the roof, it also hid the tops of the last row of tiles I put on.
Adding the hair was a last-minute decision! The icing wasn’t strong enough to hold up by itself so my mum came up with the idea of hiding some dried spaghetti inside of it – it worked a treat! I made a pile of hair at the bottoms by rolling a small length of yellow icing out and winding it up on itself. I then made another shorter length for the top window and wrapped it around a little hanger. I glued this hair onto the window sill to give it a bit more strength.
I then rolled out a long length of yellow and flattened it. I then put my dried spaghetti in the middle and then folded it back on to itself – similar to making a sausage roll or apply strudel (neither of those things I can actually make but that’s how i imagined this part!). I then fixed the one end of it to the hair on the top window using the edible glue – the other end I put in the middle of the hair pile. I wrapped the bottom hair pile around the bottom of the spaghetti hair so it kept it in place a little better.
Adding the Decoration!
You can now relax – the hard parts are over!!
This is the fun part! I added foliage using the green icing to any part that needed covering up. I also added some to the tower and around the windows, fixing in some little flowers as I went.
Voila! You have your own Rapunzel Tower Cake!