This Cake Will Be The Death Of Me-Need Ideas!

Decorating By lollyponpon Updated 2 Oct 2010 , 11:29am by lollyponpon

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lollyponpon Posted 25 Sep 2010 , 12:18pm
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Hi all CC people!
I have been requested to make a cake for a friends 21st... she has been sooo vague about what she wants-just says she appreciates anything i decide on...only direction she has offered is "round over square tiers" and "black,pinka nd white colour scheme". Now I am a noob to decorating and i normally have some wonderful images for inspiration from online, here, or am making a course cake...but this one...i have all these ideas in my head and cant seem to string them together.
i know she loves butterflies, and so i was thinking of making a black 4 tier cake, with a spiral of butterflies from the front bottom left, around the cake and with a "graduating" pink effect, darker pink at the bottom up to a light pink... anyway!! I have seen some gorgeous ideas for toppers on here, royal icing cages, feathers, monogram toppers--everything!! I thought, as it is a rare opportunity for me to get to make a cake to decorate, i would try to incorporate everything!! i asked about royal icing cages, but havent had much luck so i scratched that...
tonight, i experimented with bunching feathers--it looks terrible!! So now, all i have is a monogram... and it seems too bland after all the hype leading your eye to the top of the cake...
i dont mean to sound rude, but i was hoping something more exciting than just a few more butterflies on wires at the top...but hrmmm...i am at the bottom of my idea bucket! This is why i only do it as a hobby, i lack the creative side!!
What do you guys think??
Also, have you been able to find a spiral of butterflie cakes, i could draw on them, but when i type in "spiral" i get mountain like cakes, and butterflies bring up a lot of butterfly shape cakes--gah!!

10 replies
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Evoir Posted 25 Sep 2010 , 12:34pm
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I did a mini birdcage made from GP top and bottom, GP posts and RI webbing as a bird cage...I ran out of time to do long vertical 'bars' but it certainly can be done!!

You could try making butterfly wings out of coloured toffee, and there are images on CC of gelatine butterflies I am sure. Or instead of little butterflies of GP, make royal icing filigree butterfly wings and attach directly onto the edges of tiers etc for a nice look?

The colour scheme is great - sometime just type in your needs into a google image search and you'll get heaps of inspiration! eg, google "pink black white cake with butterflies images" and see what comes up icon_smile.gif

HTH...its late here, I'm just about to head to bed (sad sad for a Saturday night, I know!)

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misha35 Posted 25 Sep 2010 , 12:36pm
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I found this great gelatin butterfly tutorial that I plan to use this spring.
http:[email protected]/4546977514/in/photostream/

When I read the pink and black idea in the beginning of your posting, my mind went immediately to the uniform look of multicolored 1" circles stacked on the front of the cake - example here

you might look through the cakes here that are pink, that might give you inspiration as well.

don't stress yourself with trying to be too over the top. Sometimes the most beautiful cakes are the simple, well executed ones. Good luck!

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lollyponpon Posted 25 Sep 2010 , 12:55pm
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yeah i definately agree that over the top doenst necessarily make for a stunning cake, im just worried there will be like, a "void" at the top?? anyway i am definately scouring sites. As i said its just a hobby that is not used very often so i like to try new things, but i cant try anything that is way beyond my skill set!! Thanks for your help!!

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imagenthatnj Posted 25 Sep 2010 , 12:59pm
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lollyponpon, try not to practice too many things on that one cake. The best cakes are the ones that have the elegance of simplicity. You'll get to practice on the next ones a few other things once people see how great this one looks.

Be careful with all-black tiers. Whatever it is you're using, fondant or buttercream, it will taste nasty from the coloring. You will have to either buy the fondant, if you're using it, in black, already made for it taste good.

There are a few ideas for cakes at

It's one of my favorite places to look at cakes and get ideas.

Also, if you go to

You will see cakes with butterflies there. I know they're wedding cakes mostly, but once you change the colors, they will be OK.

And I think it's a great idea to graduate colors in some way. If not the butterflies, you can graduate the colors on the tiers.

I have maisie fantaisie books and I can PM instructions for two of the cakes on Monday (I don't have them with me) if you want/need them.

Hope this helps a little.

