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Archive of ‘White, cream and ivory’ category

Fondant jewelry box cake

Fondant jewelry box cake

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!

How to make a fondant jewelry box in 10 steps

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

Fondant jewelry box. Photo by Jennifer Melo

You’ll need:

    • Fondant
    • A Rolling pin
    • Icing sugar or cornstarch
    • 2 heart-shaped cookie cutters; 3″ and 4″.
    • Ruler
    • 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?

Cute Easter bunny cookies

Easter-bunny-face-cookiesAfter struggling with several royal icing issues, I was happy to have a few bunny cookies with relatively smooth surfaces. Their faces are so cute, they distract you from my decorating mistakes.

You didn’t notice them at first, did you?

I learned that I should’ve used  a “boo-boo stick” to push down peaks and smooth the icing while it was wet. What the heck’s a boo-boo stick, you ask? First, you should know that I didn’t just make up this device. It really exists! You can buy a boo-boo stick at karenscookies.net. Or you can use a toothpick, a scribe or another modelling tool.

The pink icing I used to pipe the ears and nose was too thick. The ears, in particular, could’ve really used some work with a boo-boo stick.

Royal icing tests my patience. And I failed the test.

I set the cookies to dry overnight but I had places to go, people to see, and cookies to decorate, so after about 14 hours of drying time, I tried to draw on a cookie with an edible-ink marker and I learned something new.

What happens if you try to decorate cookies before royal icing dries completely? You crack the smooth surface and your marker sinks into the icing like this…

Oops! I poked a hole in the icing. Photo by Jennifer Melo

Oops! I poked a hole in the icing. Photo by Jennifer Melo

Womp, womp.

breeding-bunny-cookies

Lessons learned

  1. Use a boo-boo-stick to smooth any lumps, bumps and peaks while the royal icing is wet.
  2. Wait at least 24 hours before trying to decorate. The humidity in your decorating environment, royal icing consistency and how thick you layer on the icing can influence drying time. My cookies needed about 32 hours to dry completely.
  3. Use a light touch if you’re using food colouring markers in case the icing isn’t as dry as you suspect it is. The top layers may appear dry to the touch but a little pressure can reveal soft royal icing below the surface.
  4. Get your royal icing consistency right.

Tiffany boxes bridal shower cake

Tiffany boxes cake and diamonds

My Tiffany boxes cake with diamonds sprinkled all around. Photo by Jennifer Melo

The theme of my BFF Natalie’s bridal shower was Breakfast at Tiffany’s so it was the perfect opportunity to make a Tiffany boxes cake.

Natalie loves chocolate so I decided to make triple-layered chocolate cake with chocolate buttercream filling. I covered the cake in store-bought “tiffany blue” fondant and the colour was perfect. Then I added white fondant for ribbons and a bow.

I’m just CRAZY about Tiffany’s! — Holly Golightly, Breakfast at Tiffany’s

Covering a square cake with fondant = my challenge

The curse of the square cake got me again. You can see that the fondant pleated in the corner so I just tried to piece it together and wipe away most of the chocolate buttercream that oozed from the cracks.

Cake-decorating note: White buttercream is more forgiving than brown chocolate buttercream, particularly when you need to wipe it off any shade of fondant that’s lighter than brown.

Such a pretty fondant bow

I was very happy with how the bow turned out. The trick is to roll the fondant thick enough so it doesn’t collapse but thin enough so it actually looks like a thick ribbon. I used an empty paper towel roll to support the bow loops while they hardened and then I attached them to the cake. I stuffed the loops with crushed paper towels for additional support as I refrigerated the cake overnight.

It was so hot and humid on the day of the bridal shower, even the fondant sweated. But it didn’t take long for the cake to acclimatize and the condensation evaporated in the air-conditioned party room.

Tiffany boxes cake

Tiffany boxes cake for Natalie’s bridal shower. Photo by Jennifer Melo

The cake got rave reviews at the party and if anyone noticed the flaws, they were kind enough to not mention it.

…nothing very bad could happen to you there. If I could find a real-life place that’d make me feel like Tiffany’s, then – then I’d buy some furniture and give the cat a name! — Holly Golightly, Breakfast at Tiffany’s

Lavender flowers fondant birthday cake and cupcakes

purple cake and cupcakes

Lavender cake and cupcakes. Photo by Jennifer Melo


Nelia’s 40th birthday cake

For my sister’s 40th birthday, cake AND cupcakes would mark the occasion. A vanilla sponge cake is covered in white fondant and I used flower cookie cutters to make the flowers and leaves.

Nel’s favourite colour is purple. I used purple icing gel to pipe the letters and rather than pipe a border on the cake with my shaky, inexperienced piping hands, I stuck on small fondant flowers all around like a garland.

I bought the flowers and leaves cookie cutters at Golda’s Kitchen and I love them. I’ve found many uses for them over the years.

The vanilla cupcakes are topped with vanilla buttercream and fondant decorations.


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