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Sculpted Cake: How to Make a 3D Owl Cake

The inspiration for this cake was a cake I saw on the cover of Debbie Brown's Magical Cakes. I altered the idea to create an academic themed cake for my grad advisor's birthday, dressed in academic regalia from her alma matter. The owl has a to-do list for her students.

1. To construct the owl cake, use a 13"x19" sheet cake, one sports ball cake, and one pair of mini bundt cakes. It is best to use a stiff consistency cake. For this particular cake, I used sour cream pound cake. I cut the 13"x19" cake into six sections: 4 roughly 6.5"x8", and two extra (unused) sections that were roughly 6.5"x3". From one of these I cut a small piece to fill in the hole at the top of the bundt cake used for the owl's head.

2. Next, frost the books with a thin layer of buttercream frosting. I found that the fondant covering used next held better on buttercream that had not yet crusted, so I alternately frosted 1-2 books, then covered them with fondant.

3. For each book, color a small piece of marshmallow fondant (MMF) for the cover, and roll it very thin (1/8"). From this, cut 2 book covers, then a book spine and accent pieces. Also cut strips (about 4" wide and long enough to cover the sides and top of the books) of white fondant for the book pages.

3. First attach the white book page strips, using clear vanilla between the MMF and buttercream. Then use a long metal spatula to run along the MMF to create the look of individual pages. Next, attach the two larger cover pieces, then the spine, and finally the binding accents. For this cake I wanted an aged look for the books, so I did not perfectly smooth the bindings.

For sections that will later be covered by side books, one may use shorter pieces of MMF to cover the book sides.

4. Arranged the four books into a chair for the owl.

5. Next, frost and cover the sports ball cake with white MMF, torting the middle with filling of your choice. For this cake, I used vanilla filling.

6. Using a leaf veining fondant tool, carve a feather pattern into the owl's body.

7. Next, I repeated the steps above to torte, frost, and cover the pair of mini bundt cakes with white MMF. I divided a golf-ball sized piece of MMF into two half-spheres for the cheeks, then pinched up excess fondant to mold the owl's ears. I used a fondant sculpting tool to work with the face until it resembled an owl. I left two, thumbprint-sized impressions for the eyes.

8. To sculpt the wings, roll a piece of white fondant very thin (1/8"), cut out a wing-shaped piece, then use the smallest end of the fondant veining tool to make feather marks along the top of the wing. Attached the wing to the body and books using clear vanilla.

9. To create the beak, color a small piece of fondant yellow (the size should be roughly two tablespoons of fondant). Shape the fondant first into a pyramid with three sides and a triangular base, then work with the piece until it resembles a beak. Attach the beak with clear vanilla.

10. For the eyes, use the more yellow fondant to create two dime sized spheres, attach these with vanilla as well.

11. I dressed the owl in academic regalia. For this, I cut two triangular pieces in green for the cape, a long strip of yellow fondant for the sash, four more narrow pieces of green for trim on the sash, one square in green for the cap top and a thin strip of green that I formed a ring out of for the bottom of the cap.

Attach all pieces with clear vanilla.

12. Next, use a tip 104 and orange buttercream to add feet on the owl.

13. If some fondant pieces will not hold shape, use toothpicks to hold the pieces into place until they have dried. I rolled another thin piece of white fondant into a strip roughly 2"x14" for the to-do list. The list items were written in with a thin consistency blue buttercream icing mixed using a tip 1.
14. Paint the eyes with small circles of black gel food coloring mixed with vanilla to thin it.
15. As a finishing touch, after the fondant has hardened somewhat, remove the toothpicks and add a tassel to the cap using a tip 1 with thin consistency yellow buttercream.

Comments (8)

Did an awesome job I just love it, Im just started to make cakes with my brother and i think we will try this.Thank you:)
Wonderful. Job fun cake
this is to cute
I love the cake! How long did it take to make beginning to end? ( I want to try it!)
Thank you for sharing, i will try it for sure ;-)
This cake is so fun and cute. I'd like to try this sometime
You have a very artistic cake photograph, there is a photography competition on cake just fit you. Any language is welcome to join. Photographs of cake, bread, dessert or pastry are welcome too. Email a photograph of your edible artwork to Good luck.
第一屆 國際CAN-DO蛋糕甜品攝影比賽現正公開接受提名
目的: 鼓勵蛋糕麵包西餅甜品作攝影主角, 由美學角度欣賞美食, 向蛋糕甜品致敬.
語言: 以中文為準, 其他語言同樣歡迎.
對象: 任何人仕
比賽規則: 上傳一張蛋糕相片至, 請注明作品主題. 除蛋糕相片以外, 亦歡迎麵包西餅甜品相片. 額滿即止不另作通知.
結果公佈日期: 二零一四年十二月廿二日 (Deadline is 22 Dec 2014)
Cake Central › Tutorials › Sculpted Cake: How to Make a 3D Owl Cake