Champagne bottle

Happy birthday to me! Cake was white chocolate mud cake – 6 x 8″ cakes filled with white chocolate ganache, the rest was carved styrofoam. Cake is supported by a 16mm dowel right up through the centre of the cake, which was screwed into the board for stability. The labels were edible images designed in powerpoint and printed out, and I backed these with 2mm thick white fondant before adhering to the black fondant the entire cake was covered in, to avoid the problem I have had in the past where an edible image placed on black fondant ends up splotchy from the black colour seeping through into image. The “medals” all represented significant milestones in my life, ranging from dux/valedictorian of my high school, through my two degrees, through the births of my children. The “vintage” of the bottle was 1972 since it is my 40th, and the back label declares “drinking well and aging well”, “contains 0.08 alcohol” and a few other similar messages.

The black fondant was wrapped around the bottle horizontally in one piece. The gold “foil” of the bottle was done with 4 separate sections of ivory fondant which was then painted gold. I hand painted rather than airbrushing as I didn’t think the gold airbrush colour I had was lustrous enough, and I didn’t want to put the lustre dust/alcohol mix into my airbrush as the dust can damage the needle in the airbrush. I added “seams” like you see on a real bottle over the join by using the thin flat attachment on my sugarcraft gun.

For the first time ever I took various photos of the “in progress” bottle so you can see how I carved and constructed the cake, which are shown below.

Shoebox cake

70th birthday cake for Carole – lovely lady who looked 55 at the most! Cake is orange-almond gluten free. All items are edible except the “bling” – the “70″ and the sparkles over the strap. There is also a wooden skewer in the heel of the shoe supporting it and holding it onto the cake. The shoe took approximately 1 week to dry. It is based on my own massive size-12 shoes, so is quite large, the cake measured 20cmx30cmx10cm (roughly A4 size). I carved a mold to dry the shoe over from styrofoam to give the nice curve in the sole – as I’ve seen a lot of these shoes that have quite sharp angles from the things they are laid over that you wouldn’t see in a real shoe. The other option suggested by many websites is that you use a real shoe – something cheap that you can rip apart – but I didn’t really want to be drying something people would eat over a real shoe (even if it was brand new and never worn :-) ).

The shoe is made out of fondant stengthened with tylose, and painted with Crystalline. My first time using Crystalline, it has a similar consistency to piping gel but is slightly thinner and paints on better (doesn’t leave such defined “brush” marks as piping gel does). For overall flawless gloss effect I still prefer Canola oil but this is a temporary effect that needs to be re-painted just prior to serving so not practical unless the decorator is going to be attending the event or delivering very shortly before cutting.

The C “Label” on the shoe was meant to represent “brand Carole” and was a last minute addition after the shoe snapped in the middle. This label covered up the break nicely and held the shoe together. I learned a couple of lessons with this one: make the sole thicker so it is stronger, and also make a spare shoe. I think it never hurts to have a spare one on hand for those last minute orders we all get but often can’t take because there is not enough prep time or you are busy with other orders – if you have a spare on hand it takes a large amount of the work out.

The board is covered in white vinyl and there is a black ribbon around the edge.

Shiseido 140th Anniversary

Cake for Shiseido 140th Anniversary celebration held at MCA in Sydney. Cake is white chocolate mud with dark chocolate ganache at client request – first time I have ever provided a cake tasting and it went down very well. Client requested specific PMS colour match – managed to get the colour pretty exact by requesting a sample of advertising material (they sent a marketing bag) and matching to that. Cake itself was a 50cm diameter monster of a cake. Not having an oven this large, I made this by cooking 8 individual 10 inch cakes, then stacking and carving those. If I have another of these to do I will make the cakes larger – probably 12 inch – to give myself more carving room. Lettering was done by printing out logo to the required size on edible paper, which was then placed on gumpaste and cut out – got the shape well but wasn’t the best finish in terms of crisp colour so I ended up peeling the edible paper off painstakingly. Next time I would use a very old method learnt at community college (!) where you cut templates out of plastic and cut around those. Board was a custom cut as it was 24″ (or 600mm) square – as cake boards don’t come in this size this was MDF from Bunnings. I then covered this in black vinyl myself and added feet. The vinyl was a bit difficult to work with on account of it being folded too much, pulling tightly did not sufficiently remove creases so I ironed on a medium heat with a tea-towel over the top and it came out nice and smooth.

Happy birthday, Mr President.. Marilyn Monroe cake

Marilyn Monroe cake for Michael’s 70th birthday. Cake is dark chocolate mud with dark chocolate ganache. Marilyn is a printed image, in a “frame” – grey fondant with imprint from curly imprint mat, hand-painted in silver.

Rainbow butterfly

Rainbow butterfly cake. My first attempt at a rainbow cake inside – white chocolate mud cake filled with white chocolate ganache. All 7 colours of the rainbow inside turned out really well. The outside was a gold butterfly on the sides and body with rainbow on the wings and gold highlights – all airbrushed, I am loving the airbrush! Gives a finish you just can’t get any other way.

Elegant Wedding

3 tier cake for my brother and sister in law’s wedding. Tiers are 14″, 11″ and 8″. Bottom tier is dark chocolate mud, middle tier is caramel mud, and top tier is rich fruit cake (which was kept for first anniversary). Cake was made in NZ and required transport of 30kg of equipment, couverture chocolate, marzipan, and the fruit cake tier from Australia.

Top tier was decorated for reception with fresh flowers, and a model John Deere tractor (wedding was on a farm :-) ), as can be seen below.

Chef’s Hat


Chef’s Hat cake for Maddi’s 5th birthday. Hat is a 2-tier chocolate mud cake. Bottom cake is a round cake, top cake is a carved cake to make the hat “puffs”. There is a support dowel up through the middle of the cake since it is tall and the top cake is bigger than the bottom cake.

Jasmine and Aladdin castle

Persian castle, design from Debbie Brown book, only 3 times as big as the one in the book. Because of the size, turrets and onion domes are carved from styrofoam. Figurines are not from the book as they are Jasmine and Aladdin. Cake is dark chocolate mud.

Pool party


Pool party cake based on an old AWW design, for Cameron’s 8th birthday. Cake is white chocolate mud cake enhanced with vanilla flavour, filled with white chocolate ganache. All items edible (save for 1 toothpick assisting the girl figurine to stay upright).


Buzz Lightyear

Johnny’s 3rd birthday cake for his Toy Story theme party. My first 3D standing up figurine, which proved to be significantly harder than a sitting up 3D figurine! Cake was too large to fit in my light tent, hence the amateurish background to the photo.

Legs are made from 25mm dowel screwed into the base board and into the board holding the body, which was the actual cake. There is another 16mm dowel going up through the middle of the cake part, screwed into the board holding the body. Feet are modelled from LCMs, legs from white modelling chocolate. Arms, head, and bottom are polystyrene covered in fondant (attached with piping gel).

Moon cake used a soccer ball tin, indentations made with measuring spoons and whole thing airbrushed in silver to give a “silvery moon” look and to highlight the indentations.

Buzz cake is chocolate mud and moon cake is caramel mud. Tried using caramel ganache instead of white chocolate ganache on this one, was very yummy but harder to work with. My definite preference is for white chocolate ganache.

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