The spring/summer season means it’s time for some of the Catholics among us to celebrate a first holy communion. So I thought I’d share how I made a fondant communion cake for my sweet niece, Maya.
The cake topper, a Precious Moments figurine, honoured the occasion and served as inspiration for this cake.
Quilting patterns are challenging
First, I’ll ‘fess up and reveal that I screwed up on the lower tier of this cake. The quilting pattern adds an elegant design but, once again, I learned that it’s a tricky cake-decorating technique to pull off right. I’m still not sure where things went wrong. Everything was going great until…it just wasn’t. Some of the lines didn’t meet at the right spots when I got around to scoring the final parts of the cake. I tried to fix things but I think I ended up doing more damage.
Cake-decorating tip: After covering a cake with fondant, score it immediately. Don’t wait. Scoring and embossing works best with fresh fondant that hasn’t yet hardened.
For the quilting pattern, I used a measuring and scoring method. Using a ruler and a toothpick, I marked the cake at 1″ spaces at the top and bottom of the sides of the cake.
Then I used a cut file folder and an embossing wheel to score straight, diagonal lines across the cake’s side, connecting the holes I marked earlier with the toothpick. This is hard to explain so let me show you what I mean in this video clip.
Ya see? Easy peasy! That is, until your lines don’t meet up according to plan. What can I say? Things got a little crazy.
Oh well, that’s why we turn the cake to look past its sins and put its best face forward. Right? Right!
Colour-washing fondant cut-out flowers
On the plus side, the cake for the top tier turned out just right. To match the finish of a Precious Moments figurine, I used a brush to lightly colour some fondant cut-out flowers with a mixture of pink food colouring and vodka. I deliberately left some of the edges uncoloured so it looks a watercolour effect on a clay-like finish. Just like the figurine.
I applied the flowers to the cake with more blooms surrounding the cake topper, and then scattering a few outwards, for a pretty, gradient effect.
I added silver balls (dragees) at intersecting points in the quilted pattern and in the centre of some of the flowers to tie the upper and lower tiers together.
I created the pearl border with a fondant mold. Just grease it with vegetable shortening, press fondant into its cavity, trim excess fondant, and then bend the mold to release a strand of fondant pearls. Attach the pearl border to the cake with gentle dabs of water.
To personalize the cake, I added a scroll and used my trusty fine-tip Wilton food-colouring marker to write “God bless Maya”. I chose brown instead of black for a soft effect. And that’s it. Communion cake done!