Newbie Needing Advice

Decorating By Pritter_glincess Updated 4 Jul 2012 , 3:25am by suzied

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Pritter_glincess Posted 2 Jun 2012 , 7:32pm
post #1 of 29

Hi, I have never decorated a cake before but I am hoping to do one for my son in a few months. The link I have posted is the cake I am hoping to make.

If anybody could give me any advice on how best to use fondant and how I can achieve the decoration designs I would be very grateful.


28 replies
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jeartist Posted 2 Jun 2012 , 7:52pm
post #2 of 29

Oh my gosh, that is just about the cutest thing I've ever seen. I don't think any one element is too difficult but lots of elements. Mostly cutouts. The flowers are just folded fondant gathered and curled. I would make the animals from fondant/gumpaste.
Hope you post your completed cake. Good luck.

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Pritter_glincess Posted 2 Jun 2012 , 8:00pm
post #3 of 29

Aahh thanks so much. I was hoping someone would say that. I thought it didn't look too complicated, but I was worried I might be being over confident. I am going to have a good few practice goes and if I get the hang of it I might try and make the matching cupcakes.
X x

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soledad Posted 2 Jun 2012 , 9:14pm
post #4 of 29

I am only a hobby baker and have learned a lot trough this site ,I hope the following will somehow help you:

1.- Make the number with plenty of time for drying, if you do not have the number cutter you would have to make a number template. To get the correct size in height put it on top of the pan for the top tier, this will give you an idea.

2.- The other day I saw in pinterest in "tutorials" a very good idea, make a print of the figure cut outs of the size that you would like to put on the cake,tape it down,put a wax paper on top of it, ( you might want to tape it also so that it does not move) and using the sugar medium that you like
( fondant only, 50/50 GP/F, or GP) you lay it on top following your print figure. Here is the link. needs time to dry also.

3.- For the stars and balloons, I cut out 2 stars, placed the stick in between and glue it together to make one of it, this way the stick does not show in the back, that way in case you turn the cake around it would look neat. You also need to let them dry a couple of days.

4.- You need to make edible glue, it is much better than just wetting the fondant.

5.-The banner looks kind of heavy, Being a newbie I would place it as is, but letting it rest on top of the first tier.

6.- the stripes will be a little hard to acomplish, maybe someone else might help you there. The stripes need to be even all the way around.

Good luck!thumbs_up.gifthumbs_up.gif


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Jenise Posted 3 Jun 2012 , 3:10am
post #5 of 29

A quick and easy way to do the stripes is to get the first one very straight and then use another stripe as a spacer, removing it after you put the next stripe on. (meaning put down three stripes, then remove the middle, should be perfectly even and straight as long as the first one was straight!) Hope this makes sense. It is the same way I paint stripes and use painters tape to make everything even.

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SoFloGuy Posted 3 Jun 2012 , 3:54am
post #6 of 29

As a newbie myself that looks too ambitious for me to try. Good luck.

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shellw72 Posted 3 Jun 2012 , 6:22am
post #7 of 29

Might be stating the obvious, but, be really careful with the black fondant/gumpaste as the colour often bleeds if you use too much water/sugar glue when sticking it to the fondant. A very cute cake. Good lck - look forward to seeing your pictures icon_smile.gif

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escaliba1234 Posted 3 Jun 2012 , 8:22am
post #8 of 29

It will take much longer than you think, so please give yourself lots of time.
Have some practice runs before starting on the real thing.
Your idea is really lovely; good luck and please do let us see the finished result. icon_smile.gif

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mcaulir Posted 3 Jun 2012 , 11:04am
post #9 of 29

Start reading lots of threads here, and do a couple of practice cakes. Then you'll have a better idea of what you don't know and can ask more specific questions, which will, hopefully, give you more specific answers. icon_smile.gif

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Mommacoz Posted 3 Jun 2012 , 12:42pm
post #10 of 29

That is an adorable cake and I think perfect to start with, although a lot of details, they are pretty simple details.

I did my first cake in March of this year for a friend's baby shower. Do some practice cakes so you can get the feel of how fondant handles, rolling, cutting out, etc. There is so much wonderful information on this site so do lots of reading too.

Good luck and can't wait to see the finished pics.

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Pritter_glincess Posted 3 Jun 2012 , 1:51pm
post #11 of 29

Thanks so much for all these tips. Let's of really useful advice.

I think I'm going to do at least two practise cakes. Im under the impression that I can pre prepare a lot of the decorative items so hopefully I can do these on the days leading up to the big day.

Can anybody tell me how long I can keep fondant for? If I buy a big block now, how long will it last for and how is it best to store it?

