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Sunday, May 23, 2010

Cake Tutorial #1

As promised - sorry it took so long.  Its been a really busy couple of weeks, but I did finally get around to putting together that tutorial I promised.

As I was making this cake I realized the one key thing that you can do to make your cakes look more professional.  Level your cakes before stacking them.  This is so easy to do with a large serrated knife.  A level cake makes all the difference in the world. 

Next, something easy that you can do to give you cakes so wow factor is adding fondant decorations.  I had a question on one of my other cakes "Do you use the cricut to cut out your fondant decorations" - the answer is no.  I usually use either cutter (gumpaste/fondant cutters or cookie cutters) or I use an exacto knife and a template of some sort.  So this is were we will start!

You will need:
Fondant
Tylose powder (optional)
Pasta roller (or rolling pin)
Template of something you want to cut out
A new exacto knife
A smooth cutting surface (like a cutting board)
Shortening
Powder Sugar
A cookie sheet lined with parchment or wax paper

FONDANT:  you can use store bought  or make your own fondant.  I have never really had much success with making my own fondant and frankly I'm usually running so far behind I don't have time to make it!  So I buy my fondant (order it online) - or you can buy it at Walmart/Michael's.  I have it on good authority that the Wilton Fondant has improved their taste considerably!  I prefer to use Satin Ice and I also buy precolored fondant - especially red and black!


TYLOSE POWDER:  Although I put this as optional it will really make this process much easier!  It will also be essential if you plan on using your cutout as a topper as I did in the Batman cake.  Its fairly cheap and lasts a long time, however, it is not easy to find and you will need to buy it at a cake decorating supply store or order it online.


TEMPLATE:  Google Image is my friend.  I love Google Image.  Almost anything that you can think of can be found there.  Its my "go to" place to find pictures of anything!  For this cake we needed STAR WARS!  I went on Google Image and printed out the logo.  Next I wanted to add the birthday boy's name, so I searched for the Star Wars font to make it all go together - I found it for FREE at dafont.com - another site I LOVE!!  I printed out both the logo and the b-day boy's name. 


Now - grab your trusty scrapbooking scissors and cut that bad boy out!  I just wanted the letters, so I cut out each individual letter.

You will then want to knead some tylose powder into your fondant - you will only need about a 1/4 tsp of Tylose Powder.  Continue kneading until your fondant is pliable and easy to knead and stretch.

At this point you can either run your fondant through a pasta roller (easiest!) or you can use a rolling pin to roll it out.  I always start on the thickest setting of pasta roller.  I use it thick for a stand up topper and a little thinner to add accents to the side of cakes.  Make sure to dust your fondant with powder sugar before running it through the machine or rolling it out by hand.  Also dust your cutting surface or your fondant will stick.


Once you have your fondant rolled to the desired thickness - lay it on your cutting mat/board.  Grab your cut-outs, exacto knife and some shortening.


Rub a little shortening on your fondant and the stick your paper cut-outs on top.


Use your exacto to cut around the templates - the shortening helps to keep the cut-outs from moving while you are cutting. 


If you have jagged edges just use your finger to gently tap or rub them out - you can also purchase a steamer (like the ones used for clothes) to make your finished accents look smoother.

Place your cut pieces on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper to dry, or to just move them so you don't accidentally mess them up (yep - done it!).

Its finally time to add them to your cake!  I use gum glue to stick my fondant pieces on the cake (1/4 cup warm water and 1 tsp. tylose powder - mixed and left in the fridge overnight).  If you don't have time or tylose you can simply use water.  Just use a small clean (never used for anything but food) paintbrush to add the water or gum glue to the back of the letter/accents and gently put them on the side of your cake. 



And the final cake looked like this:



Buttercream iced all accents are fondant and handmade.  you can see a little flaw in the buttercream on the right - poor Darth Vader took a tumble off the top of the cake :(  Oh well - I still like it!

Please feel free to let me know if you have ANY questions and if you have an idea for the next Cake Tutorial please let me know! 

5 comments:

  1. That is an AWESOME cake, too cute to eat!!

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  2. Great tutorial and wonderful cake! Matthew will always remember this. I am intimidated by fondant but will tackle it soon.

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  3. Thank you so much for this! What great tips!

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  4. You are amazing! What a FANTASTIC cake! Thanks for linking up to Hoo's got talent.

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  5. Eine sehr gute Idee, vielen Dank!!

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