The Idea

When thinking about what design to do for my cake I knew that I wanted to well and truly challenge myself and give myself the opportunity to practise and attempt to try out various sugar craft techniques. I’m not one for doing things half heartedly and even though I’d only ever had one go at figure modelling I was determined from the off set to have figures as a main feature on my cake.

Early August my boyfriend and I went to see Monsters University at the cinema. The film was so vivid, colourful, playful and humorous and I thought to myself what a brilliant cake theme it would make. I played various other ideas over and over through my mind but still Monsters University was the one that obviously stood out to me. I saw it as a brilliant opportunity to practise my figure modelling skills as the characters are all so diverse and each and every one has their own distinctive personality and I wanted to be able to express these through my chosen medium.


The Objectives

  • I’d already set my heart on using modelling chocolate to make my figures. I’d never worked with it before but was determined to use it as I felt that it best gave the effect that I desired. I love how it has a slight shine to it due to the cocoa butter, I think that this gives characters a more believable ‘skin’ effect.
  • I wanted to make my figures as realistic as possible.
  • I wanted people to be able to read the characters’ personalities from their expressions.
  • I’d read all the guidelines on competition entries for each individual class and was undecided on whether to enter the ‘Novelty Cake’ class or the ‘Sculpted Novelty Cake’ Class as the only element of my cake I’d decided on so far was the figures! However, both classes stated that EVERYTHING had to be edible and you aren’t allowed to use supports or dummies. This worried me slightly as I was unsure how I’d be able to get some of the more difficult shaped figures to balance and not break, especially on the 2 hour drive down to Birmingham!
  • I wanted my cake to be big and have a wow factor about not only the detail in the figures but also in whatever I chose to decorate my cake as.

And finally…

  • Impress my mum and dad as they were the ones to pressure me into entering and I wanted to prove to them that I could do it!

Mike Wazowski Stages

mike process

I decided to attempt to make Mike next as I was pleased with how Scott had turned out and I’d decided that if I wanted to go ahead and complete a Monsters University cake I was going to have to make sure that the two main characters, Mike and Sully where spot on.

1. First I needed to make his pea green colour exactly right. I did this by mixing Sugar Flair food colouring, Autumn Leaf, Spruce Green and Egg Yellow is small amounts into white modelling chocolate until the colour was achieved. Next I rolled a smooth ball. I then compared this against Scott Squishy Squibbler to see if it was approximately the right size. I then made my ball into a slight tear drop shape. Using a Ball tool I then made his eye socket. The ball tool had to be pushed in at several different angles and gently pressed and circled to create a large enough eye socket. Using a Dresden tool I then carefully marked a thin circle around the eye socket. I then gently went back into the top half pushing upwards to create the eye lid. Using a damp paintbrush I then smoothed out any marks.

From white modelling chocolate I then rolled a smooth ball for his eye. I lightly glued the inside of the eye socket and placed the eye inside. I then lightly marked out his mouth with a Dresden tool. Using a small palette knife I then carefully cut around his mouth and gently dug out the middle to create his big smile. From white modelling chocolate I then lightly flattened a small piece of paste for a tongue. I dabbed the inside of his mouth with glue and placed the tongue in the centre and marked a line down the middle with a Dresden tool. This also helped to secure it. I then painted it using Rose Rainbow Dust and created shadow and shading with black before painting the entire of the inside black. I then lightly glued the top and bottom of his mouth. From white modelling chocolate I then made ten small teeth and carefully pressed them in place using a cocktail stick. I then rolled a tiny thin sausage for his brace. I lightly dabbed his top teeth with glue. I started by attaching the brace at either end onto his teeth at the far sides using a cocktail stick. I then gently went along the length of it and secured it. whilst I left this to dry I then began to paint his eye using Black and Rainforest Green Rainbow Dust. I then went back and painted the brace Silver.

2. I was slightly worried about how to make his legs and arms as they are so thin in comparison to the rest of his body and I didn’t know how the legs would carry his weight. I decided to use Flower Paste as this dries rock hard and is difficult to break. I rolled two thin straight sausages for his legs and two thin sausages about the same length and width for his arms. I gently bent one so as it would be hanging by his side casually and bent the other as if he had his hand on his hip. I then left them to dry over night.

I then shaded his body with Rainforest Green Rainbow Dust and painted the remaining details of his eye with a small paintbrush.

