Where the Wild Things Are Cake

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Wild Things Cake

Wild Things Cake

This is a very special cake that I made for my husband’s 30th birthday.  The book, Where the Wild Things Are, is his favorite children’s book; and as you can probably tell, this cake was inspired by that beloved classic children’s story by Maurice Sendak.

Max in his boat

Max in his boat

This cake is super detailed, and my husband had a lot to do with that.  He loves designs that are very realistic, intricate, and detailed, and this cake is a perfect illustration of his style.  The cakes I usually create are a bit more clean and simple, so I definitely made and exception for this one.  But the bottom line is that you really want the recipient to love the cake, especially when it’s your husband!

Monsters

Monsters

Dog

Dog

 

 

 

 

 

 

This cake is frosted with buttercream, and the figures are all fondant that has been etched and painted with food coloring.  The buttercream waves on the top of the cake are probably my favorite feature.

Sea Monster

Sea Monster

My second favorite thing is this sea monster.  It reminds me of the Loch Ness Monster and I just love the colors.

More monsters

More monsters

Bottom Tier

Bottom Tier

 

 

 

 

 

 

Each tier of this cake is covered in scenes from the book.  It’s hard to capture all of the details, because the scenes wrap all the way around the cake for a full 360 effect.

Room and Monster

Room and Monster

Tent and palm

Tent and palm

 

 

 

 

 

 

There were so many different colors of buttercream for this cake, I had a real mess on my hands in the kitchen!

Cake in progress

Cake in progress

There were so many details on this cake, both of our sisters had to jump in and lend a hand with the fondant figures.  Thank you sooo much Abi and Leandra! This cake was truly a family affair and there was a lot of heart and soul put into the making of it!

Goodnight

Goodnight


First Communion Cake

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First Communion Cake

First Communion Cake

This is a cake that I made just last week for my goddaughter’s First Communion! First Communion is a pretty big deal, and I have never made a religious cake before, so I was a little bit stumped on the design.  My goddaughter, Kylie, is such a wonderful, talented, beautiful little girl and I needed to make something extra special for her big day! Luckily Kylie let me know that she wanted the cake color scheme to be purple, pearl, and black! Gotta love a girl who knows what she wants!  Such a sophisticated choice as well!

Purple Fondant

Purple Fondant

It all started with the purple fondant.  I really wanted a beautiful shade of lavender, but once I started the coloring process, I got more than I bargained for.  I just could not get the shade that I wanted with my “go to” Americolor gel pastes.  I tried both Americolor Royal Purple and Americolor Violet, but the violet was too blue, and with the royal purple I kept ending up with muted dull mauve colors that just looked dingy. I started adding Americolor Fushia to the mix and ended up with a slightly better shade, but it was still not ideal. I decided to try a completely different brand of coloring, Wilton neon purple.  I’m not sure if you can buy this color individually; I had it as part of a Wilton neon colors set, so I thought I should give it a try.  To my delight, the Wilton neon purple created a perfectly pretty shade of purple.  The first four colors (starting on the left) in the photo above were created with Americolor Royal Purple and Americolor Fushia gel pastes combined. The two colors on the far right are colored with Wilton neon purple.

Before - Purple/Lavender

Before – Purple/Lavender

After - Cornflower Blue

After – Cornflower Blue

 

 

 

 

 

 

One more thing about purple…it fades like crazy! After coloring my fondant I wrapped it in plastic wrap and let it rest overnight.  When I woke up the next morning, my beautiful shade of lavender had changed to cornflower blue. Argh! In the face of this disaster I went online to see what other people were saying.  I found that this was a common problem that some said could be fixed with baking soda, if you add it before the fade occurs. I couldn’t save the original batch, so I started fresh with some new fondant and added 1/4 tsp baking soda per 4 ounces fondant.  I couldn’t find any exact recommendations on the quantity, so this was a test. I again let this set overnight, and I woke up to fondant that was still lavender, but seemed to have darkened a bit more than normal.  I determined that although the color was darker than I had planned on, it would work.  During this process I got to thinking back on other purple cakes that I have made.  I realized that my purple gumpaste has never faded.  I don’t know why this is, but it seems that when you add tylose to fondant (this is how I make my gumpaste) it protects it from fading.

