Right-Ho. Miss Z’s Bday is short of twoo weeks away and I need to get stuck into cake decorations.
So Early? You Ask? Well, since all the deco’s need time to dry, its best if you can get them out of the way as early as possible. Fondant decoations need at least 3 – 4 days to dry – longer the thicker they are. If you try and stand up a fondant decoration when its still wet it will flop on you….not a good look!! A lot of people ask me how I manage to make decorations like this and I have to just confess….its really NOT that hard. Work with me and I will enlighten you!!!
Going with our Owl Theme, I am working on an Owl Cake Topper for the main cake and also a smaller version for Miss Z’s smash cake. In case you are not aware, a smash cake is a little version of the main Bday cake which said one year old can smash. Disentergrate. Grab. Eat to her hearts content, without mummy being upset she’s killed the main attraction. Totally worth it – if you ask me!!.
I was trying to match the Owl on our decorations as much as I could when I came up with this little cutie. To make this owl you will need:
Fondant Icing ( also called Ready to Roll, or RTR) in Brown/Chocolate, white, green, black, hot pink and orange. You can find RTR Icing in any good cake decorators supply shop, or even some kinds in the stupidmarket these days too (although you may have to colour these – in which case, get them from the cake shop!!)
A Teardrop Cutter Large and Medium Size
Small, medium & large round cutters
1 x small triangle cutter
A sharp knife
A clean medium tip paintbrush
A small cup of water
Please Note – If you don’t have/don’t want to buy icing/cookie cutters, you can use a sharp knife and either your freehand skills or a paper template to cut around. Easy as Pie:)
THE HOW TO:
Kneading RTR icing is like bread dough. Work it well until its smoooth and pliable. Roll it out on your work surface with a rolling pin. To stop it sticking use a little cornflour or cocoa powder if its chocolate:) For the Owl Body you will need it about 3/4 of an inch thick. Trust me. If you can make pizza dough/pasta/pie crusts – then you can use this icing!
Cut 1 x Large Size Teardrop shape from the chcocolate fondant.
Then, using the same cutter, come down over the point of the teardrop (curve facing down) and cut in about a third of the way.
While its laying flat on your bench, insert some cake modelling wire/florist wire/ toothpicks/cut skewers into the botton of your owl body. Press slightly to hold. When its dry – this is what you will insert into your cake and allow the decoration to stand up straight. The further you can shove the wire up the Owl – the better. Obviously the wire is working as a reinforcing tool so if you can get it all the way without breaking the surface – good for you! I personally get it about half the way up. As it dries that should hold the top half up as well – so long as its not upright for massive lengths of time, it should be fine:)
Next, roll out some white icing to a slightly thinner thickness (thinner thickness??). Cut out another teardrop with the medium size cutter. Then, I used the same cutter to cut away a section at each side of the white body part (which will make the wing sections).
Then, using the curved part of the medium cutter, cut the white section about 3/4 of the way down the body, so you have a nice rounded breast feather section left. Secure the white breast section to the brown owl body with a little water on the paintbrush. Don’t use too much. You just want it damp so it will stick – not wet so it will bleed water & colour all out the sides.
Next, you need to make your owl face. You need to cut 1 x small triangle of orange (for the beak), 2 x large white circles, 2 x medium green circles and 2 x small black circles for the eyes.
Stick your eyes and beak to the owl face with the water & paintbrush as you did the rest.
Finally, you need to cut several different sized circles from the pink and orange fondant. Again, this was done to match our invites, you could do whatever you like.
Stick your circles on to your white breast section.
It’s done!! Put the whole decoration aside in a cool airy place for at least 3 days to dry. Test it out by carefully prodding the fondant. If it’s hard and tough, its fine. If it’s soft – it needs more drying time. Please note fondant really has issues with humidity. The more humid your area, the more difficult/longer your drying time will be. If you can stick it in an air conditioned place – fabulous:).
I made 2 x versions of this Owl. One with the toothpicks for the main cake topper, and one which was much thinner and smaller. This one will be used for Z’s smash cake so there is no need for toothpicks etc.
When your decorations are dry – keep them in a cool dry place until you need them. I always ensure they are kept flat until cake cutting time, which is when I pop them into the cake and bring it out for all to see. By doing this you reduce the risk of them flopping or cracking and everyone gets a perfect photo of your beautiful cake. Just a Note: its always good to make an extra decoration..just in case one breaks (which happens ALL the time!) If not, you can always choose to use the extra one on your cake masterpiece, or sell it on Etsy later:)
Making a topper like this really is easy. It may take a little time but it’s not hard and it makes an otherwise rather plain cake super fabulous!! Trust me. Try it. You won’t be upset:)