There is a Paw Patrol episode that I now curse, “Pups Take the Cake.” In this episode the pups help to build a Paw Patrol lookout tower cake to beat Mayor Humdinger in the cake competition.
There is also a good chance that when birthday themes are discussed that Paw Patrol is at the top of the list. And thanks to this episode, your child may be dreaming of their very own Paw Patrol lookout tower cake.
That’s what happened to me with my son who just turned 4-years-old.
Somehow, I pulled it off. I am not a master baker by any stretch of the imagination, but I did it. It wasn’t perfect, but I think it was pretty darn great. If I can do it, then you can too!
Here is my amateur guide to a Paw Patrol lookout tower cake.
If you are more experienced or a professional, I suggest checking out this video of a mom who absolutely rocked at making a perfect Paw Patrol lookout tower cake. If you are a novice like me, then I recommend avoiding the video as it may discourage you before you even try.
*** I am an American living abroad in Switzerland. This can complicate the process. Sometimes it is difficult or impossible to get the right ingredients. It is definitely costlier. I am constant googling conversions into the metric system- what is ¾ cup of butter in grams? In the case of this cake, I had to google German names of hardware used in the cake support stand and then try to actually find those pieces which proved a challenge. I have done my best to link up to the right tools and equipment (some affiliate links have been included). ***
Cake Support Stand
Figuring out exactly how to make the cake was possibly the hardest part of the process. Being so large, I felt it definitely needed some kind of support. I googled and watch videos to see what others in the cake making business were doing here and this is what I came up with.
- Square wood board (16×16)
- Round wood board (9 in)
- Flanges (x2) -plus attachments (screws, etc)
- PVC Pipe
Square Board: I found this in the already cut odds and end pieces of my local hardware store and paid 5 Swiss Francs for it. (Everything is more expensive here so I imagine you can pick this up for $2-$3). It was an odd piece but let’s just say it was approximately 16 inches x 16 inches (40x40cm) and just less than ½ inch (1 cm) thick.
Round Board: I found this in the craft section of my local hardware store. It was 9 inches (22 cm) in diameter. Again, this was just less than ½ inch (1 cm) thick.
Flanges & PVC Pipe: I had such a hard time finding these here. After googling the German word, I ordered them in from Germany. They were so much bigger than the ones I saw on other cake supports. These seem to be a much better version. Best to ask at your local hardware store and also to buy the right PVC Pipe to fit as well as the appropriate screws and such to attach.
- Attach a flange to the square board and one to the round board
- I cut the PVC pipe to approximately 13 inches (33 cm). It cuts rather easily. I used a mini saw.
The 'Rice Krispie' tower
Rice Krispie Recipe
- 3 tablespoons Butter
- 4 cups miniature marshmallows (or 1 package large marshmallows)
- 6 cups rice krispies
- Added one tablespoon of honey (in attempt to make it extra sticky)
(being abroad, I sourced authentic American ingredients from www.junkfood.ch, paid way too much!)
- In a large saucepan melt butter over low heat. Add marshmallows and stir until completely melted. Remove from heat.
- Add Kellogg’s Rice Krispies cereal. (add honey) Stir until well coated.
- For this cake- I lined 6 inch (15 cm) round baking pans (approximately 2 inches thick) with foil and packed the Rice Krispies in as tight as possible.
- Put in fridge and allow to cool completely.
- Once cold, pull the tin foil to free the Rice Krispie ‘cake’ from the mold. Use the foil to cover and place back in the fridge.
- In total, 6 of these mini Rice Krispie ‘cakes’ will be needed for the cake (I believe I repeated the recipe 3 times)
Inspired by a few too many old episodes of Cake Boss dubbed over in Italian, I decided to make the tower out of Rice Krispie treats.
It seemed to be a bit sturdier than cake. Of course, when was in the process of making it, I read that it has a tendency to fall apart. Some tips I learned to prevent this from happening:
- add peanut butter to the recipe to give it a bit more stick (I didn’t have any, so I added a tablespoon of honey—no idea if this had any impact)
- wrap your molded structure in plastic wrap and put in the fridge (I put mine in the freezer)
Constructing the Tower
In my trial an error of supplies, I bought a 2 inch (5 cm) PVC pipe. I didn’t need it for the cake support but I used it anyway, it slid right over my cake support. I think it helped make the tower creation a bit easier, so I recommend adding it to your shopping list.
- Cover the larger 2 inch (5 cm) PVC pipe in tin foil as you do not want the food to come into contact with it.
- Slightly press the pipe into the center of the Rice Krispie ‘cake’ so that you have an outline, and cut out the center. Repeat this on 5 Rice Krispie cakes.
- Slide each cake down the pipe layering them on top of each other.
- Now the handy molding work. Use your hands to press the Rice Krispies as tight as you can around the pipe, smooth the gaps in between the cakes.
- Wrap the entire Rice Krispie tower tightly in plastic wrap and put in the freezer (I left mine overnight)
Top of the lookout cake
- 1 cup (16 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon vanilla
- 4 large eggs, room temperature
- 3 cups Flour
- 1 cup milk
Read the rest of the instructions of this recipe at King Arthur Flour.
For the cake, I used the larger 8 inch (23 cm) round baking mold from this IKEA set. I like the rounded effect that this mold gave to the ‘windows’ at the top of the lookout tower.
I used this mold twice to bake two cakes. Add double the cake ingredients to your shopping list.
Each cake takes 1-1.5 hours to prepare and bake (I found I always needed to leave it in longer than the recipe stated).
Time-saving tips: While the cake is baking, you can whip up a batch of Rice Krispies for the tower. Also, the cake can be made in advance and left in the fridge or freezer for a couple of days.
