Pixar’s UP Cake With Grandpa Carl Topper. Video Included

Would you like to make this Up cake with a Grandpa Carl topper? The time has come to model with sugar and make this fantastic cake.

In this tutorial you will learn how to model the grandpa from Up. You’ll find all the tips to model the  adorable grandpa Carl Fredricksen in his living room next to the armchair of his beloved wife. You’ll learn how to model with sugar, how to create a beautiful armchair and how to shade colors with powder colorants. So… let’s start! I guess you’ve seen the movie, right?

Up is the most emotional animation movie I’ve ever seen. And its musical soundtrack has risen to the occasion. Usually I don’t model with sugar pastes only, but I currently feel like playing with them and let aside modeling chocolate and hyper realism for a day or two. If you like to model with sugar, I recommend you read this tutorial on how to make sugar flowers.

Pixar’s Up cake tutorial

In the video below you can watch this step-by-step Up cake tutorial, but here in this post you’ll find a detailed explanation about the whole process: materials, amounts and a step-by-step guide. I hope this tutorial encourages you to make this cute cake.

Material list for the cake


  • 1 rounded cake drum (25cm diameter)
  • 20-gauge wire
  • Floral tape
  • Skewers and toothpicks
  • 1 dummy
  • Small rolling pin
  • Knife or cutter
  • 1 set of sugar shapers (I use this ones by Innovative SugarWorks)
  • 1 soft bristle brush
  • 1 small brush
  • A palette for mixing paint colors
  • Fabric texture sheet



Before starting to make the topper

It’s very important that you check you have all the materials before starting. Also, you have to paint the pastes beforehand. Prepare everything in advance in order to facilitate the whole process. The modeling paste gets hot when you knead it; if you paint all the pastes beforehand, they will be in a right temperature when you model with them later.

Another thing that may be useful is to keep within reach some front and profile pictures of Carl Fredricksen, so that you can have references whilst modeling.

Tips for modeling the character


  • When you make modeling paste balls, please make sure not to leave any cracks because they can ruin your work.
  • You can add a bit of Crisco to the pastes to prevent them from drying if you intend to make a lot of retouches.
  • Use tools with rounded angles to mark the eyeballs.
  • Check the correct position of the eyes, as well as the distance between them and the nose.
  • We’ll have to detach the nose later in order to place the glasses, so don’t put any edible glue.
  • When you add the eyelids, stretch the paste downwards with a sugar shaper so that you can fuse the junction.


  • Work on the trousers making sure they don’t become flat on the backside.
  • Before nailing the trousers to the dummy, make two simple shoes.
  • With a sugar shaper, stretch the paste downwards to get some folds on the trousers.


  • To create a more realistic effect, stretch the sugar paste until it’s very thin and shape it with a fabric texture sheet.
  • Don’t worry if the upper part of the jacket hasn’t got a fine finish, we’ll put the head above it.


  • Before nailing it, the head must be really dry, otherwise it will fall.
  • Make sure the head is really supported.
  • A trick for making the hair of these kind of figurines is to give it some volume with a fondant smoother before adding the hair locks.
  • The ears are placed at the same level of the eyes and nose.


  • Model the arms with a soft paste and glue them. You must stick some toothpicks to hold the arms in the desired position and wait until the paste is dry.


  • To make the cane, fold some thin wires, shape them by the ends so that you get the four legs and the handle and cover them with floral tape.
  • If you note that the colorants paint too much, mix them with cornflour to reduce the pigment and get a degraded effect.


  • You must stretch the modeling paste until you get a thickness of 4mm.
  • Be precise when cutting the pieces: they must fit together!
  • To make the base of the armchair, use some 20-gauge wires and glue them to a cardboard suitable for pastry with hot-melt silicone.
  • Glue the rest of the details once the armchair is dry.


  • When painting the pattern on the armchair, don’t try to do it proportioned and equal. The trick is to give the paint different shapes.


  • In order to paint the glasses, mix the colorant with varnish instead of vodka: this way you will ensure a quick drying and a shiny finish.

I hope this post encourages you to make this amazing topper for you cake. I’d like to hear about your experience, you can leave a comment if you want. If you have any doubts, you can write too and I will make sure to answer your questions as soon as possible! If you’re looking for more recipes or tutorials, you can check my blog page.

By the way, have you ever made a cake about a famous character?

Marc Suárez

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