A Homemade Olaf Cake!

Retro Staff Comments

olaf15If you have young’uns, chances are Santa will be delivering something Frozen this year. Or perhaps you’re like my friend, Daisy, who is addicted to all things Disney. For her 23rd birthday, she asked for an Olaf cake. I confessed that while I could bake her a tasty cake, I was no decorator, but she insisted. Fortunately, my friend, Sherri, offered assistance – despite the fact that she later admitted she’d never decorated a cake before!

On a sunny Florida morning, Sherri and I took to recreating this adorable animated snowman from Disney’s Frozen – a snowman that is very reminiscent of many of his retro ancestors.

Turns out, Olaf was not that difficult to make. After the cakes were baked and cooled, he took about two hours to make. And while he’d never win grand prize in a cake decorating contest, this homemade treat was perfect for helping make Daisy’s day special.

Here’s how Sherri and I recreated Olaf. See the recipes used at the end of this post.

Two round cakes - each with a layer of chocolate and vanilla.

It all started with two 9″ round layered cakes. The bottom layer was chocolate, the top was vanilla. Oh, and a thin layer of butter cream frosting.

Sherri cutting the cakes

After drawing the shape with frosting, Sherri took to carefully cutting with a serrated knife.

Sherri cutting Olaf's head.

Slow and steady is the trick to getting straight and even edges.

The shape cut out.

Not much going on here, yet, but we do have the core shape.

Completed shape with white frosting.

It’s easy to get caught up trying to frost perfectly. Then we realized that this homemade cake should look homemade.

For the nose and feet, we used cake and frosting to mold shapes. Just mix frosting with cake to create a dough-like consistency. After molding we set the pieces in the freezer to solidify the shape. We used white buttercream to frost the feet, and colored royal icing for the nose.

Mixing and frosting molded shapes.

Mix the frosting and cake until it can be molded like dough.


Body with feet.

Snowballs for feet!

Drawing the mouth with black chocolate.

We opted for black colored chocolate rather than icing – colored icing can bleed, and we are no professionals.

The buttons? Those are just black colored chocolate discs.

The buttons? Those are just black colored chocolate discs.

Pretzel rods for the arms! Just break and join pieces with chocolate.

Pretzel rods for the arms! Just break and join pieces with chocolate.

After mistakenly melting ALL the black chocolate discs, we had to revert to drawing the eyes ourselves.

After mistakenly melting ALL the black chocolate discs, we had to revert to drawing the eyes ourselves. Whoops!

We’d planned to use black licorice (cut into strips) for his hair, but we couldn’t find any! We wound up using black plastic toothpicks.

Nose placement. Slow and steady...

Nose placement. Slow and steady…

Pic of Pamela with Olaf cake.

And Olaf is done!

Sherri plays peek-a-boo with Olaf.

Sherri plays peek-a-boo with Olaf.

The final touch? A dusting of snow! That’s just powdered sugar sprinkled on with a sifter.

Olaf. Complete!

Olaf. Complete!

The tastes…

For the chocolate cake I used Hershey’s “Perfectly Chocolate” recipe. This decades old recipe produces a rich, moist cake.

For the vanilla cake:

  • 2-1/2 cups unbleached flour
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 1 cup skim milk (higher milk fat can be used for a richer cake)
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2-1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp real vanilla extract

Beat eggs and sugar well until thickened. Add all remaining ingredients and mix well, and then beat on medium-low for one minute. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-45 minutes (test at 30 minutes for doneness, and every 3-5 minutes afterward).

For the buttercream frosting:

  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 tablespoon regular cream (half and half as a substitute)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Mix butter and sugar until smooth, then beat on medium speed for 3 minutes. Add vanilla and half the cream and continue beating. Add more cream if necessary. Beat another minute or two until desired consistency is reached.

For coloring portions of frosting, use a separate bowl and mix in coloring well with a spoon.

For royal icing (dries hard):

  • 3 tablespoons meringue powder
  • 3-1/’2 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 to 5 tablespoons warm water

Mix meringue powder and sugar well, and then add 3 tablespoons of the water and beat at medium-low speed (high speed for a hand mixer) for 8 to 10 minutes until peaks form. Add more water as necessary, 1/2 tablespoon at a time. Icing can be thinned with water as needed.

 If you make an Olaf cake, be sure to show us your pics! And if you have any questions about the process, ask or comment below!


Post and recipes by Pamela Hazelton. Photos by Pamela Hazelton and Sherri Carroll Matthews.


Last updated: Dec 17, 2014
Filed under: Bakery Recipes, Cakes & Pies, Retro Food and Recipes Tagged with: Disney, DIY, recipes