Mad about Figure Modelling

Twilight-Inspired Cake Topper

My path down this particular branch of cake decorating was brought on by two events - a wedding next year and a themed party hosted by the very lovely Lynn of Enchanté two weeks ago.

              Edward

My little sis is getting married next year and we’d talked very briefly about the possibility of me baking her wedding cake. Having never made a tiered cake and not having had much luck previously with fondant in this humid climate, I was a little hesitant. Hubby immediately veto-ed the idea, knowing full well that I’d be impossible to live with during the making of said wedding cake, given my nervous tendencies and completely ridiculous, but sadly irrepressible, need for anything I make to be absolutely perfect.

              Bella

Taking all the factors that were against the wedding cake project, I settled on the next best thing I could think of - a customed wedding cake topper. The idea was to custom the figures to match their wedding outfits. Since this wasn’t something that I’d done before, I went ahead and attempted to model a couple of figures last weekend.

       Wedding Cake Topper

I was satisfied with my 1st attempt (last 3 photographs of this post), but definitely felt that there was a lot of room for improvement - the eyes and noses, for example, were way too big and the gum paste I’d used had a tendency to develop annoying cracks when dried. The only question was what to model next; I wanted to improve the modelling of the heads and get more practice with modelling a suit, but didn’t want to make another wedding gown.

              Groom Cake Topper Closeup

This is where Lynn’s party features in this post. Being an ardent fan of the series, the party’s theme was Twilight and she’d made a themed cake, complete with fondant figures of Bella and Edward in the meadow scene. Lynn also managed to make converts out of almost everyone at the party - yours truly included. I’m currently reading the series of books, so the choice of what to model was pretty obvious to me.

              Bride Cake Topper Closeup

I went with the prom scene (1st 3 photographs of this post) since that’s the only one where I’d get to make a suit again. This time, I used fondant and as expected, the paste absorbed moisture and developed a glossy sheen the next day. But I was truly pleased with this second set of figures; I particularly like the ruffles on Bella’s dress.

I’m having so much fun that I might even consider accepting customed cake topper projects on the weekend, just so I’d have an excuse to model something!

24 Responses to “Mad about Figure Modelling”

  1. Nikki @ delisioucity Says:

    Hi Karen! Lovely work! I love the ruffled effect of the blue dress. Yea I hate it when the figurines leave cracks when dried…and still have no idea how to remedy that. How do you plan to make the topper stand upright? Congratulations to your sister ^_^

  2. Karen Says:

    Thanks, Nikki. I’m not planning to make these stand. They’re meant to be laid flat. I’ll be making ones that can stand next. Your fondant cakes look lovely and don’t have that annoying sheen that I seem to get all the time - how do you manage to avoid that in our humid climate?

  3. Lynn Says:

    Karen, they’re so nicely done! I’m thinking you should make the cake topper when we have our New Moon party in December =o)

  4. Karen Says:

    Thank you, Lynn! I’d very gladly make the topper for you if you’d like me to. =)

  5. Avanika (Yumsilicious Bakes) Says:

    Karen, these look really good. I’m sure you’ll have perfected them by the time the wedding arrives! And I love the ruffles on the blue dress! Very realistic

  6. veron Says:

    Oh these look wonderful. I wonder why I cannot shape my fondant…and all the details with the hair and the hands and the ruffled skirt…how do you do that?

  7. Cynthia Says:

    I absolutely love these toppers! My boyfriend loves Twilight (probably more than a 25-year old man should) and he would DIE if I made something like this for him. I think that you should do a tutorial post!

    I wish that you posted more often. I enjoy every one of your posts!

  8. franci Says:

    hi!i visit your blog daily and i love it, so i was very upset when i saw an italian baker (or so she says about herself), that on her business website (she sells the cakes and cookies she makes) uses YOUR pictures on her “decorated cookies i make” section. the link of the website is www.torteartistiche.tk and since it is italian you can go on the BISCOTTI DECORATI (which is the italian for decorated cookies) section and enjoy….YOUR COOKIES with her name on them. I leave the thing up to you, i thought about sending her an email but i think it is a decision YOU should take. But you have my email, and don’t hesitate to contact me if you need any further help with the italian and can’t figure out where to go on the website. Bye :)

  9. Karen Says:

    Hello Franci,

    Thank you very much for letting me know. I have requested that she remove my photographs from her site by leaving a comment on her guestbook page.

