Tag Archives: fondant

Animal Birthday Cake

20 Mar

When I first learnt cake decorating, I imaged I would create a birthday cake for my own child one day. Recently my daughter turned 2 and I was so excited to make this cake for her!

Ellie is very interested in animals. She can name a few different animals and imitate their sounds. Since I’ve introduced pandas to her on YouTube videos, pandas become her favorite animal. One day I will take her overseas to see the real pandas (there are no pandas in the local zoo).

This is a 4 layer chocolate cake covered with fondant. I also use fondant to make all the decorations. Ellie was amazed by the cake although she didn’t quite understand the concept of birthday yet. 🙂  The smile on her face was my best reward!

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Minnie Mouse Cake

30 May

A friend from work asked me to make a birthday cake for her 2 year old daughter. I was worried I didn’t have time to make the cake while I had to spend time with my own daughter. After I looked at the picture of the cake she found on the internet I happily accept the order. It is a simple but eye-catching design. Especially I love the contrast of the colour!

I bought the black fondant from the shop because I know it is very hard to achieve the deep dark colour. I tried to save money so I decided to colour the white fondant in red myself (white fondant is cheaper than the coloured fondant). I underestimated the difficulty of achieving the rich red colour. I have almost used half bottle of red food colouring plus plenty of pink food colouring. I am happy I have got the colour right at the end, however timewise it wasn’t a smart move – lesson learnt!

In the end I was excited about the cake – simplily cute! By the way it was a chocolate cake with butter cream icing inside. My colleague told me the cake was exactly what she imagined!

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Richard’s soccer cake

23 Nov

I have made a soccer theme cake again! But this time it was in a larger scale. The story was Richard at my work is retiring, so the office manage approached me to see if I was interested in making a cake for his farewell party. Surely I was up for the challenge. Richard’s favorite soccer team is Manchester United. Therefore they wanted me to make a soccer field cake with a soccer ball and a soccer team on top. The soccer team was stored bought – non eatable.

I have spent a lot of time on this cake, especially the painted MU logo. I was relieved when I finally put everything together. It was a three-layer chocolate cake filled with chocolate ganache, covered with fondant. The logo, soccer ball and T-shirt were made of fondant. The soccer field was piped by royal icing. His name was made of chocolate. This cake was many firsts for me: my first big scale cake (350mm x 240mm); my first cake was eaten by 50 people, my first cake was created on demand.

In the farewell party I received many thanks from the manager and Richard’s wife, what an honour! It was the best reward to see the joy on their faces. 🙂

Richard's soccer cake

Richard’s soccer cake

Manchester United logo

Manchester United logo

T-shirt and soccer ball

T-shirt and soccer ball

Planet Cake course – Novelty 101

1 Oct

I have watched the Planet Cake tv show before, their art works were amazing. When I learned that Planet Cake course was coming to NZ I didn’t want to miss out this opportunity, so I signed up the Novelty 101 course. Honestly the cost is expensive, but they provided a cake, tools, materials, lunch and everything we need. When I arrived everything was ready to start.

Each student was given an 8 inch square chocolate cake. We needed to crave it into a balloon shape. It was my first time of craving and sculpting a cake, and my cake was crumbly, therefore it was frustrating and messy. The crumbs covered all my work surface and the floor. 😦 At the end I just molded the crumbs together by pressing and squeezing, it did turn out a smooth balloon shape! And then we covered our cake with chocolate ganache. This is a signature technique of Planet Cake. The ganache sets firmly, this is how they achieve their “famous razor sharp edges”. Back to my course, using this balloon shape we can decorate it into different animals. Most students agreed to make a money. We rolled out the fondant, covered and decorating the cake. While craving is tedious, decorating is the fun part because we used our imagination to make our own monkey, each one was different. My monkey wasn’t perfect (the fondant was dry out and tearing off), but I loved it! 🙂

Is the Planet Cake worth of the money? I’d say if you really enjoy learning and cake decorating, yes it is!

Monkey cake - surprise expression

Monkey cake – surprise expression

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Project 2: Soccer cake

9 Sep

My colleague is from England, she loves watching soccer games, she plays soccer, and she is as super fan of Tottenham Hotspur. There is no doubt about the soccer theme when I came to design her birthday cake.

