Author Ashley Ludwig's Recession Home

From sweet to romantic suspense, join me as I craft my happily ever after…

Tangled Fondant Cake

How to Build a Rapunzel Tower Cake
How to Make a Rapunzel Tower Fondant Cake

The cake really was the centerpiece of this party.

And I have my friend, Tessa, to thank for teaching me the wonders of Fondant cake making. Never in a million years would I have thought it possible to create something so magical for a birthday party! the kids found it delicious, and all we needed was about 3 days of preparation, and some uninterrupted hours in which to construct the Disney Tangled Rapunzel tower for our 4 layer cake masterpiece.

I was advised by my friend, fondant expert, Tessa:

bake your cakes, let them cool, wrap them in cellophane, and get them in the freezer (on a flat surface).  They will keep until Thursday (our assembly day).    Also, you can make the marshmallow fondant.  Here is the fondant recipe that I use.

Fondant tips:  I heat my marshmallows in the micro, then transfer to the well  greased  Kitchenaid bowl.  I grease the hook, too.  I do most of the kneading in the Kitchenaid with the dough hook (rather than by hand – yuck).    If the mixer seems to be working too hard, then you will need to remove the fondant from the bowl and knead by hand.  Remember to grease your hands and work surface before you touch the stuff.  Keep a bowl of Crisco handy.  If you want to make this stuff at my house, I am okay with that, too.  (which we did. Constructing the whole mess at mine…)

Once the fondant is done, coat it with crisco and tightly wrap it in cellophane, twice.  Then put it is a ziplock bag and squeeze the extra air out.  Fondant can sit at room temp for a few days like this.

Here’s step by step instructions on our Tangled Fondant Rapunzel Tower Cake:

  • Rice crispy treats for molding the tower base & top (we just ended up using it for the top.)
  • 2 boxes of Betty Crocker Double Fudge cake mix baked in a large cake pan. (made 2 cakes)
  • 4 12″ dowel rods from the cake store
  • 2 18″ cardboard cake rounds
  • Foil to wrap
  • tape
  • LOTS of different types of food coloring
  • LOTS of powdered sugar, marshmallows, butter, crisco, and mixing
  • tooth picks
  • one sugar cone for the tippy top of the tower
  • one piece of card stock, cut in a circle, to create the tower brim
  • Wilton’s cake decorating bag & assorted tips.
  • TIME

Tower Base Close Up - look at those rocks! I was taught the fine art of masonry by my hubby... and now, I'm constructing rock walls on tape with frosting. Hilarious.

Tower Pieces & flower punch outs

Tower Close Up

Tower Close Up - fine detail. Judging when the fondant has a "wood grain" look to it during mixing color- -that's the difference between just throwing a cake together and creating a work of art! check out the nail holes! made with toothpick impressions... genius.

Rapunzel's Head/Hair - detailsMaking Rapunzel’s Head and HairTessa decided a garlic press would be just the thing to make the hair the proper consistency. I couldn’t agree more. Plus, it was hilarious determining the tensile strength of fondant, and watching how long we could make the pieces before they snapped!
Rapunzel's Face

Rapunzel's Face "Hair & Make Up!" - we opted for white eyes, painted with green food coloring pens & black for accents.

The Tower! and the birthday girl!

The Tower! and the birthday girl - placing sparkly powder on Rapunzel's Braid

Rapunzel Tower Cake - Complete

Rapunzel Tower Cake - Complete

All constructed on site — a testament to harnessing the energy & creativity of friends, the inspiration of a money saving project, and the pride in a job well done!

If you’re going to attempt this, I recommend taking a class and/or shadowing an expert. This was WAY out of my league, but now I’m quite convinced I can create a Nightmare Before Christmas cake for my daughter, Ellie’s birthday in October. HA!

we shall see…



36 comments on “Tangled Fondant Cake

  1. bettijo @
    February 28, 2011

    Well done!

  2. Ashley Ludwig
    February 28, 2011

    Thanks!! Wow. We have Super Mom’s approval!! how’s the family?


