Cake Pops 2.0

A friend of mine celebrated their 30th birthday this past weekend. I’m pretty broke so I debated for some time what I should bring. I was at Michaels picking up some supplies I ran out of (who knew I would go through dye so quickly!) and remembered I had cake pops in the freezer that I could bring to the party. I picked up some candy melts, Styrofoam, and some duct tape to cover it. I figured I could make simple cakepops.

If you remember reading my post about the construction cake pops, you may be surprised that I planned to do this. I was surprised myself. Cake pops are the devil.

I kept things simple. I took the Styrofoam board and taped it up with duct tape. It’s pretty awesome that you can buy it in so many colors, and patterns. Very handy for the future of cake pops (if I ever make them again). You need to find them in your local stores or Amazon. Check it out! The second picture below is the cake pops I pulled out of the freezer. Since cake pops have to be frozen anyway, this was perfect. I didn’t have to make another cake! I also had about an hour to get this done.

simonscakepop2While the cake pops were working their way to room temperature, I heated up the candy melts. When they were almost completely melted, I added in a heaping teaspoon of Crisco to thin it out. I stirred vigorously. This may have been a problem. If you look closely you can see small air bubbles and white dots in the melts. This should have bothered me, but I didn’t care. Why? Because I dipped them in silver sanding sugar. Yay to covering imperfections!

simonscakepop1I also picked out a light blue color. I felt like I added too much Crisco to this one. I really need to look into paramount crystals. They are apparently better than using Crisco, but I’m hesitant to get them until the weather cools off. If they are melted into one solid block, that would defeat the purpose of buying them.

simonscakepop3I coated the lighter blue pops in sanding sugar as well. As I was making the cake pops I remembered why I hate making them so much. It’s the fickle candy melts. If they aren’t cooperating, your cake pops suffer.

After they were all done I lined up the cake pops on the board I use for them to dry to make sure I had enough room for all of them.

simonscakepop6I thought I would put the cake pops on the stand in a fancy order (two on the outside, two in the middle), but it just looked sloppy. Below is the attempt at being “fancy,” and the second picture is how I brought them to the party.

simonscakepop4They were a bit uneven and some were smaller than others. But for a last second gift idea I think they did the job. Everyone seemed to like them at the party, and I got a request to make more next month for a baby shower. So just think – in a month I’ll be complaining about cake pops again!

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Car Cake Failure

I hesitate to write this post. I’ve written about the things I’ve messed up but I think this one takes the cake (no pun intended). I was asked to make a cake in the shape of a car. Again, this was a last second cake so I had no time to try and do a practice run. I really wished I had a practice run.

I spent a day or two looking at pictures and trying to find blue prints for the car that they wanted. Specifically, a BMW X3. It didn’t seem too hard to do,  but… I’ve never carved a 3D cake before. I did that tooth cake some time back but that really isn’t the same thing. I was prepared for my kitchen to be a disaster with the carving. I know my kitchen is big, but I feel like the counter space isn’t placed out correctly. Having a kitchen island would be great.

carfailpic1Anyway, enough with my complaining. I’m going to bite the bullet and just write this post out. Below is what I baked. I used a metal flower nail in the middle of the pan to generate heat so the outside wouldn’t burn before the middle was cooked. I figured three would be a good side for an SUV. Looking back on it I should have made it safe with 4.

carfailpic2I used a new recipe. A vanilla pound cake. I was worried the usual vanilla cake that I used would be too soft and wouldn’t carve. Everything I saw online said to line up the picture with the cake and just carve it.

carfailpic3I had issues with it sagging on the sides too. Now the picture below is with the cakes frozen so you don’t see any sagging on the sides, but the cakes did seem much firmer and easier to work with. The picture on the bottom is after my carving attempt. I don’t think I had enough of blueprints to really work it out well. The back was too flat but I felt the top had the correct height and slope. My cutting was sloppy, but at this moment I thought I really had something good going on (though looking at it here I should have used more of the 3rd cake for the roof).

carfailpic4The next step was to crumb coat it. I was moving fast since I wanted the cake still frozen when I did this. I didn’t move fast enough because some parts started to fall off. I should have put it back in freezer for a half hour after I “carved” it.

