Browsing Tag

tutorials

11th October 2016 // 2 Comments

Halloween Tutorial: Super Cute Fondant Bat!

Fondant bat tutorial for cute Halloween cakes and cupcakes by Juniper Cakery

We LOVE Halloween (to be honest though we love every single darn thing about this season). There’s a lot of things to love about the spooky holiday. Horror-movie marathons, The Walking Dead returning back to our screens, pumpkin spice anything, blustery weather, longer dark nights, creepy urban legends, crazy costumes and an injection of super cute versions of ‘ghoulish’ characters. This is where our little fondant bat friend comes in (we named her Nora… if you’re British and perhaps of a certain age range then this might make you chuckle). We thought it’d be cool to put together an effective, but pretty easy to create fondant bat tutorial. Honestly, we made this little lady in around 40 mins (and that was with extra pieces to shoot the steps with). One of the pluses is that her wings fold in around her (is it cold where we are after all) so there’s no need to panic about how to make them support themselves or stretch outwards delicately. Oh yes and those cute little fangs…

Fondant bat tutorial by Juniper Cakery

Fondant bat tutorial!

Materials and tools needed…

How to make a gum paste bat

How to make a fondant bat

01: The first step in our fondant bat tutorial is to roll a ball of the lighter lavender fondant / sugar paste. This is going to form your little bat’s head so make sure that it’s a size you like. For cute characters it helps to make the head a bit larger than the body so keep this in mind.

Tip!

Keep rolling if you find cracks or creases appearing in the fondant as the heat and friction from your hands will help smooth these over. If they’re not budging squish and re-mould the ball shape before rolling it around in your hands.

02: Take a small amount of the darker purple fondant / sugar paste and form this into a ball. Find the centre of your bat’s head and attach the snout a little higher up with a dab of edible glue.

03: With the sharp end of a cocktail stick create your bat’s little nostrils parallel to each other in the centre of the snout.

04: Indent eye sockets with a small ball tool and add in black sugar pearls for the eyes with a tiny amount of edible glue and a paintbrush.

Tip!

When it comes to adding tiny details, using minimal dabs of edible glue or even securing miniature accents in place we use nail art brushes. They’re slim, small and can reach into some hard to get places. Make sure they’re brand new, however, and haven’t been used on nails!

05: For the little smile use the curved side of a thin veining tool to smoothly etch it in place.

Little fondant bat tutorial by Juniper Cakery

06: To form the body roll some fondant into a chubby teardrop-like shape. Flatten the top tapered bit so that your little bat’s head will fit on nicely. Now carefully skewer the body with a cocktail stick. You can also use an uncooked spaghetti stick instead if you like. Make sure that you trim the stick down so that it doesn’t end up coming out through the top of your bat’s head.

How to make a cute fondant bat

07: Now add the bat’s head onto the body. Make sure that the cocktail stick had gone into the base of the head centrally or your bat won’t be stable and may end up leaning or falling over.

08: You can now add some cute details such as the blushing cheeks, tiny fangs and cute pointed ears! To blush we gradually brushed on pale pink petal dust in a small circular motion.

Tip!

When it comes to either colouring fondant / sugar paste or dusting colour on always start small and add a little more colour each time. It’s easier to add colour than remove it!

09: For the fangs cut 2 tiny triangles of white fondant and attach at the ends of the bat’s smile with the tiniest dot of edible glue.

10: To add the ears take two small balls of the darker purple fondant and form into tapered tear drops. Now stick each in place carefully with edible glue.

Sweet fondant bat tutorial by Juniper Cakery

11: Now for the wings! These are ridiculously easy. Roll out some of the darker purple fondant/ sugar paste. A thickness of around 3mm is good. Cut out a circle from the fondant with a round cookie or pastry cutter. The circle should be around the same size of your bat’s body.

12: Slice the circle into two halves and add the webbed look cut away pieces of the curved edge using the larger end of a small piping tip (the end of ours was around 1cm in diameter).

Adorable fondant bat tutorial by Juniper Cakery

13: Taking one half wing at a time wrap them around your bat’s body. Begin with the edge of a circle at the centre of it’s back and wind it around to the bottom part of the front. You should be working with the completely straight cut edge of the wings facing upwards towards your little bat’s head.

Adorable fondant bat perfect for Halloween cakes and cupcakes

Yay! Now you can add your utterly adorable fondant bat to whatever cupcakes or cakes you like ready for one amazing Halloween party. We really like the idea of lots of them all covering the top of a simply iced cake. They’d even look great nestled onto a naked cake to add a spooky but sweet theme to an All Hallow’s Eve dessert table.

