This was the first cake I covered in fondant. It’s the first one from the Wilton fondant classes I took at my local craft store. The one that started my descent into cake decorating mania! It was the easiest cake I’ve done and also the quickest. Most cakes take a few days to complete. There are decorations that need time to dry and harden so they can retain their shape. (On this cake it was the bow loops and the curly things.) And then you need time to bake, frost, and cover the cake. I made the decorations and baked the cake on one day, then assembled and decorated it the next day.
The first task was to color part of the fondant blue. People talk about gel colors staining things to the point where you think just opening the bottle is enough to permanently stain everything in a 30 mile radius. I haven’t found that to be true. Yes, my hands start out turning blue or red or whatever color but, as I work it, the fondant gets more colorful and my hands get less. I think it might have something to do with me using Crisco on my work surface rather than cornstarch. I kneaded the fondant and added the gel until I got the shade I wanted then rolled out it to an even thickness. (I highly recommend the rolling pins and guide rings from Wilton for this. You put a guide ring on either end of the rolling-pin and let them do the work of making everything even.) I used an angled off set spatula to cut different width strips of the blue fondant. I rolled each one around a straw to curl and set them aside to dry. Next up were the bow loops. I cut a wide strip of blue then folded it in half and scrunched the ends together to look like a bow. Once I got the loop shape I wanted, I stuffed some paper towel bits in the openings so the loops would dry that way. The rest of the ribbons and the flower centers would get rolled out later. It was still day one of the process so this was the day the actual cake got baked and set aside to cool.
Day two started with frosting the cake and covering it with the white fondant. (There’s an earlier post about how I do that here.) Then I rolled out the remaining blue fondant and cut out the rest of the ribbon pieces and the blue centers of the flowers. Most people use water to attach fondant pieces to the base fondant but I like vanilla extract instead. It evaporates faster than water so there’s less chance of the pieces sliding away. I used a tiny paintbrush to dab the vanilla on each ribbon strip and then put the strip on the cake. The ribbons go on first, then the tails of the bows, and then the loops. The curly bits got fitted in amongst the bow pieces, again using vanilla to secure them.
Going back to the white fondant, I used a flower cutter to get the shape. I used the vanilla extract to attach the flowers to the cake. I cut some of the flowers in half and put them on the bottom of the cake to make it look more like a gift wrapped in flowered paper. I used the flat edge of the angled spatula to push the cut flowers closer to the cake so they would look like they were continued under it. I glued the blue centers on with the vanilla and I was done!