Once the legs had dried I used a Ball tool to gently press two indents into the bottom of his body where his legs would be. Very gently I then pushed each leg into the indents until they were at the length I wanted them. I then took them back out and dabbed the insides of the two holes with glue and also slightly filled them with Royal Icing before placing he legs back inside and leaving to dry. Once dry I then rolled out some of my green modelling chocolate very thinly and cut two thin strips to wrap around the legs. I brushed both legs with glue and carefully wrapped the chocolate around each one, removing any excess with a Cutting wheel. I then disguised the joins with a damp paintbrush. I then rolled two small balls and lightly flattened them before pressing each one on the legs to create knees. Again I blended these in using a damp brush.

3. I then did the same for his arms, creating an indent to secure them into. Once secured I then covered them with a thin layer of green modelling chocolate and disguised the joins. I also decided to give him a bit of a thigh at the top of his legs as this would also help to secure them. I did this the same way as the knees, by taking two small pieces of green chocolate and carefully blending them in to the tops of his legs and the bottom of his body.

For each hand I took a small ball of green modelling chocolate and made it into a slight pear shape and slightly flattened the wide end. I then snipped into it to create four small fingers using a small pair of scissors. Using a Dresden tool I then marked out knuckles and nails. I wanted one hand in a relaxed position and one with all the fingers bent into a fist. I did this by simply pushing each finger up into his palm with a cocktail stick.  I then carefully attached each hand to the ends of his arms. For the bent arm I lightly dabbed his side with glue and secured the hand against it.  I positioned sponges under his arms and hands whilst they dried. I then painted his nails with White Rainbow Dust and dusted the rest of his hand with Rainforest Green where I wanted shadowing.

4. For now that was all I could do as I felt that it was best to wait until I had covered a cake board and decided the positioning of my Monsters before I attached his feet as I felt that this would make him more stable.


Terri and Terry Stages

terri and terry process

Now that I was happy with both Scott and Mike I decided to try and tackle a more challenging character.

1. First I needed to make their tentacles so as they could be left to dry over night. I decided to use Flower Paste again as I wanted them to be solid and sturdy. I first coloured some Flower Paste a pale orange/yellow colour. I then rolled eight thin sausages of equal length and bent them into various shapes, some curled round flat on the floor and other curled upright. I then left them to dry.

The following day I used Orange Rainbow Dust mixed with isopropyl alcohol to paint orange stripes along each tentacle. Next I coloured white modelling chocolate Green (the same green as Scott’s jumper) and made a flat rounded rectangle shape for their main body. I then flattened the bottom of it against my work surface. I measured it against Scott and Mike for size. I then lightly dabbed the ends of each tentacle with glue and gently pushed them up into the base of the body. I directed all the tentacles outwards in a circular shape. I then stood the main body up and the tentacles were able to stand securely.

Using a stitching wheel I then marked the main body to give it a jumper effect. With a Dresden tool I then carefully marked around the bottom to give it a trim.

2. I then took two small pieces of green coloured chocolate and rolled them into two small balls to make the necks of their jumper. I lightly flattened the balls and made them look more like a cube shape with my fingers. I then used the Stitching wheel to make the jumper effect. I dabbed the  top of the main body with glue and secured the jumper necks on top. With a Ball tool I then made a hole in each one ready for the necks to go into. I then dusted the bottom trim and the necks with Rainforest Green Rainbow Dust.

3. Next, I rolled a smooth ball from my yellow/orange coloured chocolate for the smaller head. I then made it into a slight tear drop shape and narrowed the bottom for the neck rolling it with my fingers against my palm. With a Ball tool I then made the eye socket and emphasised the top lid with a Dresden tool gently pushing upwards. I then rolled a smooth ball for the eye from white modelling chocolate. I lightly dabbed the inside of the eye socket with glue and pressed the eye inside. With a Dresden tool I then marked out the mouth and carefully cut around my markings with a small palette knife. I then dug out the middle. Using black Rainbow Dust I then coloured the inside of the mouth black, added a small piece of white modelling chocolate for the tongue and marked a line down the middle with a Veining Tool. I then painted the tongue pink and added some shadowing using the left over dust on my black paintbrush. Using white modelling chocolate I then made seven teeth with the front two being slightly bigger than the rest to give him a ‘goofy’ look. I then attached these by lightly covering the top of the mouth with glue and by using a cocktail stick to pick up and secure each tooth.

4. I then piped a little Royal Icing into the slightly smaller neck of the jumper and then lightly dabbed the neck of the head with edible glue. I then carefully balanced the head inside the neck of the jumper. With a Dresden Tool I then gently pressed the base of the neck into the neck of the jumper to blend the two together and to secure the head.

