I started making cupcakes for the kids at our Halloween block party. The children enjoy the fun and wacky cupcakes, so I look forward, and so do my friends, on what I'm going to make for the following year.  Then my son, for his birthday requested an Angry Birds cake. It is very expensive to have it made by a professional baker, so I decided to give it a try...and that's how I got started learning about cake decorating. I make cake for family and dear friends...one cake request at a time. 



 Flowers, Gumpaste, and Fondant


 Character Cakes

I've been inspired by Ace of Cakes and Cake Boss in creating sculpted figures made out of fondant. Who knew one could learn from reality TV? About 10 years ago, I made my first cake topper out of Crayola Clay Mold. It was inedible, so I had to mount it on a food-safe stand. Now cake stuff is everywhere from fondant to molds to tools of the trade. Calijavaonline.com has a great assorment of ready made flowers, baking and decorating tools. They've got some awesome "how to" videos on cake decorating.

More Cakes and Cupcakes

 How I make Fondant Figures

1. Prepping 

I use Wilton Ready-to-Use Pure White fondant on all my figures. I get the 5 lb. box, since I can use it for several figures, usually for 2 cakes to cover and make figures. I buy them at Michael's Craft Store using my 50% or 40% off coupons. So, for $10, I can create this fabulous one of a kind cake for someone special.

To color my fondant, I use Wilton colored gels. Gels are much better to handle than the liquid dyes. I use a toothpick to pick up colors from the gel bottles. I also use gloves so the dyes do not get all over my hands. To keep it from getting too sticky, I either use corn starch or powdered sugar, just don't overdo or else it won't be pliable. One rule I've learned..reds and blacks are the hardest to make, so buy them pre-made. 

Before I start decorating a cake, I usually make all my fondant colors. This helps me with time management. So I pre-make all my fondant colors and to store them. I roll each fondant color into a ball, wrap it with plastic wrap, and put it in a gallon size Ziploc bag, making sure all the air in the bag is out. I'm still looking for another greener way to attain this. 

2. Molding your figure

I'm finicky with making sure my figures look right. I usually do my research, whether it be a golf cart or a cartoon character. I would suggest looking at different images of what you want to really capture what you're making. These images are great as a reference, then just add your creativity!

I use a skeleton to keep my figures from not drooping for falling apart. I use Wilton food safe wires for my flowers and figures. If you don't have that, toothpicks are a handy dandy way to go. I've also used lollipop sticks, foil, and rice crispy treats for my igloo or Jack Skellington's mountain. I've learned a few tricks from Ace of Cakes and Cake Boss. wink, wink...

Sculpting tools are a great help as well. Duff has a set of sculpting tools that are inexpensive. As always, I use my 50% coupon from Michael's Craft Store to purchase them, so for a kit, less than $10 is not bad.

To create facial features- there are tricks of the trade that I've learned. To paint facial features and other decorations, I use vodka and colored gels. This will ensure that your colors won't bleed or smear. A fine point brush works well when painting details. You can use toothpicks to make dots for eyes or nostrils for animals and straws cut in half to make an impression of a mouth. If you're not into that, food-safe pens or markers work great!

3. Drying 
I dry my figures on wax paper. This eliminates sticking to the bottom. Make sure you leave plenty of time for drying. Fondant figures are hard as rocks when dried over 24-48 hours. So plan your time and make your figures ahead of time.

Hope this helps.