This week’s fairy cake topper tutorial and fairy toadstool cake tutorial are by the award-winning cake artist, Vicky Teather from her brand new book, Making Sugar Models.
With over 50 imaginative and adorable sugar models – cute animal characters and people models in all age groups – you’ll never find yourself stuck for a cake idea again. Each model also has instructions for a themed cake project, which can be mixed and matched as you like.
Whether you’re a complete beginner or an accomplished cake decorator, the sugar models and cake projects are suitable for all skill levels and make the perfect centrepiece for lots of different occasions.
The magic of sugar modelling – turning a simple piece of fondant into a beautiful model – is accessible for everyone with Vicky’s unique talent for making it so simple to create her fabulously detailed sugar models.
Fairy Cake Topper Tutorial: Materials
- SK (Squire’s Kitchen brand) Sugarpaste/fondant: 35g (1¼oz) Glamour Red, 50g (1¾oz) Mocha Cream
- SK Sugar Florist Paste (SFP)/gumpaste: 85g (2¾oz) White
- Polystyrene ball: 7.5cm (3″)
- Clear piping gel
- SK HD Sugar Modelling Paste: SK HD Sugar Modelling Paste: 30g (1oz) Beige, <1g (1/8oz) Black, 25g (>¾oz) Green, <1g (1/8oz) Turquoise, 78g (2¾oz) White and 15g (1/2oz) Yellow
- Round cutters: 6mm, 8mm, 1cm, 1.5cm and 2cm (1/4″, >1/4″, 3/8″, 1/2″ and 3/4″)
- SK Great Impressions Butterfly Mould: Large
- SK Designer Fairy Sparkle Dust Food Colour: Primrose
- SK Designer Dust Food Colour: Pastel Pink
Fairy Toadstool Cake Tutorial: Materials
- Round cake drum: 30.5cm (12″)
- SK Sugarpaste/fondant: 600g (1lb 5¼oz) Bridal White, 385g (13½oz) Glamour Red, 600g (1lb 5¼oz) Iced Mint and 235g (8¼oz) Mocha Cream
- 500g (1lb 1¾oz) buttercream
- Round cake cards: 12.5cm and 20.5cm (5″ and 8″)
- Round, filled sponge cake, 12.5cm (5″) deep: 18cm (7″)
- Hemisphere sponge cake, 10cm (4″) deep:
- SK Bellissimo Flexi Smoothers: Medium
- Round cutters: 6mm, 8mm, 1cm, 1.5cm, 2cm, 3cm, 3.5cm, 4cm, 5cm, 7.5cm (1/4″, >¼”, 3/8″, 1/2″, 3/4″, 11/8″, 13/8″, 11/2″, 2″ and 3″)
- CMC cellulose gum or Tylo powder
- SK HD Sugar Modelling Paste: 30g (1oz) Beige, 5g (<¼oz) Black, 15g (½oz) Brown, 25g (>¾oz) Green, 5g (<¼oz) Pink, 10g (¼oz) Turquoise, 185g (6½oz) White and 15g (½oz) Yellow
- SK Sugar Florist Paste (SFP)/gumpaste: 130g (4½oz) White
- SK Designer Paste Food Colour: Sunny Lime
- SK Modelling Cocoform/modelling chocolate: 10g (¼oz) White
- Food colour pens: black and orange
- FMM Daisy Plunger Cutters: 1.3cm and 2cm
(½” and ¾”)
- Silicone-tipped tool
- 1.5cm (½”) width satin ribbon: 1m (1yd 33/8″)
Fairy Toadstool Cake Tutorial: Method
The Fairy’s Toadstool
1. Knead together 50g (1¾oz) of Mocha Cream sugarpaste/fondant and 50g (1¾oz) of White SFP/gumpaste then add a pinch of CMC/tylo powder. Roll the paste into an egg shape. Use a Dresden tool to draw fine vertical lines from the top and bottom of the shape. Push a wooden barbecue skewer through the centre of the stalk then set it aside to firm for 24 hours.
2. Use a serrated knife to cut the 7.5cm (3″) polystyrene ball in half. Paint a thin layer of piping gel over the base of the dome. Roll out 30g (1oz) of white modelling paste and cut out a 7.5cm (3″) disc. Stick the disc to the base of the dome then use a Dresden tool to draw fine lines radiating out from the centre of the disc to the edge, and from the edge in towards the centre. Set the dome aside to firm for 12 hours.
