Birdhouse Cake Toppers~ A Blog Tutorial


In today’s tutorial, I’m going to show you how to make the most adorable fondant birdhouses!  These are the perfect accent for your springtime cakes (or if you are like me and love anything bird-related, they are perfect all year round)!

I started with a round ball of fondant approximately 1 inch wide.  If your fondant seems very soft, knead in a little tylose  (or you can use gum paste).  (I kept the birdhouses nice & small so that they wouldn’t be overly top-heavy.)

I rolled the fondant into a ball until nice and smooth, and then rolled it into more of a cylinder.

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I flattened both ends…

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Next, while the fondant was still soft,  I twisted a long lollipop stick into the bottom of the birdhouse (just far enough to be secure.)

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To form our roof, I used a piece of fondant about half the size of the “body” of the birdhouse & rolled into a ball (approx .5 inches in width.) — Then, I flattened the bottom and shaped into a  wide cone, approximately the width of the cylinder that we made in the previous step.05-IMG_4527

I used a toothpick to add lines to our roof, and then added additional pressure at the base of each line to give the edge of the roof a scalloped look. birdhouse6

I added the roof and used a bit of piping gel as my glue.  Then, I created a hole with my paintbrush handle.

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The first birdhouse can dry a bit while you work on your next birdhouses.  I usually just poke my stick & birdhouse into a block of syrofoam. If your fondant birdhouse is very soft, and you are afraid that it will slide down the stick, just lay it on a bed of shredded paper towels, pillow filler or your “fluff” of choice.

Now for our next birdhouse…

The basic idea is the same, but this time I trimmed my flattened ball of fondant into a square.

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I added details with a toothpick, a triangle of fondant for a roof, created the hole & inserted the stick just as before.

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My  next birdhouse is a pentagon shape..

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Next, I painted my white birdhouses with a “paint” of coloring gel mixed with a small amount of vodka.  The vodka allows the paint to dry very quickly.  (You can substitute an alcohol based flavoring like lemon extract in place of the vodka.)11-IMG_4546

Painting is my favorite part!  Design however you’d like.  I used the following colors:  Americolor Electric Green, Deep Pink, Lemon Yellow, Sky Blue, & Bright White.

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I used sprinkles & a food coloring pen for added details, & a bit of pixie dust for sparkle.  My wide, flat round sprinkles are Wilton confetti sprinkles.  As an optional step, I used one of these pink sprinkles as a “perch” on my pink birdhouse & secured with piping gel. ;0)

I added a little detail to the edge of our green roof using a bead border of buttercream piped from a Wilton 2 tip.

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Next, I wrapped a 32 gauge piece of white floral wire (painted with our “paint” of green coloring gel & vodka), around the lollipop stick of our yellow birdhouse.  I spiraled the extra with a paintbrush handle.

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Next, I made our birds!  Teardrop shapes of fondant with fondant beaks & food coloring pen accents.

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Now for the cake decorating!

My cake is an 8″ (3 layer) cake, frosted with a crusting vanilla buttercream.  My frosting is tinted with Americolor Electric Green & Deep Pink.

Using a piping bag fitted with a small round tip (Wilton 2), I piped scrollwork around the sides.  If you are not comfortable with scrollwork or would like another design, polka dots or a scattering of piped daisies would work nicely too!

The scrollwork represents vines…

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…then, I added leaves (still with our Wilton tip 2).

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Next, I added various simple flowers.  (Daisy centers are added later in the form of yellow sugar pearls.)

I also added a border using my grass tip (#233).

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Here is a closeup of our finished scrollwork/floral design.  You can see that the flowers are very simple, but the look is elegant!

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I pushed our birdhouses into the top of the cake, added a few birds here and there (& attached a couple to the birdhouses with piping gel.)  Cuteness!!

I also added a small bead border around the top of our cake using a Wilton tip 2.

22-IMG_4626 Now, our cake is finished!

 

 

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I hope that you enjoyed this tutorial!  The birdhouses are so simple & cute, &  no matter if you have one or several, they instantly add a dose of charm & personality!

*I think that it is best to add the birdhouses just before your event, especially if transporting the cake.  Since the toppers are top heavy, it just makes things simpler!

