Today’s post will walk you through step-by-step on how to make this cake featuring the Master Sword from The Legend of Zelda video game series.
I’m a huge Zelda fan and the love for the series has been passed down to Henri with a vengeance! In addition to dressing as Link on Halloween and poring over game art collections he plays all the games from Link’s Awakening on my old Gameboy Color straight through to Breath of the Wild on the Switch. It’s on the BotW Master Sword specifically that he requested I use as the theme for his 11th birthday cake.
This is the Master Sword:
And this is the sword in the game:
I decided to use this image as the inspiration for my cake. The sword itself would be sculpted out of fondant and I’d expand the stone base so there would be enough cake for his birthday guests.
The cake took a total of 3 days to make. On Day 1 I sculpted the sword so it could have time to dry out to lessen the chances of the fondant dissolving under paint application. On Day 2 I baked the cakes for the base and set them aside using the methods I outline in my How to Bake a Cake and Prepare it for Decorating post. On Day 3 I painted the sword and the base. Note: you can absolutely merge Days 1 and 2 into one evening if you’d like.
As I’ve shared before, I like to start my fondant pieces with a template sized to the proper scale. I rolled out some white fondant using the thickest level gauge on my fondant roller to have a sturdy base for the sword, and then began cutting around my template with my fondant cutter.
Keep the excess scrap as you’ll need it to sculpt the details.
As a long, skinny piece of fondant this size would be fragile I used a clean, splinter-free wooden dowel as a support, leaving enough at the base to secure it into the cake.
Then I used the excess fondant and began blocking in the sword’s details. As you saw in the finished cake it would remain flat so I only had to sculpt the front half.
I used the template for the basic shapes and then referred to a clear online image to get the details right.
At this point I set the sword aside to air-dry.
Here’s how it looked the next day.
Here it is alongside the template. It did grow a bit as I sculpted additively but I knew the slight size increase wouldn’t matter with the final cake.
Pleased with it, and deciding it didn’t need any adjustments, I let it continue to harden and baked the confetti cakes Henri had asked for.
On Day 3 it was time to assemble and decorate!
I had 2 8″ square cake layers to work with. To achieve the triangular base I cut the first layer into two triangles by removing the center strip, ensuring that one triangle was slightly shorter than the other. I repeated the process with the second cake making each subsequent triangle shorter than the previous one. This design does leave extra cake that you can eat or make into cake balls with any leftover icing.
Note: always check your transport method! In my case I couldn’t simply cut the first square diagonally to achieve my largest pieces as the resulting triangle would have been too high to fit into my cake carrier!
I used a bit of icing to “glue” the cake to the carry board and then began to stack the cakes horizontally, icing in between to keep the layers together.
Yes- that IS Betty Crocker icing in the background. And yup- this is totally a Betty Crocker Rainbow Chip box cake. There is zero reason why a box cake can’t be done up the same way scratch cakes can. Whether you’re short on time, find the mixes cheaper or easier, or if you’re simply baking for a bunch of 11yo boys who won’t know or care about the difference then by all means go for it! I do generally doctor my cakes so the cake mix winds up more as an ingredient vs the main staple, but that’s absolutely not necessary to get great-tasting, great-looking results.
Once stacked I protected the board surface with parchment paper strips and dirty iced the cake, then covered it with more white fondant. Then came the fun part- poking, scratching and dinging it with an assortment of knives and sculpting tools to give it the texture of an old weather-beaten rock.
I put some wax paper strips down to protect the board again and then painted the “rock” with custom icing gel colors. I have a large collection of Wilton gel pots and a kit of Americolor icing colors and I like them both equally as they fill in color shades I don’t have in the other. The gel pots of the Wilton kind are great for dipping in a toothpick for a really tiny amount, while the Americolor ones are in squeeze bottles that make adding precise drops really easy – perfect for when you need to replicate a color you’d already mixed up.
I used an assortment of browns and yellow thinned with vodka for the main color, adding darker touches for shadows and age. I also dry brushed green shades around the base and edge as if grass or moss had started to encroach similar to how I indicated forest-y age on the fondant bricks in the Pitfall: the Lost Expedition cake.
Bringing up another reference on my iPad, I used the same supplies to paint the sword, adding in a bit of silver luster dust for the metallic portion.
The luster dust mixes nicely with a bit of vodka to become a metallic “paint” that dries down well once the vodka evaporates.
I used gold pearl dust in a similar manner for the gold accents and completed the rest with blues and green gel colors.
The last bit of prep is to cut out a small bit of the fondant so the sword fits nicely into place and then the cake is done!
Here’s a closeup of the cake “rock”. I love how the texture came out!
My only regret is not having smoothed the underlying cake surface better, as you can see the ridges of where the fondant curves around the cake layers…but the kids sure didn’t mind. It was a huge hit for the birthday boy and his friends.
Henri’s other birthday treats
- Henri’s 1st birthday – football cake
- Henri’s 2nd birthday – The Wiggles cake
- Henri’s 3rd birthday – Dora and Diego cake
- Henri’s 4th birthday – Jake & The Neverland Pirates cake
- Henri’s 5th birthday – Skylanders cookies & cake topper
- Henri’s 6th birthday – Minecraft plains biome cake
- Henri’s 7th birthday – Pitfall: The Lost Expedition cake
- Henri’s 8th birthday – Undertale Tem Shop cake
- Henri’s 9th birthday – candy cake (family party)
- Henri’s 9th birthday – Neko Atsume Snowball cake
- Henri’s 10th birthday – Fortnite Loot Lake cake
- Henri’s 12th birthday – Among Us cupcakes