3. Knead together 35g (1¼oz) of Glamour Red sugarpaste/fondant and 35g (1¼oz) of White SFP/gumpaste then add a pinch of CMC. Roll out the mixed red paste to a 3mm (1/8″) thickness. Paint a thin layer of piping gel over the dome. Lay the paste over the surface of the dome and use your hands to shape the paste around it. Trim away the excess and smooth the cut edge with your fingers.
4. Roll out 15g (½oz) of white modelling paste into a thin sheet. Cut out a variety of discs using the 6mm–2cm (¼”–¾”) round cutters and glue them randomly over the toadstool cap.
5. Feed the toadstool cap down over the barbecue skewer and use edible glue to fix it in place.
Fairy Cake Topper Tutorial: Method
1. Knead together 25g (>¾oz) of green modelling paste and 25g (>¾oz) of white modelling paste. Roll 30g (1oz) of the pale green paste into an egg. Flatten the base of the egg shape and thread it down over the barbecue skewer in the centre of the toadstool. Use edible glue to fix the body in place. Use a Dresden tool to draw creases in the sides of the body.
2. Knead together 30g (1oz) of beige and 15g (½oz) of white modelling paste. Divide 10g (¼oz) of the light beige modelling paste in half and roll each piece into a 5.5cm (2¼”) long sausage shape. Thin the sausages 1cm (3/8″) from the end of each piece to form the ankles. Gently pinch the paste just below the ankle so that it sits at a 90° angle from the rest of the leg.
Use your fingers to shape the paste into a foot then use a craft knife to separate the toes.
Shape the top of each leg so that they fit against the body. Glue the left leg hanging straight down. Bend the right leg at the knee and glue it to the top of the toadstool.
3. Knead 20g (¾oz) of white modelling paste into the remaining pale green modelling paste. Divide 20g (¾oz) of the paste into 10 evenly sized balls. Roll each ball into a cone then flatten each one into a leaf shape. Use a Dresden tool to draw veins on each leaf. Glue the leaves around the bottom of the body, covering the tops of the legs.
4. Divide 6g (¼oz) of light beige modelling paste in half. Roll each piece into a 5cm (2″) long sausage shape. Thin the sausages 1cm (3/8″) from the end to form the wrists. Gently flatten the paste beyond the wrists into a disc to make the hand.
Use a craft knife to cut away a small triangle from each hand to create the thumb.
Roll the thumb between your fingers to round off the edges. Lightly stretch the piece of paste where the fingers will be. Cut into the paste three times to create the fingers and round off the edges. Glue the left arm to the shoulder with the hand resting on the toadstool. Bend the right arm at the elbow and attach it with the hand resting in the lap.
5. Divide 5g (<¼oz) of the palest green modelling paste into eight evenly sized balls. Roll each ball into a 2cm (¾”) long teardrop shape. Glue four teardrops over each shoulder to make the sleeves.
6. Roll a pea-sized ball of light beige modelling paste into a cylinder and push it over the skewer to make the neck. Roll a thin sausage of the palest green modelling paste and glue it around the base of the neck to hide the join.
7. Lightly dust the Butterfly mould with cornflour. Press 10g (¼oz) of White Cocoform into the mould and level off the back with a palette knife. Chill the mould for five minutes then turn out the shape. Brush the front and back of the wings with Primrose dust food colour. Bend the wings slightly in the middle and attach them to the fairy’s back using a little royal icing.
8. For the head, roll 25g (>¾oz) of light beige modelling paste into a teardrop shape. Use the side of your hand to create a groove halfway up the egg. Use your fingers to smooth out the groove and remove any harsh edges. Place your index fingers into the groove on the face, leaving a small gap between them for the bridge of the nose, and lightly press down.
9. Roll a small ball of light beige modelling paste into a capsule shape. Glue the nose in the centre of the face, positioning it on the lower edge of the groove. Use a Dresden tool to draw a shallow U shape for the mouth, then use a small ball tool to add a dimple at each end.
10. To make the eye sockets, push a Dresden tool into the wells in the face and gently rock it side to side and upwards to open up the sockets.
11. Push the end of a ball tool into each side of the head in line with the nose. Roll two small pieces of light beige paste into cone shapes and glue one into each hole to form the ears. Push a ball tool into the centre of each ear.
Use your fingers to pinch the tips of the ears to a point.
12. Fill each eye socket with a small ball of white modelling paste. Push a ball tool into the top edge of each eye to form a well.