First Communion Invite

First Communion Invite

Once I past the first hurdle, it was time to work on design.  I took a cue from the invite and used a silhouette portrait of Kylie to make a personalized child praying silhouette. I used an x-acto knife to cut through the paper template and etch the silhouette outline into black gumpaste.

Frame for silhouette

Frame for silhouette

The shape of the invite lent itself to being the frame for the silhouette.  The frames and silhouette are cut from rolled gumpaste using an x-acto knife with a new blade.

Silhouette

Silhouette

The background of the invite gave me the idea for stenciling the bottom tier of the cake.  I found a damask cake stencil that I could stencil onto the cake with royal icing.

Masking the cake

Masking the cake

This was my first time working with a cake stencil, and it turned out that my cake was shorter than the stencil. I could have cut the stencil to the right height, but the stencil was expensive, and I still wanted to be able to use it on a taller cake.  I masked off the portion that I didn’t need with masking tape so that the top edge would be clean.

Stencil with royal icing

Stencil with royal icing

I made one batch of royal icing and thinned it slightly with water to use as my stenciling medium.  I spread it onto the stencil with an offset spatula, and then removed the stencil. The stencil worked alright, but I found that stenciling on a round cake is much more difficult than stenciling on a square or rectangular cake.  The stencil needs to have direct contact with the cake to make the stenciling come out crisp, clean, and uniform thickness.  On a round cake, your sides need to be perfectly square all the way around so that there are no gaps between the cake and the stencil.  My cake had relatively square sides, but there were some varying gaps, and as a result the stenciling was not a uniform thickness all the way around and there was some blurring.  One length of the stencil was not enough to go around the cake completely, so I waited 15-20 minutes for the royal icing to dry and then applied the stencil to the remaining area of the cake.  I overlapped the stencil so that the pattern would line up seamlessly. On a round cake, I can’t see a way around having a seam.  The place where the stenciling finally meets up will just be the back of the cake.  Again, on a square or rectangular cake, you won’t have this problem.

Stenciled Bottom Tier

Stenciled Bottom Tier

You can see the uneven thickness of the royal icing in this photo as well as some of the blurring.  Even though this is an imperfection, it gives it texture, and adds some old-world charm to the cake.  It feels like it could be part of a beautiful old cathedral.

Gumpaste pearls

Gumpaste pearls

I still needed to incorporate pearl into the cake, and the thought that gumpaste pearls would be lovely for the bottom border.  I use a 4mm pearl mold to make the strands of pearls.  The key to making pearls is to brush your pearl mold liberally with pearl luster dust.  I used CK Products Super Pearl Luster Dust here. I make all of the pearls and then trim off the excess with an x-acto knife before applying them to the cake.

Gumpaste pearl border

Gumpaste pearl border

The pearls make a very elegant touch, and they are deceivingly simple to make. I wrapped the cake drum in a lavender satin ribbon. I am so fortunate to have such an amazing goddaughter, and it was such a pleasure making her First Communion cake!

 


Oakland A’s Baseball Cap Cake

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Oakland A's Cake

Oakland A’s Cake

So I don’t follow baseball at all, but my brother in law, Peter, is a die-hard Oakland A’s fan.  He the biggest sports fan I know, and he is unwavering in his dedication to the Oakland Athletics.  I wanted to do a special cake for his 35th birthday, and because he is an absolute A’s fanatic, I knew it would have to be an Oakland A’s themed cake.  I needed the cake to be compact so I could easily transport it, and this baseball hat cake was a last minute idea that fit all the criteria.

Back of A's Hat Cake

Back of A’s Hat Cake

I have a hard time thinking of cakes for guys.  Maybe its because guys hobbies and interests usually aren’t easily translated into big swirls of pink frosting, or maybe its just because I have made fewer cakes for men.  This cake is great because you can just change the colors and logo and you have the perfect cake for any baseball fan, guy or girl.