carfailpic5So I filled in the holes and finished covering it. I then left it out to settle. I thought it looked decent here, maybe a little too boxy but I figured the details would fix that issue.

carfailpic6So here is a picture of what I thought would be my pride and joy… “The Mat.” I’ve heard many things about this apparent “miracle” mat. It was a birthday present. I watched the video on how to “season” the mat. I had some serious issues with using the mat with pockets forming on the fondant and it was hard to roll out. I couldn’t worry too much about it since I had to get moving on covering the car. I must have rerolled out he fondant a dozen times to try and get it to cover the car correctly.

carfailpic7You can see in the bottom picture that I finally covered the car. I definitely rolled out the fondant too thick and put too thick of a coat of buttercream on the car. It almost completely removed the slope on the car. I didn’t have time to redo the entire car since the cake was due in a few hours. I picked up some silver mist spray from Michaels. The didn’t have the silver in the Wilton spray so I picked up the pearl color, and then the silver in the Duff brand. You can see the color difference between the two. On the left is the pearl, and the right the Duff silver. I went with the pearl color. You can see it completed with the spray on the bottom (with the too thick fondant).

carfailpic8After the cake was covered I took out more pictures of the car and pulled up a chair. It was time to add all the details. I was hoping with the details it would make the shape look like a car. I wanted to remove the wheels and cover them completely in fondant. The videos I was watching showed that you push the cookie cutter into the cake and pull out the shape. Yeah, that didn’t happen. So I was going to have to make due. In the future I think you should cut out the wheels first. It just popped into my head, but I should have used a spoon to scoop it out.

carfailpic9Believe it or not, I spent a few hours putting all the details below on the cake. I broke out the pasta machine to make the small and window outlines. I tried to follow the lines of the car exactly. I used edible marker to color in the BMW sign and the license plate.

carfailpic10Now here is where I made a big mistake. I went to bed after I finished the few details on the car. When I woke up, I got the lights ready to push into the car. I got them at a party city (I had to call over a dozen places online to find someone that had it). They are small LED lights that lasts about 8 hours. I pushed them right into the cake… but the fondant had already dried so it immediately caused cracks. I thought about not using them but then they cracks would look insane. I just kept with the lights.

carfailpic12Here is a picture of the car with the lights off and on (obviously). From far away it doesn’t look too terrible.

carfailpic11Now here is the bad part. I dropped off the cake after keeping the air conditioning blowing on it all the way there. When I dropped it off I told them to keep it cool and be careful with it. Clearly something happened to it. It just looks flat! I know the cake I made was on the flatter side, but it was no where near this bad. I honesty have no idea what happened here.

carfailpic13Overall, I was severely disappointed with this cake. I hated making it, I hated it when I was finished and I was embarrassed to give it away. I was going to have a backup cake but it took way too long to do.  Oh well. Here is my car cake fail. My shameful, shameful cake.

Wilton Course 3, Lesson 3: Complete!

Another day, another lesson! For lesson 3 there really wasn’t much to go over. Below was my work station for the day again. I know I’ve said it before… but seriously. No buttercream and royal icing to cart with me? Amazing! Below is all I need to bring.

course3lesson3pic1I didn’t take too many pictures for this class because my phone was next to dying. We started with finishing up the carnations that we started in the first class. The base that we made needed to be completely dry in order to stack the next layers of the carnation. Basically, the book tells you to cut out 5 or 6 circles and fluff them up with the veining tool and stack them on the carnation base that you started. Now I didn’t realize it at the time, but I was using fondant and not gum paste so it wasn’t drying as fast as I wanted it to. It still worked (and dried a few days later), but it didn’t get as fluffy as I wanted it to get. I also used 9 additional petals to get the final result below. It clearly looks like a carnation and is very simple to make. The only thing the book didn’t say is to wait a minute or so between attaching each layer. If you fluffy and shape the circle and then let it dry a bit, the next layer won’t flatten it out (as you can see on the bottom of mine). But overall, I don’t think it matters how many layers you have, it still looks like a carnation.

course3lesson3pic2The next two flowers we made were the daisy and the mum. Both used the same cutter. The daisy was two simple shapes and then taking a little bit of yellow 50/50 covered in sprinkles smashed into the middle. The mum was just 6 layers of the same thing (two sizes) covering the mum base that we made in week one. You can see them both below in the flower forming cups. I think the mum could use a few more layers spaced out better.

