Yesterday I told you all about baking the yummy inside of this cake, but lets be honest.
With a cake this awesome and detailed, nobody really cares about what's inside!
Everyone wants to know "How'd you do that?" or "What's that part made of?" and often times "Can I eat that piece?!"
So even though I didn't take any tutorial worthy photos, (I was too busy being covered in corn starch & sugar!) I did manage to get a few shots to help explain some of the pieces involved. It's not a detailed set of instructions that will help you replicate this exact cake, but it should be enough to explain the different parts in case you'd like to make some lollipops or ice cream cones for one of your own cakes.
Since I was going to have to take this cake on a 2 hour drive, stability was a big factor for me. Something about those cardboard cake circles that they sell in the stores wasn't exactly screaming "I wont snap in half and drop your cake on the floor!" So for the base, my dad cut me a 16" circle of old wood paneling that I covered with a few layers of freezer paper. Much more sturdy! Next I used Wilton smooth edged separator plates (10" and 8" from AC Moore) and 8 hidden pillar columns (from Joann's) as my support system for the 3 tiers. Then the cup cake was made on a small cardboard circle covered in freezer paper and held up with a few plastic dowel rods that I cut to fit the height of the top tier. It's definitely a little nerve wracking the first time you stack everything up (with fingers crossed and spotters standing by!), but Wilton's site has a simple step by step tutorial if you need help.
All of the decorations were made from marshmallow fondant tinted with Wilton gel food coloring with the exception of the ice cream cones, the jimmies on the bottom tier cupcakes, and the peppermints. Hope that's not a disappointment, but I'm seriously not gonna sit around trying to figure out how to make an ice cream cone from fontant when I can buy a whole box of them for 2 bucks! (I'm not that crazy yet.) The great thing about marshmallow fondant though is that it works just like play-dough. You can roll it and shape it into anything you want, and even if you only know how to make a rope, a ball, and a pancake, you can still get the most amazing results!
Let's start at the bottom and work our way up...
For the bottom tier I started with a pair of 12 in rounds frosted and covered with purple fondant.
Gumballs - Just roll out lots of little fondant balls. It's that simple! These are also used on the top tier.
Cupcakes - Using a cupcake shaped cookie cutter, cut one white and one colored cupcake. Cut the top off the colored one and score little vertical lines to make the wrapper. Carve the bottom of the white cupcake away in a scallop shape to form the icing, and layer it over the wrapper. Adhere a few jimmies to the white with royal icing, and use the bottom of a piping tip to cut a small circle from red fondant to use as a cherry. (You could probably substitute a red Spree candy for the cherry, but I had a hard time finding those.)
Swags - Roll a two thin ropes of your desired colors. Spiral one around the other, and roll them together to form a new rope. I found that if you hold the white straight and wrap the colored rope around it, the color will be more dominant than the white.
Large Ice Creams - Use one of the hidden pillars to punch a hole through the center of a 2.5 inch styrofoam ball. This will serve as the "scoop of ice cream" part of your cone. Next use an exacto or other sharp knife to carefully cut away the bottom of the cone and that little grid area just inside that helps stabilize the bottom. Gently slide the cone onto the pillar with the styrofoam ball. Roll out a small piece of fondant to cover the ball, and crinkle the edges around the top of the cone. I found that adding icing to the ball made the fondant too stretchy, but dampening it slightly with water helped the fondant stick to the styrofoam.
Because I decided to downsize the cake, I had to make tiny ice creams to fill in the gaps between
the pillars where a larger ice creams were on the original. And besides, don't they just look extra cute?
Small Ice Creams - Fill the mini cones with melted chocolate to help keep them sturdy, and top with a 1.5 inch styrofoam ball. Cover them in the same manner as the larger ice creams, and use a dab of royal icing to glue the cone in place.
Ribbon Candy - Roll three ropes of your desired colors, and lay them tight one next to the other. Flatten them with your rolling pin and cut into a 1 inch wide strip. Stand the strip on it's long edge, and bend it back and forth to form that squiggle-y shape. I stood mine along the inside of a cake pan while they dried to help give them a slightly curved shape that would fit nicely around the cake.
Lollipops - These are made the same way as the swags mentioned above. Just wind the rope around itself to form a circle and insert a lollipop stick to secure it. Wait to add these to the cake at the last minute since gravity will make them droop the longer they stand up.
(note the green and orange one on the right-hand side)
Dot Candy - Cut a strip of white fondant long enough to wrap around the cake, and glue it in place. Flatten a small piece of your desired color of fondant and use a #12 piping tip to cut out dozens of candy dots. Glue the little circles in rows around the cake.
Cupcake Bottom - Mine got a little wonky because my cake pans were tapered, but it really is easy. I covered a pair of 4 inch rounds with white fondant the same way as all the other tiers, and cut a strip of yellow the height of the cake just long enough to wrap around it. Then I used a ruler to press creases every inch or so to mimic the folds, and glued it in place.
Of course now that I think about it, I could have just covered the cake with yellow fondant, and then scored the folds
directly onto the cake, but at the time I guess I was in "get it done!" mode instead of "logical" land. Oh well.
The icing ended up being heavy enough to crush the tiny cake below it, so I made it as a separate piece and just laid it on top at the last moment. The ugly yellow blob there is what the icing coil was resting on so that I would be able to remove the top more easily.
Cupcake Icing - Make a super long, thick rope of fondant and coil it up (think soft serve ice cream) on top of the cupcake base.
Sprinkles - Roll tiny little 1/8 inch sized ropes, and cut them into 1/2 inch pieces.
Cherry - Roll a ball of red fondant to the necessary size. Then use a toothpick to press an indentation where the stem would go. If you roll the length of the toothpick down from the stem spot, you can easily form the "butt" shape that is usually associated with cherries. I know that sounds weird, but you get it right? I was shooting for realistic!
Super props to you if you actually read through that entire list of directions, because I know it was just as exhausting
writing it out as it was actually making the cake. I can't imagine it's any less boring to read, but hopefully I
answered any questions you might have had about how everything was made and put together.
So what do you think?
What's the most amazing desert you've ever made?
*I know it might seem like it, but this post was definitely not sponsored by Wilton. They just seem to be the only baking brand available in my area, and I wanted to make sure I mentioned exactly which products I used so anyone interested would have a reference point.*