Another Strange Request: Jungle Gym On A Cake

Decorating By ittybittybakery Updated 21 Dec 2012 , 3:29pm by ittybittybakery

ittybittybakery Posted 18 Nov 2012 , 4:30am
post #1 of 15

It's definitely the year of odd requests... I have to do a cake in a few weeks that'll feature one of these new cable net jungle gyms as a topper:


Any thoughts as to how to handle the construction so that it's not too delicate?


-- fondant covered wire?  any tips on how to do this?

-- sugarveil? I've never worked with it, will it be hard to pick up and will it work for this kind of thing?

-- shoe string licorice? but how to 'seal' the edges together so they'll stay?


Any ideas/tips appreciated!

14 replies
doramoreno62 Posted 18 Nov 2012 , 9:19am
post #2 of 15

Wow, I did not expect that! I thought it was going to be monkey bars or something similar. I can't even imagine how to make that. I wish you luck and I hope you post pictures of the finished cake!

me_me1 Posted 18 Nov 2012 , 10:53am
post #3 of 15

I'd probably go with piping separate RI lattices and then standing them up and joining them together.  Kind of like the piped cages that are fashionable at the moment.  Craftsy has the cages as part of one of their classes at the moment, you might be able to pick up some tips for your project there.



remnant3333 Posted 18 Nov 2012 , 1:49pm
post #4 of 15

WOW you guys have a tough job trying to come up with odd and unusual things.  I don't have what it takes to do something off the wall like that.  Good luck and post pictures.  At this point I am glad I just do caking as a hobby!!! I am sure that you will be able to do something elaborate!!! There are a whole lot of creative people out there that come up with some great ideas.  I am definitely not one of them but I am simply amazed at what some of you come up with!!! Good luck/ Mary

ittybittybakery Posted 18 Nov 2012 , 5:34pm
post #5 of 15

what do the cages look like?  I've never heard of that before and would love to know roughly what it's about before I buy the lesson. 

modthyrth Posted 18 Nov 2012 , 5:54pm
post #6 of 15

Holy cow, that's a tough one.  It's the intricacy of the stringwork that's the biggest obstacle.  If you need it to be all edible, I'm guessing sugarveil is going to be your best bet.  But I've never worked with it--only read about it.   


I do think you're going to need to simplify the string design significantly.  Don't worry about duplicating it exactly, just go for the essence of it.  If you can make a little modeled kid playing in it, I think it will read as a jungle gym even with a lot fewer ropes.

cakeyouverymuch Posted 18 Nov 2012 , 6:19pm
post #7 of 15

For the stringwork, if it doesn't have to be 100% edible, I would melt some fondant with a bit of corn syrup or glucose (try 6 or so ounces of fondant with a tablespoon of syrup) in the top of a double boiler, then I would run lengths of unflavored dental floss through the resulting liquidy fondant.  When its dried, it should remain  slightly flexible (perhaps a bit sticky, but that can be fixed with a very light dusting of cornstarch.  I would do the bars out of bamboo skewers covered in regular fondant or gumpaste and the balls holding the whole thing together out of gumpaste since it will dry hard and hold everything together well.  A small amount of gumpaste glue would hold the strings of your net together, and the same should work to glue the net to the bars.


Make sure you let us know how it goes.

me_me1 Posted 18 Nov 2012 , 10:02pm
post #8 of 15
Originally Posted by ittybittybakery 

what do the cages look like?  I've never heard of that before and would love to know roughly what it's about before I buy the lesson. 




This is a picture of the RI cages taken from the Craftsy site - I think they could quite easily be adapted for your jungle gym.  I agree with one of the previous posters though - I would simplify the jungle gym design to make it easier but still recognisable.



J   :)

venuscakes Posted 18 Nov 2012 , 10:44pm
post #9 of 15

Hi not sure if this will be suitable. I did a Call of Duty cake recently and had to put netting over the helmet. I decided to roll out sugarpaste (gumpaste) and then cut out rectangles

This is how it looked on the helmet

As I say I am not sure if will be suitable and you may have to make it thicker than my version which did not have to support its own weight.

