HONOLULU (KHON2) — Ben Cullen is a renowned cake maker in the United Kingdom who has won multiple awards and has appeared on the hit show Extreme Cake Makers. With a background as a tattoo artist, Cullen has developed into an extraordinary artistic baker. He specializes in creating complicated and unbelievably lifelike cakes, which is why he’s also known as “The Bake King.”
Last week, Cullen made a 3-foot-tall cake of the character Maui from Walt Disney Animation Studios’ Moana. It took him four days to create.
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“Big projects like this mean long days as you have to make sure the cake is kept fresh,” Cullen said. “So I worked really hard on it, but I enjoyed every second.”
For Cullen, this sculpture has been at the top of his cake bucket list forever. He called Maui his favorite Disney character of all time — and in his version, he’s made of vanilla cake with chocolate ganache and sugar paste detailing.
“I love making character cakes, and I’ve always wanted to make Maui from the moment I started making character cakes,” said Cullen, “but I knew it would be really difficult and so I’ve kept waiting for the right time when I felt I could do it justice.”
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He said the cake was “definitely up there” as one of the most difficult cakes he’s ever had to make. Since Maui is such a well-known character, it was crucial for him to get his features and proportions right.
“Not only that, but the tattoos took so long to hand paint on, and they too needed to be perfect for the cake to work; but that’s ok because I’m also a big fan of tattoos,” said Cullen.
“I love how the characters have tattoos… I’m quite heavily tattooed myself, and I think it’s great how they showcased the tattoos in these tribes and the incredible meaning behind them… moving away from other stigmas held about tattoos,” Cullen explained.
He added that “You’re Welcome” is also a brilliant song that he knows all the lyrics to from having watched the film over and over again while making the cake!
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Though he hasn’t made any other Hawaiian character cakes, he’s always wanted to visit the islands.
“I think it looks like the most beautiful place on earth, and I can’t wait to go one day!” he said. “I’m getting married next year, so maybe for my honeymoon would be the dream.”