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Cake Tutorial: Movie Themed Birthday Cake

Heather van Mil5 comments7915 views
Cake Tutorial Movie Themed Birthday Cake

Cake Tutorial Movie Themed Birthday CakeWe recently celebrated my daughter’s 6 1/2 birthday. It’s a long story (you can read all about the awesome party we threw and how we did it here), but it turned out to be the best birthday party yet! As is our tradition, I always make the birthday cake and this year was no different.  I love scrolling through Pinterest with my daughter, creating a board with our favourites and finally making a selection. Now that is mother-daughter time at it’s finest! 

Cake Tutorial: Movie Themed Birthday Cake Step 1 Step 1: I started with 24 full sized cupcakes, and a 9 x 13 cake (shhh don’t tell, it wasn’t from scratch) on a 13 x 19 Wilton Silver Cake Board Platter. Set the cupcakes aside and tuck strips of parchment paper around the edge of the cake. Brush the entire cake with a silicone pastry brush to sweep away the loose crumbs.

Step 2: Ice a very thin layer of frosting over the entire surface of the cake and let it sit to set for 10-15 minutes. This is essential when working with any dark cake and light icing colour combination as it traps in any crumbs that weren’t brushed away in step 1. 

Cake Tutorial: Movie Themed Birthday Cake Step 2

Step 3: After the cake has set, ice your second layer of frosting over the entire surface of the cake. Again, wait for a few minutes to let it set before adding any decorations. Once it is set, if it’s not as smooth as you’d like, you can gently place a piece of parchment paper over the surface you want to smooth and lightly rub with your finger. 

Step 4: For the decoration, I used Wilton’s Decorator Preferred Fondant in Black Vanilla. Roll out the fondant with a rolling pin. If you find that it’s a bit sticky, lay a piece of parchment paper between the fondant and rolling pin. Using a printed template, cut out the film reel shape from the fondant. Then, cut out a ribbon shape almost as long as 2 sides of the cake. Use the tip of your finger to smooth over the jagged edges on both pieces. 

Cake Tutorial: Movie Themed Birthday Cake Step 3

Step 5: Carefully drape the film strip starting 2-3 inches from the bottom right corner of the cake. Keep it loose, lifting up sections as you go to give it dimension. Place the film reel in the bottom right hand corner, just covering up the edge of the film strip. 

Step 6: Pipe the trim around the upper edge of the cake. When using red on a cake, I always buy pre-coloured icing like Wilton’s Ready to Use Icing Tube, because trying to get a true red hue from icing colouring is very difficult! I used a Wilton #16. Star decorating tip with 12 inch disposable bags to create the shell border trim.

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Step 7: Gently slide the parchment paper strips out from under the cake and smooth the bottom edge with an icing spatula or the tip of your finger, dipped in icing (powdered) sugar. Run  damp cloth over the cake board to clean up any icing smudges. Repeating Step 6, pipe a shell trip around the bottom edge of the cake. 

Step 8: Create the ‘popcorn’ from a bag of yellow marshmallows. I didn’t find only yellow, but instead picked out the yellow marshmallows from a multicoloured bag. You can also use white marshmallows brushed with a yellow food colouring + water mixture. To create the popcorn look, first snip an ‘X’ pattern on both ends of the marshmallow, snipping almost halfway through. Spread both cut ends open wide, then pinch around the nubs, plus around the uncut middle with your fingernails to add definition. Repeat a hundred or so times. I highly recommend finding a cool, dry place to do this. If you find yourself with a damp, humid day, only have a small batch of marshmallows at a time, keeping the rest in the fridge, otherwise you will end up with marshmallow pudding. I know from experience.

Cake Tutorial: Movie Themed Birthday Cake Step 5

Step 9: Create your cupcake icing adding small amounts of Wilton’s Lemon Yellow Icing Colour until the icing is the same shade of yellow as your popcorn. Spread a small amount of icing on each cupcake – just enough to hold onto the popcorn. Print and cut out the popcorn cupcake wrappers and tape them around each cupcake. You can find the popcorn cupcake wrapper printable on my Movie Themed Birthday Party Pinterest board. 

Step 10: Add the ‘popcorn’ marshmallows to the top of the cupcakes, pressing gently to set them in the icing. Start in the middle and work your way towards the edge, alternating way you place the popcorn to make it look haphazard and piled. 

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Step 11: Pipe the lettering in the middle of the cake, using your red icing and a Wilton #3 Round decorating tip. Place 2 cupcakes in each of the upper corners and 9 more on the cake board around the cake. Add your candles and start singing. 

Step 12: Enjoy! 

Movie Themed Birthday Party Cake



  1. This is so cool! Love the tips. I will keep them in mind as I always try short cuts and run into problems lol.

    I’m sure it was a big hit!

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