Good luck with it and would be interested to see the finished cake.

Amanda xx icon_smile.gif

ittybittybakery Posted 5 Dec 2012 , 4:06am
post #10 of 15

thanks so much for the replies!  As usual, I don't get any updates when people reply to my forum posts so it takes a while for me to get back on here, find them, read them and now reply.  Anyone know how to get updates instantly whe people post a reply?

As for the suggestions, cakeyouverymuch, that sounds like an interesting plan, but my question is have you ever worked with the fondant this way?  Does it eventually dry hard or does it always stay soft/wet?  I'm DEFINITELY going to simplify the design of those interior 'ropes' ... could never match it perfectly. 


One idea I had was to use an small balloon to lay the rope design around, then pop the balloon once the 'ropes' dry.  Do you think this might work with the 'melted fondant' plan (if so what brand of fondant or gumpaste would you reco for this?) or could the gumpaste cut outs suggested by venuscakes be a better way to go? 


Or is this all a much more complex way to get a bendable yet sturdy material like sugarviel?  Can sugarviel be done in strings/ropes?  Will it stick to a well greased/corn starched balloon you think?  Is there a sugarviel forum I can ask?  I've never bought it or worked with it, and frankly all those crazy mats are so expensive I can never justify getting it, but if all I need to get is the mix, I'm game!


aaaah, one more week before this one is due, but too many cakes between now and then to really experiment!.

cakeyouverymuch Posted 5 Dec 2012 , 5:13am
post #11 of 15

I use the melted fondant mixed with corn syrup as a cover coat when I make rice cereal sculptures.  Because it stays pliable for a long time I can really smooth it as prep for fondant.  It never dries hard, and if you add too much corn syrup it will stay sticky for a long time.  That is why I suggested the corn starch.  If you don't overdo the corn syrup it should work to use the balloon with a good coating of shortening.  I've only ever used homemade marshmallow fondant.  The reason I suggested the dental floss is because it would give the flexible fondant a core that would keep it from breaking.

ittybittybakery Posted 16 Dec 2012 , 4:32pm
post #12 of 15

Hey everyone,


So, the cake is done and while it's not exactly how I hoped, I think it came out close enough :)  The round climbing thing was challenging, and truthfully I just ran out of time to do it exactly right.  In the end, for the framework of the 'climbatron' itself, I just used wire covered in fondant and then painted with edible silver.  As for the ropes, I went the easy way out and used string licorice fuzed together with a little heat.  With more time I would have gotten the pattern more exact, but again, time was the enemy on this cake. 


Attached is a picture, and some reference pics from the party 'gym' called Exerblast.  It's an interesting place that combines video game technology with a kids gym.  The kids wear headphones and ipods in these silver belts around their waist and do through an obstacle course of sorts, which ends with that climbatron.


It also certainly didn't help that the fill icing was strawberry and was a little soft and didn't hold up as well as expected under the weight of the fondant, so I was also dealing with bulging sides, hence the stripes to camouflage that disaster.  Originally I had intended for the skinnier stripes that are on the floor to start at the top and wind around the sides and base, but had to simplify once i added the wider stripes.  Oh well, live and learn.  Regardless, customer was blown away so I suppose that's all that matters.


Let me know your thoughts!  And thanks for all the ideas!





Wrapped-Xpressions Posted 19 Dec 2012 , 9:46pm
post #13 of 15

I think you did an amazing job! That was a really strange and difficult request but you handled it like a cakedecorating champ :-)

venuscakes Posted 20 Dec 2012 , 7:48pm
post #14 of 15

That is a fantastic job, your cake looks great!

ittybittybakery Posted 21 Dec 2012 , 3:29pm
post #15 of 15

thank you very much for the compliments.  Like all cakes I do, all I see are things I wish I had done better. here's a pic at better angle to see the 'climbatron'.  I just hope I never have to do one of these things again! :)




Quote by @%username% on %date%