  3. kimberly
    March 4, 2011

    yeah nice

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  5. Stephanie
    March 28, 2011

    Impressive! What a labor of love.

    • Ashley Ludwig
      March 31, 2011

      You aren’t kidding! If anyone doubts that this cake was just for my daughter… you’re right. It’s not. This was so about my new favorite Disney princess!! seriously, people who came to the party are still talking about it. If you think in terms of piecing it out, fondant is not really that difficult. Just a mess of shapes and cutting. Easy to cover up errors, and actually, quite tasty. The girls ended up eating pieces of the tower for days after as “dessert.” But, seriously, give yourself time to construct the cake, decorate the house, and plan the games.

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  7. sarah hall
    April 2, 2011

    This cake is great. Im in process of trying to open a bakery. Love it.

    • ashley
      April 2, 2011

      Hi, Sarah! That’s awesome. Where’s your bakery? I think we hit the high bar with our first Fondant Cake… and now, I’m not afraid of anything! We even used fondant for our April fool’s to make peas & carrots for veggies. Let us know!


  8. Mariana
    April 7, 2011

    That looks incredibly intimidating! I love it. It’s so detailed down to the rock wall and everything.

    • ashley
      April 7, 2011

      I’m totally addicted to making fondant cakes now, as my friend Tessa warned me I would be!!!

    • Ashley Ludwig
      April 13, 2011

      Thanks, Marina! doing those little details were the part that I love the most. I like the wood grain and nail holes, also! Good luck with your cake!

  9. Amanda
    April 12, 2011

    Hi I was wondering how you keep the marshmallow fondant from cracking. I have attempted fondant a couple times now and I have trouble with it cracking and crumbling on me…

    • ashley
      April 12, 2011

      Water.I Crisco, then wet my hands and brush surface with water, and knead the heck out of it. Warming it with your hands makes the marshmallow more malleable, less crack-y. Also, let it rest overnight and don’t refrigerate it.

  10. agnes
    May 1, 2011

    The cake is very nice. How did you make the eyes of Rapunzel? Did you use a a template? Was it hard to make?

    • Ashley Ludwig
      May 2, 2011

      Thank you! I’m still amazed by the attention it’s getting. A show-stopping number, to be sure!

      The eyes:

      1. White Fondant – tiny pinch, formed into almond shape. (make sure of equal size!)
      2. Green Fondant – tinier pinch, rolled into circle, then flattened. (make sure of equal size!)
      3. Food Coloring Pen – black – for detail of large “Disney” pupil and eye lashes.
      4. A steady hand!

      Good luck with your cake!!!


      • Ashley Ludwig
        May 2, 2011

        Would you like a face template? If so, I can make one!


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  12. Tanya
    July 25, 2011

    NICE! I would really like to make this for my daughter’s upcoming party..One question…at the bottom of the tower you made a circular rice krispy base, how did you get the base to hide in the cake??? Thanks!

    • Ashley Ludwig
      July 25, 2011

      The rice krispy base was JUST a holder for the tower, so we could work on it. Once the cake was completed, we used 4 layers of chocolate cake, and it held the tower quite nicely.
      Hope that helps! it was my first fondant cake, and so much fun — now I’m a fondant fanatic!

  13. Ashley Ludwig
    July 25, 2011

    The rice krispy base was JUST a holder for the tower, so we could work on it. Once the cake was completed, we used 4 layers of chocolate cake, and it held the tower quite nicely.

    Hope that helps! it was my first fondant cake, and so much fun — now I’m a fondant fanatic!


  14. Tanya
    July 28, 2011

    Oh that makes perfect sense, thanks! I guess I have a few more questions… How did you get the shape of krispie treat tower. Did you mold them in cupcake molds or anything?? This cake looks perfect… I cannot believe it was your first fondant cake! I’ve made cakes for 3 yrs and this one intimidates me a bit! (although i am excited for the challenge!) Also, do you find that homemade fondant tastes better than storebought? I find that people aren’t too crazy about storebought and the first (and only) time I made it myself, I found it difficult and dry. It cracked alot so it seemed only useful for making small decorations rather than covering an entire cake!!! Thanks so much!