Easy and cute fondant bat tutorial by Juniper Cakery

17th September 2016 // 0 Comments

Cake Delivery Survival Kit!

When it comes to working as a cake designer and artist you’re going to find that all sorts of things will help you manage the long hours on your feet, ridiculously painful claw hands from taping petals together, or the heart-stopping deliveries you’ll find yourself subject to. Being super prepared will always help reduce stress. Right now we are going to deal with the stress-fest that is (dum dum DUMMMM)… deliveries. Deliveries are insanely daunting. Afterwards, you may want to reach for the prosecco, take your stress out on fondant offcuts or even shoot zombies on the Wii (we have gold guns for this activity). However you want to unwind we’re pretty sure that having a go-to survival kit ready to help make deliveries relatively stress-free is going to be handy. Over the years we’ve adjusted and refined how we work and what we use so that there are always the following staples in our kit for deliveries and set-ups.

Cake delivery survival kit

Cake delivery survival kit!

01: Toolbox

We swap between our toolbox and a very reliable Longchamp Le Pliage tote bag and some airtight containers. The simple reasoning behind this is if we have an end of week lunch meeting booked (it’s better to have a handbag ready then rock in with a tool box) or if we’re going from one delivery to another. There’s also the actual design of the cake. Funnily enough naked cakes require bags of chilled flowers and a huge toolbox filled with floral picks, royal icing, acetate sheets etc. Huge fondant cakes with sugar flowers generally just need a small Tupperware box with smoothers, gloves, spirit level etc.

Craft Tool Box by Lunar Box

02: Cake smoother

Always pack two cake smoothers in your tool box. One is OK, but it’s a good idea to keep two to hand so that one can steady the cake at the side or top as you work with the other smoother. When it comes to smoothers we have a ridiculous amount. Two in our studio, two in the kitchen and two in our tool box. They are literally an item you can’t have too much of.

Cake smoother by Guardini

03: Scissors

We LOVE the huge gold scissors that we use as they can pretty much cut through anything, plus they’re obviously very stylish too. You’ll need them to snip down fresh florals or herbs for naked cakes, cut ribbon trimmings and even for opening packaging too. Make sure you keep them clean and if you think you may need them for multiple uses in a delivery then invest in some anti-bacterial wipes that are perfect for food prep surfaces like these Dettol wipes.

Gold scissors

04: Edible glue pot with brush

This one should be pretty self-explanatory. Cake design involves a lot of things that are near impossible or just plain finicky so there will be times you’ll need to touch up a decorative element if it’s slipped, needs fixing or if something like edible sugar pearls or jewels need replacing. Having an edible glue pot with a built in brush is too handy for words. You can also make your own! If you whip up homemade edible glue all you need to do is invest in some never-been-used nail polish bottles to store your glue in. Add a label with the date you made the glue and it’s use by and you’re ready!

Edible glue with brush by Culpitt

Empty unused nail polish bottles

05: Water bottle

Delivering and setting up a huge and heavy wedding cake sure is thirsty work especially during the sweltering Summer months of wedding season. We’ve been caught in the middle of deliveries absolutely parched, but these days we always make sure to have a filled water bottle that’s been chilling in the fridge all night. It feels like an absolute life saver when it’s the middle of July and you’re dressing a 4 tier naked cake in the middle of marquee in the countryside trust us!

Gold water bottle

06: Long nose pliers

There’s always that annoying place you can’t tweak or reach. You know what helps… long nose pliers! When it comes to placing fresh and sugar flowers into a cake you’re definitely going to need a pair of these. They grip really well and they’re long and slender so in 90% of cases you’ll easily be able to reach in and re-arrange pieces. They also come in pretty handy for replacing sugar gems, pearls or mouldings that need to be replaced and sit nestled underneath floral work.

Long nose pliers by SYZE

07: Paint brushes

A few spare paint brushes come in useful for cake deliveries. There’s always something you may have missed (pesky slip of gold paint on the cake or a little blossom dust that found itself on a sugar leaf etc). We like to use brand new nail art brushes because they were super slender and fine. You can use one of these babies to gently reach into tricky spots in order to tidy up any lose petal dust, edible paint or the odd bit of fondant that had lightly chipped off a sugar blossom.

