Hello everyone! I am pretty new to using fondant. I have done cakes with fondant accents, but nothing that is 3D. I am making a cake for my son's first birthday with The Very Hungry Caterpillar (the book by Eric Carle) for the theme. I want to have a three-dimensional caterpillar on the top of the cake. I want it to look like the caterpillar from the book where the middle of the caterpillar's body is raised up in the air like this:
To do this, how could I support the middle of the caterpillar so that it doesn't collapse?
Also, with 3D figures, would it be better to use fondant, 50/50 fondant/gum paste, or just gum paste? How early should I make this in order to allow enough time for it to be stable enough to place on the cake? Any tips on how to attach it to the cake or in making the figure would be ENORMOUSLY appreciated!
Thank you so much for any help you can offer! I really love decorating, and having such a wonderful resource for support in Cake Central is amazing!
AI always use fondant with tylose powder added. 50/50 and gumpaste always get dry and crack on me, I guess I don't work fast enough. You can also use modeling chocolate or candy clay, but you can't paint those with gel colors, so I don't even bother. Artisan Cake Company has free tutorials on YouTube and she only uses fondant with tylose.
I love your cake theme! When I make figurines, I use a 50/50 mix or maybe even a 25/75 mix (25 fondant/75 gum paste). I usually knead in a bit of shortening, so that conditions it pretty well and I have not really had a problem with cracking.
By your description, I'm guessing you're looking to make something similar to this caterpillar?
I found this in the CC photo gallery. I'm not exactly sure how this person made her caterpillar but I would suggest making discs and stringing them on a wire bent in the shape of the caterpillar. The wire would make your figuring inedible but I think it would work to achieve the look you're after. Your figurine will be dry to the touch within 24 hours but I would give it at least 3 days to dry before placing it on the cake. The great thing about fondant figurines is that you can make them well in advance of your cake. You could easily do this 2 weeks before the cake. Just make sure you store your figurine in a cool, dry, place, loosely covered in plastic wrap and away from direct sunlight. In order to get it to dry standing up, I would place a toothpick or two coming from the bottom of the head and the tail. Then, place the caterpillar on a piece of styrofoam, sticking the toothpicks through the foam. You can then use those toothpicks to attack the caterpillar to the cake.
Anyway, I hope this helps. Best of luck with your cake!!!
Oh no- the picture I tried to post didn't work. Here's a link to the picture I was referencing :)