  15. Ashley Ludwig
    July 28, 2011

    We hand molded the tower part, though had to keep reheating and reshaping it while we figured out the top. As you can see in one of the pictures, at one point it looked kind of witch hat-ish! Just try to figure out perspective. My friend Tessa gave me the encouragement, and really, you need several hands to get the tower placed.

    4 layers did the trick… And I think the marshmallow fondant we made actually tastes good. Use butter flavored crisco, though.

    I also found a homemade marshmallow recipe I want to try, for next time… No need to microwave them! I will find the link. Okay… Let me know how it goes!

  16. Valerie Elizabeth Confections
    September 14, 2011

    Love the cake! Isn’t fondant great? Tangled seems to be such a popular theme right now. I recently did some Tangled cupcakes for a 1st birthday party and they were a huge hit! I can’t wait to see some of your future fondant creations 🙂

  17. ashley
    September 14, 2011

    Thanks Valerie… if you have any ideas for a Nightmare before Christmas or American Girl party, I’d love to see them! 🙂


  18. Valerie Elizabeth Confections
    September 20, 2011

    A Nightmare Before Christmas theme sounds fun! I will have to do some thinking on that one! 🙂

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  20. Jennifer
    November 8, 2011

    I’m going to make a Rapunzel cake for my daughter’s birthday. Did you just use the fondant to shape the bricks? Is it straight on to cake that you cut and shaped the tower into? I was confused what was the tower made from before you put the fondant on it in the shape of bricks? How did you get the fondant to stick to the tower? Thanks!

    • Ashley Ludwig
      November 8, 2011

      Hi, Jennifer!

      The tower itself was constructed from 4 cake stand pillars, masking taped together. You could also use a Paper Towel Tube, and get the same effect, but the pillars were preferable as the top was so heavy.

      The Stones were cut out with an oval cutter — Wilton, I think. These were individually pasted onto the tower form, over the masking tape, with Crisco, as “glue” — like real rocks.

      The top is moulded from rice crispy treat… and then we used leftover rice crispy as a temporary stand while we were constructing the tower. I say we. Tessa did most of the heavy lifting. She’s amazing.

      Tessa always says, the secret to fondant is Crisco, and lots of it. It is greasy, sticky, and amazing.

      Best of luck! I’ll see if I can drudge up a few more pictures of the process…. but as I was shooed out of the kitchen on kid duty, I missed some of it.


  21. Jennifer
    November 9, 2011

    Thanks so much! I have never used/made fondant, but have always made my girls bday cakes. I’ve gotten creative, but I’m considering tryint to do the fondant for the sides of the tower– it looks so real! I would love to see more photos. Thanks for all of the advice– and I’d love to see more pics!

  22. Natalia from cancun
    January 4, 2012

    Hii!!! this cake is great i will love to do one like this, i just have one question, how do you attach the tower to the cake? and whats the tower made of?? thnx!!!!

    • Ashley Ludwig
      January 4, 2012

      You can see in the pictures, the 4 pillars? We taped them together with masking tape, then attached the “stones” to the middle, leaving enough space to plunge the bottom into the 4 tier cake. WHAT A PROCESS! but certainly worth the effort.

      Looking back, I would have added more shingles, detail to the roof, and the 2nd turret… but the tower was a tremendous labor of love. Good luck with yours!

  23. michelle_eiz
    April 2, 2012

    Love the cake! I am planning on doing one for the daughter’s 4th birthday coming up in May. I am wondering how far ahead of time the tower can be done before it starts cracking and falling apart?? This will be my first attempt at fondant as well 🙂

    • Ashley Ludwig
      April 3, 2012

      We made ours three days before… With finishing details the night before the party. Hair should go on last!! FYI good luck!!

    • Ashley Ludwig
      April 3, 2012

      We also constructed each individual piece, then crisco glued it all together the night before the party…

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This entry was posted on February 23, 2011 by in Birthday Party, Cooking, Party, Project and tagged , , , , , , , , , .

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