Note, I am not a professional baker, and i'm sure there are things I've gotten 'wrong'.. but that's one reason i did this instructable to show that you don't have to be a professional to attempt something cool!
You can see the original cake here (the dragon laying on top of the cake) and then a mini version I made with the leftovers, to document the how it was done. This technique could be used to make a full size dragon cake, or placed on top of an iced cake as I did. Of course, you don't have to make a dragon... there are lots of things that could be made with this technique.
And remember, you can always cheat and buy a storebought cake, then make the littler dragon version to go on top of it! Not including time to make the fondant or the cake mixture, the mini dragon that I did just for this tutorial took about 45 minutes. For a time reference, the big dragon cake took me all day basically, but that was baking all the cakes, plus cupcakes, plus making the icing... and i'd never done anything like this before!
From a cost perspective, this is really pretty inexpensive. No expensive ingredients (lots of cake mix, powdered sugar, and so forth), just the cost of your time!
So how's it TASTE??
Really yummy! The marshmallow fondant used for the dragon tastes much better than regular fondant to me. And the cake inside the dragon is rich and thick. Everything is edible.
If you are throwing a dragon party, you can also get invitations and thank you notes that match this dragon at my website (www.dabbled.org). They are free to download for personal use.
I'd love to see what the fabulously creative people on Instructables can do with this!
Inspirations and credit: The dragon is of my own design, based on my illustration, but I was inspired to put it on top of a cake by this cake on flickr. Bakerella's cake balls made me think of doing it out of cake ball material. Also, the site with the marshmallow fondant recipe was very helpful.
Step 1: Materials / Ingredients
Of course, if you're in a hurry, a plain cake, pre-iced from the store will also work.
1 layer of cake (about 1/2 box from a typical quality cake mix, like Duncan Hines.) (I used the rest of the second box for cupcakes. I had some left over, so 1 layer was more than enough. I made the mini-dragon, shown throughout this tutorial, from what I had left over.)'
Approx 1-2 c cream cheese icing.
Marshmallow Fondant (1 batch is more than enough and can be made well in advance). I found this recipe easy to do, requires a few simple ingredients, and the resulting fondant is tasty and easy to work with. You could of course use store-bought fondant or another recipe, but this worked for me.
Food Coloring (I used a gel) to color the fondant.
Pastel Candy Corns (available around easter) or similar candy for horns, claws.
Silicon mat or Parchment paper
Thin cardboard or paper or styrofoam plate
White Modeling chocolate or 10 pieces of soft, moldable candy like light colored tootsie rolls or starburst. (For original dragon, I made the modeling chocolate, 1/2 of the recipe linked here, and prepared the steps associated with it in advance. It was not difficult, but for the mini-dragon, i just used tootsie rolls and it works almost as well, for much less work--though I doubt it's as tasty!)
Decorations: I used Malted Milk Eggs, Pastel Candy Corns
(You can use whatever you like!)
*Cream Cheese Icing:
My recipe - it's easy and yummy. For this project (cake, plus extra cupcakes, I made a double batch.
1 stick butter, softened.
1 pkg cream cheese (lower fat is fine, but not nonfat), softened
1 lb powdered sugar (aka: confectioners, icing sugar)
Beat butter, and cream cheese until smooth in your mixer. Slowly add powdered sugar on lowest speed, beat on med until the mixture is smooth and creamy.
or, you can just pick up 3 or more store bought jars
I guess you don't have to use cream cheese icing per se, but that's what worked for me.