- Once cooled, I sliced off the uneven tops of each of the cakes to create a flat surface.
- Place one cake on an 8 Inch (20 cm) Round Cake Board like this, with your newly created flat surface facing up.
- Place the filling of your choice on top (my son wanted an Oreo buttercream filling).
- Take the other cake, and place flat side down. Adjust so that it sits evenly on top of the other cake.
Blue Round Cake Drum (12 inch)
You can buy pre-rolled, pre-colored fondant for quicker, but more expensive results.
10 Bendy Straws
Top of the Lookout Cake
I chose to use buttercream frosting as we prefer the taste to fondant. However, fondant would provide a smoother, more polished finish.
I used ProGel Concentrated Paste Food Colouring – Baby Blue to die my buttercream. (The same can be used in fondant).
I spread the blue buttercream all over the cake until I had my desired coverage. This set is comparable to the basic tools I used when decorating the cake.
I used the last small round Rice Krispie cake for the roof of the cake.
- Place on top of the cake
- Cover with a layer of buttercream
- Dye fondant with ProGel® Concentrated Colour – Red
- Roll out the fondant with a rolling pin
- Place fondant over the top of the Rice Krispie. Smooth it out with your hands and create a border with the cake to make your roof. (It’s like playing with Play-doh!)
When finished, I placed the cake on a 12 inch (30 cm) Round Cake Drum in Blue like this. This blue board serves as the balcony at the top of the lookout tower
I originally bought a PVC elbow for this job but it was too large. This one might do the trick. But instead, I had some bendy straws in the house that I decided to use.
- Tape 9 or 10 straws together and cut to desired height
- Use a small circular piece of blue fondant to create the window of the lookout.
- Dye a small amount of fondant yellow (I used ProGel® Concentrated Colour – Yellow).
- Roll it out and then work it around the straws to make the lookout.
- Use a few toothpicks to attach to cake
I decided to use fondant here because I worried how rice crispies would look covered only with buttercream.
Admittedly, I was running low of white fondant at this point so I ran to the store and bought the only fondant available, a pre-rolled disk like this one.
- Cover the Rice Krispie tower in buttercream
- Take that pre-rolled disk or one that you have rolled out yourself and gently work it around your Rice Krispietower. It really does stretch quite well, just be careful not to go too quickly to prevent tears. (I actually double layered the fondant here to cover some of my mistakes but I don’t think that is absolutely necessary.
- Smooth as much as possible, but I still had a line where the two sides of the fondant came together. This was not a problem as you will place the ‘windows’ over this crease.
- Place tower on your previously constructed cake support. (I chose to cover my square board in foil. Do this before placing your tower on the cake support)
The windows on the tower
Uses the same blue coloring from previous parts of the cake
- Cut out a blue square from your fondant, and angle the top two corners to make the entrance to the tower. Place on your Rice Krispie tower and run your hand over a few times for it to stick.
- Next cut a long rectangle piece and cut to fit the rest of the height of the tower. This will serve as the elevator window. Place on your Rice Krispie tower and run your handover aa few times for it to stick.
Paw Patrol Sign
- To make the paw, I used again the same blue coloring, and the larger paw from this cutter set.
- To make the shield, I found a badge through google like this one, sized it to my desired size, cut it out. Laid it over white fondant and traced the line with a knife to get my desired shape.
- I trimmed the shield to the smaller inside shied. Laid it over red fondant and traced the line with a knife to get my desired shape.
- Next, I layered these three pieces on top of each other, gently pressing together so they would stick.
- Lastly, I attached the Paw Patrol Sign to the tower.
- I bought candy ropes like these. Twizzlers should work too.
- I used ProGel® Concentrated Colour – Grey and dyed a bit of fondant and rolled it out.
- Taking two candy ropes, I wrapped grey fondant over it and attached to the tower by gently pressing and wrapping it around the tower. I repeated this 3-4 times.
- Next, I sliced small strips of yellow fondant and used it to cover where two parts of the slide came together. It looked cleaner this way and more authentic.
Last minute area of concern
I had a large gap between my square cake board and the start of my Rice Krispie tower. No doubt my thick flange contributed to this gap, so it may be less of a concern for you.
However, I was worried that the Rice Krispie tower would collapse with no support underneath it. This is where my first cake attempt came in handy. I stuffed as much of the gooey cake in the hole to give as much support as possible (the party was starting soon so it didn’t need to hold so long).
I then used some leftover red fondant and cut a rectangle to lay around this coverup.
Bringing it all together
- Attach the top of the cake stand (the circle board) to the cake support
- I covered this in foil as well
- Place the cake on top
- Cut a skinny strip of yellow fondant and run it along the outside of the blue board (the balcony).
- Decorate with your favorite characters. (I borrowed mine from the toy box)
- Optional: You can decorate the square board for a more finished look. I ran out of time and was too exhausted to care.
Final Tips & Comments
I planned this Paw Patrol lookout tower cake for ages. Even as I started to make it the day before the party, I wasn’t sure how I was going to do and whether I could really pull it off.
I worked the whole day on the cake, staying awake until 3 am and then woke up early to finish the decorating and clean up the house for our afternoon party.
I was exhausted but it was so worth it.
If I were to do it again, I know the cake can be made in less time. Particularly, by working ahead of time.
Above, I mention needing 6 hours minimum for this cake. If you save it all until the last minute, it will take longer than this as you wait for the cake and Rice Krispies to cool.
My suggestion is to work a few days in advance. The cakes will hold in the fridge or freezer for a few days. And while you’ve got a cake in the oven, whip up a Rice Krispie batch.
I hope that my experiences can help you should you decide to attempt a Paw Patrol lookout tower cake of your own. Like I said, I am far from an expert here so would love to hear any tips for improvement in the comments.