Side View of A's Hat Cake

Side View of A’s Hat Cake

The hat is baked using a sports ball pan (one half) cake stacked on a 6″ round cake carved into a wedge.  I wasn’t sure how I would get just the right shade of green for this cake, and it turned out to be a combination of Americolor forest green and leaf green gel pastes.  The entire cake is covered in green and yellow fondant, and the stitching was done with a Wilton cutter/embosser tool.  Hopefully this season will be a good one for the A’s!

 

Top of Hat Cake

Top of Hat Cake


Scuffy The Tugboat Cake

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Scuffy the Tugboat

3-D Scuffy The Tugboat Cake

Do you recognize this little tugboat?  If you’re like me and have a fondness for the Golden Books of your childhood you do!  It’s Scuffy The Tugboat from the beloved Golden Book.  The book is a classic that you shouldn’t miss out on, so if you haven’t read it yet go out and find a copy.  It is a beautifully illustrated and written book to share with your children and grandchildren.

Book and Invite

Children’s books offer great inspiration for birthday parties, and  I thought Scuffy The Tugboat would be a perfect party theme for my nephew’s 3rd birthday!  Also it was a great excuse to make a Scuffy cake.  At the time, I thought that everyone knew exactly who Scuffy was, but at the party many people thought the cake was just a tugboat.  I couldn’t believe they had never heard of Scuffy!

Fondant Scuffy Eyes

Scuffy’s Eyes

I knew I had to get the eyes right for the cake to truly look like Scuffy.  The eyes always bring a character to life, and it’s exciting when you get to the eyes, because once you put them on you can tell if everything is going to work.  You can have everything else right, but if the eyes aren’t spot on, you may have to try again.

Scuffy Closeup

Scuffy

Side of Scuffy

Scuffy Side

 

 

 

 

 

 

Originally I wasn’t sure if I would use piping or fondant for the details on this cake.  I tried piping, but the result was not what I wanted, so all of the details are fondant and gumpaste.  The cake itself is just cake (no rice krispies) and though it is a 3-D cake, the shapes are not difficult, so it is pretty simple (as simple as 3-D cakes get).

Tugboat Bow

Bow of tugboat

The tool I use most often for wood grain is a plastic ruler.  I use the edge of it, and drag it across the fondant to make the pattern.  I brushed this wood grain with brown gel paste to bring out the grain.  I love to do fun cake boards, and this is one of my favorite. I went around the cake board with some red grosgrain ribbon and added yellow rick rack on top of that.  I think it is a cute detail for a child’s birthday cake.

3-D Scuffy Cake

Scuffy The Tugboat Smokestack

Scuffy Smokestack

Scuffy Cake

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The most challenging part of this cake was definitely the smokestack.  I didn’t know how to make a hollow gumpaste cylinder, so there was a lot of experimenting.  Finally I wrapped a very sturdy paper cylinder from a roll of plastic wrap in parchment paper.  Then I rolled out a rectangle of blue gumpaste.  I cut the gumpaste to the exact size needed to cover the roll, and wrapped it around.  I sealed the seam with a bit of water and let the cylinder stand upright for a couple of days.  Once the gumpaste was dry, I slid the paper roll out and was left with a hollow gumpaste tube.  My previous trials taught me that the gumpaste will stick to the paper tube if you don’t wrap it in parchment.

3-D Scuffy The Tugboat Cake

Scuffy 3-D Cake

Well that is the Scuffy cake!  I hope you are inspired to read the story and maybe make a Scuffy cake or cupcakes of your own!

Scuffy Book

Scuffy The Tugboat Golden Book


Valentine’s Cookies

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Valentine Cookies

Embossed Valentine’s Cookies

Valentine’s Day is almost here, and while it is getting closer by the minute, it’s not too late to make some lovely cookies for your sweetheart!  These cookies are pretty perfect for a Valentine’s party or fun project.  You can make them as simple or detailed as you like, and who can resist a delicious decorated sugar cookie?

