Gimme Gimme Ghibli: Totoro Cake Tutorial

totoro cake - coco cake land

It’s TOTORO WEEK! Self proclaimed by myself and my fellow Asian Vancouver love-her-to-bacon-bits blogger Steph of I Am A Food Blog. To celebrate, I made for you a Totoro cake tutorial!

Totoro Cake with paper confetti - Coco Cake Land tutorial

For some reason I’ve been humbuggy about Halloween posts this year. Maybe it’s because I bought a 128 piece box of Halloween candy and have been mindlessly scarfing candy after candy and feeling like a bloated chumpkin (that’s Chinese pumpkin) so secretly hating the “holiday” that’s brought the muffin top on. Or maybe I’m in denial that the seasons truly snowball into each other and suddenly there’s Halloween posts everywhere crammed down my face and I don’t like to be rushed. Like, I still have records and my VHS tapes I want to hold on to, mini hoarder style, and I still have my Betsey Johnson crepe silk flowery peter-pan collar grunge-era dress from grade 10. Oh – and my 20 year high school reunion is coming up so I file that under a What-The-Fuzz is happening. So I say: Father Time, while you are intent on making me old and grey and making my life go by ultra fast, I will still forever be frozen in time arrested development zonkbonked out by SUPER KAWAII CUTE CHILDRENLAND things like the fuzzy, bizarro, a little bit scary but fat and cute, sort of owl/cat/raccoon-y creature, oversized and cuddly TOTORO.

totoro cake animated gif - coco cake land

So join me in never growing up! Let’s make a Totoro cake!

You Will Need:

  • A baked and completely cooled 2 layer round cake. I made an 8 inch round cake.
  • 4 cups of vanilla buttercream tinted grey – use a tiny amount of black gel food colouring to do this!
  • An offset spatula
  • A piping bag fitted with a multi-opening tip (also known as the grass tip). I use Wilton #233.
  • A 3 inch ball of white fondant
  • A 3 inch ball of grey fondant
  • A 1 inch ball of black fondant
  • A rolling pin and a small amount of cornstarch
  • Wooden BBQ skewers
  • A paring knife
  • Piping tips in two sizes (optional)

my neighbor totoro cake tutorial

Step One

Fill and frost your baked and cooled two layer cake. Need a little brush-up on how to frost a cake?

my neighbor totoro cake tutorial

Step Two

After you’ve covered the entire cake with buttercream, smooth it with a bench scraper. Set aside.

my neighbor totoro cake tutorial

my neighbor totoro cake tutorial

Step Three

Prepare your fondant! Roll out your white fondant. Using a large piping tip as a cutter, punch out two holes for Totoro’s eyes.

my neighbor totoro cake tutorial

Roll out a small amount of black fondant; using a smaller piping tip as a cutter, punch out two black irises! Using a tiny dab of water, adhere the black circle to the white circle. While you’re working with the black fondant, make a black triangle nose and some whiskers by rolling the fondant between your palms into skinny snake-like pieces.

my neighbor totoro cake tutorial

Roll out a small amount of the grey fondant. Using the large piping tip again, punch out 4 circles. Cut each one in half with a paring knife.

my neighbor totoro cake tutorial

Using the smaller piping tip, punch out a half-circle, forming a grey “rainbow” like shape for Totoro’s belly. Note: you can also shape his belly pieces by hand, too! Simply roll the grey fondant into tube like shapes and fold over to a rainbow shape.

my neighbor totoro cake tutorial

Shape two larger pieces of grey fondant into pointy bunny-like ears. Totoro’s face is ready!

my neighbor totoro cake tutorial

Step Four

Roll out a larger piece of fondant. Place a cereal bowl face down on it and cut around using your paring knife.

my neighbor totoro cake tutorial

This will be Totoro’s white tummy!

my neighbor totoro cake tutorial

Use the remaining grey tinted buttercream to fill your piping bag fitted with the multi-opening tip.

my neighbor totoro cake tutorial

Now get ready to make Totoro come to CAKE LIFE!

my neighbor totoro cake tutorial

Step Five

Looking down at your cake in a bird’s eye view, carefully place the white fondant circle onto the lower part of the cake so the edge of the circle meets the edge of the bottom of your cake.

my neighbor totoro cake tutorial

Step Six

It’s piping time!! Start piping Totoro’s fur – going around the edge of the white circle, completely cover the rest of the cake.

grey buttercream piping - my neighbor totoro cake tutorial

Once the top is all done, continue piping fur on the sides of the cake.

totoro-cake-tutorial-17

All piped! Give your wrist a little thank you and ice it if you need to (ha.)

making of totoro cake

Time to put Totoro’s face on! Gently press the eyes into the fur.

making of totoro cake - my neighbor totoro cake tutorial

Put his little triangular nose on. Note the placement to ensure Totoro-likeness! Then, using a chopstick and a tiny amount of water as glue, place the grey rainbow shapes onto Totoro’s belly.

my neighbor totoro cake tutorial

Place all the rainbow shapes on and then his whiskers, too!

my neighbor totoro cake tutorial

Plunge them wooden skewers into the side of Tote’s head! TOTORO HAS COME TO LIFEEEEEE!

finished totoro cake with paper confetti

Hooray Totoro Week! Steph’s got Totoro apple pie pancakes on her blog so far and we both have more Totoro posts on the way so come on back to the blog soon! Do you have a favourite Miyazaki film or character? And how many mini chocolate bars does it take to squeeze into my floral Betsey Johnson grade 10 dress for my 20 year high school reunion? Ha. xo Lyndsay 