Thanks again! X x

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yortma Posted 3 Jun 2012 , 2:20pm
post #12 of 29

Fondant lasts a very long time if tightly wrapped. I wrap in several layers of plastic wrap, then a ziplock with the air pressed out, and then in the plastic container it came in. I have used it months after purchase with no problems at all. If it is a little hard, microwave it on defrost for just a few seconds at a time until pliable and then knead until smooth. I have seven or eight types of fondant in my cupboard, but could only find an expiration date on 2 of them. They were both over a year after the purchase date (Satin Ice and FondX). I have heard it can be frozen as well. Be sure to allow it to come fully to room temp before using. I have never needed to freeze it, but frosting freezes well, so I would think Fondant would freeze well too. HTH

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Pritter_glincess Posted 6 Jun 2012 , 9:28pm
post #13 of 29

Hi all,

So I tried my first trial and now have some more questions.

1. How do you make fondant edges neat? All mine seem really raggedy.
2. I did some round cut outs for the top of my cupcakes and by the time they got onto the top of the cupcake they weren't as round. How do you keep the fondant in the right shape?

Thank you! Laura x

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Pritter_glincess Posted 6 Jun 2012 , 9:30pm
post #14 of 29

Also, I tried to make e little balls to go round the bottom of the cake and I couldn't do it. I thought this would be a fairly simple but they just fell apart and weren't really round. Any advice?

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vtcake Posted 6 Jun 2012 , 9:36pm
post #15 of 29

You could invest in a silicone fondant pearl mold...makes uniform balls that you can put around your border.

You also don't have to use fondant all the way around if you don't could ice with buttercream and add fondant accent pieces.

Good luck, this will be a special cake!

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mcaulir Posted 6 Jun 2012 , 11:39pm
post #16 of 29

To get less raggedy edges, let the fondant sit for 15 minutes after rolling out before cutting circles. If they're going on top of cupcakes, let the circles dry overnight to really keep their shape. Also, when you cut, wriggle the cutter around a little before liting, to make sure the shape is really well separated from the rest of the fondant.

To make a border or fondant balls, you can roll out a piece of fondant, use a cutter to make sure all the pieces are the same size before rolling. Or roll a sausage, and cut off at regular lengths before rolling. This one means less seams in the ball.

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soledad Posted 7 Jun 2012 , 7:27am
post #17 of 29

Hi again! I found this for you, it might help icon_smile.gif scroll down on the following link. might help you with the stripes.

for the pearl border, roll your fondant in between two wood spacers( you can get them for free at Home Depot it is the wooden stick that you use to stir or mix the paint) so as to have the same thickness all of your fondant. then do as the next link shows, decide which size you will be using for your cake. You need to make edible glue to paste it to the cake.

Hope that helps.
For your cupcake toppers, you might be rolling it too thin??

Good luck! thumbs_up.gif


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Evoir Posted 7 Jun 2012 , 11:49am
post #18 of 29

Add more Crisco to your fondant balls to prevent them cracking. Massage it in, using the heat of your hands until very soft and pliable.

You can use a small amount of water to stick the fondant to the cake.

Re: cupcake tops, roll it a bit thicker, and use some corn starch on the board and your hands to help move it from board to cupcake without distortion.


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Pritter_glincess Posted 7 Jun 2012 , 12:53pm
post #19 of 29

Wow thank you. You are all so helpful. Some really useful tips, I think I will give the balls another try this afternoon.

Regarding Crisco, I am in the uk but I believe it is some form of solid fat. Would lard be an acceptable substitute?

I have circular cutters for some of the shapes I need but I don't have an oval one for my balloons and bee. I tried this yesterday with a little knife but they weren't great. What is the best thing to use for free hand cutting?

I truly am a complete beginner at all this and am just totally clueless. But I like a challenge and it would be great if I could teach myself this type of stuff. I would love to be able to make my children's cakes and feel proud that I made it for them.

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Jenise Posted 7 Jun 2012 , 1:30pm
post #20 of 29

I would use my circle cutter and then just shape to an oval from there, but for free hand cutting I use an exacto knife/craft knife. hth

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AmbitiousBeginner Posted 7 Jun 2012 , 1:34pm
post #21 of 29

For the figures on top and the cut outs you could use modelling chocolate instead of fondant. I prefer using mc because it won't stretch when you pick it up and it tastes like chocolate. Holds it's shape very well.

I use Nestle milk chocolate morsels for black or brown. For lighter colors, I use Nestle white chocolate morsels (not real white chocolate but works fine) and tint with food coloring like you would fondant.