Embossed Quilted Heart

Quilted Heart Cookie

Love Heart Cookie

Love Embossed Cookie

 

 

 

 

 

 

I made these cookies with a clever cookie set that lets you use texture mats to imprint the details into fondant. The cookies look intricate and detailed, yet the process is very straightforward.  If you have shaky hands and shy away from piping, this set is perfect.  With the texture mats, you can get the look of a beautifully piped cookie, without the work.  The cookies are beautiful plain or embellished, and mistakes can always be eaten! See below for a step by step on making these cookies.

Cutting the hearts

Heart Cut-out Cookies

First you need to start with an excellent sugar cookie recipe.  This one is my favorite; the dough is so irresistible that a lot of the cookies don’t even make it to the oven!

Rolling Cookies

Rolling pin and cookies

Heart cutout cookies

Baked cookies

 

 

 

 

 

 

Once you’ve got your cookies baked and cooled, now it is time to decorate!  This is the fun part!  To decorate about 14 cookies you will need about 7 ounces of fondant.  Use any colors you like.  To get the pink color I used, use a 3 to 1 ratio of Wilton rose gel coloring and Americolor burgundy gel paste.  For 7 ounces of fondant I used 3 drops burgundy and 9 toothpicks (half dipped) of the rose coloring.  While I generally stick with Americolor gel paste, I prefer the Wilton rose color to the Americolor pinks.  I sometimes end up with too much of a Pepto-Bismol pink with the Americolor and with the Wilton Rose you can achieve more of a raspberry.

Texture mat and fondant

Embossing fondant

You want to roll your fondant to about 1/8″ thick.  Spray your texture mats with non-stick spray and wipe away the excess.  You can press the mat into the fondant using either side of the mat.  One side will make a raised impression and the other will make an indented impression.  I opted for the indented impression with the exception of the love mat.  It only works one way or else the writing will end up backwards.

Imprinted pink fondant

Imprinted fondant

Embossed fondant hearts

Texture mat hearts

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you have trouble with the texture mat sticking to the fondant try to let the fondant set out a bit (5-10 minutes) after you roll it, or use a tiny bit of cornstarch on top of the fondant to make it less sticky.  I think these look lovely just imprinted, but for extra oomph you can add some piped dots at the intersection of the lines on the quilted cookies, and some painted accents to the love and baroque heart cookies.

Painting heart cookie

Painting “Baroque” Heart Cookie

Painting "Love" Heart

Painting “Love” detail

 

 

 

 

 

 

To paint the accents I use a mixture of Wilton White Pearl Dust, Vodka, Royal Icing, and gel paste (1 drop Americolor Sky Blue and 2 drops Americolor Teal).  Just mix the gel paste, pearl dust, vodka, and royal icing until you get the consistency of paint.  The royal icing is optional.  I added it because I had made it already to pipe the dots on the quilted heart.  It makes the “paint” a little bit thicker and more opaque.  If you don’t use it, the paint will just be a bit more transparent.  They key to painting the details is using a teeny tiny brush.  I used the very smallest one I have.

Painted Baroque Heart Cookie

Baroque Heart Cookie

Piping details

Piping on heart cookies

 

 

 

 

 

 

To pipe the dots on the quilted cookie, I used a #2 tip, and added a 1:2 ratio of sky blue and aqua to get the turquoise colored royal icing.  After you have piped the dots, look back to see if there are any pointy dots.  If so, just press down gently with the tip of your finger to smooth the peak into a nice rounded dot.  As long as your icing has not set too long, this should work. To attach the fondant hearts to the cookies, I used just a bit of thinned royal icing (since I already had it) spread over the cookie, and then just gently pressed down to get the fondant to adhere.  You could also use piping gel if you have it on hand.  I hope you have fun with this project.  There are so many variations and possibilities!  I would love to see your designs, so please post a picture if you give it a try!