My favorite element of the cake is the soccer ball. Honestly I wanted to keep it for myself! The original design was hanging the flag up with two bamboo skewers. However I found this was a bit distracting and I loved the soccer ball so much that I wanted it to be the center piece so I changed the design and laid the flag next to the soccer ball instead.

Original design

Original design

Soccer cake - final look

Soccer cake – final look

Two things were really difficult in this project – the color and the border. The official color of Hotspur is dark blue, which is very hard to match on fondant, especially I only have the sky blue food coloring on hand. The color of the hand painted logo on the flag was the best match because I mixed the color and painted directly on the fondant. While dyeing the fondant, the color was either too dark or too bright. Finally I had to stick with the brighter color as it looked slightly better.

When I was searching the Hotspur flag on the internet, I saw some flags with the checked pattern. I decided to incorporate that into my cake. Therefore I made a checked cake inside and also a checked border. Again I had the color problem – the blue food coloring gel mixed with the yellow cake batter (from the eggs), it turned into green! I had added the coloring gel twice, but there was not much change. I didn’t want to over mix the cake batter, so I have to live with green, err…The border was the biggest challenge. I have learned this technique from Lyndy Smith’s book. I haven’t seen anything like this on the internet so I really wanted to try it. I spent a few hours to just make that border. It wasn’t perfect (not perfectly square) but it was the best I can get. I am not sure if I want to try this technique again!

Inside checked pattern

Inside checked pattern

Checked border

Checked border

It is worth mentioning that The Mat was really helpful. It took me three tries to cover the cake last time, but with The Mat I only did it once – a huge improvement! The fondant was rolled out nicely thin and it didn’t dry out. To be honest rolling out fondant is still a hard work even with The Mat, it was a cardio workout!!

At the end of the day I was happy this project had been completed after so much frustration. Overall I am satisfied with the result especially it impressed my colleague and the others at work. I have received lots of compliments. My hard work has been paid off! 🙂

Project 1 – airplane birthday cake completed

14 Oct

I DID it finally! This is my first proper fondant cake. Although it wasn’t perfect but I was pretty happy about it.

It took weeks from planning and execution. I even wrote down a schedule of the preparation a week before the birthday. My first fondant experience on a 9’in cake(previously on small cakes/cupcakes) wasn’t easy. It took me three attempts to roll out the fondant and cover the cake. I used the shortening to grease the work surface for the first two attempts, and I rolled out the fondant quite thin, therefore I couldn’t lift the fondant without tearing it. At the third attempt, I used the cornflour to dust the work surface instead and kept the fondant quite thick, then I could lift it and move it over to the cake. However the downside of using cornflour was the fondant got dried out easily. I managed to make a hold on the fondant when covering the cake. Luckily it was at the bottom of the cake, it could be easily covered by my design – using the green fondant as the grass.

Talking about fondant, the Satin Ice fondant was easy to work with. I used the blue one to cover the whole cake. The white Pettinice fondant smelled nice and was easy to work with too. I used it to make the cloud and the airplane. Also I coloured it myself to make the flowers. But the colored Pettinice fondant was super sticky! I bought the green one and intented to cut out the mountain or the grass shape but I couldn’t get it off my hand or the work surface, neither it could hold the shape of my design. I had to add a lot of icing sugar and cornflour, and eventually I just used the roller cutter to cut out some sort of long strips as grass. The Regal Ice fondant has lots of different colours with small package size. The consistency was great for modelling and make small decorating pieces. I used the brown one to make the tree chunks, and the grey one to make the road.

I think I have executed my design nicely(but don’t look too close). Adults and kids loved it. I received lots of compliments 🙂

My cake and messy kitchenAirplane birthday cake

Easy way to make roses

2 Aug

I learned to make roses using buttercream in the Wilton class. To be honest I didn’t do well. The icing kept breaking and the shapes were awkward. Today I just found a video on YouTube of making fondant roses. It is unbelievably easy!  I came up with an idea of practicing the other day – to use toy clay instead of gum paste (it is much cheaper). I couldn’t wait to try it out. I got the chance… yay – my first practice was to make a rose!

Actually the clay is a bit too soft, but it is good enough for a trial run. I have added more petals than the video, it turned out ok (unfortunately the camera is not very good – hard to do a closeup shot). This way of making roses is nice and easy, I loved it. I would definitely try it again using the fondant one day!

Rose (clay)