If you give these a try, I hope that you will let us know!  We would love to see.  Thank you for stopping by, and come back again soon! xo

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Category: Blog Tutorials, Custom Toppers & Figure Modeling, Gum Paste & Fondant, Slider, Spring, Summer

Semi-Dressed Elegance~ A twist on the Naked Cake~ Video Tutorial

Semi-dressed elegance featuredI love the rustic feel and simplicity of a “naked” (unfrosted) cake. Cake layers are sandwiched between layers of frosting or filling, and adorned with natural decorations like fruit, flowers, and perhaps a dusting of powdered sugar. The result is a cake that is surprisingly beautiful, and couldn't be simpler to assemble. What is unique about this tutorial is that our cake is not completely "naked". We discuss the basics of applying a glaze and assembly, but we've added an unexpected twist -- buttercream scrollwork.


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Category: Bridal Showers, Buttercream Techniques, Seasonal & Holiday, Slider, Summer, Themes and Occasions, Video Tutorials, Wedding & Elegant

Easter Chick Cupcakes!~ Blog Tutorial


Hi everyone!  Today’s tutorial is super cute and very simple to put together. It would be perfect for spring or Easter get togethers, and kids will flip for them!  We are making baby chick cupcakes….which are not only adorable, but the display is going to make you smile ;0) –

 

First, I applied a crusting vanilla buttercream tinted with Americolor Lemon Yellow to my cupcakes, using a round Wilton tip 12.  Then, after about 5 minutes, I smoothed over them with a Viva paper towel. (Click HERE if you’d like more info on the “Viva method”.) -

** You may prefer to give your chicks some texture and skip the smoothing step altogether…I just felt like smoothing! ;0)

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Next I piped on the chickie heads using a Wilton tip 12.  I tapped them down a little after they had crusted to smooth the surface.

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I applied little buttercream eyes and beaks with small round piping tips (Wilton 1 or 2). chicks Next, I added wings with a small petal tip (I used a Ateco 101).

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Next, legs!  I used a Wilton tip 3 to pipe lots and lots of legs in various positions using melted Wilton orange candy melts.  I piped them onto a waxed paper lined cookie sheet, and froze them for about 5 minutes until firm.  The thinner the legs, the more fragile they will be (make extra!) ;0)chick-legsLook at this cuteness!  It’s best to apply the legs while they are still chilled, so that they will be less fragile.  Here is where you see the first glimpse of our design.  I arranged my chicks onto my base in a pyramid formation.  (The cupcakes are glued to the board with dots of buttercream so that they won’t slide around in transport.)   I piped bows onto some of the chicks with a tip 1, and others have “heart sprinkle” bows ;0) —  Some of the chicks also have little tufts of buttercream on top of their heads from a tiny star tip.

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Our top chick has just hatched for an easter egg (fondant) painted with coloring gel mixed with a little vodka. The sign is printed on card stock, and taped to lollipop sticks in back!top chickie

Finally, I added a few clouds of white buttercream to my (blue plastic tablecloth-covered) board, and piped electric green buttercream grass with a Wilton 21 tip.  We threw in a few candy eggs too!

 

That’s all there is to it!  Our chickies have made the most fabulous pyramid, and are wishing you a Happy Easter!
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I hope that you enjoyed the tutorial!  I think that this chick design would be adorable for a baby shower too, with the hatching chick on top…just switch out the sign for another! ;0)

Thanks for stopping by, come back again soon!

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Category: Animals/Animal Print, Baby Showers, Blog Tutorials, Cupcake, Cake Pop, etc. Methods, Seasonal & Holiday, Slider, Spring, Themes and Occasions

Simple Easter Wreath Cake~ Blog Tutorial

Every year, I look for ways to incorporate malted milk egg candies into my Easter decorating. I love their speckled chocolate shells, the pretty matte colors, and I love to eat the leftovers!!

Last week, I bought a colorful Easter egg wreath for our front door…and then it dawned on me that a candy Easter egg wreath would make the perfect decoration for a tall, buttercream frosted cake! Hooray! So, this year, my malted milk egg candy decorations are coming to you in the form of an Easter wreath. It comes together in minutes, and the final look has a country chic feel ;0) — I hope that you enjoy it!

Let’s get started…

 

First, I frosted a tall (double barrel–6 inches tall & wide) cake with vanilla buttercream.  I created a textured look with vertical strokes, moving my tapered spatula from bottom to top, scraping off my spatula after each pass.

(My cake is sitting on a cardboard cake circle, cut down to size–this makes it simple for us to move it from our turntable to the pedestal later.)

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Then, as usual,  I spread the excess icing away from the edge, and smoothed toward the center of the cake.

 

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Next, I used a 4 inch circle cutter to mark my circle.  If you don’t have a circle cutter that will work, look for things around the house…a glass, a plastic cup, etc.