Valentine's Close-Up

Heart Valentine Cookies

Excellent Sugar Cookies
Author: 
 
My favorite sugar cookie recipe for making cut-out cookies!
Ingredients
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1-1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tbsp heavy cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  2. In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, and sugar.
  3. Using a pastry blender cut in the butter until particles are fine and crumbly.
  4. In a small bowl, using a fork, beat the egg, heavy cream, and vanilla.
  5. Pour liquid ingredients into dry ingredients.
  6. Stir until dough comes together. Using your hands, combine and knead the dough into a uniform consistency.
  7. Roll out dough to about ¼” thick on a floured surface or non-stick baking mat.
  8. Cut out shapes and place cookies on a parchment lined cookie sheet (or cookie sheet lined with a non-stick baking mat) and bake for 10-12 minutes until edges are just slightly brown.
  9. Cool for 5 minutes, and then transfer cookies to a cooling rack and enjoy or let cool completely and then decorate!
Notes
Note: For cookies with super sharp edges, freeze cookies on cookie sheet for 5-10 minutes (or refrigerate for 15 minutes) before baking.

 


Cake and Cupboard Cake

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Cake & Cupboard Cake on Pedestal

Cake & Cupboard Cake on Pedestal

I love polka dots!  They just seem very versatile and cute!  I can think of a thousand polka dot things that I love: polka dot fabric, polka dot ribbon, polka dot pillows.  I could go on. I even have a favorite polka dot sweater. Soooo, I have always wanted to make a polka dot cake and specifically I have always wanted to make a cake that looks like the one in our logo!  My brilliant husband designed the logo, and of course it is perfect for me considering my love of everything polka dot, and my love of cakes.  So what could be better than a polka dot cake that looks just like the one in our logo?

Polka Dots Closeup

Polka Dots Closeup

I looked at my round cutters to find a fairly small size for the polka dots.  I ended up using a 3/4″ round cutter and I designed the scallops using a piece of cardstock that I cut into a pattern.  The cake is covered in white fondant and then a layer of dark brown gumpaste that went about 3/4 of the way down the cake.  I laid the cardstock pattern against the fondant and cut the scallops using an exacto knife, being careful not to cut into the white fondant behind. I then used a ruler to mark the placement of the dots and I cut those out with the 3/4″ round cutter and filled them in with the 3/4″ dots I had cut out of pink gumpaste. Voila!  As far as time, this cake is one of the quickest and most simple I have made.  I love simple designs, but also find that the simpler the design, the more perfect it needs to be because the flaws really show.

Cake & Cupboard Polka Dot Cake

Cake & Cupboard Polka Dot Cake

 

You can see some creased fondant and overcuts in the brown gumpaste. I was in a bit of a hurry with this one (just trying to fit it in during my baby’s naps) so it is not flawless, but I still think it’s a super cute cake.  As with all cakes, there are things I would do differently if I did it again. The cake is a 7″ round cake and next time I would go with a 6″ round cake to elongate the shape and give more height.  You can’t tell but the middle cake layers are actually smaller (probably 6 to 6-1/2″ in diameter) to give the cake sort of an hourglass figure as it appears in the logo.  This effort was definitely lost, but I think it would show up better on a taller 6″ cake.  The other thing I would do is lose the cake drum bottom and just have the cake sit directly on the pedestal for an appearance more similar to the logo.  In this case the cake drum was necessary.  I made the cake for my own birthday adventure which was bike riding  around Angel Island, and I knew it would be going on a bumpy ride so I designed it for maximum stability (it is doweled into the cake drum).  Maybe it is just because I love polka dots, but I feel like it is a fun and simple cake that could work for birthdays, showers, anniversarys, etc.  I hope you had fun taking a look.  I am sure there will be more polka dot cakes in my future!


Hungry Polar Bear Cake

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Polar Bear Cake

Polar Bear Cake

A polar bear eating ice cream? What could be more fun and delicious than a snowflake covered cake with a happy polar bear on top? Just the thought of a polar bear eating ice cream makes me smile, and children will be pleased to see that polar bears like ice cream just as much as they do!

Happy Polar Bear

Happy Polar Bear

Cozy in his striped scarf, this polar bear couldn’t be happier while enjoying his ice cream.

Polar Bear Backside

Polar Bear Backside

Aside from the polar bear itself, most of the decorations for this cake are made using cutters of various shapes. This speeds up the decorating process. The polar bear is sitting on a scalloped fondant circle made using our scalloped cutter set.

