Owl Houndstooth Cake

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Owl Cake with Houndstooth

Owl Cake

This cake was a last minute idea for the birthday of a very close friend of mine.  Colleen is one of my best and oldest friends, and as you can probably guess, she loves owls.  When I was first thinking about what to do for her, I thought about making a 3-D shaped owl cake or cupcakes.  I looked at a lot of different owl images. Owls are very popular right now, but a lot of them seem a little too cartoonish, and I didn’t want the cake to look like it was for a child.  I thought that I should stick with a “grown-up” color scheme and maybe something fashion related to fit Colleen.  That is what brought me to the houndstooth pattern. Owls are wise and dignified and the houndstooth pattern, being very classic and timeless, seemed to fit, so putting them together just worked for me.

Owl Topper

Gum Paste Owl

To make the owl, I used gum paste, which I make by adding tylose to my fondant.  I like this method because it allows me to take already colored fondant that I have on hand and turn it into gum paste for modeling.  I know there are commercial gum paste brands, but I have never used these. I also used gum paste for the houndstooth pattern.  I cut each one of these with an x-acto knife.  It was a painstaking process, and since then I have searched for and found a houndstooth cutter.  The benefit of cutting by hand is that you can customize the pattern size to your cake.

Owl and tools

Weighing gum paste owl

When modeling figures, a scale like this Salter comes in very handy.  I use it to measure small amounts of fondant and gum paste so that I will know how much to use next time.  The owl is made of 3.3 ounces of chocolate brown gum paste.

Modeling Owl Eye

Eye made of gum paste

Owl and tools

Weighing gum paste owl

 

 

 

 

 

 

I looked through all of my scalloped cutters hoping to find one that would be just right for the green part of the eye, but I couldn’t find one small enough so I ended up using a bismarck tip (Wilton #230) to cut the little half circles and make the scalloped detail.  I continued to improvise with the bismarck tip and found that it worked wonderfully for making the little green feathers on the owl’s wing.  For the white and black parts of the eye I used tip #2A and tip #1.  I tinted some gum paste egg yellow, and used a small daisy plunge cutter to help make the feet.

Owl Houndstooth Cake

Owl Side View

This was such a fun cake to design and make, and I was honored to be able to make it to celebrate the birthday of an amazing friend!


Mouse House

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Mouse House

Mouse House

Create an adorable Autumn cake with two whimsical mice living in a pumpkin house. This Mouse House cake is one of my favorites. Fabulous for Fall, and cute as a button, this cake will capture the imaginations of young and old alike.

Mice Peeking Out

Mice Peeking Out

Mouse

Mouse

The cake design is from Debbie Brown’s 50 Easy Party Cakes, a book that I absolutely love! This book can be found on our site, and I highly recommend it because it has tons of inspiration and provides instruction on making simple but striking cakes.

Mouse Looking at You

Mouse Looking at You

I chose to make a pumpkin flavored cake with cream cheese frosting to go with the Autumn theme. This cake is made with two half spheres. You can make this shape cake with a ball pan or if you have a bowl that is oven safe and fairly round, you can bake two halves to make the pumpkin.

Sculpted Fondant Mice

Sculpted Fondant Mice

One of the nice  things about this cake is that the mice figures can be sculpted far in advance. I suggest making them at least 2 days ahead of time so that they have plenty of time to dry. You want them to be pretty sturdy by the time you place them on the cake, so that they are easier to work with and don’t break. To prevent sticking, set your figures on a silpat (non-stick baking mat) or parchment paper to dry.

Side View

Side View

If you are intimidated by sculpting fondant figures, this is a good cake to start with. The mice are fairly simple, and you can make the figures far in advance which will give you time to practice. A fondant sculpting set will help you with the small details, and this product can be found in our store www.cakecupboard.com.

Bottom of Pumpkin

Bottom of Pumpkin

Covering the pumpkin shaped cake in fondant is easier when the cake is placed atop a tall cake pedestal. This enables you to see the sides and bottom. If you don’t have a cake pedestal, you could also rest the cake on a round jar lid that is smaller than the base of the cake. This will allow you to work the fondant all the way under the cake so that you won’t see any seams or bunching at the bottom. Once covered in orange fondant, I transfer the cake to a green fondant covered cake board. If you lift the cake from the bottom, you will minimize fingerprints in the fondant, since this bottom portion will be covered when set on the cake board.

Mouse House Back

Mouse House Back

To make the windows that the mice peek out of, I used the round end of a large decorating tip/tube. You could also use a small round cutter if you have one.

Mice Peeking Out

Mice Peeking Out

I attached everything except for the mice to this cake with a tiny bit of water. For the mice, I used royal icing to make sure that they would stay in place.

Mouse Tail

Mouse Tail

The curly mice tails and pumpkin stems add interest and detail to this cake.

Looking down at the Mouse House

Looking down at the Mouse House