Introduction: Decorated Party Cake

Picture of Decorated Party Cake

This instructable is a breakout lesson from my Cake Decorating 101 collection. If you are interested in learning more about cake decorating please take a look! You will also find tips, tricks, all the recipes necessary for successful cake decorating!

This instructable is assuming you have a completed cake (covered with fondant, ganache, or buttercream) ready to be decorated.

Step 1: Tree Stump

Picture of Tree Stump

This tree stump is going to be a great place for one of our cute little birds to perch. It's also going to add height to the cake making it appear larger and more complicated than it is!

You will need:

  • light brown fondant
  • dark brown fondant
  • toothpick

SCULPTING THE TREE STUMP

1. Cut a 1 1/4 ounce piece each of dark brown fondant and light brown fondant and place on top of each other.

2. In a twisting or pulling motion mix the two colors of brown fondant together to marble them slightly. You can see I only have one distinct vein. More would be great!

3. Roughly form the fondant into an egg shape and flatten the top by pressing with your fingers.

4. Squeeze the sides of the stump to give the stump ridges and to elongate it.

5. Press or pinch the bottom of the stump with one finger in random places to give the effect of roots.

6. Pinch the top edges to sharpen the 'cut' edge of the stump.

7. Using a toothpick, score or scrape lines in the sides of the stump to resemble bark and circles on the top of the stump to create rings.

Step 2: Bird Legs

Picture of Bird Legs

We are going to stain toothpicks with food coloring to make stick legs for our birds!

You will need:

  • four toothpicks
  • paper towel or napkin
  • brown food coloring

MAKING THE LEGS

1. Dip the toothpicks into the food coloring.

2. Remove and place on the paper towel without rubbing off the excess food coloring.

3. After about 10 minutes wipe off excess food coloring with the paper towel. The toothpicks should be stained a medium brown color.

4. Set aside to dry.

Step 3: Simple Sculpted Bird

Picture of Simple Sculpted Bird

Oftentimes the simplest of shapes make the cutest characters. Sometimes leaving it simple is best! These birds are definitely simple!

You will need:

  • light pink fondant - 1 ounce
  • dark pink fondant - 1 ounce
  • orange - pea sized amount
  • brown - teeny, tiny piece!
  • turquoise - enough for two very small eyes
  • clear vanilla extract
  • food safe paint brush
  • rolling pin
  • rolling mat

MAKING THE BIRDS

1. Remove a small piece (large pea size) of light pink fondant and set aside for the wings.

2. Between two hands, roll the larger piece of fondant into a ball.

3. Place on your rolling mat and with your hand roll the piece back and forth with gentle pressure until you start to get a cone shape (without a point).

4. Using your fingers, press or pinch the smaller end flat to create the tail and curve up by pressing gently with your fingers.

5. Divide the remaining piece of fondant in half and roll one half into a ball. Press to flatten slightly.

6. Slightly pinch one side, and curve the pinched/pointed side up slightly. You should have a paisley shape wing. Repeat for the other wing.

7. Pour a small amount of clear vanilla extract or vodka into the cap or a small bowl and apply a very small amount of extract (using a food safe paint brush) where you want the wing to be located on the bird body. Gently press the wing onto the body. It should stick immediately! Repeat on the other side of the bird. (Extract will leave a shiny or glossy appearance on fondant so use sparingly and try to be as exact with it as possible.)

8. Divide the orange fondant in half and set one half aside reserving for the next bird and roll into a ball and form into a cone with your fingertips. This is the beak.

10. Apply a dab of extract and adhere the beak to the front or head of the bird.

11. Roll a very small amount of turquoise fondant into a ball and flatten. This will be the iris. Apply to bird with a small amount of extract.

12. Roll an even smaller amount of brown fondant into a ball and gently press it into the turquoise fondant eye creating a pupil. Since it's so small of a piece it should stick without fondant, but if it doesn't, secure it with extract. Repeat steps 11 and 12 to make another eye for the back side of the bird.

13. Repeat the entire process to make one more bird in your choice of color!

Step 4: Fondant Roses - Three Ways

Picture of Fondant Roses - Three Ways

There are tons of ways to make fondant roses. I will cover three uncomplicated ways to make cute roses to top our cake with!

You will need:

  • light yellow fondant (1 ounce)
  • dark yellow fondant (1 ounce)
  • small round cutters - 1 inch and 1 1/4 inch (you can also use a shot glass, biscuit cutter, or make a circle pattern from thick paper and trace around it with a knife)
  • paring knife
  • rolling mat
  • rolling pin
  • petal foam (or any craft foam)
  • ball head sculpting tool (you can also use a rounded end drink stirrer, a melon baller or a dry finger)

FLOWER #1

1. Roll out a small piece of light yellow fondant and cut out six small circles.

2. Using your finger, press the edges of each circle to thin them.

3. Line the circles up and gently press them together at each overlap to secure.

4. Flip the line of circles over so the wrong side is facing up.

5. Roll the circles up from one end to the other.

6. Cut the roll in half to create two roses.

7. Pinch the bottom of the roses to open them slightly.

8. Peel back a few of the petals to make the rose look more natural. Set aside to harden. Repeat to make more roses.

FLOWER #2

1. Roll out a long piece of light yellow fondant and cut a 1/2 inch by 6 inch strip.

2. Remove excess fondant and set aside.

3. Press ridges in one side of the fondant with your finger. Continue along the entire edge of the strip.

4. Pick the fondant up and roll the strip until you reach the desired size. If 6 inches is too long or makes it too thick of a flower you can cut it short anywhere you would like.

