Our baby shower cake tutorial this week is by cake veteran, Lindy Smith.
Lindy has produced yet another best-selling elaborate and artful cake decorating book, One-Tier Party Cakes.
It features 12 exquisite single tier designs covering every special occasion you can thing of from birthdays to baby showers, friendship celebrations to Christmas festivities, turning regular bakes into works of art.
Jam-packed full of detailed visual instructions, One Tier Party Cakes will take your cake decorating to a new creative level, turning regular bakes into works of art.
Baby Shower Cake Tutorial: Materials
- Cake – 15cm (6in) diameter × 18cm (7in) height
- 1.1kg (23/8in) white sugarpaste (fondant)
- Buttercream or chocolate ganache to add as a base coat before the sugarpaste (fondant)
- Airbrush colours: peach, pink
- Modelling paste for flowers: pink, orange, pale orange, cream
- Edible food dusts: a selection of colours to colour the modelling chocolate (see below)
- Modelling chocolate coloured with food dusts as follows: 180g (6⅜oz) flesh, 70g (2½oz) dark brown, 15g (½oz) turquoise, 5g (⅛oz) lime green, 35g (1¼oz) light blue, 5g (⅛oz) white, 5g (⅛oz) pink
- White vegetable fat
- Sugar glue
- Pink food dust
- Pink royal icing: a small amount to attach flowers
Equipment and tools:
- 20cm (8in) cake board
- Template × 2 (see below)
- Two A4 – 297 x 210mm (113/4 x 81/4in) – plastic document wallets
- Craft knife
- Self-healing cutting mat
- Thin permanent marker pen
- Plastic lid or milk bottle to make masks
- Wooden barbecue skewers
- PVA glue
- Daisy centre mould or stamp
- Silicone modelling tools: one pointed, one flat-ended
- Blossom cutters of different sizes
- Foam pad
- Waffle foam and polystyrene flower formers (or similar)
- Glass-headed dressmakers’ pins
- Cutting wheel
- Dresden tool
- Rolling pin
- Ball tool
- Selection of paintbrushes
- Sugar shaper (sugar extruder) and assorted discs
- Narrow ribbon to cover the edge of the board
- Non-toxic glue stick
Note: I used milk modelling chocolate as a base for the dark brown hair colour and white modelling chocolate for all the other colours.
Baby Shower Cake Tutorial: How-To
Preparing and Airbrushing the Cake
- Level, stack and cover your baked cakes with white sugarpaste (fondant) to create one 18cm (7in) tall cake with sharp edges.
- Place your covered cake centrally on the 20cm (8in) cake board. Roll out the remaining white sugarpaste (fondant) into a long strip, long enough to fit around your cake board. Cut one edge straight. With the cut edge abutting your decorated cake, position the paste strip on the cake board. Cut to fit and blend the join with the heat of your hand. Cut away the excess from the edge of the board using a palette knife.
- To make flower masks for the airbrushing, you will need: three blossom cutters of different shapes and sizes, some flat firm but thin plastic such as a margarine lid or milk bottle; a permanent marker pen, a self-healing cutting mat and a craft knife.
- Place a blossom cutter onto the plastic and draw around its outline, using the marker pen. Take your craft knife and carefully cut out the blossom shape. Next, cut a small cross in the centre of the blossom. Insert the end of a wooden barbecue skewer into the cross to act as a handle. Stick in place using PVA glue and allow to dry. Repeat using the other two cutters so you have three masks that are all different.
- Fill your airbrush inkwell with peach airbrush colour. Hold one of the masks as close as you can to the cake without touching its surface. Hold the nozzle of your airbrush 30cm (12in) or so away from your cake and gently apply the colour around the edges of the mask. Repeat until you have gone all the way around the cake.
- Next, fill the inkwell with some pink airbrush colour. Using the masks and airbrush as before, spray pink colour but this time overlapping the blossoms with the blossoms of the first peach layer.
- Decorate the top of the cake in the same fashion, again starting with the peach before changing to the pink.
- Continue adding layers of colour until you are happy with the effect. Leave to dry.
- Roll out some of the pink modelling paste quite thinly. Place it over one of your blossom cutters and roll over the cutting edges with a rolling pin. Rub over the cutter with your thumb to remove any feathering.
- Turn the cutter over and use a paintbrush to help remove the flower from the cutter if necessary. Press a ball of contrasting-coloured modelling paste into a daisy centre mould. Remove from the mould and stick in the centre of the flower using sugar glue.
- Place to dry either in the dips of waffle foam or in a flower former of the correct size for your cutter. Repeat to make blossoms of different sizes. You will need approximately four large, eight medium and ten small. Create an additional medium-sized flower from pink modelling chocolate for the hair decoration.
- Place your figure templates in plastic document wallets. Warm up 130g (4½oz) of flesh-coloured modelling chocolate. Place the warmed chocolate onto the body of the template and stroke it into shape. Define the bulge of her belly and round off her back.
- Use the warmth of your fingers to extend and stroke her neck into shape, then indent and shape the area below her bustline.
- Using a craft knife, cut away the excess paste at the neck.
- Warm and roll 30g (1oz) of flesh modelling chocolate into a ball for the head. Place on top of your second template and begin to shape the ball to fit the template outline. Flatten the eye area with a finger, pinch out the nose and the chin, using the heat of your fingers to soften and mould the chocolate. You are just aiming for a rough approximation at this stage.
