Legend of Zelda Hylian Shield Cake

A tutorial on how to decorate a Legend of Zelda Hylian Shield Cake for a wedding groom's cake.  Decorations include buttercream and fondant decorations.

I recently got married and I wanted to make my husband a Legend of Zelda Hylian Shield cake for a groom’s cake as a surprise for him at the wedding.  My husband really likes the Legend of Zelda video games.  He likes them so much that we thought about having a themed wedding. We decided to go the more traditional route though.

During the wedding planning process, he asked what cake I was going to make for the groom’s cake.  I was so overwhelmed, at the time, I said I was only making our wedding cake. I didn’t have time to make a groom’s cake too.  After a couple days, I realized I was being silly. I could make most of the wedding cake ahead of time. There would be plenty of time to make a cake for him.  BONUS – I already told him I wasn’t going to make him a cake so he wouldn’t suspect one was coming.

It took a little planning, but I was able to orchestrate my surprise cake plan. I made him a small groom’s cake in the shape of the Link’s Hylian Shield from the Legend of Zelda. 

Below is the template that I used to decorate the cake. Adjust the size of the template to fit the size cake you make.

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Making the cake:

Start by making a cake in a 9 x 13 cake pan and cooling completely to room temperature.  I chose to make a funfetti cake because my husband loves sprinkles.  Next, make a buttercream of your choosing.  Check out this post for my basic Italian Meringue Buttercream recipe. I added lemon curd to the buttercream because I thought it paired well with the funfetti cake.  Buttercream is an ideal icing when using fondant because it hardens when placed in the fridge (like butter). It also holds up well under fondant decorations.

I started by placing the cake on the cake board.  If you would like to torte the cake (i.e., cut the cake in half so you can have a buttercream filling), now is the time to do it.  Leveling the cake is not necessary since a shield is generally curved anyway.  Place the Legend of Zelda Hylian shield template on your cake and carve to match the shield outline.  Try to keep the edges of the cake vertically straight so it is easier to place the fondant.  Crumb coat the cake and place it in the fridge to chill for a few minutes. This will seal in the crumbs.  Put a second layer of buttercream over the entire cake and chill before moving on to the decoration phase.

Decorating the Shield:

  1. Blue Fondant
    • Roll out blue fondant to 1/8-inch-thick and cut to match the shield outline.
    • Place the blue fondant on top of the cake. It is ok that the sides are not covered in fondant.  This will happen in the next step.
  2. Gray Fondant
    • Make gray by combining white fondant with a small amount of black food coloring. Mix until there are no streaks.
    • Edge panels
      • Use a ruler and measure the length of each side of the cake (i.e., the two shorter sides at the top and the two longer curved lines on the bottom). The length does not need to be perfect because you will be trimming the edges when you add the panels to the cake, but you want to make sure that you roll out the correct length, so you don’t have a seam in a weird place.
      • Next, measure the height of the cake and add a small amount extra to the height (e.g., half an inch or whatever size will look proportionate for your sized cake) so that the gray panel can wrap from the cake board to the top of the cake (see picture).
      • Roll out the gray fondant and use the measurements to cut the panels. Adhere each panel to the cake by gently rubbing the fondant onto the buttercream. If the fondant does not stick to the buttercream, use a paintbrush to lightly brush water on the surface of the fondant before placing it on the cake.
      • At each corner of the shield, you will need to cut a seam to accommodate the edges of the two fondant panels. Lay one panel lightly over the other and use a sharp knife or an X-Acto knife to cut a straight line through both layers of fondant. Remove the excess fondant and smooth the seam.
    • Bolts and Embellishments
      • Cut out all the remaining gray embellishment pieces from the template.
      • Roll out more gray fondant to 1/8 inch-thick and use the template to cut the pieces. Place the fondant pieces between two sheets of plastic wrap while you are working so that the fondant does not dry out.
      • Use a paintbrush to lightly cover the back of each fondant piece with water and adhere it to the appropriate location based on the template.
      • For the bolts, to get a rounded edge, roll out the fondant to 1/8 inch-thick, place a sheet of plastic wrap over the fondant and then push the large end of a piping tip over the plastic wrap and into the fondant.
  3. Yellow and Red Fondant
    • Cut out the yellow and red embellishment pieces from the template.
    • Roll out the fondant to 1/8 inch-thick and carefully use the template to cut the pieces. Slow and steady wins this race.  It is also helpful to use a sharp knife or an X-Acto knife to get the precision cuts.
    • Place the fondant pieces between two sheets of plastic wrap while you are working so that the fondant does not dry out.
    • Attach the fondant to the cake by using a small amount of water brushed on with a paintbrush.
    • When placing the embellishment pieces on the cake, I first laid them gently on the cake to make sure I had the correct position and then gently removed them, added water, and glued them to the fondant. If you do this, do not press down on the fondant initially.  The pieces are usually a little tacky and they can leave an oily outline if pressed too hard into the fondant.  They can also be difficult to remove.  This is not a necessary step, but I don’t have great visual-spatial skills and I wanted to make sure everything was lined up correctly.

There you have it, a Legend of Zelda Hylian Shield cake!  This cake takes some time to make but most of it just involves cutting shapes from a template.  I love how clean it came out and my husband was so surprised at the wedding that he was speechless.  I hope you make this and if you do, have fun getting your nerd on!

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