5. Pinch or squeeze the bottom of the rose to make a stem and open it slightly.

6. Cut off the stem so the flower will sit upright on the top of the cake. Set aside to harden. Repeat to make more roses.

FLOWER #3

1. Roll out a piece of dark yellow fondant.

2. Cut ten to fourteen, 1 1/4 inch circles and remove excess fondant.

3. Roll a small sized piece of fondant into a ball. About the size of a large marble.

4. Roll one end making it into a cone shape. The same way we made the bird! This will be the center of the rose. Set aside.

5. Place one circle on the petal foam and in a back and forth motion with the ball head tool flatten and ruffle the edges. Repeat with remaining circles.

6. Wrap one circle around the center piece of the rose.

7. Repeat with remaining circles placing them randomly so the seams don't match up. You can make the rose as small or as large as you want. Fold the petals back slightly to give the flower an open look.

8. Pinch the bottom edge when finished to create a stem and cut the bottom so the rose will sit flat. Repeat the process to make more roses.

Step 5: Fondant Pattern

Picture of Fondant Pattern

If you haven't already done so, mix the colors of fondant you wish to use in the pattern of the cake. I used eight different colors (nine shown) but more or less would be fine.

This is where you get to be creative and think about repeating patterns. What shapes and sizes do you want for your cake? I chose a superellipse shape and used all the same size but you could experiment with various sizes of the same shape for a unique effect. Examples of other shapes that would make fun repeating patterns are: rhombus, stars, heart, circle, octagon, crescent, parallelogram, etc.

You can also find a lot of cutter options in the clay modeling section of the craft store. Let's get started!

You will need:

  • geometric cutter (I got my superellipse from a small set of inexpensive cutters from the Duff Goldman collection that I found at Micheal's.)
  • rolling pin
  • rolling mat
  • parchment or waxed paper lined sheet pan (You can also just use your countertop or a table!)

MAKING THE PATTERN

1. Roll out one color of fondant very thin on your rolling mat using a rolling pin. When I say 'thin' it should basically be as thin as possible without tearing.

2. Using the wrong side of the cutter cut out 15-20 pieces or shapes. If you use the wrong side (folded metal side) of the cutter you will get an exact shape with sharp corners. If you use the correct or sharp side of the cutter you will get rounded edges. This drives me nuts, but some people don't mind at all!!! You can see the difference in the picture (left cut-out = wrong side of cutter; right cut-out = right side of cutter). If you are using a cutter with rounded shapes like a cloud or a flower it won't make much of a difference which side you use.

3. Smooth the sides if any rough edges are present by folding or gently squeezing the frays to the back side of the shape.

4. Transfer pieces to a baking sheet lined with parchment (or waxed) paper. Make sure they are not touching so they don't stick together! If you don't have a baking sheet you can place the parchment directly on your table or countertop in a place that won't be disturbed.

5. Repeat with remaining colors!

Step 6: Apply Pattern

Picture of Apply Pattern

Here we will follow simple steps to apply a repeating pattern to our fondant cake.

You will need:

  • fondant covered cake
  • paring knife
  • fondant shape cut-outs
  • clear extract
  • sugar pearls
  • cake stand or base

1. Cut one of the fondant pieces in half from point to point using a sharp knife. Do this with one of each of the remaining colors equaling 18 halved pieces total. You may need more later but this is a good starting point for now.

2. Apply a small dab of clear vanilla extract to the back of the fondant piece and place the top flat edge in line with the top edge of the cake.

3. In a random pattern of colors apply pieces straight down in the same manner cutting the bottom most piece as necessary. I only needed to cut a tiny little piece off to make it fit at the bottom edge of the cake.

4. Continue around the entire cake trying to keep the pieces straight and the colors in a random pattern.

5. Once you have finished applying the pattern press a sugar pearl into each corner where the pieces meet. If the pearls don't stick by pressing into the fondant you can apply a small amount of extract to get them to stick. Sugar pearls will acquire a strange thick gooey film where they come into contact with extract so use only if necessary!!

We are ready to decorate and complete the cake!

Step 7: Cake Assembly

Picture of Cake Assembly

Arrange flowers, birds, and tree stump in any manner you wish! I ended up using two birds, four roses, and six small flower cut-outs with pearl centers (same flower technique as from the drip cake) on the top of the cake. Here's an idea of how to arrange your fondant decorations:

1. Decide which side you want to be the front of the cake.

2. Place the tree stump toward the back of the cake just off center to the right and place a large rose on the edge of the cake near the front right. Add some small roses and flowers around in groupings or any arrangement you like. Secure with extract.

3. Push toothpick legs into the birds. I left off the back wings so the bird could harden slightly when I was working on other things.

4. Stick one bird so it is standing on the stump and one toward the front left. Adhere the back wings on each bird with extract.

Congratulations!! You should be very proud of yourself! You have completed a beautiful decorated cake that is ready to serve! If you don't plan on serving the cake right away, leave it out at room temperature for up to 3 days until you want to slice it and serve it. Do not refrigerate!

If this cake is for a birthday party and you choose to put candles in it they will easily poke through the fondant and stand securely.

About This Instructable

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Bio: Hi, my name is Jen! I'm a Community Manager here at Instructables. In my free time I'm a crafter, food lover, cake decorator ... More »
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