Fill the well with a small ball of pale turquoise modelling paste. Use a smaller ball tool to create a small well in the centre of the turquoise circle. Fill this with a small ball of black modelling paste. Add two tiny dots of white modelling paste to each eye to form highlights. Roll two pieces of black modelling paste into very small, fine sausage shapes with tapered ends. Glue the eyelashes around the upper edge of each eye.
13. Lightly dust the cheeks with Pastel Pink dust food colour then add three small dots to each cheek using an orange food colour pen. Use a black food colour pen to draw two fine lines at the end of each eye to represent eyelashes.
14. Knead 15g (½oz) of white modelling paste into 15g (½oz) of yellow modelling paste to lighten the colour. Roll two tiny pieces of the pale yellow paste into tapered sausages for the eyebrows and fix them in place on the face using edible glue.
15. Press the head down onto the wooden barbecue skewer and attach it to the neck using edible glue.
16. Shape a small piece of pale yellow modelling paste into a dome and fix it to the back of the head to make it round (T).
Roll out 15g (½oz) of pale yellow modelling paste to a 2mm (1/16″) thickness. Cut out a teardrop shape 8cm long and 5cm wide (31/8″ x 2″). Use a Dresden tool to drawn lines down the length of the paste to represent strands of hair.
Glue the paste to the back of the head, making sure the hair completely covers the top, back and sides.
17. Set aside a small ball of pale yellow modelling paste to use for loose strands of hair. Divide the remaining paste into quarters and roll each piece into a long teardrop shape. Flatten the teardrops with a rolling pin then draw lines in the surface with a Dresden tool. Glue two teardrops to each side of the head.
18. Divide the remaining pale yellow modelling paste into three teardrop shapes. Fix one piece
at the crown and the remaining two at the hairline.
Shaping and Covering the Fairy Toadstool Cake
1. Cover the cake drum using 600g (1lb 5¼oz) of Iced Mint sugarpaste/fondant.
2. Spread a small amount of buttercream onto the 12.5cm (5″) cake card and place the 18cm (7″) filled cake centrally on top. Place the second 12.5cm (5″) cake card centrally on top of the cake. Use a serrated knife to trim the cake so that the bottom and top of the cake match the two cake cards. The cake should be at its widest 4cm (1½”) from the base, measuring approximately 16.5cm (6½”) in diameter. Remove the 12.5cm (5″) cake card from the top of the cake.
3. Spread a little buttercream onto the 20.5cm (8″) cake board and place the 20.5cm (8″) hemisphere cake on top.
4. Spread a thin layer of buttercream over the surface of both cakes, using a Flexi Smoother to ensure it’s smooth and even. Refrigerate the cakes for approximately four hours before covering.
5. Brush the hemisphere cake with a little cooled, boiled water. Knead together 300g (10½oz) of Glamour Red sugarpaste/fondant and 300g (10½oz) of Bridal White sugarpaste/fondant . Roll out the sugarpaste/fondant to a 4mm (3/16″) thickness and lay it over the cake, using your hands to smooth the surface. Trim away most of the excess paste, leaving a 1cm (3/8″) border around the edge of the cake. Place the cake on top of a small support, such as a 15cm (6″) cake tin, and carefully fold the excess paste underneath the cake drum, fixing it in place with a little piping gel. Smooth the sugarpaste/fondant around the curved shape and create a neat finish.
6. Knead 150g (5¼oz) of Mocha Cream sugarpaste/fondant into 300g (10½oz) of Bridal White sugarpaste/fondant . Roll out the mixed sugarpaste/fondant to a 4mm (3/16″) thickness. Brush the carved, cylindrical cake with a little cooled, boiled water and lay the sugarpaste/fondant over the top. Smooth the sugarpaste/fondant around the curved shape then trim away the excess around the base. Use a Dresden tool to draw fine vertical lines from the top and bottom of the cake. Set the cakes and drum aside to firm for 24 hours.
Assembling the Fairy Toadstool Cake
1. Use royal icing to fix the carved cylindrical cake towards the back left side of the covered cake drum. Insert three evenly spaced cake dowels into the top of the cake and trim them to size (see page 31).
2. Spread the remaining royal icing over the dowelled area and place the 20.5cm (8″) cake on top. Gently press down to adhere.
Decorating the Toadstool Cake
1. Use a 3.5cm (13/8″) round cutter to cut away two discs of sugarpaste/fondant 6cm (23/8″) up from the base of the cylindrical cake and 5cm (2″) apart for the windows.
