Introduction: Miniature Polymer Birthday Cake
I obsess over miniature things. Furniture, every day household items, plants, office supplies, foods... basically anything realistic that's smaller-than-life. When I first decided to finally fulfill my dream of nabbing my own collection of miniatures piece by piece, I didn't realize there was basically an entire culture of collectors. Surprisingly, these tiny treasures can cost a pretty penny, especially the high quality brands imported from Japan. My pocketbook encouraged me to try making my own miniatures. Polymer clay cakes are super fun to make and they're far easier to create than they look. I've received many compliments (not just from my mom, although she is a big fan of my clay minis) and am happy to share how I make them. Try experimenting with different colors, sizes, and cake layers, add different toppings and decorations, but most of all, have fun!
Step 1: Tools
What you need:
- Polymer clay (I used caramel Fimo in, translucent Sculpey III, white Sculpey III, crude Premo!, and rainbow colors of Sculpey III from a variety pack)
- Liquid polymer clay (I prefer Kato Polyclay)
- Small round cookie cutter
- Pin, awl, or toothpick
- Pasta machine designated for clay ONLY (Can also use small plastic rolling pin)
- Razor blade (only use a new sharp one)
- Palette knife (or something similar to stir and spread "frosting")
- Small jar
- Small wooden discs (found in most craft stores)
- Super glue
- Miniature fork and knife
Step 2: Making the Sprinkles
1- Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Take a small amount of each sprinkle color and carefully roll each with the palm of your hand to create a small snake*. Roll it as evenly as possible and trim with razor if it becomes too long to roll.
2- Place clay snakes on a baking sheet (I prefer using the bottoms of pans, as to not use surfaces that will come in contact with food) and bake for 1 min. Set timer because clay burns fast!
3 - Let clay cool, then carefully peel them from pan with palette knife. Use razor to cut small even slices from each color and set aside**. Save a small length of desired color to use as a candle.
* Roll red clay last, the color tends to transfer to hands.
** I re-made smaller sprinkles after I made the sprinkles that are pictured because they were too large for my cake.
Step 3: Making the Cake Layers
1- Clean surface with damp rag. Take 1/4 of crudo Premo! Sculpey and soften in hands by kneading. Once soft, roll at the thickest setting in pasta machine. Fold clay in half and re-roll in pasta machine a few times to soften it even more. Roll one more time and fold in half. Use cookie cutter to cut out two circles.
2- Take 1/4 of caramel Fimo. Soften in hands and roll, just like the last color. Once soft, roll clay in roller, lowering the thickness setting on the machine a notch each time until it reaches the thinnest setting. Cover each of the two thicker layers with the thin caramel clay.
Step 4: Making the Frosting
1- Knead together white and translucent clay, using just a little more translucent then white. Use pasta roller to knead them together more throughly, once softened by hands*. Roll clay on the 4th setting then cut out one circle and softly press it between cake layers.
2- Take the remaining frosting mixture and cut into small pieces with razor. Place into jar and add liquid clay. Mix with pallet knife, adding liquid clay as needed, until it's the consistency of frosting.
* Be aware that white clay may transfer to hands.
Step 5: Creating Texture
1- Wash hands, table, and wipe down razor and tools. Use awl or toothpick to lightly mark center of top of cake to use as guideline when cutting. Use razor to carefully remove 1/4 of cake.
2- Use liquid clay to glue cake and cake slice onto wooden circles*.
3- Use awl, toothpick, or pin to create texture on cake slices, leaving frosting layer smooth.
* I cut cake slice in half before placing on wood so it would fit better. Also, notice that although I am applying liquid clay to bottom of cake slice in photo, I decided to lay slice on its side.
Step 6: Icing the Cake
1- Use pallet knife or awl to scrape excess frosting off of wood. Holding onto wood, spread icing on top and sides of cake and cake slice. I like creating texture on top by using small circular motions while spreading.
2- Hold cake over plate or container and sprinkle desired amount of sprinkles onto sides and top of cake using fingers or spoon, then lightly press them into frosting. I used tweezers to apply sprinkles in pattern on top.
Step 7: Baking and Finishing Touches
1- Bake at 350 degrees for 5 min. Be careful because white clay burns easily! Remove from oven and let cool.
2- Attach fork to plate next to slice, using a small amount of super glue. Scrape knife into leftover frosting and place onto platter next to cake. Add a couple of sprinkles to frosting on knife. Place back into oven for 30 seconds. Super glue candle to top.
Step 8: Show Off Your Cute Cake!
Have fun showing off your mini creation! Remember: only PRETEND to eat it at your next dolly tea party.
Runner Up in the
Pocket Sized Contest