My big issue with the two flowers was the cutter. No matter how hard I pushed on the cutter there were still thing scrapes between each petal. I tried to cut them out but it still looked sloppy. I would have to find a better way to cut it out correctly or just be patient to cut away all the excess.

course3lesson3pic3The last thing we did was make a layered ruffle and a ruffled swirl using the “straight scallop cutter” that came with the Ultimate kit.

The long ruffle is used to cover cakes with a long layered look. The swirled one is supposed to be pretty on top of a cupcake or something. I think it just looks awkward. But, the ruffle was easy enough which is good to know for the future. I may try and cover a cake layer with it.

course3lesson3pic4So that finishes the third lesson in course 3. This lesson went by fast. I finished a bit early too. Mostly because once the instructor starts reading out loud from the book, I just read ahead and do it. I figure I rather screw it up and then ask why so I know for the future. Mostly because (as I’ve said before), I won’t be using what I make in class on anything. The dirt in the room alone is insane.

For the next and final class we have to bring flowers already made with us and a cake design. This is something you have to do at the end of each course. If you look back on my lesson 4 of each of the previous classes I, (1) shared with my friend for one, and (2) didn’t bother to bring a cake with me. The women in this class seem to take it a bit more seriously than the previous one. Plus, it is easier to just make the gum paste flowers and bring them in. It’s not like its royal icing that could melt and needs a more delicate handle or it will crack.

One thing I have to keep in mind is where I’m going to take the Course 4 classes. The place I’m at now doesn’t offer it. In fact, no store in my county offers it. Wonderful, right? I really wanted to make sure I could keep up this blog until I finished Course 4. I tend to half ass things and never finish them. I’ve been told most of my life that I was good at something and then I would eventually walk away from it. I’m half good at a bunch of things. I really want this to work. Maybe I’m being crazy. But anyway, I have to find Course 4 somewhere!

Wilton Course 3, Lesson 2: Complete!

A couple of days before the second lesson I had to make the 18 loops for the bow we were going to make in class. I also wanted to remake the carnation base that I didn’t like in the first lesson.

In the picture below, you can see how gross the 50/50 was. Fondant, gum paste, 50/50 picks up every particle of dirt that floats by. This ball in the picture went to and from the Michaels store so I expected it to get a bit snarly, but this happens all the time. Aside from getting a air proof room that is vacuum sealed, I have no idea how to keep dust out of this. Especially when its white. Dark colors can hide the bits of dust that float around, but not white. Look how obvious the bad things are in there!

course3lesson2pic1But anyway, I made everything I needed before class. Again, I really like how I’m able to spread out more. I think it has to do with how the tables are set up.

course3lesson2pic2From this angle you can see how the tables are set up and the size of the room. It is made for small groups of people. In my opinion, it should always be no more than 7 (8 maximum) in each class. It makes it easier for the instructor to go to each person. This also helps if someone is late. They can at least catch up faster.

course3lesson2pic3Moving on, I’ll start with the big bow that we had to make the 18 loops for. Since Wilton did the overhaul of their lessons they changed how they did this big bow. Now, after doing this bow it seems clear to me that they really rushed this new program. What they tell you to do is to take a big ball of gum paste and stick all the dried loops into it. Really? Just stick them in? Well that doesn’t work. Well, it does, kinda. You stick the loops in (I eventually had to add edible glue to make them stay), but then the other loops start to move out as you move the gum paste ball around. I made the 18 the said but you can clearly see the large ball of gum paste in the middle. It just looks sloppy. Maybe if I added 10 more loops it would distract it, or if it was in color? I don’t know, but this is a bad way of teaching this. The “old” way was to make two circles. You would place the circle on the bottom, then the loops all around the edge. Then take the next circle, put it on top, and add more loops. I’m sure you would see the edges of the circles, but at least not this huge ball of gum paste. I hate to be a Negative Nancy, but I can’t help but think this is their way of making you go through gum paste faster so you have to buy more. This was just horrible looking. I threw it out.

