How to make mini cake and icing cups: Tutorial – NaBloPoMo 12

Day 12 of the National Blog posting month and I think its time for a tutorial.

I had never made these coffee cups until last week but wanted to challenge myself to something that little bit different. I knew that I could use solid icing but really who wants to eat that? So what better than mini coffee cakes? I also used marzipan to wrap around them to help them hold their shape. And they did, this cake has travelled from my house to Liverpool and back and then to my sister’s and Chris’ where is will spend its final days. Nom!

I baked some tiny coffee cakes in my mini cupcake tin – diameter approx 3-4cm but a circle cake could just be cut out of a shallow one tier cake. I only wanted the cake to be about 2cm high but I suppose it depends how tall you want the ‘cup’ to be – I wanted espresso size.

I cut out a round of marzipan using a circle cutter and then wrapped a layer of marzipan around the sides. It felt stronger straightaway.

Then, I put a really thin layer of modelling chocolate on the top – brown fondant is just as good. This is for the coffee effect so you want it right to the edges of the marzipan.

Next, I rolled out a piece of fondant/icing that was as tall as I wanted the cup to be – it had to be at least 4mm thick to be able to stand up as the top didn’t have anything to support it, and wrapped it around the marzipan covered cake.

I moulded a handle using white fondant icing mixed with a pinch of Tylo powder and stuck to the ‘cup’. I also swirled a small amount of piping gel on the top of the chocolate fondant to make it look ‘wet’.
Here are the finished articles!

Cake Topper Tutorial – How to make an icing Hello Kitty – Cake of the Week

After the success of the gruffalo tutorial, I wish to present another ‘How to’ tutorial – How to make a fondant Hello Kitty cake topper again using a creme egg middle.

I have had a few people asking what to use if creme eggs are not available (normally between August-January) – I would use a mini Milky Way or Mars Bar.

Firstly cover the creme egg in sugar glue then wrap around with a thin layer of white icing – this is going to be covered in a dress later so it doesn’t have to be too neat. Try to make the seam either underneath or at the back though. Sit the covered body on a flattened blob of white icing to steady it.
Hello Kitty's body

Roll 2 large malteser size into short sausages and flatten down one end to make a foot and leg shape.

Roll a really large oval shape and attach to the body for the head – at this point your model might look a bit like one of those Alessi characters.

Small yellow dot for nose. 2 slightly larger oval dots for eyes. I used a black squeezy icing tube for the whiskers but a black icing pen or very thin black sausages would do just as well. I added a pink bow to her head but some Hello Kitties have a flower or even a heart.

For the dress I used 2 layers of pink icing, one darker than the other. I used a scalloped circle cutter to cut out the round dress (a large scone cutter would do too) Cut a circle out of the middle of the dress (makes it easier to wrap around – I used a small carnation cutter but a small plain circle is just fine). I made the top dress layer slightly paler but experiment with whatever colours you like.

For the arms, I made 2 small sausages of white fondant with one end flattened and rounded to make a hand shape – I then cut a small triangle out to make the thumb.

The ears are made by rolling 2 small malteser sized balls into flattened triangles – press the end of a paintbrush sideways into each ear and roll slightly to flatten out. Cut the ends so there is a flat surface to attach to the head.

At this stage, the topper is finished but I always think a cake topper is slightly better if they are doing something – reading a book, holding something, eating cake. I was really short of time so made an icing balloon for her to hold.

Get a really strong florist wire (I used an 18 gauge) – Bend the end over into a loop (pliers probably needed for this)

Roll a large malteser ball and mould into a blunt point at one end. Roll a tiny ball and flatten then indent markings into it with a cocktail stick. Dip the wire in sugar glue and push in from the top of the balloon. Smooth over the top where the wire has left a mark and attach something to pretty it up – I used a little flower but you could use a heart, number or initial. Insert into the cake topper going through the leg to steady it.

This is my entry for Cake of the Week – Link attached for anyone who wants to join in – tutorials/recipes welcome

Tutorial – How to make an Edible Gruffalo

Earlier this week I posted a picture of my Gruffalo Cake and the response was incredible. I had many a discussion on Twitter about people making cakes for their children’s birthdays and decided to post some tutorials of popular ideas for children’s cakes.

The first being a Creme Egg Gruffalo: My cake had to travel from St Helens to Leeds and I knew the Gruffalo was not going to be eaten so was safe to insert a cocktail stick to keep the head on – normally I would use a piece of pasta to stick the head onto or even just make it a few days in advance so the head will just stick. I used sugar glue to stick everything together – make your own or just use cooled boiled water.

making an edible gruffalo cake topper body

I used Chocolate Flavoured Fondant Icing. Roll out a piece of fondant, paint the creme egg with sugar glue and cover with the fondant. Make the seam at the back and smooth down the joint with your finger. Mark the ‘body’ with either a veining tool or a knife. Attach a small ball of icing for the neck. At this point insert the cocktail stick/pasta if you are using one.

How to make a gruffalo cake decoration head

Next get a ball on fondant slightly smaller than the body and roll the ends until it is an oval shape. Cut a mouth and open it – the gruffulo has a BIG mouth! Make the same marks for fur as on the body and make 2 holes for eyes – I use the end of a small pointy rolling pin (if you haven’t got one, you could use the end of a clean paintbrush)

How to make a gruffalo cake decoration assembly

Stick the head on top of the body. Get 2 small balls of orange fondant icing – make one end of each pointy and stick into the eye sockets. You shouldn’t need glue for this but if you do only use a tiny bit. Add a tiny black dot of icing to each orange eye.

Make 2 small sausages of brown for ears and attach to each side of the head. Put a tiny bit of pink icing over the front of each ear. Roll little grey sausages for teeth and attach some to the top lip and some to the bottom lip. 2 slightly larger grey sausages, pointy at one end make the horns on top of the head. A thin sausage of brown icing makes the nose with a small pale pink ball. He also needs a teeny weeny ball of green on top of the pink ball for the wart on his nose. He also needs 2 VERY thin black sausages for his eyebrows.

How to make a gruffalo cake decoration taking shape

Make his legs and feet all-in-one with a long sausage folded just past the middle for his foot. Flatten down the foot bit and try to make some more markings again for his fur on the legs. The legs and feet will help him keep upright. 2 more brown sausages for his arms – cut into fingers at the end and try to round off the edges (back of a knife will do this) and attach to the body.

How to make a gruffalo hand

Tiny grey sausages made really pointy at the ends are attached to his hands and feet for claws. Loads of spikes are then attached to his back (the ones in the book were brown so I did them brown but my 4yo is convinced they should be purple – its up to you!)

How to make gruffalo cake decoration horns
How to make a gruffalo cake decoration finished model

And he’s done and so is my first tutorial. How was it? I think The Gruffalo is quite a hard cake topper to do so maybe next time I’ll go for something a little easier – any requests?