Help With Autumn Cake

Decorating By kristiemarie Updated 26 Oct 2010 , 2:47am by kristiemarie

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kristiemarie Posted 20 Oct 2010 , 7:52pm
post #1 of 7

Hi all! Newbie here! Hoping you can all help me out here.

I have just recently dabbled in the art of cake decorating and now I wonder if I'm in over my head! LOL

For my daughters birthday party at her daycare, I made a Spongebob cake. The figures of Spongebob and Patrick turned out great but since they were made of MMF, they were soft and well, you know. The fondant cover? Ooo, that's another story all together. What a mess! But I knew what I had done wrong and am planning on fixing it this time around.

Everyone at the daycare loved my cake and so I gained some confidence to try again.

However, now I have a new problem. Or rather, several new problems.

I agreed (er, rather volunteered) to make a cake for the autumn festival. Which is a week from tomorrow. I went and got leaf cutters and gum paste mix (not sure if that was my mistake). I made some leaves and let them dry. They turned out ok. Except that they look dry. How do you fix that?

I also attempted (that's the best word I can use to describe what transpired that night) to make a gumpaste dog (sitting). It was turning out so cute and I finished with him looking only slightly weird. But 30 minutes later, he was literally melting! His head was down where his shoulder used to be. His legs were now stubs in front. And he was cracking all over! What did I do wrong?

Any help or suggestions would be welcomed!!!

6 replies
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mikigaelen Posted 20 Oct 2010 , 8:08pm
post #2 of 7

What I would suggest would be to rub a little shortening on your dog and rework him again, this time with some wire supports (only if he isn't going to be eaten, otherwise use coffee stir straws).

The shortening softens the gumpaste so that it can be used again and reshaped, and the supports hold the heavy gumpaste in place while you wait for it to dry, which depending on the thickness of the piece, can take a bit.

Don't use floral wire on a piece that may be eaten because you cannot control the level of lead in wire, and you don't want bits of it flecking off into the piece.

For dry leaves - I just made an autumn cake with leaves on it, but they were made of fondant. If you brush fondant leaves with a wet paintbrush they will keep a waxy, glossy shine to them (they will also transfer their color to anything that touches the wet side, so be careful). You can also brush shortening (very sparingly) to the top of your gumpaste leaves to give them a more natural, moist look.

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kristiemarie Posted 20 Oct 2010 , 8:11pm
post #3 of 7

Thank you! I'll try the crisco thing tonight and also, maybe I'll retry the dog. Would a 50/50 mix of fondant and gumpaste be better than all gumpaste?

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helsbels Posted 20 Oct 2010 , 8:26pm
post #4 of 7

I used some gold luster dust on my leaves to make them look shiny. Just took a large dry brush and brushed on a light dusting.

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annathefoodie Posted 21 Oct 2010 , 7:01pm
post #5 of 7

I did some great autumn leaves from colored chocolate brushed on maple leaves that I had picked and washed. They came out beautiful - I just used my finger to brush on red and yellow chocolate, and didn't bother to clean one color off of my finger before I put on the next color - it gave it a really organic appearance, just like a real leaf. The only problem I had was getting the chocolate on thick enough - make sure you go over them a couple of times with two or three layers of chocolate to make sure it has enough strength to pull them off. I did put the chocolate on the top part of the leaf because the leaves seemed a bit fuzzy on the bottom and I wasn't sure how they would pull off. When the leaves were all off of the chocolate, I brushed the chocolate leaves with some cinnamon (you could use cocoa, too) and it gave it that realistic brown tint to the colors. I used them as a top to a maple-pecan cupcake - there is a picture of one in my photos if you want to see how they came out.

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kristiemarie Posted 21 Oct 2010 , 8:32pm
post #6 of 7

I ended up wetting luster dust and painting it onto the leaves and it looks great! I don't have a veiner so the leaves don't look 100% real but I'm still getting all the stuff I need to make great cakes. Gotta work with what I have!

I made new gum paste last night and a batch of MMF. I am going to try to do a 50/50 mix and make the pieces and let them dry before trying to put the dog together. I'll let you know how it turns out!!

Thanks all!!!!

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kristiemarie Posted 26 Oct 2010 , 2:47am
post #7 of 7

Arrrrrggg that dog is making me nutty! Everything turned out ok except for his body which is cracking again! And sort of slumping. It's not as bad as the first because he's not bearing the weight of all the pieces but he's still slumping none the less. I think it's usable because this is for my daughters daycare and not for money but I'd really like to get it right eventually!!

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