course3lesson2pic6The first flower we worked on was the calla lily. To be honest, I wasn’t very interested in making this flower but it’s so easy, and it looks so awesome when it’s done. I like the idea of putting sprinkles on the center to help it stand out. I would definitely make more of these. To make them, all you need is a heart shaped cookie cutter and a cone shape. Wrap the heart around it, and then fluff up the edges. Very simple, and very cute! As I write this I’m considering making step-by-step photos of the gum paste flowers. It would be easier to do a tutorial of these than with buttercream or royal icing. I think everyone should know how simple it is to make these!

course3lesson2pic4The next and last flower that we made was the rose. We had to use the rose base that we made in the first lesson (tear drop shape). One of the things that bothered me was they had to make the base in white, not referencing that it would show in the center of the rose. So as you can see below, my white center is showing. I would suggest you make sure they match, or you make the base very small where it is completely covered by the petals. It pretty much looks like a rose, but only because of the color. I think adding the calyx to the bottom helped.

course3lesson2pic5So that was it for the second lesson! I took a picture of my two completed flowers and the new carnation base I made before class (much more fluffy).

course3lesson2pic7 One of the things I mentioned previously was how we never went over cake designing. We don’t do it in this class either. Well, the instructor does talk about the pictures in the books which technically you should be able to do after finishing the class, but that’s about it. Again, so far I like this class much better than the previous Wilton ones!

Graduation Cookies

I wasn’t sure if I should call this post “Graduation Cookies,” or “Sugar Cookies I’m finally happy with.” My nieces preschool graduation was coming about and I made cookies for my sister and one of the other moms. I ordered Wilton Graduation themed cookie cutters and figured I would make simple diplomas and graduation hats. I tried to find something more “interesting,” but was really falling flat. Figured I would go with the simple design.

One of the things I was proud of (at least at first) was that I followed my schedule. The first day I made and refrigerated the dough, second day I cut and baked, 3rd the first coat, 4th finished the decorating, and 5th bagged to go. This was also the first time in a while that I didn’t have to cut or edit any of the cookies as I was cutting them. It took about 2 hours to cut and bake 65 cookies. I loved having the cookie cutters available. Made things much easier. I also put the tray of cut cookies in the freezer for a few minutes before I put them in the oven to help the cookies keep their shape. The only issue I found with that, is they should bake for another minute since the tray gets so cold. My cookies were all just cooked, I would like them a bit more in the future. ImageI thought the diploma and hats may be a bit boring so I wanted to try something fun. When I was searching I found this website (http://tinyurl.com/k6pz4ub). It had a cute tutorial for making children faces holding a diploma. I didn’t think I would be able to do it, but I figured it couldn’t hurt to try. Following the instructions I used the shooting star cookie cutter that came in the graduation cutter set to cut into the diploma cookie, and attach both cookies together. I squished them together when they were still dough. Luckily, the cooked into each other.                                    ImageLots of cookies made. I never really notice how many I make until they are all lined up. It filled my cookie bin up! I made some shooting star cookies just to mess around with since I had so much extra dough. Each batch of dough makes 15-22 cookies depending on size. I try to overshoot just to make sure I have more than enough. Plus, I can give away any extra.

ImageI have a problem where I need to constantly look at the picture to remember what colors I was aiming for and what order I want to go in. So this time I traced the cookies cutters in my book and wrote out what I wanted on each. This may seem like a silly step, but it actually really helped me.

ImageI started with yellow icing. I wanted to get the tassels on the hat set before I outlined the hats and color in the shooting stars. Once the stars were filled in I practiced writing “2014” onto them. I thought the wet/wet technique would look better. Below, is my first time actually using a rubber band to close my icing bag. All I can say is, holy bananas! Why am I so difficult? This really makes things much easier. The royal icing doesn’t dry out, I don’t have to worry about it leaking out, and it was much easier to save for the next day in the same bag.