- Pick up the head and place it on the body. Blend the neck into the head using a pointed silicone modelling tool.
- Insert the pointed silicone modelling tool into the nostril to enlarge and shape.
- Next, shape the outside using the same tool, indenting it into the soft paste as shown.
- For the eye, indent a large ball tool into the eye socket area.
- Using a small ball tool, indent the centre of the eye socket.
- Roll a small ball of flesh-coloured modelling chocolate to fit the indented hole snugly. Next, roll a very thin sausage of black modelling chocolate and place in the position to make the base of the eyelashes, as shown. Use a silicone modelling tool to aid placement.
- Using the same tool, blend the top of the eyelid into the face.
- Roll some tiny tapered sausages of black modelling chocolate to create individual eyelashes. Pick these up using the modelling tool and attach them to the black eyelash base, as shown.
- Continue until the row of eyelashes is complete.
- Roll a tapered black sausage for the eyebrow, position, trim and shape as desired.
- For the lips, roll two small tapered sausages of pink modelling chocolate. Place in position on the mouth. Using your modelling tool, blend the pink into the flesh along the natural lip line. Create the Cupid’s bow of the top lip and shape the body of the lip into the lip corner. Adjust the angle of the mouth to give a pleasing expression.
- For the ear, roll a small ball of flesh-coloured modelling chocolate and position it on the side of the head, above the jawline. Flatten the ball slightly with a finger. The ear should lie in line with the bottom of the nose and top of the eyebrow. Using your tool, blend the front side of the ear into the flesh of the face, then create the ear lobe and helix. Note that the ear doesn’t need to be detailed as it will be covered by the hair.
- Finally for this stage, define the cheekbones using a flat-ended silicone modelling tool.
Dressing the Figure
- Roll out some of the turquoise modelling chocolate into a 2cm- (¾in-) wide strip and drape it over the bust area of your figure. Use a craft knife to cut the paste to shape on the bust. Add ruching to the fabric by running the side of a dresden tool through the soft paste in short strokes.
- Use your craft knife to cut away the excess paste on the bust as shown.
- Thinly roll out the light blue modelling chocolate. Place over the figure using one edge to form the dress’s waist seam. Smooth the paste over the body with the heat of your hand, then using a cutting wheel, carefully cut away the excess modelling chocolate.
- Roll out a 2.5cm- (1in-) wide strip of light blue modelling chocolate. Cut one edge straight and then another at right angles. Position on the body above the waist seam to the side of the bust: this section creates the side and back of the dress. Cut the back to size using a cutting wheel. Next cut out the arm template and place onto the body. Using the template to guide you, cut away the excess paste from the front of the dress…
- …and around the armhole.
- Add texture to this section by using the narrow end of your dresden tool to make vertical strokes. Roll thin sausages of lime green paste and attach these on top of the seam of the dress, under the bust and around the armhole.
Adding the Arm and Completing the Dress
- Using the template as a guide, roll a tapered sausage of flesh-coloured modelling chocolate.
- Create the elbow by firstly pinching the modelling chocolate as shown and then again at 90 degrees to the first.
- Thin the wrist by rolling it between your fingers, then pinch the hand flat.
- Using scissors, remove a small triangle to form a thumb.
- Make three cuts to create four fingers.
- Press the end of your dresden tool into the end of each finger to create nails. Then use a ball tool to cup the hand slightly.
- Position the arm on the shoulder and blend the paste into the body with the heat of your fingers.
- Use a silicone modelling tool to adjust as necessary. Position the arm so that it looks natural; remember, bones don’t bend. If your arm is still very soft, you might find it easier to let it firm up a little before adding it to the body.
- Cut a thin shoulder strap from rolled-out turquoise modelling chocolate and position it over the top of the arm. Cut to size with a craft knife. Add a small fabric flower to disguise the join at the front. Do this by rolling small balls of lime green and blue paste, placing the blue ball on top of the green and then texturing both with the sharp end of a dresden tool.
- Finally, add a few stitches by indenting a pointed tool into the end of the strap at the back.
Placing the Figure on the Cake
- Decide which is the front of your cake, then carefully pick up the figure and position her there. Smooth the paste at the joins where she meets the cake, using your fingers to remove any gaps.
- To make the pearls for the necklace, roll a thin sausage of white modelling chocolate. Slice the sausage into sections of the same size, then roll each of these sections into a ball.
- Warm the neck area of the figure using the heat of your finger, then attach the white balls to form a necklace, using your finger and a dry paintbrush.
- Warm up the dark brown modelling chocolate. Roll it into a sausage and place it inside a sugar shaper together with the large mesh disc. Push out the air, then squeeze out short lengths. Remove these short lengths with a dresden tool, wipe the disc clean and squeeze until you have a selection of tufts.
- Warm the head of your figure using your fingers, then attach the tufts of hair to create a hairstyle, adding movement as you go, using a dresden tool.
- Press the large end of a ball tool into the hair above the ear. Add the flower made earlier into this recess.
- Dip a brush into pink food dust, knock off the excess and then carefully apply to the cheeks as blusher.
- Model a second hand from flesh-coloured modelling chocolate, shape as before, then cut across the palm at an angle and attach the hand to the top of the belly. Adjust the positioning of the fingers using a silicone modelling tool.
- Attach a suitable, narrow ribbon to the edge of your board using a non-toxic glue stick.
- Finally, carefully attach the modelling paste flowers made earlier using pink royal icing to secure them in place.