Tools

Tools

Using different cookie cutters to cut out fondant decorations is a simple and easy decorating idea.

Snowflakes

Snowflakes

Cutters that imprint patterns or textures will give more dimension and depth to the design. A non-stick mat is a wonderful work surface for rolling out fondant because you can leave the decorations on it while you work and they won’t stick.

Snowflake on Cake

Snowflake on Cake

Attach the fondant snowflakes to the fondant covered cake by applying a bit of water using a small paint brush.

Name in Lower Case Funky Tappit Letters

Name in Lower Case Funky Tappit Letters

These fondant letters are made using the funky lower case letters tappit set.

Tappit Set

Tappit Set

For this cake I wanted the first letter of each word to be capitalized, so I used the funky letters and numbers tappit set and the funky lower case tappit set.

Cutting out the lettering

Cutting out the lettering

Roll out long strips of fondant to cut out the letters using the tappit set. The tappit cutters are designed to cut each individual letter separately.

Fondant Letters

Fondant Letters

I use the pink (1/16″) dough bands on the 9″ rolling pin to get the fondant to the correct thickness.

Tappit Letter Detail

Tappit Letter Detail

I love the tappit sets because they produce stylish, crisp, clean, sharp looking letters. Tappit letters produce a fresh unique look that is different from hand piping plus there is the added benefit of being able to move letters around. If you make a spelling mistake with the tappit set, just remove the letter from the cake. Mistakes made with icing are much harder to fix.

Lettering on Cake

Lettering on Cake

Apply the tappit letters using a tiny bit of water applied with a paint brush. If you allow the tappit letters to dry, they will be stiff enough to attach to your cake with royal icing at the base of each letter so that they are free-standing.

Rounded Border Set

Rounded Border Set

The scalloped edge that surrounds the top tier of the cake is created with our rounded border cutter set. Cutter sets like these have endless uses and are great to have on hand for quick design ideas.

Top Tier

Top Tier

Scalloped stripes in alternating shades of blue add extra detail to this cake.

Sculpting the Polar Bear

Sculpting the Polar Bear

The part of this cake that is most daunting is probably sculpting the polar bear. I was inspired to make this bear by a greeting card I saw on one of my favorite stationary sites, Hello Lucky. A sculpting tools set will help you out with sculpting figures.  Don’t be afraid to try because it is just fondant and if you mess up you can always eat it and start over!

Starting the Scarf

Starting the Scarf

Making the scarf is a lot of fun, and the technique can be used for a variety of decorations. Begin by cutting small uniformly sized strips of fondant in two alternating colors. I use a ruler and x-acto knife to cut the strips to the same size.

Striped Scarf

Scarf and Ice Cream

Next use the small rolling pin to roll over the strips of fondant. Roll over them with even pressure so that they meld together. Now you have the fabric for the scarf.

Cut Out Shapes

Cut Out Shapes

The strips that have been rolled together should be stuck to each other and form one piece of fondant from which you can cut out a scarf, bowtie, or any shapes you can think of.

Polar Bear

Polar Bear

Polar Bear

Polar Bear


Paisley Cake

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Paisley Cake

Paisley Cake

This paisley cake is something I made for my mom’s birthday. I love that the paisley chocolates that decorate this cake resemble a beautiful wrapping paper pattern.

Paisley Cake Side View

Paisley Cake Side View

This cake is covered in fondant, and the bow and pearl edging are also made of fondant. The pearl/bead edging is made using a 4mm bead mold brushed with super pearl luster dust (that is why the pearls are shiny and opalescent).

Paisley Cake Closeup

Paisley Cake Closeup

The paisley chocolates are attached to the cake with royal icing. See below for a photo journal of the making of this cake.

Leveling the cake

Leveling the cake

This cake is an 8″ square so I leveled the layers using a small cake leveler. I then cut one of the layers in half, so that there would be three layers.

