Fondant jewelry box cake. Photo by Jennifer Melo
My niece Lauren is a true girly girl. Give her clothes for her birthday and she’ll put on a fashion show for you, modelling her new outfits with a joyful spring in her step. This may or may not have happened yesterday at her birthday party. 😉
Lauren loves makeup, nail polish, perfume and accessories like jewelry. When I considered a cake design for her 9th birthday, my choices were either a One Direction cake or a girly girl cake. Since a One Direction cake would probably be beyond my skill level, a girly girl cake was the way to go.
It starts with a jewelry box vision
A heart-shaped jewelry box came to mind and that’s the inspiration behind this cake. I started with the fondant jewelry box and made the rest up as I went along. It evolved into girls’ trinkets on a dusty rose dresser.
My baroque fondant and gumpaste mold really came in handy for this project. I used it to make the silver rose, heart, scrolls, bracelet and white pearls.
Then I added a store-bought tiara and a candy ring pop to finish the look.
How to paint fondant silver
To paint some of the fondant silver, I used Wilton’s silver pearl dust mixed with a few drops of vodka. The vodka evaporates as it dries.
For best results, I learned I should use very little vodka to just slightly dampen the fondant. And then swirl more pearl dust on to adhere it to the fondant, and buff the whole thing with a brush, using small circular motions. I found it was best to work in two coats. Brush on the vodka and dust mix and then go over it again with just the dust.
How to make dusty rose with food colouring
To tint fondant a dusty rose colour rather than bubble gum pink, use 2 parts red and 1 part brown food colouring.
What’s under all that fondant?
I tried a new Vanilla Sponge Cake recipe from Cake Art by The Culinary Institute of America and a new whipped cream icing recipe from’s Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan. The cake was yummy so I’ll probably make it again but it turned out too dry. Note for next time: Bake for 20-25 minutes instead of 30.
Sponge cake acts like a…sponge
The whipped cream filling was a departure from my go-to buttercream recipe. The cake absorbed much of the whipped cream icing so it didn’t look like there was much icing between the cake layers. Hmph. I wonder if that’s usual for whipped cream icing or if the dry sponge cake soaked up all that moisture.
I prefer the whipped cream icing’s flavour over buttercream — it has a milky but less sweet taste — but whipped cream icing has a downside. You can’t leave your cake unrefrigerated for too long since it’s a cream-based icing. Like butter, buttercream is more shelf-stable.
That’s enough chatter for now. You wanna see more pictures, don’t you? Cue the photo gallery!
Ring pop in a fondant jewelry box. Photo by Jennifer Melo
Fondant earrings and pearls. Photo by Jennifer Melo
Fondant happy birthday Lauren card. Photo by Jennifer Melo
Fondant drawer handle and hardware. Photo by Jennifer Melo
Silver fondant bracelet. Photo by Jennifer Melo
Jewelry box cake overhead view. Photo by Jennifer Melo
I had fun working on my niece Lauren’s birthday cake today. I’ll show you the completed cake on Sunday — I can’t give it all away and spoil the birthday girl’s surprise.
I created a fondant jewelry box for a topper so I thought I’d share how I did it.
Fondant jewelry box. Photo by Jennifer Melo
- A Rolling pin
- Icing sugar or cornstarch
- 2 heart-shaped cookie cutters; 3″ and 4″.
- Pizza wheel cutter
- Sharp knife
Fondant jewelry box how-to: Start with the base
1. Dust your workspace with icing sugar or cornstarch. Roll fondant to about 1/8″ thick.
2. Cut a heart using the 3″ cookie cutter. There’s your fondant jewelry box base. Set it aside.
Do the sides and lid
3. Dust your workspace as needed to prevent sticking. Roll fondant to about 1/4″ thick.
4. Using a ruler and pizza wheel, cut a strip that’s about 12″ long and 1 to 1-1/2″ in width.
Tip: If your fondant’s too soft or too thin, the strip will flop, bulge or fall flat. Add powdered sugar to your fondant if it needs a firmer consistency and roll it to at least 1/4″ thick so a strip can stand on its edge without falling over.
5. Cut another heart using the 4″ cookie cutter. That’s your jewelry box lid.
Assemble the jewelry box
6. Lay the jewelry box base on a piece of parchment paper. Lightly moisten the heart’s edge with water.
7. Gently fold the fondant strip in half and pinch it at the center to form a crease at the top of the heart. Place the pinched edge at the top of the heart and wrap the strip around the sides, bringing ends together at the bottom tip. Use your knife to trim the ends and then moisten and press to join them.
8. Gently hold the heart shape in place for a minute or so while the water dries. If needed, use the 3″ cookie cutter as a form to help reshape the heart while the fondant’s soft.
Assemble the jewelry box lid
9. Roll a thin tube of fondant on the counter, spaghetti-style. Using a damp brush or your finger, moisten a heart-shaped line about 1/4 from the edge of the lid. Press your tube-shaped piece on to the lid and trim to fit. Position and pinch as needed to form a heart-shaped rim for the lid.
10. Attach pretty decorations to decorate the lid if desired. Fill the box with fondant or candy jewelry and you’re done.
What do you think?
2″ fondant strip was too thin. Photo by Jennifer Melo
Two hearts and a strip for a fondant jewelry box. Photo by Jennifer Melo
Fondant jewelry box, shaped and left to dry. Photo by Jennifer Melo
Heart shaped rim for jewelry box lid. Photo by Jennifer Melo
I used a fondant mold to create this rose and then I painted it with silver pearl dust. Photo by Jennifer Melo
One last teaser Fondant jewelry box sneak peek complete. Photo by Jennifer Melo