OMG I saw my last post was June 18th! What a slacker! But I love summer and seriously try to enjoy ever second I can of it. We also had another long weekend in West Virginia and then I had to make this amazing cake for some amazing people. Our neighbors/friends are having a baby and they are the cutest couple, we are so happy for them! They asked me to make the cake and of course I said yes! I was definitely a bit nervous because I never made a cake before, let alone a professional looking one- AND I had to make it in about three hours. But they deserve something awesome- so this is what I came up with!
The cake on the other hand I had to wait because I wanted to dye the batter the color of the gender not just the frosting on the inside. So Martha Stewart's Versatile Vanilla Cake looked perfect to just add a couple drops of dye until I obtained the correct color. Oh and instead of using the recommended frosting in the recipe I used made a huge buttercream frosting recipe and used for cucpakes and cake.
I also prepped the decorations for the cake the night before- the ribbon loops, polka dots, and letters.
I have been researching how to make a fondant cake for about two months (since that's when they asked me if I would make the cake) and found some very helpful tips along the way, which of course I will share with you.
- If you have time to make the cake in advance, do it. If not MAKE SURE the cake is completely cooled before doing any frosting or fondant. It WILL melt- at first I was buttercreaming a huge muffin it seemed like- then I quickly freaked out and threw it in the freezer for the save.
- I have seen people make their own fondant- if you're new, just go out and buy some- it is relatively cheap (it was about $8 for a box that would cover a 9in cake).
- When using fondant- always roll out and use immediately- I didn't and it cracked. whomp whomp. Thank god I had the polka dots to cover most of the damage.
- Do not roll out the fondant that thin- especially if it is a white cake- you will be able to see through to the cake if too thin. Follow the directions on the box.
- You don't need fancy tools to work with fondant- I used a regular rolling pin, pizza cutter and small frosting cap to cut out the circles.
- Be VERY gentle with hardened fondant- as you can see- some loops cracked- so make sure you make extra just in case.
- Always make sure you have enough cornstarch or powdered sugar on hand so nothing will stick to your work area.
- It is also a good idea to have more fondant on hand if you needed a back up.
So here are the steps:
Night before: Cupcakes and Decoration Prep:
Dust your work area with cornstarch or powdered sugar so the fondant doesn't stick (like pizza dough and flour).
The loops are just colored fondant- I broke off a small piece and worked in a very small amount of food coloring for pink and blue color. Rolled the fondant out until fairly thin and then cut into strips and folded into loops over these spoons. Then dabbed the end with just a bit of water and pinched the ends until they stuck. I let them dry for a couple hours and then took off and reshaped gently and laid on the baking sheet to finish drying over night. The dots were easy- just roll out fondant, cut with a cookie cutter or whatever your are using and let dry with the loops.
I had to search the Internet on how to make the bow here are some of the better ones:
The letters weren't too hard- just roll fondant out into small logs and form the letters- I just used a bit of water to connect the e's and t's etc- Let these dry with the rest and when you place them later they should hold together nicely.
That Day: Make the cake, assemble, and decorate. Frost cupcakes too.
Frosting for the cupcakes- It is just a simple buttercream recipe- butter, powdered sugar and a bit of buttermilk- This is an easy method to fill your pasty bags- I bought these disposable pastry bags on eBay- like 100 for $5 or $6- totally worth it.
This is the dyed cake batter- guess the secrets out- it's a girl!
I used a 9in spring form pan- and of course I only had one pan- but the recipe I used (see above) was for a two layer cake so it worked out awesome- just had to bake the layers one by one. Pan has parchment paper on the bottom, then I buttered and floured it- cakes came out pretty much prefect.
Cake layer number one- cooling.
Using a stand or I used this huge tomato can- I first make a cardboard circle base and covered in tinfoil then placed a little bit of frosting on it, then the first cake layer. then frosting in the middle, then the next layer of cake.
Frost the whole thing so the fondant has something to stick to. Using the can helped me so I could rotate it while frosting.
This is the white fondant rolled out ready for the cake- just roll out and get your hands and forearms under the fondant- lift and place on top of the cake. Just try and place it centered as much a possible on the first try because other wise it gets the frosting on it and gets messy. The fondant is pretty sturdy and did not rip when I lifted it.
Then you need to smooth out the top and sides- you will need to pull the sides down and smooth at the same time- This is actually a great site to show you all the steps of making a fondant cake at About.com.
Assembling the bow- so nerve racking but came out nice! I just used a large ball of fondant (or I've heard you could use frosting too) then GENTLY pushed the bottom loops into it- then next used more fondant to make another ball and stuck that on top of the first layer- then added the next layer of loops. Fill in spaces as you go-this is why it is a good idea to make someloops skinnier and some fatter. If something isn't sticking use more fondant or a small drop of water.
To place the dots and letters, I just used a small drop of water and then stuck on- the dots were fun to put on. Use water to place the bow too- or you could use frosting. Then I sprayed with this pearl dust aerosol can stuff- like 4 bucks, but amazing finish to the cake- it really put the icing on the cake ;) I also sprayed the cupcakes with the shiny stuff too.
See where I didn't do such a good job in the smoothing the sides step- oh well.
See the cracked bow loop- oh well. It still is pretty awesome for the first try!
Brought over to the party!
ITS A GIRL! SO surprised!
Aren't they just adorable!? Congrats again Dee and Chris- and we all can't wait for baby Sofia Autumn!