An Expression of Art

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Tinkerbell Cake

I created this fun and colorful Tinkerbell cake for a baby shower in late November. The mom-to-be was a chocoholic, so I themed the flavor of this cake as "Death by Chocolate".

The cake was super moist triple chocolate cake (chocolate cake with chocolate pudding and chocolate chips), filled with Ghirardelli fudge and frosted with home made chocolate buttercream .

The cake was then covered with fondant and decorated with fondant accents. All fondant pieces included the purple flower where Tinkerbell is sitting on, grass, pink mushrooms, grey stones, leaves and the pink/purple flowers. The only exception was the Tinkerbell candle.

You can find the candle at (Walt Disney Tinker Bell Tink Candle).

The base of the cake where 3 cake rounds that were covered with green fondant. I wanted to add some fun to it, so I wraped the base with a boa.

I'm glad to say that the cake was a success in this babyshower. It blended perfectly with the outside baby-shower party. The party's guest tables had center flower arrangements and we added little Disney Fairies figures to these arrangement, so guest could take home.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Marshmallow Fondant FAQs

Q- I live in very sunny, very hot and very humid country. I’ve often found that my fondant “weeps” and slowly dissolves from the moisture in the air when I leave it out at room temperature. Will this happen with your marshmallow fondant recipe as well?

A- Marshmallow Fondant (MMF) will hold up until about a weather of about 75 degrees F.

I can offer a couple of solutions:

1) Work and keep cake in an air conditioned room.
2) Roll the fondant layer thicker. This proves helpful.
3) I do not recommend to place a fondant covered cake in the refrigerator (due to humidity) but
I personally haven’t had any trouble when I place mine in there for only a short period of time. If you need to place the cake in the refrigerator (for a brief period of time) you can try bringing it to room temperature in the following way - Place the cake in a brown cardboard box to collect the atmospheric moisture and help the cake come to room temperature safely.

Q- I don't like the flavor of cornstarch, can I ommit it from the recipe?

A- Yes, you can use powder sugar instead.

Q- How do you color fondant?

A- I usually knead in my colors with gel coloring if separating the MMF into separate colors.
However, If you are doing one color for the whole batch, you can add the gel coloring in step 3, when you have all the mini marshmallows melted. Add the color mix and then proceed to step 4.

Q- How thick the fondant has to be so it won't reap or tear?

A- I usually roll my MMF about 1/8″ thick so it will be thick enough for handling and for it to have stregth integrity.

If your marshmallow fondant is still tearing, then it might be because it is too dry. Next time you do your MMF don’t add all of the sugar. If it is still dry, add water (about 1 tablespoon at a time) and knead. When kneading, knead until the MMF has a satin shine to it.

MMF works best for covering a cake if you let it sit overnight. Rub your MMF with a thin layer of Crisco, wrap it in plastic and place inside a ziploc bag. Let it sit overnight.

Q- Is the butter flavor necessary?

A- The butter flavor is just for… flavor. Just substitute for 1tsp of clear vanilla flavor (i.e., 2 tsps of clear vanilla extract).

Q- I was wanting to see if you could tell me what I could use on fondant to make it shine. Some cakes you see sort of have that dull look, but others have a shine. Is there something to put on them that makes them shine. I have read about alcohol, but is that right?

A- Yes, that is right. Some like to spray the fondant covered cake with vodka to give it that shine and to remove any starch.

I ususally just cover my rolling mat with a very thin layer of shortening when rolling my fondant. I flip it and cover the cake.

Another form of shine can be to brush it with some pearl dust.

Q- To what size do I need to roll my fondant to cover my cake?

A- To cover a cake, always measure its’s high and multiply by two then add the diameter. After you get this number add one inch (~2.5 cm). For example, 8″ x 3″ cake it will be:
a) 8″+3″+3″=14″
b) Now add the extra inch: 14″+1″=15″. This is the diameter you will need your fondant to be for an 8" x 3" cake.

Q- How do I make chocolate fondant?

A- Chocolate MMF recipe posted HERE.

Q- Do I need to ice the cake first before covering the cake with fondant?

A- Yes, ice the cake with regular icing and then cover with the fondant.