35 Responses to “Gimme Gimme Ghibli: Totoro Cake Tutorial”

  1. Michelle @ MakeMeCake.Me

    Adorable! Also, funny note re: icing your wrist. Anytime I’ve done a full-on furry cake, I wonder, “Lyndsay Coco Cake must have hands and wrists of steel!!” ;)

    Reply
    1. Lyndsay // Coco Cake Land

      haha! michelle, the piping mixed with stirring, mixing … plus residual pain from nursing when my little was a babe PLUS iphone usage … it all adds up to WRIST PROBS. xo

  2. Sunday Brunch: Totoro Apple Pie Pancakes Recipe – i am a food blog

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  3. steph

    AHHHHHHHH i LOVE HIM. and want him in my belly!! why do i always eat the things i love?!??!?!?!?

    also…betsey johnson hahahhahahaha

    Reply
    1. Lyndsay // Coco Cake Land

      hehe! dare i even try it on again!? it fit me last year … omg. thanks steph, LOL! xoxo

  4. Emily

    this is absolutely ADORABLE! I love totoro!

    Reply
    1. Lyndsay // Coco Cake Land

      hehe! i love that you love totoro! thanks emily!

  5. jaime : the briny

    this is so crazy cute! i love totoro too and am so excited to find out there’s a totoro week! can’t wait to see more.

    Reply
    1. Lyndsay // Coco Cake Land

      hooray! thank you kindly jaime! ^__^

  6. Nancy @ gottagetbaked

    Bwahahahaa “chumpkin” –> reason one million five hundred thousand that I love you, Lyndsay! I’ve been surprisingly disciplined around my Halloween candy (can’t say the same about a package of 8 Twix bars that I bought for “baking purposes”). Small baby steps! This Totoro cake is the cutest! Wish I could devour his adorable, delicious face!

    Reply
    1. Lyndsay // Coco Cake Land

      oh how i appreciate you laughing at my jokes, nancy!!! haha … oh man, keep twix AWAY FROM ME. i will chomp chomp those delicious caramel cookie chocolate sticks like pacman going after power pellets. thanks for stopping by nancy!!!

  7. Sarah

    Omg I love Studio Ghibli and this adorable post! Your gif is especially wonderful. :) xo

    Reply
    1. Lyndsay // Coco Cake Land

      sarah, i give you the deepest internet high-five for pointing out the gif!! totoro is animated so i had to animate SOMETHING … ^__^

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    […] week continues with these black sesame Totoros! Be sure to check out Lyndsay’s Totoro cake tutorial and my Totoro apple pie […]

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  9. Marisela | NomNom Kingdom

    ADORABLE!!! Such a creative idea. I love Studio Ghibli movies. They are amazing.

    Reply
    1. Lyndsay // Coco Cake Land

      yay! i am so glad you like it – ahhh studio ghibli!!

  10. maginezart

    wow, so nice creative Cake i love it……

    Reply
    1. Lyndsay // Coco Cake Land

      thank you thank you!

  11. Erika

    Oh my gosh you have super outdone yourself!!!! Lyndsay, this cake is AMAZING. Your step-by-step photos? Stunning. There are just no words…except you are a cake master!!!!

    Reply
    1. Lyndsay // Coco Cake Land

      aw erika, thank you so much for saying so! hehe! glad you stopped by. ^__^

  12. Tamsin | A Certain Adventure

    Yessss! This is absolutely the cutest cake ever. So happy that there’s a gif in here too – going straight on my Pinterest! Now if only I had your icing skills to make one of my own :) x

    Reply
    1. Lyndsay // Coco Cake Land

      hi Tamsin! Thanks so much for stopping by – you can totally do it – if you give it a try, email me the cake, I’d love to see! Thanks for appreciating my GIF, haha! xo

  13. Marlen

    holy moly im BLOWN AWAY by this! and you made it look so easy! i cant believe how well you piped that fur, it looks so real. Ahhh I want to bake ten cakes now!!

    xo marlen
    Messages on a Napkin

    Reply
    1. Lyndsay // Coco Cake Land

      Marlen!! I am stoked that I inspired you to bake TEN CAKES! Do it!!! ^__^ Thanks for visiting Coco Cake Land!

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  15. Alexandra

    amazing blog! amazing pictures!

    Reply
    1. Lyndsay // Coco Cake Land

      hey thanks alexandra!!

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  19. Vanilla Malt Buttercream Birthday Cake | hungrygirlporvida.com

    […] Tototo and it’s so cute! It kills me. Initially I wanted to make a cake like this one from Lyndsay. I was feeling overwhelmed by the idea of trying to pipe a Totoro likeness, but I can put together […]

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  20. Lisa @ Healthy Nibbles & Bits

    I’m stopping by from Hungry Girl Por Vida, and OH MY GOSH. THIS. CAKE. Totoro is one of my favorite characters from Studio Ghibili! I nearly fell out of my chair when I saw this! So glad I found your blog, too!

    Reply
    1. Lyndsay // Coco Cake Land

      Thanks so much, Lisa! Glad you found me!

  21. Miss Munchkin is ONE! | A Thousand Daily Deaths

    […] I used this tutorial, but without fondant. The white of his eyes is just frosting I rolled into a ball and flattened, […]

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  22. Ellie | from scratch, mostly

    Man oh mannnnn this is soooooo adorable and inspiring!!! I’m literally daydreaming of all these ideas and possibilities for kids’ parties, or let’s face it, my own pleasure of decorating and admiring and killing the cake with my 3 year old. :D

    Reply

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