Sketch to Cake: Joy Thompson’s Versace Inspired Wedding Cake

Joy Thompson

of Sweet Treats by Joy produced a sophisticated wedding cake for the Fashion Issue of Cake Central Magazine Volume 7 Issue 4. Joy’s high-fashion wedding cake was inspired by a daring and rich Versace Haute Couture Paris gown. Joy recounts her journey to create her alluring wedding cake influenced by a one-of-a-kind Versace gown.

Stunning Design

I loved the color of my inspiration dress as soon as I saw it.  In addition, the geometric lines appealed to me. I thought the clean lines were stunning. 

I knew that I wanted to use the main color of blue for my cake.  

More and more brides are thinking outside of the box and are trending toward bold cakes that represent their personal style versus what the traditional wedding cake.  I kept that in mind as I looked at the inspiration dress.  Originally, I was thinking that I would replicate the pattern as closely as possible, but decided against it since I felt it would look cluttered. Then, I started asking myself, "What do I see?  Well, I can see a cat face in the pattern.  Hmmm, not very appealing for a cake." I looked at the picture from every angle...straight on, from the side, and even upside down.  I wanted to be able to be "inspired" and make a cake based upon my inspiration versus replicating every detail.  Believe it or not, when I turned the inspiration picture upside down, that's when I knew what I was going to do with my cake!  I love clean and simple designs.  When my inspiration picture was upside down, I could envision the lines going UP to the top of my cake.  I love flowers on cakes and I knew that I wanted something that was simple, yet bold on the top.  And I wanted a pop of color to stick with my bold theme.

Simple & Savvy Sketch

I began making my sketch with the basic shape that I had decided upon.  Next, I knew that I wanted clean lines, so I used a protractor to sketch some half circles onto my sketch.  I like to use colored pencils to fill in some of my sketch.  They allow me to envision the cake better in my head.  Plus, it helps when completing any details at the end of my decorating process.  My sketches are pretty basic and not very pretty, but I like to use them for a quick blueprint or reference.  Once the sketch was made and I liked it, I started on the cake.   After stacking the cake, I covered it in a blue fondant that I'd pre-colored the previous day.  I allowed the fondant to dry for several hours so that I could make some marks on my cake of where my lines needed to go.

My biggest complication in making my cake was getting the color of blue that I wanted.  I loved the color of the inspiration dress, so I wanted to replicate the color as closely as possible.  I colored over a dozen small pieces of fondant and put the pieces into a plastic baggie to process overnight.  I wrote the combination of colors that were used for each piece on each of the plastic bags.  The next day, I took a large white cake board and rolled out a small piece of fondant from each bag, wrote the color combo onto the cake board, beside each piece, then let the pieces dry for a few hours.  I knew that the fondant would change color based upon saturation time (overnight) and drying.  

I used a waxed paper transfer method to get my pattern onto my cake.  After the cake was covered in fondant and allowed to dry, I measured the height of my cake tiers and drew my pattern on a white piece of paper that was taped to my counter-top.  I used my protractor and a pencil to create a pattern on my paper.  I then covered that paper with a piece of waxed paper.  I applied shortening to the waxed paper.  I knew that my lines needed to be the same width, so I clay extruder seemed to be my best tool to use for the job.  I extruded black and blue fondant through my extruder, then placed my fondant lines onto the waxed paper, following my pattern that was under the waxed paper.  I used a color shaper to move any fondant lines around on my greased, waxed paper to ensure that my pattern would be as close to perfect before applying it to my cake.  I used shortening as my adhesive on the back of each fondant line and carefully lifted the waxed paper off of my counter-top, then pressed it against my cake...thereby transferring my design directly onto my cake.  I had to use my color shaper again to fix any lines that may have moved during the transport.

I had originally sketched some bronze curly pieces at the top of the cake.  And, I had even created the bronze pieces which were beautiful, but once the cake was assembled and I was placing my flowers, I felt that the curly pieces were just too much.  I was feeling that the cake was beginning to look a little more masculine than I'd wanted.  Since I felt that the look of the cake needed to be softened up a bit, I decided instead, to add some small, black feathers.  To me, they softened the look of the cake as well as gave it a feel of femininity.

In the end, I was pleased with my cake.  I wanted to create something that was clean, simple and original. I felt that I achieved the look that I was going for and I enjoyed the artistic process of creating the cake.