I use 2 cups chocolate and 1/4 cup lite (clear) Karo corn syrup. Melt chocolate in bowl in 30 sec intervals mixing in between until completely melted. Warm syrup in microwave for 20 seconds and pour into melted chocolate. Mix with a spoon. At first it will look like a mess- keep mixing. It will come together. Put in fridge for 15 minutes. Take out and knead for a few minutes. I knead in my hands over the sink because it drips a little. When it feels like dough, wrap and put in ziplock or tupperware. Store at room temp. Let sit over night before using. When using it may be hard, put in micro for 5 - 8 seconds. Just until has enough give to start kneading. If it get too soft/sticky (from your warm hands)while working with it, put in fridge for a minute (just long enough to loose stickiness). And keep going. This way you don't need to dust your hands or workspace with anything.

For the cutouts on the side, put them on when you make them. If you let them completely dry on a flat surface they will crack when you try to bend them to fit on the curved side of the cake. But they're fine for cutting through when slicing cake.

Good Luck

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suzied Posted 8 Jun 2012 , 12:40pm
post #22 of 29

A silicone pearl mold would be the best. If you cant get one, what i do is, i roll out fondant to approximately 1/8" thickness and then with a wilton tip cut out circles with the back of the tip and then roll them in to balls. This way, all the balls will be even in size. If the fondant on the cake is still fresh you just place the balls at the bottom of the cake next to each other. you can dab a bit of water or sugar glue to keep it in place

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Pritter_glincess Posted 9 Jun 2012 , 8:15pm
post #23 of 29

Hi all. I have been practising today and had some success with adding lard to my fondant to make the balls. They worked loads better. I would love a pearl mold but I cannot find one on any British sites.
I didn't have such good success with my elephant though. I can't figure out how best to best tackle the trunk. I tried two approaches, first trying to attat h a trunk. This just failed completely! Secondly using on big block and cutting a trunk into it. This was ok Ian but it was hard to make the edges nice and smooth afterwards and it looked very amateurish. Ay thoughts or tips.
My mom keeps telling me it doesn't matter if it isn't perfect, but it really really does!

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suzied Posted 10 Jun 2012 , 7:03am
post #24 of 29

Take some fondant/gumpaste. make an oval shape in yr palms. at one end squeeze or pinch a lil bit of paste and keep pulling the fondt.gumpaste to form a trunk. while pulling at the top of the trunk like in a sausage pattern. then for the legs, pinch in four places and with yr thumb and forefinger just shape them. this elephant looks the easiest of them all. i made better looking elephants using the above method. keep trying dont give up, you will get there. I hope you can understand what i am trying to show you.

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AmyCakes84 Posted 10 Jun 2012 , 10:00am
post #25 of 29
Originally Posted by Pritter_glincess

Regarding Crisco, I am in the uk but I believe it is some form of solid fat. Would lard be an acceptable substitute?

Lard might give your cake a funny taste - the UK equivalent of Crisco is called Trex, it's a white vegetable shortening. You can get it from larger supermarkets (I get mine in Tesco), it's with the butter etc.

Good luck with your project!!

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maimai16 Posted 10 Jun 2012 , 1:11pm
post #26 of 29

For the oval cut outs, if its me, i would use my circle cutter. After cutting the fondant, i will pull the other end/side a lttle to form an oval shape. Well thats just me, i love to improvise icon_smile.gif

Good luck on ur cake. Just to give u a boost, my first fondant cake is a doll cake. And i learned my way in fonday with cakecentral by, my side icon_smile.gif

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Pritter_glincess Posted 3 Jul 2012 , 9:54pm
post #27 of 29

Hi, I just wanted to say thank you for all the help with my cake making. My sons birthday parties were last week and although the cakes weren't perfect I'm so glad I made them myself instead of paying someone to do it. I can't say enjoyed it, I don't think I have the patience to be a baker, but it was very satisfying to say I made them when people asked. I've posted a couple of pics for the people who asked. I made the pink cake as my practise cake for my friends birthday.
Laura x[email protected]/7497188346/in/photostream/[email protected]/7497206442/in/photostream[email protected]/7497194886/in/photostream[email protected]/7497231910/in/photostream[email protected]/7497188346/in/photostream/

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mcaulir Posted 3 Jul 2012 , 10:38pm
post #28 of 29

Wow! You did an amazing job - congratulations!

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suzied Posted 4 Jul 2012 , 3:25am
post #29 of 29

I think you did a great job. you should continue to make more cakes. I find it relaxing to do a cake. once its finished its such a joy to see the finished product and everyone "ooooing" and wow -ing. the little elephants look good.

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