I’ve been a bit quiet on my blog lately due to my daughter’s Baptism. The relatives descended for a celebratory lunch after the church service, so my time has been taken up with some serious house cleaning, window cleaning, garden tidying and cake decorating. I made a fruit cake a couple of months ago, which has been deliciously ageing in an air tight container in my pantry and now it’s time to decorate it! Find my recipe post here. It smells divine.
To say I’m nervous is an understatement. I was kept awake for a few hours at night running through all the steps in my head. I’ve never used marzipan or fondant icing before, but I’ve always wanted to. I’ve watched a lot of YouTube clips on how to decorate cakes, but using a styrofoam non edible cake makes everything look easy. I bought ready to roll marzipan and fondant icing as I thought I should make this as easy as possible on myself. I also bought some serious bling, including a diamanté cross and edible glitter. I just couldn’t help myself! My inspiration was a Martha Stewart wedding cake I saw online with yellow fondant and white flowers.
The first step was to use the marzipan to seal the cake. I made a jam glaze first to glue the marzipan to the cake by heating 3 tablespoons of apricot jam in 1/2 cup of water on the stove.
Once cooled, I brushed the cake with the glaze. I hand kneaded the 1kg marzipan block to make it more pliable and sprinkled my kitchen bench with corn flour/starch to stop it sticking to the bench. I rolled it out in a rough square shape (ok it’s a rectangle) to match the cake shape.
I’ve read that you can also roll it on to cling wrap, which makes it easier to transfer on to the cake. Once the marzipan was on, I smoothed down the top and sides using a cake smoother (a fan dangled gizmo used by cake decorators) and cut off the excess. I then repeated the process for the smaller square cake.
You need to leave the marzipan covered cake for a couple of days in a cool place to cure and seal the cake properly, though I did mine for a week.
I decided to decorate using some easy spring loaded flower shape cutters. I rolled out some white fondant and punched out flowers. I also used letter cutters. I stored these in an airtight container for a few days before the final cake assembly. They hardened a bit which made them easier to handle and position on the cake.
OK it’s fondant time. As per the marzipan, I sprinkled my kitchen bench with corn flour, kneaded the 1kg ball out of the tub and rolled it out. Before laying it on, I brushed the cake with cooled boiled water so that the fondant would stick to the marzipan. I laid the fondant over the cake and smoothed it with the cake smoother and cut off the excess. It looks OK, but imperfections can be covered with decorations right?
I used white ribbon to circle the bottom of each cake layer, conveniently covering most of my imperfections. I pinned the ribbon to the cake at the back…I must not forget to remove the pins before serving!! I positioned the cross in the centre and the lettering, as this was the focus of the cake.
I then started to stick on my premade flowers and letters using a glucose syrup, which was super, super sticky. Using a clean paint brush I dabbed each flower and glued them on. This got a bit messy. I had to clean my hands repeatedly to stop sticking to everything I touched. I then glued on individual sugar pearls for the flower centres. Cue the sticky monster! I suspect that cake decorators dilute the glucose syrup with water to make it easier to use (I’ll try that next time).
Once I’d cleaned up thoroughly, with another clean paint brush, I applied the glitter shimmer. All done and I managed to survive without using too many expletives! I think it looks awesome. Hardly professional, but that’s not the point. It’s homemade and made with love. I found it relatively easy in the end, aside from the glucose syrup frustrations. I’ll definitely be doing this again someday. My turning four year old has demanded a Frozen birthday cake this year!
What did I use?
- 1kg marzipan block
- Apricot jam
- Corn flour/starch
- 1kg pale yellow ready to roll fondant (I used Satin Ice)
- 250g white fondant
- 2 x flower cutters
- Small alphabet cutters
- Diamanté cross
- Yellow soft sugared pearls
- Glucose syrup
- 2 x paint brushes
- Square silver cake board
It took me approximately 1 hour to use the marzipan, 45 mins to cut out the fondant letters and flowers and over 1 hour to use the fondant and to decorate the cake.