Elmo Birthday Cake With a Rainbow Cake Surprise Inside

For my daughter’s second birthday earlier this year I tried something new in my cake making skills. I wanted to go “simple,” but ended up with something I truly love. I think this is one of my favorite cakes that I have made to date.

Elmo cake, Rainbow cakeThis is a six layer cake that is super high, but it left plenty of room for decoration. What 2-year-old doesn’t love Elmo? This guy is so cute.

Elmo Cake, Elmo template

I rolled out some pre-made red fondant to ensure I got an official Elmo red coloring. Then, I placed a jack-o-lantern template on top and used a toothpick to poke holes around the lines to serve as a guide when cutting Elmo out.

Elmo cake templateExcuse the mess here, but cake making is a process and it gets pretty messy. Here’s where I used the orange to get his nose just right. I did the same technique with the toothpick. Then, I placed Elmo’s orange nose on top of the red face I had just cut out. Just use a little water on the fondant and gently press them together. They’ll stay put when dry.

Elmo cakeYou can see Elmo’s eyes and nose on the side. I traced the outline of his mouth out from the template and used food color markers to color it in. At first I tried black fondant, but the sides of Elmo’s mouth were too thin. It turns out that the markers worked so much better. His mouth is the perfect shape.

Elmo cakeHere it is all put together. Truth be told. Elmo doesn’t have that much red above his eyes, but I wanted a border so that the eyes would pop since the icing was white. No one ever said anything about the authenticity of Elmo 😉 I call it artistic license.

Elmo cake

Once I got Elmo on the cake I started putting colored circles on the cake. From the same box of fondant that I bought I got red, blue, yellow and green. I rolled them out and used different sized circle cutters to get perfect circles. I stuck with primary colors since they go best with red … and the rainbow surprise that is inside the cake (I’ll get to that in a sec.)

Elmo cakeI continued all around the cake, just laying the circles where they fit best.

rainbow cakeHere’s the surprise inside: A Rainbow Cake! We told the guests to expect something inside the cake and there was a definite WOW! moment when we sliced into this one. I love all the colors. They are so bright and cheerful. This is a simple cake to make, just takes a little time to separate the batter and dye the layers. Here’s the rainbow cake recipe from I Am Baker.

rainbow cake

Here’s another view once we cut out a few slices. Man, these are big slices!

rainbow cake

Since these were for two year olds, we cut each main slice in two or three pieces. This cake can feed an army!

Let’s take a look at this cute Elmo cake again. I am so happy with it. It’s not perfect, but it made my daughter smile. It’s been six months since her birthday and she keeps talking about this cake. It’s what makes me smile. Making cakes is a lot of work, but the satisfaction is worth all the effort.


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Alicia Lewis Murray BioABOUT ALICIA: Alicia is the founder of Balancing Motherhood.com. Last year, she managed to stay sane while completing an MBA, working full-time, blogging, and still baking amazing birthday cakes — all while raising a young family at home.


  1. Aspen says

    I love the Elmo! I just came across your blog while searching for Mickey cakes. :-) Have you tried making your own fondant again? I’m not a fan of the store bought at all, I love the convenience but hated the taste AND THE PRICE! lol I have made several cakes and I have always used my own fondant. I started and I quickly became addicted! I’ve been dying to do a rainbow cake like yours too! Check out my FB page at http://www.facebook.com/pages/BTW-Cakes-by-Aspen/135471279874740 I love that you show your disasters too! I had a three tiered topsy turvy cake that I made for my sister collapse in the middle of the night and my hubby had to help me cone out of my deep and severe, immediate depression! It happens to all of us!

  2. Kathrin says

    Love your Emo cake……the inside colors are beautiful… can you send me a copy of Elmo stencil please….I will be making this cake for my grandbaby girl, she turns 1 on the 31st of December……I will def be adding another little cake as a topper for her to smash….thanks again.

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