Saturday, June 29, 2013

How to make Cute Minnie Mouse Ears

I was inspired to create this post when I started working on this Minnie Mouse cake.  I was looking for something to give Minnie a more feminine look than the same old round flat Mickey ears with a skewer through it.  So I ventured into creating an indented round ear... a step up in the 3D department!  What may appear difficult and laborous you may find that this mouse ear tutorial takes just a few extra minutes and a couple of extra tools than the flat ears.  The biggest challenge was coming up with the frame 'work'.  How to create a structure to support this shape and stay secure?  After a few days of hoping I would find something out there I realized the solution was right in my cake cupboard!  Cake wires were the answer.  I like to get them at my local cake shop (Every Baking Moment in Dixon).  But you can get them at any other cake shop as well.  Now all we have to do is shape them into place so... let's get started!

For a cliff note version check out our YouTube video at:

Minnie Mouse Ears - 3D Fondant


Black Fondant
Round cutters (ear size and about 2 sizes smaller)
Flower Drying cups
Covered Cake Wire
Fondant Roller
Pliers (not pictured)
Paint brush (not pictured)

Step 1.  Make the Wire Frame

Center the wire on the smaller round cutter.  Gently and firmly push the wire around the cutter until the y meet.  Try to keep one side straight while bending the other (this prevents the frame you are making from losing a good shape).  Once shaped pull it out holding it carefully and secure it firmly with the pliers.

Now on ETSY
Purchase Read made frames at:

Step 2.  Prepare the Fondant

I like to use ready made black fondant.  Sometimes the marshmallow fondant is a lot more trouble when it comes to making black!  Put a good amount of Gum-Tex on the fondant and knead in fully.  I like to use this combination instead instead of gumpaste.  Fondant keeps it's color nicely and dry with a 'softer' look.  Knead gumtex in fully.

Step 3.  Roll out your fondant

Prepare your surface by dusting it with cornstarch.  I like to use my clean counter for small pieces like this as it is nice and smooth and I don't need to wash an extra mat in my sink!  Roll out your fondant to about 1/8" thick and using your desired ear size cut out one ear layer.  Each ear will have 2 fondant 'layers'.  Cut a total of 4 ears.

Step 4.  Put it together!

Place one layer on the flower cup and with a paintbrush brush water on the ear.  Make sure to paint it completely edges, center, everywhere.  Place the ear frame you made inside the ear and press gently.  Center another ear piece directly ontop of your wet piece and frame, sandwiching the frame.  The water will stick them together and make the frame hold.

Step 5.  Final Touches

Dust your ears with a dry brush.  I like to use a small makeup powder brush.  Sometimes it is hard to get all that powder look off and any dry looking spots so to give it a clean smooth fresh look apply a small coat of shortening over the ear.  And we're done!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Cake Painting 101

It was a busy wedding weekend when I rushed in with a gold fondant cake decorated with red fondant drapes (some like to call them swags but I like to call them drapes).  My heart sank when I saw the entire venue was decorated in the colors of maroon, burgundy, and wine.  Any of those colors would have worked, but not red!  Lesson number #234 - always get an actual color reference from the couple.  Ok so now that the cake was finished, delivered, and set up with flowers, I had a couple hours to drive back home, deliver another wedding cake to another town, pick up the right luster dust color from my cake store (Every Baking Moment in Dixon), head back to this cake, and repaint the drapes right.  Let's just say it was a wee bit stressful!!  But the good news is the cake's new paint job was done and I ducked out of the venue just as the guest began filtering in.  So on a positive note it was my inspiration for this blog post:)!

And before we start the picture on the right shows the mold I created for the border.  Very simple!  I bought the mold material at Michael's and the wood scrolls at the Home Depot hardware store.  I like to use gumpaste for these molds.  But before we digress too much further... here is a 3 step guide for how to paint gumpaste or fondant on a cake using luster dusts:

Painting Fondant or Gumpaste with Luster Dust


Luster Dust
Very small container for mixing
Paint brush
Fondant or gumpaste to paint

Step 1. 

Pour some luster dust into the small container.  Start with just a little first to see how much you will need.

Step 2. 

Put a few drops of vodka in with the luster dust to make it into a workable liquid.  I like to store my cake vodka in a jar with a medicine dropper.  Add a drop at a time, if you overdo it it will make your 'paint' too 'watery' and you may have to pour some out.

Step 3.

Mix up your paint with your brush and start applying onto desired area.  Paint an even coat.  Wait about 10 minutes and retouch any missed areas.  And you're done!