Sunday, July 20, 2014

How To Make Fondant Tires (for Bus Cake)

Hello again!  Time to share some fun fondant tire tips from our San Francisco Muni bus cake!  This bus cake was a lot of fun and as I anticipated making those tires, this was another opportunity to make a tool (because like you know I am lazy and prefer to make a tool that will just make things for me... well sort of :-D!).  So since I am obsessed with making cake things look as 'real' as I can get them I knew if I wanted to get really cool looking tires I would have to make a mold.  According to my specs for this cake I knew that the tires should be approximately 2.5"-3" and I wanted a 'universal' looking tire so that I could potentially use it for other projects.  I found a nice looking and perfect sized tire on a toy and cut it out.  
In the case you want to make your own mold here is my tip:  look for a hallow tire and fill them up with clay or fondant to add weight and give it a nice flush backing in order to take the poured silicone.

The mold I created is available on our Etsy at:
So here is a quick tutorial on how to make these tires and some behind the scenes pix of this cake in process... now let's get started!!

Oooh and if you want to check out our youtube video about this cake check it out here!

 Materials Needed

Black Fondant 
*If you use Satin Ice fondant I recommend mixing it 1/2 fondant and 1/2 gumpaste
Tire Mold
Gum Tragacanth or Tylose Powder (*if you are using Satin Ice no need for these)
Silver Highlighter & drops of vodka (optional)
Powdered Sugar if necessary to prevent sticking (or cornstarch if you are using Satin Ice)

Step 1.  Grab a ball of black fondant.  For my mold 2.4 oz is just right.  For this project any type of fondant should do the trick but if you are interested in my go to marshmallow fondant recipe here it is.  

Step 2.  Mix in just a little bit of Gum Tragacanth or Tylose Powder.  For these I actually used just under 1/4 teaspoon.

Step 3.  Lightly dust the mold with powdered sugar (or cornstarch for use with Satin Ice).  Push fondant into the mold with your hand.

Step 4. Pop out your fondant tire by bending the mold over and out.  

Step 5.  Let dry for a minimum of a few hours.  When the tires are at least slightly firm paint on the tire rims with silver highlighter mixed with a drop or so of vodka.  Let dry completely and place on your cake project.  You can also paint the black part of the tire with some shortening to add some tire 'shine' to it!:)
...and you are all done!
Happy caking!

And here are some behind the scene bus pix!


Monday, July 14, 2014

How to Make a Ballet Cake Topper

I must confess...  I *LOVE* sharing how to make cake things with you:).  I believe the more we can learn from each other the better cake-making world we will be!  There is a reason there aren't a huge amount of cake makers out there... it's a TON of work.  Behind the glamour of the beautiful cakes and the photo shoots are many hours of baking, dishes, and decorating.  I believe the more *secrets* we can learn from each other the better:).  A big THANK YOU to all of you cakers out there who share your work, because I have learned a ton from you:).

So now for the ballet shoes... let's get started!


Gumpaste in desired color (Pink for ballet shoes)
Sugar Glue
Small sharp knife
Ballet Shoe Template (see below)
Pearl Luster Dust (a must w/ pink)
One bag of Cotton Balls
Straight Edge (for shoe ribbons)
Rotary Cutter
Foam piece shaped narrower than the cut out
KitchenAid pasta roller (attachment to your blender)

Step 1.  Cut out your pattern.  I took the template that is online and modified it to incorporate a more natural looking shoe (narrower heel, longer toe box, and added a 'seam' allowance at the edge allowing for an 'overlap' on the edge of the shoe).

***You can draw this out yourself or purchase the original pattern I made on our Etsy shop here.  This downloaded file is the exact size pattern I used for these ballet shoes (drawn on a 8.5"x11" sheet).***

Step 2.  Roll out your gumpaste (with your small roller then pasta roller setting first 1 then roll with 2)

Step 3.  Cut out your ballet shoe pattern on your gumpaste with a small sharp knife.  Flip for other side shoe.

NOTE:  Pink gumpaste/fondant fades with natural and artificial light (I know it stinks especially for color matching!) so always put it away asap or keep it under a towel to keep it from fading.  Also store any project work in a cabinet or anywhere completely dark (see pix below).

Step 4.  Lay your gumpaste sole piece on top of your narrower foam piece.  Dab sugar glue with a brush along the back edge of the entire sole.  Starting from the back and sides gently place the Upper shoe portion edges on top of the glue line on the sole (you are working at the back of the shoe at this point).  This pix shows this overlap at the back of the shoes (sorry I didn't get more working pix!!  I always do all the work and forget to take pix!! Not to mention you have to work fast since you gum is drying!  aahhh).  Finally bring over the toe part and lay it up 'straight-ish'.  This gives you a more natural looking ballet point toe.  At this point your shoe is still soft and just drying out a touch.  Turn it over and cup it in your hands to shape it, bringing in the sides like a natural looking shoe.  Add glue to the back to close the back seam.  Bend it back in your hands to give it an arched look.

