I've been asked to make a circus train cake with animals - made out of buttercream? I can't seem to find any direction on how to make animals that isn't fondant. I need all kinds of animals, lions, tigers, zebras, elephants, monkey's. They need to be 3d as well to sit on top of the cake. Any help would be appreciated - I need this cake for next week, so I have very limited time to find something that will show me how. I've read great things on this site where everyone pitches in to help, I hope someone has some direction for me.
Thank you all in advance.
rolled buttercream....it's pretty much just adding powdered sugar to your buttercream until it's stiff enough to hold its' shape.
Thanks for the reply. Rolled buttercream, is that something you pipe or mold like fondant?
rolled buttercream...you can mold like fondant
you wanna pipe 'em? Roland Winbeckler has a nice little book on those.
I work with buttercream only. To make the animals from buttercream and make them 3-D you need to keep them kind of small as the buttercream becomes very heavy and will sink down. I usually try to have something next to them to give them some support. I have a photo of a cake I did with buttercream pigs in it. I used the haystack, which was a cupcake, to help support them. You can also push a stick pretzel down in them to add support. To make them you just pipe the icing on. When piping you keep the decorating tip inside the icing as you apply pressure and let it build up from the inside.
The farmer on this cake was also piped on with buttercream and I used the side of the cake as support for half of it so only the head and shoulders were actually built up buttercream.
It is a fact also that if you let buttercream air dry it becomes very light in weight. I have not tried yet, but plan to soon, making animals in stages...pipe the body, then pipe the head separate (on waxed paper)...let them both dry over night and then put them together.
You should check out the work of Roland Winbeckler. He has a book on figure piping animals.
I would like to add...to me personally using the rolled buttercream, yes it has the taste of buttercream but it still has the consistency of fondant. It would still be chewy to eat.
If you do decide to try the air dried buttercream. The buttercream becomes crusty on the outside but remains soft on the inside. I have used this method for roses, if I want to place them in an arrangement like what I did on my Victorian Valentine cake.
This is a photo of the Winbeckler book. I wish I had a scanner and I could show you the inside pics.
You could also do the animals like the attached photo instead of having them 3-D on top of the cake.
I have used a recipe called 'Royal Butter Creme Icing". I used it to make flowers ahead of time. They set out and dry hard but are not the hard candy or reg. royal icing. If you would like the recipe just pm me. Not sure how the figures would work but should stand up good once they are dried.
Thank you everyone for your ideas and techniques. I've heard of the book before reading these posts, but unfortunately I won't have time to order it as the cake is due this week. I'm certainly going to use all the techniques. I'll post a picture once I've done the cake - if it doesn't turn out to be a disaster!
Thank you all so much for your help.