Life isn’t all photo photo photo!
For Alfie’s first birthday I spent AGES making him a Twirlywoo cake, his favourite TV show at the moment. He just loves them, he could sit there for hours smiling and giggling away at their antics. They’re really warming on me too, it’s great to sit and cuddle and watch together 🙂
In this post I thought I’d share how I made his cake so you don’t have to spend ages doing the same. It’s actually far easier than it looks and hopefully with this guide you’ll be Twirlywoo’ing your own cakes up!
Twirlywoo cake time!
To start we’ll be making the Twirlywoo figurines. There’s four – now I know you already know their names but just in case you don’t, the blue ones Great Big Hoo (the dad), the red ones Toodaloo (the mum), the yellow one with blue hair is Chickadee (the boy) and the yellow one with pink hair is Chick (the girl).
There’s also Peekaboo the starfish – as per the show, he hasn’t been included with the Twirlywoo’s. For some reason they’re never in the same place at the same time!
Make sure you check out the intro to get familiarised 😉
The Twirlywoo teds aren’t that accurate to the show so for absolute detail (which is really important apparently) I thought I’d base the design off this image.
The Twirlywoo’s are made from Renshaw Fondant. That’s pure unadulterated fondant through and through, how’s that for sugar!
You’ll need bags of 250 grams:
- 2 x Ruby Red (you may get away with one)
- 2 x Atlantic blue (again you may only need one)
- 1 x yellow
- 1 x pink
- 1 x turquoise blue
- 1 x white
Each bag’s £1.79. In theory you could just get white and colour it – tried it didn’t work, not worth the effort!
Now you’ll need to start making Great Big Hoo as he’s the biggest and easiest to practice one. Once you have one they’re all made the same way except Toodaloo’s a little smaller and Chickadee and Chick a lot smaller.
The Twirlywoo’s aren’t spherical, they’re teardrop shaped with a little bum at the bottom. So when you’re making them start by rolling a fat sausage for the bottom.
I’m rolling mine on a craft mat, any non-stick matt will do here. In case you want an idea of scale, each square is 1cm.
Make a cone with a flat top and put it on top of the sausage. Now gently roll the two together in your hands to create the teardrop shape. Keep the icing light on your palms so not to squash it.
Now take some more icing and roll it flat. You’ll need a non-stick roller for this one.
Lay the icing on top of your blob; you’ll need enough to completely cover it and reach the bottom with plenty of spare stuff. Very gently ease it down so it makes a lovely smooth surface.
Trim the extra icing off with a little left to tuck under the blob. Now gently take the blog in your hands and roll it to smooth it all out. Don’t put pressure on it, just let it sit in your hand and roll into shape. It should come out as a seamless teardrop shape except for underneath which doesn’t need to be as it won’t be seen.
Now take your light blue and cut it into a wide teardrop to make Great Big Hoo’s bib. Place the bib over the blob, you may need a few attempts and trims to get there. Make sure the bib goes under where the head will go but not beyond it.
Take your dark blue again and roll it into long tubes to make the arms. Roll these extra long and take a cut from the most consistently areas – that’ll give you consistent width throughout.
At the end of each arm cut a slit for the thumb (make sure it’s the right way round, the thumb goes on the inside). Now add the arms on the body, flatten at the top when the head will go and cut to length.
Roll a ball for the head and gently put pressure on the top and bottom so it’s a little squashed. Make sure it’s the right size relative to the body.
Now the eyes. Roll out some white fondant and cut small circles out, I used a pen lid for mine. Some advice here – make LOADS of eyes, they’re really hard to get consistent! Alternatively buy eyes pre-made to make it easier.
Make small dimples in the eyes and add some black food colouring in the middle. Make sure they’re right in the middle, if they’re not they’ll look in different directions and make the Twirlywoo look crazy! This is why you need a load of eyes, it’s tricky to get them looking right.
Add the eyes to Great Big Hoo taking care to get them in the right place first time as taking them off with stain the head and you’ll have to do it again.
Now comes the hair / fins / whatever you call them!
Cut two fins from the yellow icing and one from the orange and trim them so the orange is longest, then a yellow then a shorter yellow. Stick them together as per the photo below.
Lastly, draw a smile on him with a cocktail stick dipped in black food colouring – be careful it’s gotta look right!
Put Great Big Hoo on a plate and stick the hair on the top and back of his head. That’s him done for now – we’ll do the legs next but they won’t be added until all the Twirlywoo’s are done, the cake is done and it’s all ready to go.
Now do the rest of the Twirlywoos with the same approach. Check the photos for the right colours 🙂
Next up’s the legs. For Great Big Hoo and Toodaloo, roll tubes of yellow and orange and cut them into small segments. Stick them together and squash them to shorten them.
For the feet, cut rectangles of yellow and orange and cut them into strips. Squash those together and trim so they taper a little at one end.
Repeat in blue and light blue for Chickadee and pink and red for Chick.
After making the cake, put it on a silver base and add white fondant on top. Roll a huge piece flat, drape it over the top, smooth it on top and down the sides and cut around the base of the cake to finish. Add a nice red ribbon round it and it’s ready!
Now add all the Twirlywoos to the top of the cake with Great Big Hoo and Toodaloo at the back, Chickadee and Chick at the front.
Add the legs by placing a segment under each Twirlywoo. The feet need to stand up straight so to add them push cocktail sticks through the cake at the end of the legs then push the feet onto the sticks, being careful to get the stick in the middle and not come out the foot.
For our cake we added a ‘1’ candle from Tesco’s and made a little Alfie logo from some leftover fondant for the front.
Now all that’s left is the big presentation and birthday song – Happy Birthday to your little one!