Q- I was wondering if the fondant can be kneaded in a machine (kitchen aid) instead of by hand. Will the result be the same as hand kneading?

A- That is a good question. I’ve never done the marshmallow in the mixer, and hand kneading it is not that bad. However, I did hear some myths about metal bowls turning the fondant gray. Don’t let this put you down as stainless steel bowls are just fine.

I have heard from other readers that it’s much easier to mix the fondant in their kitchen Aid Mixers. Just grease the bowl with a thin layer of Crisco to prevent the fondant from sticking and use the dough hook. The fondant should be done in about 8 mins. A hand mixer is a big no no. You may burn it.

Q- I'm placing some decorations on the side of my fondant covered cake. How do I ensure they don't fall off the cake?

A- The answer is piping gel. It’s ’superglue’ to me for fondant.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

How to Make Fondant Bows

1. Roll fondant 1/16 in thick in desired color.

2. Cut 2 bow loops, 1 bow center and 2 streamers using a Fondant Cutter.

3. Cut ends of streamers in a 'V' shape.4. Set bow centers and the streamers aside, covered in plastic so they won't dry.

5. Pleat the ends of one bow loop cut out and fold over to form a loop.

6. Brush ends with some clear vanilla extract so the loop with 'glue' to itself. Press the ends lighlty to secure it. Stuff loops with tissue paper so the loop can dry in that form.

7. Make second loop.

8. Place two bow loops over surface with two bow ends joined together.

9. Pleat bow center ends and wrap around the middle of the two joined bow ends. 'Glue' the bow center with clear vanilla extract.

10. Attach bow center with loops over frosted cake, or 'glue' with clear vanilla extract to fondant covered cake.

11. Pleat straight ends of streamers and insert them lightly under bow. If the cake is covered with fondant, use clear vanilla extract to 'glue' to cake.

12. Allow to dry, then remove the tissue paper from bow loops.


Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Stacking Cakes (with or without pillars)

How to Stack Cakes - without pillars

You'll need:


  1. Place your base cake (the largest) on the largest cake board or cake base. Remember to 'glue' it by adding a dollop of butter cream or frosting.

  2. Place the other tiers on cake boards of the same diameter size. The reason lies in that we don't want these boards to show.

  3. On top of the large cake (first tier) mark the diameter of the cake you are going to place on top (second tier). Within this diameter imagine the position of the dowel rods as a triangle or a square ( 3 dowel rods if the second tier is not too big, 4 dowel rods if it is a big one).

  4. Take a dowel rod (these are sold in cake supply stores and are FDA approved), and poke it into the base cake until it touches the base. Mark the height of the cake. remove rod and cut where you marked earlier. Repeat with the rest of the dowel rods you'll be using for the base cake.

  5. Place dowel rods in base cake with a gap of 2-3 inches apart (remember they should be within the diameter of next cake tier.

  6. Repeat the process for all tiers except the last one.

  7. Stack up the cakes on one another.

  8. Decorate your cake!

How to Stack Cakes - With Pillars

There are many pillar sets out there. Here is a quick link to Cake Pillars.

These sets come with their separator plates and pillars.


  1. Start by placing your base cake on its cake base.

  2. Identify next separator plate size and press gently on top of the center of base cake to mark the place for the pillars (don't press too hard so you don't spoil the icing on the cake).

  3. Place tier cakes on their separator plates (with their respective size).

  4. On the base cake that you have marked for pillars, poke each pillar until you can feel them touching the cake board. Tip: The pillars are normally hollow and I haven't had any problems with having stable cakes, however if you feel tha your cake is not stable enough, you can poke dowel rods at the center of the hollow pillars for extra stability.

  5. Place second tier cake on top of the pillars by securing its separator plate to the pillars from base cake.

  6. Repeat the process for all tiers, except the top most.

How to Make a Cowboy Hat - Step-by-Step Instructions

How to Make a Cowboy Hat - Step-by-Step Instructions:

You'll need:

- gumpaste/fondant Mixture
- Small Cake (desired size of hat)
- Knive for carving
- Buttercream for frosting

Step-by-Step Instructions:

  1. We need to start by making the brim of the hat as this will take a day to dry. For this cake I used a gumpaste/fondant mixture (just knead a 1:1 ratio of gumpaste and fondant). If you use fondant only, it might take several days to dry.