 

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One bag of eggs would have been plenty, but I love these things, and buying different brands gave me more of an assortment (and an excuse to buy more than necessary) ;0)

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By the time I had picked out the colors that I wanted for my wreath,my crusting buttercream had crusted over. So, I filled a piping bag with more buttercream, snipped the end, and piped buttercream onto the back of each egg.

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And so on and so on…

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After completing the first row of eggs, I decided to make another row.  You can see how I staggered my second row of eggs to fit as snugly as possible into the first.

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After finishing with the egg placement (isn’t it cute?), I snipped my edible Easter grass into little sprigs and placed here and there into my wreath.  I’ve seen Edible Easter grass as Target and my local grocery store….but if you have trouble finding it, the wreath would be just as cute without it, or even with a few sprigs of piped buttercream grass.

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We tied a sheer pink bow for the top of our wreath, and attached it with a dot of buttercream.  (If our bow had been heavier, we would have anchored with floral wire.)

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And that’s all there is to it!  Here’s our sweet little Easter cake…

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Sometimes simple is better, don’t you think?   I hope that you enjoyed the tutorial,  thank you for stopping by!

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Category: Blog Tutorials, Seasonal & Holiday, Slider, Spring, Themes and Occasions

Create Beautiful Fondant Floral Appliqués~ Video Tutorial

Elegant-Fondant-Appliques-Today, I'm going to show you how to create a beautiful effect with a fondant appliqué technique. There are all sorts of options available to cake decorators for embellished appliqués, including lace molds. However, our tutorial will demonstrate how you can achieve elegance with the simplest of tools...


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Category: Fondant Techniques, Gum Paste & Fondant, Slider, Themes and Occasions, Video Tutorials, Wedding & Elegant

St. Patrick’s Day Fun in the Blog~ Rainbow Filling Tutorial!

Hi everyone! Today I’m going to share a fun trick for adding “rainbows” to the inside of your cakes, and just in time for St. Patrick’s Day! ;0) -

Instead of tinting cake batter for a colorful cake, today’s tutorial focuses on adding a little flair BETWEEN your layers. It’s a quick, easy, and fun technique to have in your decorating bag of tricks!

 

I started with three 8 inch chocolate cake layers, and about 1 cup of frosting for each color.  (Looking back, 1/2 cup of each color would have worked fine..I had leftovers!) -

Here are the coloring gel colors that I used:  Americolor Super Red, Orange, Lemon Yellow, Electric Green, Sky Blue, and Regal Purple.

I filled my disposable piping bags with my tinted buttercream, and snipped off the tips.

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Starting with the red, I piped a circle (approx 1 inch wide) in the center of my bottom layer of cake.  I used toothpicks to mark off where my remaining colors would fall, allowing for about 1/2 inch for each color.  Adjust as needed depending on the size of your cake (mine is 8″).

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Moving right along… I encircled the red spot of frosting with orange, then yellow, green and so on.

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Next, I placed my next layer of cake on top of our colorful bullseye pattern, and repeated once again for another colorful layer of filling.

 

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I placed our final layer of cake on top and frosted the cake with vanilla buttercream.

 

Then, I added a few shamrocks!  Using buttercream tinted Mint Green, I piped heart shapes into a shamrock pattern using a Wilton tip 2.

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I piped several more! (Some are a little larger, piped with a tip 5).

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I added a few more dots of color to the outside and a small green bead border.

 

Then, slice to reveal your rainbow!

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I hope that you enjoyed this little tutorial, have a great weekend!!!

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Category: Blog Tutorials, Buttercream Techniques, Spring

Fondant Ruffle Cake~ Video Tutorial

Ruffle-Cake...Ruffles, whether fondant or buttercream, continue to be in high demand for cakes of all occasions. We have made a beautiful (yet simple!) ruffled buttercream video in the past, and so I am happy to add a ruffled fondant cake tutorial to our collection....


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Category: Fondant Techniques, Gum Paste & Fondant, Themes and Occasions, Video Tutorials, Wedding & Elegant

Sunflower Sheet Cake~Blog Tutorial

Hi everyone!

Today, we were in the mood for creating something bright and cheerful.  Sunflowers are my favorite, and so I’ve created a sunflower sheet cake tutorial for you!  It is a surprisingly simple look to create, but is sure to impress!

Here’s how I made it….

First, I started with an 11×15 sheet cake, frosted with a crusting vanilla buttercream (tinted Americolor Sky Blue).  Smooth however you’d like…I used the Viva paper towel method of smoothing.  (I almost went with a stucco textured look, which you could quickly do with your spatula– so that’s an option too!) ;0)

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Here, I’m using a circle cutter to mark where my sunflower center will be on the cake.  My Sunflower will only be partially on the cake, so I only need the left side of my cutter.  (If you don’t have a circle cutter, you can use the rim of a glass, or small bowl as your guide.)