5. Once I had left the head to dry and I was happy that it was secure I was able to paint the eye on using a very fine paintbrush and Rainbow Dusts mixed with isopropyl alcohol. I then took a small piece of white modelling chocolate and rolled a small ball. I then rolled the top of it against my palm with my finger to turn it into a cone shape. I then gently flattened it creating more of a triangle shape for his horn. I lightly dabbed the top of his head with edible glue and then placed the horn on top. Using a Dresden Tool I then pressed the bottom two corners onto the top of his head to secure it. I then blended the edges in using a small damp paintbrush. Once it had dried I painted it using Milk Chocolate Rainbow Dust and then gave it some shadowing with a darker brown. I then gave his whole head some shadowing and extra detail using Orangeade coloured dust.

6. Using the same method as for the first head I then made the second but slightly bigger and rounder. I also made the entire head and decorated it before securing it into the jumper as I didn’t want to knock or damage the first. I went through the same process to create the eye except I made it slightly larger and using a small flattened piece of orange/yellow coloured modelling chocolate I was able to create an eyelid to make him appear dozy/chilled. I marked out the mouth using a Dresden Tool and used it to press in and upwards to give him a slight upper lip and also a space for his two teeth to fit into. I made two small teeth of slightly different sizes using white modelling chocolate. I glued them under his top lip using a small amount of edible glue. I then painted his eye using Rainbow Dusts and a fine paintbrush. Just like with the first head I made two horns. I then glued these to either side of his head and secured the corners down with a Dresden Tool before carefully blending them in with a small damp brush. I then painted these brown. I then shaded the head with Orangeade Dust to give contrast and shadowing.

7. I then secured the second head. As he was slightly larger and had a longer neck it proved more difficult to make him balance. In the end after several attempts and lots of bits of sponge! I decided that it was best to discreetly secure the two heads together so as they gave each other more support. I did this by brushing a small amount of Royal Icing between the two heads and gently pressed them together. I then blended away any visible Icing with a small damp paintbrush.

8. I then rolled four small sausages from my green coloured modelling chocolate for their arms. I measured them against each other to check that they were all equal in size. With a stitching wheel I then marked them all to give them a knitted jumper effect just like his main body. I then made an indentation at one end for the sleeves where the hands would be secured. I then cut off the opposite ends with a palette knife so as they were flat ready to secure to the body. Taking my orange/yellow coloured modelling chocolate I then rolled four small balls for their hands. I then made each one into a tear drop shape and slightly flattened the rounded ends, leaving a wrist and an area for the fingers. With a small pair of scissors I then cut four skinny long fingers into each hand. I then further defined these by slightly bending over the top of each finger and blending it in very carefully with a cocktail stick to the finger below to create a rounded ball shaped finger tip. With a Dresden Tool I then marked a small line in the centre of each hand to create a palm. I then dabbed the inside of each sleeve with glue and inserted the hands inside. I then took each arm and positioned it against the body to see where I wanted each one to bend. I then pushed a Dresden Tool into each arm and with it still in place I bent the arms into position. I then marked several creases around the bend and left the arms to dry for a few minutes.

I brushed the sides of the main body with edible glue and secured each arm into position by blending the edges of the arms into the body with a Dresden Tool before doing the same again with a small damp paintbrush. Anywhere that I’d distorted the knitting pattern slightly I carefully went back over with a Stitching Wheel. I wanted the hands on the side of the larger head to be positioned so as it appeared that he was leaning against his side. So I carefully bent each finger round to touch his palm using a cocktail stick. To further secure these two arms I also lightly dabbed the fists with glue and gently pressed them against his side.

9. Finally on the side with the smaller head and the hands with outstretched fingers I wanted the bottom hand to be holding a can of pop. Taking a small piece of white modelling chocolate I rolled it into smooth ball before making it into a can shape. With a Ball Tool I then carefully indented the top and bottom of the can. Using a Dresden Tool I then marked a line around the top and bottom of the can to show were the tin was. I then painted the top and bottom of the can with Silver Rainbow Dust. I then painted half of the can red and half of it purple. Finally with a fine paintbrush I then painted the word ‘Blob’ on the side. I wanted this to be displayed at the front so I dabbed the back of the can with edible glue and placed it in the lower outstretched hand. I then carefully wrapped each finger around the can with a cocktail stick.

To finish off I shaded in any shadowing with Orangeade Dust.

terri and terry complete


art official disney pic

Art is a furry purple monster with an arch shape and blue stripes on his body, he is a student at Monsters University, and a member of the Oozma Kappa fraternity. Director Dan Scanlon says of him he is “that weird college guy you don’t know anything about”, and that he is a student “Not quite sure what he should be… and we’re not quite sure what he is either.”

