Q&A with pastry chef
Pastry chef Nicholas Forte, based in Las Vegas, USA, is a big Bluey fan and wanted to celebrate his son’s birthday with a super special Bluey cake. He shared his fantastic Heeler house cake on Instagram, and we liked it so much that we reached out to him to learn more about why he and his family love Bluey so much.
Tell us a little about yourself
I’ve lived in Las Vegas my whole life and have been doing pastry for about eight years. I started as a cake decorator in high school and now work as a corporate pastry chef for a renowned hospitality group. It’s always been a dream of mine to make my son’s first birthday cake, so I knew I had to do something wild for it!
Why do you and your family love Bluey?
Ever since my son was born, if he was whining at all, we’d put on the Bluey theme song and he’d instantly stop. He’s connected with the show since he was a baby, and now he has the stuffed animals, merch, and clothes. The show is good for adults too, we’ve learned some parenting tips. It’s a great show for our son to grow up with.
What’s your favourite Bluey episode and why?
“Duck Cake” is a lot of fun, with Bandit making the cake for Bingo. In addition to the Heeler house cake, I also made my son a duck cake as a smash cake. My wife and I also love the episode “The Pool”. It’s relatable because so often moms think about the details and dads are the ones who just want to have fun. It’s funny how much you connect with the show and the Heeler family.
What inspired you to choose the Heeler home for your son’s first birthday cake?
I wanted my son to be able to recognize it immediately. I knew the Heeler house would be a lot of fun for him to see. I wanted to go big!
What was the process like? How long did it take to construct?
I drew a detailed sketch that included how big each wall is, how big the windows are, and made sure everything was scaled. It was a long process of scaling and measuring it all out. Then, I baked almost eight pans of sheet cake! I stacked it all up and carved it. The fondant comes in at the end and brings the house to life. It was so much fun to make it as realistic as possible. It was probably about 12 hours total of work over the course of two or three days.
What was the hardest part of the bake?
Definitely getting all the details in the house, like the shadows on the roof, the maroon color, getting the window to stand out. I used two different types of fondant. At the end of the day, it’s cake, and if you miss too many details, it won’t look like the Heeler house. It’s important to capture as many details as you can!
What other small details helped make the house realistic?
Scaling it with the characters made a difference – I used my son’s toys. It was also important for it to have a porch, with all the rails and everything. I used images from Google and a backdrop for the party as references to help me with close-up details of the house.
What was your favorite part of this bake?
Cakes are always a ton of work, so my favorite part is giving it to whoever I’m making it for. Having my son see it and smile, pointing at it excitedly, that’s why I did it. I wanted it to be something special he’d always remember.
At the birthday party, lots of people were surprised by how big the cake was. It was probably about 14” tall. Some people thought it was a toy and didn’t realize it was cake!
Will you be tackling any other Bluey bakes in the future?
I might! Bluey is such a fun show, and I love a cartoony and fun cake that’s not too refined and perfect. We’ll see what my son is into a year from now.