ImageI practiced writing on 2014 multiple ways, but the wet/wet technique just didn’t look right. I decided I would save the black for the next day and write the numbers and sprinkle them in black icing. I hoped it would solve the problems. Practice is key with the writing. The more I wrote out the numbers, the happier I was with them.

My nieces graduation outfit is a shiny, navy blue. I used Wilton royal blue gel color. It came out a very brilliant blue, but not navy. I thought if I added a dash of black it would bring it up to a navy color. Well, my bottle of black is running low so I had to shake it out. Too much black came out and the color ended up a bluish grey. So then I added more blue. Way too much coloring in the small amount of icing I made. It ended up being this cornflowery blueish color. I wasn’t going to make any more icing so I just went with it.

ImageI outline and filled the graduation hats. I really wasn’t happy with how the icing looked on the hats. I had way too much dye in there. The icing didn’t dry flat either. In the future I need to add an extra day to make the royal icing. I think most of the problems I have with it is because I don’t let it sit. Even sitting for a few hours I can see the air bubbles rising out of the icing. If I make and color the icing the day before it should solve most of my air bubble problems. Right? Guess we will see next time!

ImageThis next picture is a little bit out of order (as you can see the hats aren’t filled in), but I wanted to keep my train of thoughts together. I had filled in the diplomas with white royal icing, and then I filled in the three “test” cookies in white as well.

ImageWith everyone set up with the first coat on the cookies I cleaned up and let everything dry 24 hours for the next and final coat.

ImageI started with finishing the shooting stars. Since I was making one tray of graduation cookies I figured I should have one or two of the stars in there with the year on it would be necessary for the graduation theme. Below, you can see my attempts at writing out “2014” on all the cookies. On the ones I liked, I added the black sprinkles. I did try adding some more yellow designs, like dots, or swirls to add to the shooting star thing, but it just didn’t work. They looked better leaving them plain.

ImageI spent a decent amount of time working on the ribbon on the diplomas. At first I did a simple string like design, and then I practiced making the ribbon shape until it looked right on the diploma (yay for making extra!). I ended up with this as the final design. I made the ribbon yellow since the tassel on the cap is also yellow. My own negative for the diplomas was not adding and extra layer of “swirl” to make the paper looked more rolled. I think next time using a #1 tip instead of a #2 would make this easier. I also didn’t go back and add an outline to the bow. It just wasn’t necessary.

ImageWith the diplomas done I moved along to the hats. I ran out of the same blue color that I used to fill in the hats, so I recreated it as best as I could and outlined the hats. The more I outlined the hats, the better they got. Again, practice is the key. After the outline dried slightly, I added the details to the tassel and connected the tassel to the top of the hat (#2 tip). Side note: I realized that when I type this out it seems like this would take so much less time than it does. Oh well!

ImageHere is a closeup of the shooting star with the numbers with sugar. They aren’t perfect, but they get the job done.

ImageNow for the final show! The big finale! The link I put at the start of this article had these cookies below. They step by step pictures really seemed like something I could follow. With how unsteady my hand is and how horrible my artistic talent (see: none). But here are my cookies! With each detail I added to the cookies the happier I was getting. I mean seriously, look how cute! I wish I made more! I only made three because I thought they would be throw away cookies! These are my favorite ones to date! Yay cookies! To make “boy” cookies, I would had added eyebrows instead of eyelashes, but I really wanted to make long hair and eyelashes.

ImageBelow is the tray ordered by one of the moms at my nieces school. I think the girl with the curly hair (made after the daughter of the woman who ordered) and the two 2014’s just added to the tray. I found the container at Christmas Tree Shoppe for $1.99. I love how this tray came out! I mean seriously. Am I ever this happy when I make something?

ImageThe rest I put in individual bags with a note attached. My niece is going to give these out at her graduation ceremony.

ImageSo cookies done! I think I would like to make all of the faces for another graduation gift. I also need to work on the placement. It’s supposed to look like they are holding the diploma up over their mounts (which is why they don’t have them), but if they are too low it may look weird they don’t have mouths. For now, I won’t nip pick because I liked these too much. But just one more picture of the cute cookies before I go!