Art Stages

art complete

Sadly I forgot to take any photos of the stages of Art as he was fairly quick to do.

1.First I coloured some white modelling chocolate purple. I then rolled a sausage to approximately the right length. I used a small cake board to work on so I could secure his legs onto something whilst I was waiting to secure him onto the cake itself. I carefully curved the sausage round so as both ends touched the cake board. I then took a damp paintbrush and firmly pressed and smoothed all around the edges of both ends so as they stuck down to the board. I did this until all the edges almost blended into the surface of the board. The sausage of modelling chocolate then stood upright by itself. With my finger tips I then began to lightly press where I wanted his legs to end and his head/face to start. I then gently started to make the shape of his head by pinching the modelling chocolate into shape. I then left him to dry for a while with a sponge positioned underneath him between his two legs so as he wouldn’t sink.

2. I kept checking to see when he’d stopped sinking and once he had marked where I wanted his mouth to be using a Dresden Tool. I then dug this out and made it smooth inside using a damp paint brush. I then made his eye sockets using a Ball Tool. With a Dresden Tool I then gave the sockets a droopy lower lid. Once the eyes and mouth had been shaped I used small scissors to snip all the hair on his body. I made sure all the hair was facing the right way by snipping in different directions.

3. Using Black Magic Rainbow Dust I then painted the inside of his mouth black. Taking a small piece of white modelling chocolate I then rolled a small ball for the tongue. I flattened it slightly and using my fingers I smoothed the edges. I then dabbed it with glue and place it inside the mouth. I marked a line down the centre using a Dresden Tool, this also helped to secure it. I then painted this Pink and gave it some shadowing using Black Rainbow Dust.

Arts’ teeth are rather big and goofy compared to the other characters and they’re also not in line with each other and have gaps in between them as well as being slightly different sizes. I made four teeth for the top set and six for the bottom. I then secured these by giving the top and bottom of his mouth a light layer of glue. I placed each tooth into his mouth individually using a cocktail stick. Once all his teeth where in place I rolled a long thin sausage from my purple coloured modelling chocolate for his lips. I then cut this in half and measured the two halves against his mouth before trimming them to size. I then dabbed around his mouth with glue and placed the two pieces on to give him a top and bottom lip. I then carefully disguised the join of the two by blending them together using a Dresden Tool and a small damp paintbrush. Once dry I painted these using Plum Truffle Rainbow Dust.

4. Next I rolled two small balls from my white modelling chocolate for his eyes. I measured these against the eye sockets and once I was happy I dabbed the inside of the socket with glue and placed the two eyes inside. Taking two small pieces of my purple modelling chocolate I then made his two eyelids to give him the ‘dopey’ look he is known for. I rolled two small balls and gently flattened them. Placing them down on my work surface I then took a Cutting Wheel and cut them to size and shape. I then glued them into position on the eyes.

Taking two small pieces of my purple modelling chocolate I rolled two tiny fat sausages for his eye brows. I secured them on top of his head by gently pushing the edges into his head with a Dresden Tool. I then carefully snipped them like the rest of his hair. Using Edible Art Lavender dust mixed with isopropyl alcohol I then painted the top and lower lids and his eyebrows. I then painted all the detail of his eye using Brown, Gold, Black and White Rainbow Dusts and a fine paintbrush.

5. I then rolled two sausages from my purple modelling chocolate for his arms. I measured them against his body and trimmed them so as they would hang down from his main body but without touching the floor. At one end of each I slightly flattened it to give him hands. Using my fingers I then rolled and thinned a slight wrist. Art has four fat fingers on each hand. Using a pair of small scissors I cut four fingers. I then smoothed each one using a damp paintbrush. I then snipped all the hair on his arms starting from his wrists. I then painted his hands with the Edible Art Lavender dust and a fine paintbrush so I could get in under the hair on his wrists. I then attached both arms just past where the slight indents for his thighs are. Again I used a Dresden Tool and damp paintbrush to blend them into his body. I then placed two small pieces of sponge underneath each hand to give them a slight bend and left them to dry.

6. Using the Edible Art Lavender dust straight from the pot I then gave him his stripes on his body and arms. Using Black Rainbow Dust I then dusted the insides of his legs and under his head to give him shadowing.

art steve pic

Don Carlton

don official disney pic

A student at Monsters University, he is a member of the Oozma Kappa fraternity. Director Dan Scanlon calls him a “mature student returning to college to follow a dream to study scaring”. He is a light purple octopus-like monster with balding hair and a moustache, two tentacled arms and he wears a green T-shirt and glasses.