  2. Use a real hat brim to draw a template on a poster board.

  3. Roll out your gumpaste/fondant mixture to desired thickness and cut out the brim using your board template - If you don't have a cut just cut a gumpaste/fondant circle that is larger than the cake (which is going to be center of hat). If you like use a fondant sewing wheel to mark around the edge of the brim a 'seam'.

  4. Place gumpaste/fondant brim over upside down cake to hold its curl shape. If you don't have a hat, place the gumpaste/fondant brim over a surface and lift its side by placing something under the sides to hold the curl until it dries.

  5. Use whatever size of pan to create the size of your hat. I used the small wilton oval pans for this cake (2 layers) and torted them into 4 layers to add alter layers of chocolate fudge and dulce de leche. Place on top of a cake board of same size and trim to fit the size of cake.

  6. Trim and shape your cake to look like your hat. I carved an indentation on top.

  7. Cover with frosting or buttercream.

  8. Then, cover with fondant.

  9. Once the brim is dry, place the cake on top of it.

  10. Decorate your hat to your desire. I added a fondant ribbon and bow.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Icing Flowers (Royal Icing)

I'm bringing this post to the top as I have added several tutorial links. My next flower should be the Victorian rose and the buttercream rose (worth the wait). I will be adding more flowers to this Index in the coming weeks. I hope you enjoy working with these flowers.

In the following posts I will show you techniques for making the following flowers with Royal Icing. Please be patient as I will be updating this index with instruction in the following post. For future reference, use this as a name guide and Index to step-by-step instructions.

Victorian roses



Click HERE for daisy flower step-by-step instructions.


Click HERE for Pansy flower step-by-step instructions.


Click HERE for Chrysanthemum flower step-by-step instructions.


Click HERE for Primrose flower step-by-step instructions.

Violet and violet leaf

Violet and Leaf
Click HERE for violet flower step-by-step instructions.
Click HERE for violet leaf step-by-step instructions.

Apple Blossom
(bright pink flower on lower left corner)

Click HERE for apple blosssom step-by-step instructions


Click HERE for Daffodil flower step-by-step instructions.

Royal Icing: Primrose

The primrose flower is a medium sized flower with heart shaped petals. You can find these flowers in different colors, including all yellow, blue with yellow centers and purple with yellow centers. These flowers are accent flowers that add a touch of elegance to any cake. Refer to the Flower Index for other flower's step-by-step instructions.

Primrose Flower

Tip: 103, 14, 1
Royal Icing: Pink (or color of choice)
Consistency: Medium
Royal Icing Recipe


1. Looking down on your flower nail, imagine dividing the nail as follows: Note that the flower should be the size of the inner circle. 2. Using your tip 103 make the first hert shaped petal (depicted at the upper left corner of picture below) by sqeezing your piping bag slightly at a 45 degree angle from center to circle edge. At this point continue piping along the edge while gently using a gentle back and forth motion in the middle as you spin your flower nail slowly and proceeding to close the petal. Relax pressure, stop and slide out.
3. Repeat to make four more heart shaped petals (for a total of five).

4. Add a small star center with tip 14.

5. Add a small dot to the top of the star with Tip 1.

6. Dry in medium flower former.

*Picture of cake with this flower

Royal Icing: Pansy

Pansies are one of my favorite royal icing flowers because they look so complicated, but they are not. If you have tried the other flower tutorials I have previously posted, then trying this flower out should not be difficult. Pansies are found in nature in different colors, including all yellow or all dark blue. Add color by painting over them when dry or using color striped bag. Refer to the Flower Index for more flower instructions.

Pansy Flower

Tip: 104, 1
Royal Icing: yellow and violet (or color of choice)
Consistency: Medium Consistency
Royal Icing Recipe


1. Looking down on your flower nail, imagine dividing the nail as follows. The flowers will be the size of the whole circle.