2. Knead 5g (<¼oz) of turquoise modelling paste into 15g (½oz) of white modelling paste. Roll out the pale turquoise paste to a 4mm (3/16″) thickness and cut out two discs using the 3.5cm (13/8″) round cutter. Attach the discs of paste inside the round holes on the cake.
3. Use the 5cm (2″) round cutter to cut out a door shape from the space between the two turquoise circles. To create the shape, press one side of the cutter into the cake, applying pressure from the outer edge of the circle down towards the base of the cake, then repeat on the other side.
4. Combine 5g (<¼oz) of pink, 5g (<¼oz) of turquoise and 10g (¼oz) of white modelling paste to create a lilac colour. Roll out the lilac paste to a 4mm (3/16″) thickness. Use the 5cm (2″) round cutter to cut out a matching door shape to replace the section which has been removed. Fix the door in place using edible glue. Use a Dresden tool to draw four vertical lines in the door then add faint lines to represent woodgrain.
5. Knead together 25g (>¾oz) of White SFP/gumpaste and 15g (½oz) of brown modelling paste. Roll out the brown paste into a thin sheet and cut out four squares, leaving a 5mm (¼”) gap between them to make a cross shape (X).
Position the 3.5cm (13/8″) round cutter over the centre of the cross and cut away the excess.
Repeat to create a second cross. Use the pointed end of a Dresden tool to add a wood grain texture to the surface of each cross. Use edible glue to fix one cross over each window.
6. Roll out a little more of the mixed brown paste and cut out two discs using the 4cm (1½”) round cutter. Cut away the centre of each disc using the 3cm (11/8″) round cutter. Add the woodgrain texture, as before, then glue them around the edges of the windows.
7. Roll out the remaining mixed brown paste and cut out a 5mm x 15cm (¼” x 6″) strip. Add the woodgrain texture then glue the strip in place around the door. Trim away any excess with a sharp knife. Roll a pea-sized ball of the mixed brown paste and glue it on the right side of the door for the handle.
The Mini Toadstools
1 Knead together 35g (1¼oz) of Mocha Cream sugarpaste/fondant and 35g (1¼oz) of White SFP/gumpaste, then add a pinch of CMC. Divide the paste into two portions of 50g and 20g (1¾oz and ¾oz). Roll each ball into an egg shape. Use a Dresden tool to draw fine vertical lines from the top and bottom of each shape. Set the stalks aside to firm for 24 hours.
2 Knead together 50g (1¾oz) of Glamour Red sugarpaste/fondant and 50g (1¾oz) of White SFP/gumpaste, then add ¼tsp of CMC. Divide the paste into one 70g (2½oz) ball and one 30g (1oz) ball. Shape each ball into a dome and set them aside to firm for 24 hours.
3 Roll out 15g (½oz) of white modelling paste into a thin sheet. Cut out a variety of discs using the 6mm–2cm (¼”–¾”) round cutters and glue them randomly over both toadstool caps.
4 Use a little royal icing to attach the toadstool stalks to the cake drum, positioning them to the left of the cake. Attach the small and medium caps on top of the corresponding stalks.
5 Push a scribing tool into the right side of the cake drum to create a hole large enough for the wooden barbecue skewer. Insert the wooden skewer at the base of the fairy toadstool into the hole and secure it with a little royal icing. Allow the royal icing to set for 12 hours.
The Finishing Touches
1. Roll out a small amount of white modelling paste into a thin sheet and use the daisy cutters to cut out six small and three medium daisies. Glue a small ball of yellow modelling paste in the centre of each flower. Lay the daisies in a foam drying tray to firm for two hours.
2. Divide 25g (>¾oz) of Mocha Cream sugarpaste/fondant into 10 balls of different sizes and gently flatten each ball in the palm of your hand. Attach the balls to the cake drum in a pathway leading from the door to the edge of the drum. Use a Dresden tool and ball tools to add a mottled and cracked texture to the surface of each ball.
3. Knead Sunny Lime paste food colour into 20g (¾oz) of White SFP/gumpaste to make a lime green colour. Divide the paste into approximately 16 balls of different sizes. Roll each ball into an elongated cone shape then bend the tip over into a spiral. Trim the wide end on each piece flat. Use edible glue to fix the cones to the cake drum in groups of two or three. Once firm, add the daisies to the cake drum in the same way.
4. Wrap green ribbon around the edge of the cake drum and secure it with double-sided tape.
Reprinted with permission from Making Sugar Models by Vicky Teather, published by B. Dutton Publishing 2020.
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