Gumpaste Gnome's Head

Decorating By meems Updated 24 Mar 2008 , 12:01am by TooMuchCake

meems Posted 23 Mar 2008 , 11:09am
post #1 of 8

Weird I know, but I've got my heart set on making a garden gnome cake. I've looked at the buttercream gnome pictures here, so I KNOW it can be done.
However, while I'm planning on cake-sculpting the body and legs, I want to do the head out of gumpaste, so I can mold and model the face's features as I want and let it dry. Hair, beard, hat, etc. would be done out of fondant when the due date for this cake comes up.

Here are my issues: I know trying to dry a solid 3 inch-or-so head-shaped blob of gumpaste is risky and time-consuming it would be very I'm wondering if I could mold the gumpaste around some sort of edible a big, hollow chocolate Easter egg or the like. (It is Easter Sunday, as I write this.) I could poke some hefty pasta: a lasgna shard, for example, through the bottom and fix it in place with gumpaste for later securing the head to the cake body.

Does this sound reasonable? Will it the gumpaste dry if it's around a chocolate egg? Can anyone think of anything else that would work as an edible support/base for a gumpaste gnome's head?

Any helpful hints on this would be so appreciated!

7 replies
TooMuchCake Posted 23 Mar 2008 , 2:07pm
post #2 of 8

I figure it's probably my buttercream garden gnome you looked at... LOL

I just finished a doll cake (hopefully pics will be posted in a couple days) and I made the head on a 6" styro ball that I squashed down to size. You could use RKT for the inside of the head, which was my original intention, but then it turned out I didn't need to feed as many as I thought, so I just made an inedible head. Then I used flesh-toned modeling chocolate for the skin.

The reasons I'd use the modeling chocolate rather than the gumpaste is that the seams in modeling choc can be blended together so that they don't show, whereas that's harder to do in gumpaste. Also, once the modeling choc recovers from the heat of your hands, it will hold its shape nicely and doesn't need days to dry.

As far as an edible support for the head, you're going to need to through-dowel anyway, especially if you're transporting the gnome cake, so just make the through-dowel long enough that it sticks up out of the neck by a couple inches, and then set the head on it.

I'll let you know when I get my doll cake on my website, because I have in-progress pics that might help you.


TooMuchCake Posted 23 Mar 2008 , 2:09pm
post #3 of 8

Oh, forgot to say, if you're using a hollow choc egg to mold the face around, you might accidentally press too hard and crush the egg, so if you use the egg, be very careful.


TooMuchCake Posted 23 Mar 2008 , 5:34pm
post #4 of 8
TheButterWench Posted 23 Mar 2008 , 10:58pm
post #5 of 8
Originally Posted by TooMuchCake

The doll cake:

In-progress photos with a better look at the head:


Wow! that cake is amazing. Thank you for posting that tutorial. thumbs_up.gif

TooMuchCake Posted 23 Mar 2008 , 11:14pm
post #6 of 8

Thanks! And you're welcome.


meems Posted 23 Mar 2008 , 11:50pm
post #7 of 8

Thanks so much for the advice!

I should have thought of the RKT trick, but what can I say? Too many jelly beans consumed today perhaps.

I had planned on covering the pesky seams in the fondant skin with hair, beard and hat. I admit I've never tried modeling chocolate. Any encouragement and additional advice to offer in this regard, Deanna? I'd be willing to learn something new!

By the way, you're doll is a DOLL! What a beautiful job you did! A second dose of thanks go your way for linking the pics.

TooMuchCake Posted 24 Mar 2008 , 12:01am
post #8 of 8

Thanks, Meems!

I used the modeling choc recipe from Michele Foster's (Sugarflowers) cookbook. If you're in the market for a good cookbook for cake decorators, I recommend it! When you make the mod choc, her recipe or Wilton's or whoever's, when it cools enough to be able to handle it comfortably, stand over the sink and knead out some of the oils that will come out. It will give you a smoother product when you're done.

The doll's face was at first just a sheet of mod choc, with the ears, nose, cheeks added afterwards and the seams blended in. They're barely noticeable in person and not at all in the pics.


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