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lollyponpon Posted 26 Sep 2010 , 8:44am
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WOW~~ and this is exactly why i posted!!
evoir- do you mind me asking where you found any kind of tutorial for the bird cage? I didn't have much success...
misha- i do love those gelatin butterflies but i think with the time constraints they are well beyond my capabilities... maybe if i had some extra time up my sleeve "just in case?" haha and the filigree butterflies are also gorgeous, but again, maybe a little too much skill is required, and without that spare time i sense disaster lol
and to imaginethatnj-- I am soooo worried about the black tasting yukky-- but i have that chocolate fondant mixed with black "plastic" icing... so im not sure how thta will go! i really appreciate your advice on not trying too much on one cake also, because i sketched a few today and they seemed too "busy", so im definately now leaning towards the "simple elegant" type design!
I had never heard of maisie fantaisiE before but OMG i love love love that butterfly cake!! do you have the instructions for that blue cake?? looking at it again now, i don't think i would need the instructions, but i would be interested to know what support is in between the bottom and top tiers... also reading the description, the bow is also sugarpaste!! I thought it was ribbon--it's amazing!
i truly wish i had of seen this image a long time ago-- would have made things a lot less stressful!!
thanks again everyone~~

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imagenthatnj Posted 26 Sep 2010 , 12:28pm
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I can send you instructions on Monday. PM me with an email address since I can't seem to attach anything to PMs lately.

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Evoir Posted 27 Sep 2010 , 5:34am
post #8 of 11

Hi again lollyponpon. Re: birdcage, I didn't look for any tutorials before making that birdcage, so I am sorry I can't help you with that. I just put it all together making sure it was 100% edible (as it was for a competition). I would have braced the vertical supports with a horizontal bar half way and piped thin vertical 'bars' on the cage, but I ran out of time doing it the night before the comp, LOL... the main thing with weightbearing sugar and gum paste is that you need to let it dry absolutely thoroughly and that can take days/weeks. I did use a clay gun for the main vertical supports (if that helps) and just cut and moulded the circular top and bottom pieces. Its all gued with RI. The birds and perch were made separately first and then the cage was built/piped around it. The total height of the cake was 15cm (about 6 inches) including the table. You could definitely pipe 4 flat sides and then assemble into a square or rectangular prism shape, but for the cake I was doing I wanted an antique rounded look. I am not happy with the result...its about 70% there and I want to remake it (when I have the time!) using vertucal RI bars again.

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sunset74 Posted 29 Sep 2010 , 4:33am
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What about doing just her intial as a cake topper. Make it out of gum paste and fondant (like 50/50) with a couple of scewers in it or something to help hold it up. Then take some luster dustin and mix it with a bit of alcohol and paint it. Then once dry you can take a single butterfly and put it on one side of it. Just a small one or not one at all. But it would almost be like a monogramed cake, but you could still do your cascade of butterflyies.

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lollyponpon Posted 2 Oct 2010 , 11:27am
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hey guys!! i didn't realise there were some more ideas posted on here as i have just been so flat chat-- promotions at work, housekeeping and general day to day has kept me too busy for fun things like caking! Firstly, a huge big thank you to imaginethatnj whom was soo supportive of my ideas and emailed me some guidlines that i was really excited to try out!! THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR GENEROSITY!!!
My initial ideas had to swiftly be changed when i realised i literally only had a few spare mins here and there to work on it around other things... even getting them baked was a tough gig (scheduled alarm clock every hour.. pretty sleepless nights!!) i guess that is the down side of booking jobs in advance when you have an unpredictable day job!!
Anyway, i posted the pic of the cake-- i just dropped it off and she was really really impressed-so i was pleased i didnt disappoint her! I on the other hand was sooo disappointed because it just wasnt anything like i had decided it would be-- went off on a totally different tangent due to the lack of timepbut i guess that happens to us at times!! Also, when i set the cakes aside to harden the fondant, i had done, in my opinion, the best fondant job EVER for my work-- but then it was all buckled today... grrrr.... i fixed it as best i could but yeah..just another cake wreck in my book... too much inedible materials and decorations IMHO!! What do you guys think!!

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lollyponpon Posted 2 Oct 2010 , 11:29am
post #11 of 11

here is the link to the cake btw.. let me know if you can offer any advice on how to improve icon_smile.gif

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