Filling the cake

Filling the cake

The cake is a champagne cake with a champagne custard filling. I piped a buttercream dam around the perimeter of the cake to make sure that the filling would not ooze out. Champagne cakes used to be popular and could be found in many bakeries. I remember the classic pink champagne cake that was covered in pink chocolate curls. It was stylish and delicious!

Stacking the cake

Stacking the cake

The stacked cake is about three and three quarter inches tall. This means that once the cake is crumb coated and covered in fondant, it should be about four inches high.

Crumb coating the cake

Crumb coating the cake

Here is the crumb coated cake. Crumb coating is applying a light coat of frosting (in this case buttercream diluted with water) to cover the cake and seal in all of the crumbs. Once this crumb coat sets up, you are ready to apply your final coat of frosting or cover your cake in fondant. The crumb coat is a rough coat and does not need to be perfect. It is intended to seal in the crumbs so that your final coat will not have any crumbs or bits of cake peeking through.

Smoothing the crumb coat

Smoothing the crumb coat

If you are covering your cake in fondant, you will want your crumb coat to be smoother than if you were going to apply another layer of frosting. This is because the shape and texture of the frosting that is underneath the fondant will show, so you want to get it as smooth as possible. To do this I fill an asparagus steamer with boiling water. I then dip a large bent spatula into the water and wipe it off with a paper towel and then run the hot spatula on the sides and top of the cake to smooth.

Smoothed cake

Smoothed cake

This is the cake after I have smoothed it with a hot spatula. Don’t fuss over the frosting too much, because the fondant will cover small imperfections.

Covering the cake in fondant

Covering the cake in fondant

This is the fondant covered cake. The red silicone rolling pin is the one that I use to roll the fondant. The straight rolling pin in the background is the one that I use to roll the fondant onto and pick up to lift and place on the cake. I use the fondant smoother (right side) to smooth the fondant over the cake.

Trimming the fondant

Trimming the fondant

I use an x-acto knife to trim the fondant from the bottom of the cake.

Making fondant pearls

Making fondant pearls

For this cake, I am trimming the fondant ribbon with fondant pearls/beads. I use the 4 mm bead maker to make the strings of pearls that will be attached to the ribbon. The super pearl luster dust is brushed into the pearl mold to keep the fondant from sticking.

Adding ribbon to the paisley cake

Adding ribbon to the paisley cake

Next I begin adding the fondant ribbon and pearls to the cake. Both are attached using a tiny amount of water (painted using a fine paint brush).

Materials for paisley cake

Materials for paisley cake

Now its time to start adding the paisleys to the cake. The fondant bow is formed using rolled paper towels stuffed in the loops to keep its shape while it dries overnight.

Attaching the paisleys

Attaching the paisleys

Adding more paisleys

Adding more paisleys

Paisleys panoramic view

Paisleys panoramic view

The paisley chocolates are attached to the cake with royal icing. Royal icing is very strong and the chocolates need to be held in place for less than a minute to get set on the cake.

Dried fondant bow

Dried fondant bow

The bow has dried overnight and is now sturdy enough for the pearl trim to be applied.

Adding pearl/bead trim to the bow

Adding pearl/bead trim to the bow

The fondant pearls are attached to the ribbon by applying a very small amount of water to the ribbon using a fine tipped paint brush. The strings of pearls will stick to the surface that is covered with water, but too much water will make them fall off and can also leave marks on the fondant.

Attaching fondant pearls to the bow loops

Attaching fondant pearls to the bow loops

Attaching the pearls to the bow loops was probably the hardest part. I had some strands of pearls that I had made the night before, but found that I could not attach them to the bow loops because the curves were too much and would cause the strands to break.  I ended up making additional fresh pearls for the bow loops.

Putting the bow together

Putting the bow together

Even though the bow looked like one piece when it was drying, it is actually five different pieces. If  it was all one piece, it would be even harder to attach the pearl trim. The final five pieces were assembled on top of the cake as the final step.

Paisley Cake birds eye view

Paisley Cake birds eye view

Here is the finished cake! It was a lot of work but definitely worth it!

Paisley Cake corner

Paisley Cake corner

The paisleys with polka dots are my favorite.

Paisleys

Paisleys