2. Using your tip 104 make the first yellow petal (one quarter of the circle). Squeeze bag lightly at 45 degree angle, to make and upside down U (as shown on picture below). Make sure that the U closes at the end – relax pressure, unite with the starting point, stop and slide out. Repeat to form the second yellow petal (second quarter of the circle).
3. No let's make the violet petal. This is basically a single ruffled petal that will fill one half of the circle. Create this petal by starting like a single petal, but don't finish it. Instead, use a gentle back and forth motion to create a ruffled effect.

4. Add two shorter petals on top of the first two yellow petals (depicted in picture below in orange for visibility), positioned so that they are centered over the seams where the yellow petal meet with the single ruffled violet petal. 5. Add a tip 1 teardrop shaped loop center in yellow color (as shown in picture below).
6. Dry in medium Flower Former.

7. When dry, dip a small brush in food coloring (violet in this case) and add violet stipes to top yellow flowers.

*Picture of cake that depicts this flower.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Slice of Cake - Fondant

I made this cake for a babyshower last Friday. I really wanted to create something funky yet adorable, so I came up with a slice of cake with adorable fondant bear toppers. The cake came our bigger than I thought it would as I ended up stacking 4 layers of cake. It was then frosted and covered with fondant. Green ruffle is buttercream.

I made the bears ahead of time out of fondant and painted the paws, the nose and the eyes with black food coloring. The top bear is mama bear holding the newborn cub in her arms. The bottom bear is papa bear. The mother decided to keep the bear toppers so she can use them as cake toppers for the baby's first year cake.

This cake was actually 4 layer of chocolate cake with two fillings of chocolate mousse and one layer of "dulce de leche" (similar to caramel). It was so yummy!!

Friday, May 2, 2008

Buttercream: Chrysanthemum

Chrysanthemum Flower

Refer to the Flower Index for other flower links.



1- Prepare a bag of buttercream icing with tip #5 and another bag of same buttercream icing color with tip #81.

2- Pipe a mound of icing with tip #5 at center of flower nail. 3- Insert tip #85 with indent facing up) to the bottom edge of mound slightly. Squeeze bag and extend to the edge of inner circle and release pressure pulling slightly upwards at a 45 degree angle. Continue piping these petals around to create a row of base petals.
4- Repeat by piping the next row of petals slightly shorter positioning them between the base petals and on top of the last row (don't forget to insert the tip slightly into the mound, squeeze the bag, pull and release pressure at a 45 degree angle).

5- Continue piping petals until the mound is covered with each row slightly shorter. It usually takes me about 4 rows.

6- At center of flower, pipe 3 vertical petals.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Roses: How to Make Fondant Roses

Fondant roses are beautiful. These roses harden up and are less fragile than royal icing flowers. If you are able to roll the fondant "dough" very thin, the roses can look very realistic. They do take a little bit longer than icing roses, but the end result is wonderful. Not to mention that they last longer.

Please note that the instructions below may seem a little intimidating. To make a full rose takes about 5 minutes. The first time may take longer. Once you get a hold of it, you will be making these roses a bunch at a time. They are worth it.

Before you start make sure you have the following:

  1. Fondant (and the color of choice: I use Wilton Gel Food Colors)

  2. A plastic mat (this will be for rolling the fondant). I use the Wilton Cake Dividing Wheel (it works wonders for me and it has many uses).

  3. A tiny bit of shortening (to rub the mat so the fondant won't stick)

  4. A rolling pin

  5. Flower fondant cutters (I use the Wilton Rose Bouquet Cutter Set)

  6. Ball tool (I prefer the one that has the ball tool on one side and the veining tool on the other- very practical)

  7. Art brush

  8. Icing flavoring (this will be used to glue the fondant)

  9. Toothpicks

  10. Thin and Thick Foam pads

  11. And last but not least: Before you start, read the "Working with Fondant" that I have previously posted.

Step 1:
Have the amount of rose centers you need ready (toothpick with cone fondant centers). Instructions on how to make this: "Fondant Rose Centers".

Step 2:
Prepare your mat by applying a very thin layer of shortening. This will avoid the fondant from sticking to it. Make sure the amount of shortening you place is very minimal. Too much and it will make the fondant sticky.