Fine nail art paint brush set

08: Anti-bacterial hand gel

Remember that on a delivery you’re still handling cake. Call us high maintenance, but we not only wear brand new food safe gloves if we’re tweaking designs on location we also make sure we rub our hands down with some good anti-bacterial hand gel too. There are lots of good products out there, but you can get some in fun ‘flavours’ like vanilla sugar or pumpkin pie!

Vanilla sugar scented anti-bacterial get by Bath and Body Works

09: Angled palette knife

If you’re stacking the cake at the venue you’ll need either an angled palette knife or a small sharp knife to free the cake from it’s board in order to lift and build each tier. Palette knives also come in pretty handy for a variety of reasons… smoothing royal icing or piping gel onto the tiers to adhere the next in place, smoothing over a patch of buttercream on a semi-naked cake or even nudging some buttercream florals a millimetre to the left or right (for those finicky cake designers).

Angled palette knife by Ateco

10: Hand cream

Let’s face it if you’re a cake designer then the likelihood is that your hands are going to suck. Constantly working with sugar (fondant, buttercream etc) dries out your skin. Also, constantly working with your hands to carve, whisk, sculpt and ice each design is going to take its toll. Between deliveries, before bed or on days off treat your hands! One of our favourite brands of hand cream are Crabtree & Evelyn. They’re such gorgeous natural scents and they are super moisturising. For more intense treatment you should really give their 60 Second Repair Kit a try!

Rosewater hand cream by Crabtree & Evelyn

Pear & Magnolia hand cream by Crabtree & Evelyn

La Source 60 Second Hand Repair by Crabtree & Evelyn

26th March 2015 // 1 Comments

Hoppy Easter Cake Decorating: Quick and Cute Fondant Chick Tutorial!

For Easter or general spring-themed treats it’s easy to feel a little overwhelmed, but why not add a little extra sweetness to your cakes with our surprisingly pain-free tutorial for an adorable fondant (or gum paste) chick! This little cutie is perfect for adding a little character to novelty cupcakes or freshly baked cakes so read on for our step-by-step guide on how to make your very own lovable little bird.

Fondant chick tutorial for cakes and cupcakes by Juniper Cakery

How to create a fondant chick tutorial…

Materials needed:

  • Yellow fondant/sugar paste or gum paste/modelling paste
  • Small black fondant balls approx. 4mm in size
  • A little orange fondant
  • Pink petal dust
  • Paintbrush
  • Edible glue
  • Uncooked spaghetti stick
  • Blade tool
  • Small ball tool
  • Small blossom cutter

Step 1:
Make a small ball of yellow fondant approximately the size of a standard marble. This will be your chick’s body.

Create a sweet fondant chick with this tutorial by Juniper Cakery

Step 2:
Roll a larger ball of yellow fondant similar in size to a golf or ping pong ball. This will become the head.

Step 3:
Take a piece of spaghetti stick around 1cm longer than the first small ball of fondant you rolled and dip in edible glue before plunging carefully down the centre of your chick’s body (aka the smaller ball you rolled in step 1).

Step 4:
Paint the exposed part of the spaghetti with edible glue and attach the larger ball/ head onto the body.

Easter chick tutorial for cakes and cupcakes by Juniper Cakery

Step 5:
For the beak take a small ball of orange fondant and mould into a rounded triangular shape. Attach in the centre with edible glue.

Gum paste chick tutorial by Juniper Cakery

Tutorial for a cute edible chick by Juniper Cakery

Step 6:
Indent two circles onto the head just higher than the middle of the ball to create the eye sockets. Attach the black fondant balls with edible glue.

Make a cute chick from fondant with this tutorial by Juniper Cakery

Easter fondant or gum paste chick birt tutorial by Juniper Cakery

Step 7:
To add wings roll two equal sized balls of fondant a quarter of the size of the body. Flatten and smooth a little with your hands before pinching one side of each to form a tapered wing shape. Attach to the sides of the chick’s body with edible glue.

Step by step guide to making a fondant chick for Easter cupcakes by Juniper Cakery

Easter sugar paste chick tutorial by Juniper Cakery

Step 8:
For cute tiny feet roll out some orange fondant to a thickness of around 4mm and cut two blossom shapes with a cutter of each chick. Attach to the bottom of the body with three scallops or petals of the blossom poking out from underneath.

Modelling paste Easter chick tutorial by Juniper Cakery

Step 9:
If you want to add a cute little tuft of feathers on the head create three tiny teardrop shapes of yellow fondant and attach to the top with a dab of edible glue.