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I pressed (and mounded) mini chocolate chips into the semi-circle that I created on the cake.  This will be our center!  If you prefer a frosting center, a star or grass tip would give nice texture.

I also created a thick green stem, using a disposable piping bag (with tip snipped off), which was filled with (Americolor Electric) green buttercream.

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Next, I filled a piping bag with a gold-yellow buttercream and used a Wilton round tip 10 to outline and fill in my petals.  I didn’t use a template, just eyeballed it.  Each petal is going to be a little different, but they are all fairly wide and become more tapered at the end.  I’m not worried about smoothing the petals, I’m going for a textured look which will become more exaggerated in just a minute ;0) –

(To achieve the golden color of our petals, I combined Americolor Egg Yellow with Americolor Lemon yellow.  Just go with whatever you have—Yellow with a touch of Orange will give you a similar shade.)

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Here, I’m adding more texture and definition to my petals by dragging my small tapered spatula through the freshly piped petals. (If you don’t have a tapered spatula, you can use a table knife.)

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Using my same green piping bag, I piped a large leaf at the bottom of my cake.  I also added a few ladybugs!  The ladybugs are red buttercream piped from a small round Wilton tip 3.  Their heads are black confetti sprinkles (from a shaker of assorted Halloween sprinkles), but you can also use black buttercream.  After the frosting crusted, I used a black food coloring pen to add dots, but that is optional ;0)

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I also used a Wilton tip 3 to pipe dots here and there over the top of the cake, and finished with a small bead border.

 

That’s all there is to it!

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I hope that you enjoyed the tutorial!  The same techniques could be applied to round cakes or even cupcakes.  If you try it, I would love to see!  Have a great weekend and we’ll see you again soon.

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Category: Blog Tutorials, Buttercream Techniques, Spring, Summer

Conversation Heart Flower Toppers!~ A Cupcake Blog Tutorial

Hi everyone! I just wanted to add one last little tutorial before Valentine’s Day.

We are going to whip up some CUTE cupcake toppers made from Conversation Heart candies, melted candy coating, and a few sprinkles! They are the perfect cupcake accessories for your Valentine’s parties, class parties, etc. An added bonus is that this sweet project is extremely kid-friendly, so if you have any little helpers around the house, they will love making these too!

Let’s get started….

 

First, I put a block of candy coating/bark into a plastic wrap lined bowl and zapped it in the microwave for about 30 seconds or so until melted.  (Skip the plastic wrap if you don’t have any that is microwave safe– it’s just to save you a few minutes of cleanup) ;0) *Use your candy coating of choice, Wilton Candy melts or something along those lines is fine.

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Next, I spooned the melted candy melts into a disposable piping bag and snipped the tip off.  I piped a row of melted chocolate dots and then pressed my candy hearts into them in flower formations.  Five candy hearts seems to be the magic number.  Just make sure that each heart is at least touching part of your melted chocolate, which will act as our “glue”.

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You can leave the centers plain or add sprinkles while the chocolate is still soft…

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Or… you can pipe a bit more chocolate to the center and add sprinkles for a more raised look.  (I did this for most of my flowers).

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To firm things up, place your cookie sheet of flowers into the freezer for about 5 minutes or so.  Then, they will be ready for cupcakes!

You can see below that I did a little experimenting with my Wilton pearl spray on a couple of my flowers  – A fun alternative but the words do become harder to read ;0)

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After chilling, this is what they look like from the back.  Nice and secure thanks to the chocolate!

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I used a piping bag of pink (Americolor Deep Pink) buttercream fitted with a 2D tip to swirl my cupcakes.  Then, added our flowers!

You can see that for some flowers I used the same candy color all the way around.   Love these little conversation flowers, and I love how simple they were to make!  They would be cute on a cake too ;0)

 

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Thanks for stopping by, and have a wonderful Valentine’s Day! xoxo

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Category: Blog Tutorials, Cupcake, Cake Pop, etc. Methods, Seasonal & Holiday, Winter

Soccer Ball Tutorial & How to Make a Round Cake~ Video

soccer-cake-finalHi everyone! In today’s video, I’m going to show you how to make a perfectly round ball cake.  In the video, I demonstrate how to assemble the cake, frost with ganache and then decorate as a soccer ball.  However, knowing […]


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Category: Carved/3D, Sports, Themes and Occasions, Video Tutorials