Step 3:
Knead a portion of your colored fondant until it is a little bit softer (this shouldn't take long). Roll it into a ball and place on top of the mat.

Step 4:
Roll the fondant from center to the edge to stretch into a very thin layer. I know it is thin enough when I cannot roll it any thinner and I can read the mat printed font through it (see picture below).

Thin rolled fondant

Step 5:
Use your medium sized flower cutter and cut as many flowers as you can (remember we are only rolling a portion of the fondant as this will dry very fast). You need three flower cutouts to make one full bloom flower.

Cutting fondant

Step 6:
Take one cut out (tip: wrap the rest with plastic wrap to prevent drying) and place on top of your thin foam. Make short straight incisions in between each petal as shown on the picture below. This will allow the petals to be more flexible and not rip when bended.

petal incision

Step 7:
In order to create a more realistic effect, we have to thin the edges of each petal with the ball tool. Place the one side of the ball tool at its middle (i.e., half of the ball is touching the fondant and the second half the thin mat). Roll your ball at the edge on each petal by pressing a little hard. You will see the petals "rippling". DO NOT go back and use the ball tool again on a thinned petal. This will rip the petal. This is a one chance only. I will refer to this step as "balling".


Step 8:
Place your thinned or "balled" flower cut out on top of the thick foam pad. Note that I covered the foam with some corn starch to prevent sticking. With the ball, press its center (as shown on the picture below) slightly hard. This will create a "cupped" center.


Step 9:
Apply a little icing flavoring with an art brush at the cupped center. We use icing flavoring instead of water because the flavoring has alcohol and this evaporates faster thus the flower will dry faster. Insert the rose center toothpick through it. This first petal will be the center petals of your rose.


Before we continue to setp 10, visualize the picture below. Each cutout has 5 petals. Imagine that this looks like a gingerbread man, with petal 0 beign the head; petal 1 and 2 the arms; and petals 3 and 4 the legs.

Step 10:
Apply flavoring to petal 0 (the head). Glue the petal to the center fondant cone as shown on the picture below.


Step 11: Apply flavoring to one arm petal, in this case petal 1 and 'glue' it with flavoring to the cone center.


Step 12:
I assume that by this time you know the process, so a picture is not necessary. Apply flavoring to opposite leg, in this case petal 4 and 'glue' it to the cone center.

Step 13:
Apply flavoring to the remaining arm (petal 2) and 'glue' it to the cone center.

Step 14:
Apply flavoring to the remaining leg (petal 3) and 'glue' it to the cone center. The center petals of the rose are complete. Stop here if you want a rose button.


Step 15:
Take another flower cutout and make the incisions between the petals. Place on the thin foam pad and ball all the petal edges. Transfer the balled flower cutout and place on top of a thick foam pad. INSTRUCTIONS ARE DIFFERENT HERE.

Step 16:
Place the ball tool on middle of one of the arm petals (petal 1) and cup the petal. Do the same to the second arm (petal 2) and then to the center. Turn the petal to the other side and cup the head (petal 0) the two legs (petal 3 and 4).


Turn the petal to the other side and insert the toothpick with cone center and first layer of petals. Glue one arm petal (petal 1) to the one layer rose (exactly where two petals meet) do the same for the second arm (petal 2). Glue the head (petal 0) next, then the opposite leg (petal 4) then remaining leg (petal 3). You have completed the second layer of petals of the rose. Stop here if you want a medium size rose.


Step 16:
Take another flower cutout and make the incisions between the petals. Place on the thin foam pad and ball all the petal edges. Transfer the balled flower cutout and place on top of a thick foam pad. INSTRUCTIONS ARE DIFFERENT HERE.

Step 17:

Cup the center of the flower cut out with your ball tool and then cup all the petals one by one.


Turn the flower cutout to the other side and insert the toothpick on cupped center (petals should be curved on the outside) and glue the petals one by one to the 2 layer rose (where two petals meet).

An easier way is to turn the rose upside down and glue all the petas one by one to the 2 layer rose.

Your full rose bloom is done. CONGRATULATIONS.