Step 10:
Finally add some lovely flushed cheeks with a little pink petal dust!

How to create a gum paste chick for Easter cake decorating by Juniper Cakery

Fondant Easter chick tutorial by Juniper Cakery

You can easily customise your fondant chick to suit so many different themed cakes and treats. Add tiny baseball caps or flags for sports themed designs, attach a bold fondant letter to them to personalise a fun party cake for someone special or change the colours (like blue for a Twitter addict)! 

25th March 2015 // 1 Comments

Hoppy Easter Cake Decorating: Chocolate Easter Egg Bark!

Decorating cakes doesn’t have to be hard. Sometimes simplicity and fun really helps (as well as knowing your limits). Our fabulously fuss-free chocolate Easter egg-inspired ‘bark’ is perfect for breaking up and using as gourmet style cupcake decorations and even better for adding a wonderfully dramatic effect to freshly buttercreamed cakes. 

Decorate cakes and cupcakes with this easy tutorial for Easter chocolate bark by Juniper Cakery

Tutorial for fun Easter chocolate bark by Juniper Cakery

Inspired by tempting hand-crafted Easter eggs that have been somewhat of a trend in the UK for a past few years our quick chocolate bark can be adjusted to suit any recipe or theme. We create bark for an array of bakery-style cakes we make such as peanut butter (with crushed Nutter Butter cookies and a dark chocolate drizzle) to lemon and white chocolate (with yellow tinted white chocolate drizzles and bright rainbow sprinkles) because it’s tasty, quick and eye-catching! Follow our tutorial below to make this impressive and edible cake and cupcake decor! 

Easy Easter chocolate bark tutorial by Juniper Cakery

How to make easy chocolate Easter egg bark!

Materials and ingredients needed:

Melt good quality chocolate to make Easter egg bark

Step 1:
In a microwave use a glass microwavable jug to melt your chocolate buttons or chips. Heat them for around a minute BUT keep checking them every 10-15 seconds or so giving them a good stir with a metal palette knife each time until all buttons are melted.

How to whip up quick chocolate bark tutorial by Juniper Cakery

Step 2:
Line a flat baking tray with greaseproof paper and spread your melted chocolate thickly on top using the small angled palette knife.

Make Easter chocolate bark with fun sprinkles and candies

Tutorial for fun chocolate bark by Juniper Cakery

Step 3:
Now for the super fun part! Add sprinkles, crushed candies, cookie crumbs, tasty chocolate chips etc on top. To help seal these delicious toppings in use melted chocolate drizzles on top.

Create pretty chocolate bark with this handy tutorial by Juniper Cakery

Step 4:
Take your tray of tempting chocolate bark and place in the freezer for up to 30 mins to set fully. You can set your bark aside at room temperature for a few hours, but utilising a freezer helps speed up the wait a little.

Pink and yellow mini egg chocolate bark by Juniper Cakery

Step 5:
Remove from the freezer and use your hands to break the slab of chocolate into large shards (to decorate smaller items such as slices of opera cake, buttercream piped cupcakes etc break into smaller pieces).

Strawberry milkshake birthday cake by Juniper Cakery

Step 6:
Now you can use the colourful pieces to adorn your freshly buttercreamed cakes and cupcakes!

Strawberry Milkshake Cake by Juniper Cakery

How to make simple Easter chocolate bark to decorate cakes and cupcakes with

Easy right? We bet you’re looking at one deliciously gorgeous cake right now. The best thing about creating chocolate bark and decorating with it is its adaptability. Its amazing to adjust and try out new sprinkles, sweets and chocolates for different occasions. We just can’t wait to make rocky road bark for chocolate fudge cakes or tasty s’mores inspired shards (mini marshmallows, chocolate pieces, graham crackers etc) for a toasted marshmallow and chocolate bakery cake!

9th January 2014 // 2 Comments

Our Tutorials in Cake Decoration Heaven!

We’re very excited to show you two of our cupcake decorating tutorials featured in the Spring 2014 issue of Cake Decoration Heaven! This issue is packed full of wonderful spring inspired projects to help create lovely Easter cupcakes, floral festooned gateaux and butterfly adorned mini cakes! Why not head to your nearest supermarket for a copy. Be sure to check pages 25 and 63 for our adorable little lamb cupcake topper (perfect for St. David’s Day and children’s parties) tutorial and our piece on how to create a glamorous anemone flower (ideal for wedding season and afternoon tea cupcakes)!

cakedecoratingheavenmagazinespring2014