Making small figurines for cake decorating is utterly vital for some projects! There is any number of little ones out there who’d absolutely love to have a specific character atop their birthday cake, and being able to make that a reality will surely make you a favorite!
The best way to make small figurines for cake toppings is to use fondant. The process of sculpting is best done with that as it can be bought from the supermarket, it is relatively inexpensive, and it’s also fairly easy to sculpt with.
The actual sculpting process is fairly simple – start with the largest part of the body and make your way out from that. You may need to use some toothpicks to hold things together, but it’s a fairly simple process all in all.
There are, however, a few things that you should certainly know about if you’re making figurines for cake decorating. Keep on reading to become a cake decorating master!
What To Use To Make Figures For Cakes
Making the figurines is a simple process, but before you get started there are a few things that you’ll need to bear in mind: making the models is much more about prep work than you might expect.
Firstly, gather all the ingredients that you’ll need. This will be a block or two of frosting, some icing sugar to roll it out on, and any food coloring that you might need. When you’re working with frosting, we’d recommend tracking down some food coloring paste. It’s generally a little more expensive, but it goes a long way and achieves very intense colors too.
Once you’ve gathered up all of your ingredients, you’re ready to get started! For the purposes of this short article, we’re going to assume that you’re making a small figure of a human since you might want to do that for a birthday or anniversary cake.
Alternatively, you could change our instructions to suit a cartoon character, if you needed to. The only main difference would be the skin color, which could be a tone not at all similar to a human skin tone.
How Do You Use Fondant For Beginners[Step By Step Guide]
For a simple model, the best place to start is with, essentially, a cone made out of fondant. This will form the main body of the figure and will serve as their torso and stomach.
- Begin by taking your fondant block and rolling it out to your desired thickness, we would suggest roughly three centimeters and cut a rough arch shape out of that. If you’ll be making a particular item of clothing, you could cut that step out from later on, and simply dye this piece of fondant the appropriate color.
- After you’ve made the torso, you ought to start decreasing in size for the upcoming body parts. Firstly, make the head. This is very simple, and fondant is very forgiving.
- Simply portion off roughly two-thirds as much fondant as you used for the torso, and roll into a ball. A few fingerprints on the ball don’t matter too much but try to avoid creating any marks from decorating tools.
- Connect the head to the body. If the fondant is tacky, it should simply stick right on. Alternatively, you could use a toothpick to secure the two body parts together.
- Once the head is on the body, make the arms. You’ll simply need two flesh-tone cylinders, which you can press onto the sides of the body, hanging straight down. Again, you could make these arms the same color as the torso to avoid clothing later on. Just make sure to use the same amount of dye relative to the volume of fondant, or the arms and torso won’t match up.
- You can then create some legs, and press them into the base of the figure. Simply roll two appropriately sized cylinders of fondant out, and then make sure they’re sat in the correct place. You could forgo this step, if you so desired, and keep the figure more simplistic overall. The choice is yours, truly.
- Once you’ve created all the appendages, it’s time to start adding detail! Does the person you’re making wear glasses, have hair, or a signature necktie? Well, you’ll have to make all of those things! Start off by dying all of the fondant the colors that you’ll need it to be. For example, you may need to die a portion black for hair, and a separate portion yellow-gold for glasses.
- Then, once the fondant is dyed, go about making the individual defining elements of the person. Roll out the fondant much more thinly than you have done before, and sculpt it into an appropriate shape. If there is a particularly small item that you’re making – for example a scarf or hat, we would recommend sculpting on a fridge-cold plate. Whenever the fondant becomes a little too pliable, you can then place the plate back in the fridge – this will firm up the fondant, allowing you to create finer details with more accuracy.
- Once you’ve created all of the various defining features of the person or character that you’re sculpting, they’ll need to be attached to the main body of the figurine. While you can use toothpicks and similar tools to attach larger pieces of fondant together, you cannot do that for smaller features.
- We would recommend gently dabbing small areas of fondant with small amounts of water – this will make the fondant immediately more tacky, meaning that you can stick on eyes, ears, and other features easily!
Why Is My Fondant Not Sticking Together
If the fondant that you’re using still doesn’t stick, then it may be because there isn’t enough surface area of fondant to stick to anything.
Therefore, we would suggest gently scoring the underside of a given piece of fondant, and then wetting it. The increased surface area will lead to greater overall adhesion.
If the fondant that you’re using still doesn’t stick, even after you’ve scored it and wet it, try making a basic simple syrup with one part water and one part sugar. Using this as an adhesive is very easy (as it has a very thin consistency and is very strong), plus it’s really easy to make!
Other Tips and Tricks When Making Fondant figurines
- Keep figurines short and fat.
- Fondant, while definitely strong enough to support its own weight, cannot support additional weight which is pressing down upon it. By this, we mean that you could not make thin legs out of fondant and expect them to hold up a larger body. For this reason, keeping your figurines short and fat will mean that they are hugely less likely to collapse in any way, especially if they’re kept cold.
- Keep figurines cold.
- A large proportion of what makes up fondant icing is fat. Almost all fats which are solid at room temperature can become very delicate at slightly higher temperatures, for example, if you’re working with them a lot and heat is transferring from your fingers. Therefore, making sure to keep all the figurines cool whenever you can is a great idea.
- Wear gloves.
- This is a surprising tip, but one that we’ve heard a lot. When working with fondant, you can heat it up with the heat from your hands, and alter the chemical structure of it with oils from your fingers. Therefore, wearing thin latex gloves is sure to help with the overall process greatly. It will reduce any temperature transfer, and you can ensure that you won’t alter the makeup of the fondant.