Image

S’more Cupcakes!

One of the cupcakes I was looking forward to trying was s’more cupcakes! It sounded like an interesting idea with the graham crackers and marshmallow and all that. I found this recipe (http://tinyurl.com/8kyakb3), and figured this had the best concept. I didn’t want to shove a marshmallow inside the cupcake or anything. I did make a few changes here and there to the recipe. I’ve been doing this lately. I don’t want to copy anyone directly, and if someone wants my recipe i can give them the original without my changes.  Sneaky? Maybe! But I want to keep the few things I change to myself.

Below is a picture of one of my dogs helping with the cracker grinding process. I guess he thought I needed help? More likely he was confused by the noise. I kicked him out of the kitchen after that. So the first step was making the cracker crust for the cupcakes and chopping up the chocolate. I went with a semi-sweet instead of a bittersweet like it calls for. I only made this decision because I couldn’t find any bittersweet chocolate. I debated using Hershey’s chocolate bars but figured there was a reason you had to use baking chocolate (there is, it holds up better in the cupcake!).

smorepic1After adding the melted butter and sugar, this is what the crust looked like. I’m sure I could have added more butter but I was happy with the way it was.

smorepic2It may be hard to tell in the picture below, but the left side is when the crackers are put in the liner, and the right is how they look when they are taken out of the oven after 5 minutes of cooking.

smorepic8I didn’t add the left over crust and chocolate to the batter like the recipe called for. after they were done, I added a small piece to the top. If I make these again and they need to look nice, I’ll do it the way the recipe calls for.

smorepic3In my opinion, use whatever meringue frosting you feel the most comfortable with. I didn’t like the one that was in the recipe so I used my own. Mostly because it was simple. I should note, I made these a second time and decided to double the amount of ingredients needed for the meringue. Yeah, that was wrong. The icing gets bigger the more you whip it and I ended up with too much. Below is the egg whites starting to get fluffy in the mixer. I didn’t hand mix any of it. Using the mixer is a life saver.

smorepic4I made the topping two ways. I say that as if I planned it, when in reality I ran out of time and did what would be easiest and without getting my fingers covered in sticky meringue. I piped the meringue high on each cupcake and added a small piece of chocolate after it was done being toasted. For the other half of the picture I just mixed all the left over cracker dust, chocolate and meringue together and plopped it onto each cupcake.

smorepic5This recipe makes a ton of batter. I was able to make 23 cupcakes and three 4′ cakes (I froze them for a later project).

Now, part of the reason why I wanted to try making these is because I found a kitchen torch when I was cleaning out the kitchen. I thought it would be a blast to use! No pun intended. I went to the store and bought a can of butane gas and tried filling it up. Unfortunately, the can spout wasn’t compatible and I ended up with freezing gas going everywhere. I tried multiple times to get it to work, but it failed. I then thought I could just use the oven broiler, but I was worried about the cupcakes cooking for too long. I tried making an ice bath for them to sit in, but that was a horrible idea because the water kept getting into the cupcake holes and therefore on the cupcakes themselves. After some trial and error I let the oven heat up with the broiler on high, then put the cupcakes back in the cupcake tray and into the oven. If you wait long enough, you should only have to keep them in there for 45 seconds. You should try and spin them for an even toast. This worked best and I did it with both sets of toppings. It gave the meringue a lovely marshmallow flavor.

smorepic6Now here is the big shocker, I actually ate a cupcake! I never do that! But they looked so good I had to try them. I was also worried about the crust inside holding up and wanted to see how that was doing. As you can see below, even with the cupcake liner off the crust stayed in place.

smorepic7Now I’m going to rant a tiny bit. When I was going to the store to buy the chocolate I needed, I had to go down the baking isle of my supermarket. And what did I see? A box of s’more cupcake mix.

smorepick9Something about this just made me so angry. I spent so much on ingredients and this box is under $4. Really? I shouldn’t be upset about it, but it just makes me angry that a recipe I found is something you can just get out of a box too. The cost difference! Man. I shouldn’t be angry about it, but I am. Oh well.