    But it will be entirely up to her integrity and conscience to do it. I really appreciate you letting me know. The sad thing is that this is not the 1st time something like this has happened nor would it be the last.

  10. Adeline Says:

    Hi Karen,

    I’m interested to learn baking from you, especially your macaroons. Can you send me the baking schedule that you are teaching? Hope to get your reply soon.Thanks in Advance:)

    Regards,
    Adeline

  11. elizabeth Says:

    Hi karen, i love your cake toppers. Can i order the bride n groom ones ? Do let me know. My e mail is chuigin@gmail.com. Tks, elizabeth.

  12. Zoe Says:

    I have to confess, I’ve spent little over three hours perusing your blog, slack jawed in just… awe, shamelessly drooling, and slightly green with envy. So I have to ask, will you ever post the recipes? It’s torturous looking at such gorgeous pictures!

  13. natasha Says:

    you know at the prom shes uposted to hav a cast right? im not trieing to be meen… and id be amazed at your work… if i didnt know how to use fondunt.

  14. Karen Says:

    Zoe: Thank you. I do try to post recipes sometimes. :o) Most times, the recipes are from books and are just too long to type out. But I hear you and will try to post more recipes.

    Natasha: Yes, you’re absolutely right that she’s supposed to have a cast (and be wearing 3/4 tights). I just didn’t think that adding a cast or tights would make for a particularly pretty figurine. I certainly do not claim to be an expert nor do I think that my work is amazing. You’re most welcome to make your own figurines with or without fondant. I do, however, wonder if your fondant skills are as great as your grammar and spelling skills. And no, I’m not trying to be mean either.

  15. Joey Teo Says:

    Hi Karen!

    Im keen to learn Maracoons from you. It looks so pretty and very tempting!
    =)

    I have been trying to make them however it always fail. Very soon, I will need to pull my hair out. Are you giving classes?

    How can I contact you? look forward to hear from you!

    Cheers,
    Joey

  16. Penny Says:

    These r SO great!! You should make ur sis a shower cake–Those can be just one layer! AND- U can theme it to something she likes much like groom’s cakes are done! I did that for a cousin, and it wasn’t very stressful. I’d be too stressed to do the wedding cake too!!
    Oh! I also made small meringue cookies and they gave them as favors–the recipe has 3 ingredients and takes like 5 minutes–you can even put fillers btwn a couple and they come out looking like “footless” macaroons! It was my gift to them and she was so happy with it! :)

  17. Zoe Says:

    Hiya Karen

    Pleaaseeee update! I’m not done salivating, haha.

  18. ivn Says:

    Ah. I spotted Natasha’s post. I think children of today need to spell better before casting comments at their betters.

  19. Adeline Says:

    Hallo! I chanced upon your blog and fell in love with it! May I know if you hold classes and if so, can I please have the schedule? I’m new to baking and I am very inspired by you. Will appreciate if you can share your passion.

  20. shirley@kokken Says:

    Hi Karen, after reading your article, I got really curious about Twilight. Went out to buy the book yesterday- it has been hogging the bestseller’s chart for a while now. Am half way through it… up to this point, it appears to be a slightly glorified version of schoolgirlish narration of teenage romance - the writing isn’t particularly stellar but strangely…. it makes my heart flutter. I am dazzled and now I can’t put it down. :-)

  21. Bel Says:

    Where are you??? It has been 3 months :(

  22. wanyi Says:

    Hi there,

    I chanced upon your site while searching for cakes. Do you take orders? I’m interested in your strawberry sponge fingers cake. Do mail me if do take orders! :)

  23. Krist Says:

    Hi Karen, do you take in orders for fondant cakes? Do email me thankyou =)

  24. Gina M. Brown Says:

    Hello Karen,

    Sandra Salamony and I are co-authors of an upcoming book, 1000 Ideas for Decorating Cakes, Cupcakes & Cookies, to be published in November 2010 by Rockport Publishers/Quarry Books. I would like to invite you to submit photos of your favorite confection(s) for consideration. Please take a look at our website, http://1000CakesCupcakesCookies.com for more details. Would you please e-mail me for more information and details regarding this opportunity?

    Thank you in advance for participating,

    Gina M. Brown
    1000 Ideas for Decorating Cakes, Cupcakes & Cookies

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