Step 5.  Now how to get it to dry to a natural arch?  This was the most stressful part because I wasn't sure and I was holding it wet and drying in my hand (LOL)!  Use a bag of cotton balls to get the right shape. Manipulate the cotton balls accordingly.  Let dry in a dark place (pink fades fast when exposed to light!  I know this is hard because all I wanted to do was look at the topper and I had to stow it away!). 

Step 6.  Cut out a 4" gumpaste circle to hold shoes.  I love this idea also because it makes this piece a keepsake:).

Step 7.  Once dry make sure to brush on luster dust to help prevent fading (dusting is a must for pinks).  Roll small pieces of gumpaste or use an extruder to create shoe bows.  Position shoes on their toe in a flattering position a top your 4# circle.  Add pieces of fondant as supports for the shoes to 'lean' on using your sugar glue.  See pix. Use a support for shoes to lean on and allow to dry until firm.

 Step 8.  Once firm cut your ribbons using your straight edge and rotary cutter.  I rolled these out using my Kitchen Aid down to setting 3.  Position ribbons in a way that add support and structure (AND looks beautiful!) to the shoes and attach at all contact points using sugar glue.  This part is tricky and can take time all the while your ribbons are drying out and probably not wanting to stick to well to the contact points!!  Have patience here and work as long the gumpaste lets you.  If you get small tears it is ok they are not very visible especially if you try closing them and let it dry firm without a gap.  Let dry in a dark place.

Step 9.  Carefully handle your dry 'sculpture':).  Dust luster dust on the ribbons.

Step 10.  Place on your cake and save your topper forever:)!

Happy Cake Making!

Monday, July 7, 2014

Ribbon Textured Cake

Ok so what is it about this cake??  It has been ordered 3 weeks in a row now and the last 2 cake tastings I have had both brides have decided on this exact same look!  I like to call it:  the-ribbon-textured cake look, since it looks kind of like ribbons with texture and sounds better than the-horizontal-spatula look;-).  This cake is romantic, rustic, and elegant all at the same time... oh how I LOVE this textured look!

So with all of the sudden requests for this cake decor here is a quick tutorial on how to create this look!:)


- Two cake tiers filled and crumb coated.
- Buttercream Icing (see tutorial here)
- Small spatula
- Stainless Steel Scraper/Chopper (available at Every Baking Moment in Dixon or Amazon)
- Stacking Boba straws (I get these at a restaurant supply store and you can also find these on Amazon)

Step 1.  Trim any overhanging cardboard from the bottom cake tier and put some glue on the finished board to secure the board you just trimmed (with the cake on it) to it's finished cake board (see our cake board tutorial here).

Step 2.  Put a thick coating of buttercream on your bottom cake tier and follow your typical smoothing procedures.  I like to use my scraper on the sides and top.  It doesn't need to be perfect but do aim to get it nice and smooth - this will be your canvas for creating your textured ribbons.


Step 3.  Using your small spatula, holding it vertically and away from you start at the bottom and scrap ribbons all the way up the cake tier.  Let excess buttercream building on the spatula fall freely (you can clean it up later).  In this step your cake ribbons will be smooth looking.  Why even do this step if we are just trying to get texture you ask?  All I can say is that I have tried it without doing this step first and for what ever reason it doesn't turn out the same (at least for me)

 Step 4.  Wipe your spatula clean and start making horizontal lines from one ribbon to the next all around the cake tier creating your textured ribbons (tried to show this on the pix here on the left on the top cake tier).  Go in one direction and work as quickly as possible.

Step 5.  With a sharp tool clean up any lumpy buttercream build up on the cake. 

Step 6.  Prepare bottom cake tier for stacking.  I like to use  4 straws for a small two tier such as this one.  Cut with scissors (so easy and strong that is why I love these straws:)!)

Step 7.  Repeat the buttercream steps on the top cake tier directly on your turntable.  With a larger spatula run it under the small cake, pick up and place it a top your bottom cake tier. 

Step 8. Smooth out the mess!  Try your best to smooth everything down.  A little bit of water on your spatula or clean fingers can help give a smooth look to already dried buttercream (but use sparingly or the buttercream might give you some attitude!:))

Apply your ribbon and you are done!  For ribbons I like to use double sided tape throughout the board rim, a lighter to clean up the ribbon cut edges and prevent fraying, and small pins to hold it in place.

Happy cake making this July!!:)