 

Ballet Shoes & Cupcakes

For my nieces last day at dance class I made cupcakes for her to give out to all her classmates at their class party. If you refer to my previous post, I rush made these cupcakes before my final class for Wilton Course 2. I don’t have any pictures of making the cupcakes because they are my normal vanilla cupcake with my normal buttercream. I added some coco powdered into the buttercream and then struggled to get it back to a pink/red. It ended up becoming a lovely color, but after 12 hours it went back to brown. Test failed! Moving along…

Below, are the boxes I ordered. I thought they were very cute and simple, and worked with the pink theme I was going for the cupcakes and ballet shoes.

dancecupcakes1I broke out my pasta roller to make the ribbons for the ballet shoes. I rolled out the fondant and put it through part of the pasta roller to flatten it out, and then through the linguine roller. Below is the pile it fell on. After ripping apart the fondant to separate it, I broke it up into smaller pieces and then put it back through the machine. I broke the pieces up to the length I needed and saved it in a tubberwear. If I ever make these again, I would do this step last to keep the fondant as pliable as possible for setting them up on the ballet shoes. Live and learn!

dancecupcakes2I cut out circles and rolled them out with a toothpick to make a ruffled appearance. This is something I’m going to have to work on more. I struggled to get the fondant to “fluff” the way I wanted it to. I tried rolling it out with a ball tool first, and then using the toothpick but it didn’t work out. After about an hour of fighting with it I got into a groove that I was comfortable with. It would have been a hell of a lot easier to have the ballet shoes resting on a flat fondant circle, but this way it almost looked like it was resting on a ballet tutu. If I do these again though? Flat surface for sure.

dancecupcakes3To make room I put all the fondant toppers on an upside down cupcake/muffin pan. This made sure they didn’t slide around and didn’t bump into each other. Made things easier to carry too!

dancecupcakes4I’m sure there is a nicer way to make the ballet shoes but I just took a ball of fondant and rolled it oval, and then stuck a round tool into it to form a loose shoe. Almost looks like a soap dish in this picture.

dancecupcakes7Lined up they almost look like ballet shoes. I was banking on them looking better when they were all decorated. I should note that this process took me a very long time. I also added little fondant bows to each shoe to tie in the look. I only have one mold so I had to freeze each bow so it would pop out without tearing (it was so small) and wait a few minutes in between. 48 bows needed to be made, and I had to wait about 5 minutes between each. It was a long night.

dancecupcakes6After the bows were on, I used royal icing to glue to ballet shoe ties to each slipper and then used more royal icing to glue the shoes onto the cupcake topper. I tried to place the ribbon as nice as possible without having it break. This is why making these ribbons should be the last step! It would also give the other parts of the topper time to dry.

dancecupcakes8As I final touch (as you can see in the bottom right shoe), I added some luster dust to make it shimmer. I should have made the shoes a different shade of pink then the bottom. They were blending together and looked like a big pink blob. Adding the shimmer made it stand out more. I should also note that it was very hard to take a good picture of these toppers. dancecupcakes9Below was the pretty color icing. This is when it was starting to turn brown. By the time it got to where it needed to be, it looked like chocolate icing. Oh well! I just wanted a light chocolatey taste.

dancecupcakes5Inside the box you can see the contrast a bit better. I originally put a pink ribbon on top of each box to dress it up. It looked silly. I took off all the ribbon. The box itself and the little note attached to it was all it needed. Sometimes simple is better!

dancecupcakes10I finished the toppers 12 hours after I started them. I had to work through the night. I was so tired that I didn’t take many pictures. My dog also took a cupcake topper and ran away with it which led to a semi-breakdown. They are usually locked out of the kitchen when I work, but I was finished and let them walk past. Big mistake!

You can see the little message I had tied to each box. I found the dancer picture from a Google image search and just added it on. Tied it together nicely! Below that are three more pictures of the toppers. I put a filer on one to show the shimmer more since it wasn’t coming up well in the photos.

dancecupcakes11I wasn’t there when they were given out, but I heard people liked them. It was hard work, but hey, if people liked them I guess that’s what matters.