Sunday, April 1, 2012

Pig Cake Fondant Tutorial

I was asked for tips on making a pig cake--so since I thought more could benefit, I thought I'd give the information I used to create Lydia's cake with fondant.  Lydia's birthday cake was my first attempt, and although I thought it was rather easy, there are a few things I wish someone would have told me :)

The picture I found online as inspiration.
Since Lydia was in love with Charlotte's Web--I decided to make her a pig cake.  I searched for "pig cakes" and ideas and found this pictures online.  I actually pinned it to my board on Pinterest when searching for the "perfect" pig cake.  Since I thought this one was the cutest (and easiest looking), I began to research fondant.

Now--I've always thought that fondant tasted.....well....pretty nasty.  I've always disliked it on cakes, so after doing a search for "fondant that tastes good" I found recommendations for marshmallow fondant and a pre-made product called Satin Ice (That's the stuff the Cake Boss uses!).

After pricing the Satin Ice at the party store, I decided to call my friend Tonya who had worked with fondant.  "Use marshmallow fondant" was her reply--"You can do it."  So I took her advice :)  Thanks Tonya!

FIRST-- The recipe
I found this Fondant Recipe  online and followed it, almost.  I used the marshmallows and used 1 tblsp water and one tablespoon caro syrup (I probably read that as an alternative somewhere--but 2 tblsp water would be fine too, I'm sure).  I would not use more than 2 tablespoons liquid though!

After mixing in 3/4 of the bag of powdered sugar--it is STICKY! and gooey, and almost crumbly.  Keep mixing!  Keep greasing your hands with crisco and pouring in the extra 1/4 of the bag of sugar.  It will get to the right consistency.  **It was around this point that I had the thought..."I guess I will be going to the party store in the morning to buy the expensive Satin Ice!...I'm glad I didn't!  I'm too stubborn to not complete my task!

When it appeared to not be sticky anymore, I began to roll it out.  It quickly became sticky again ARGH!!  Just keep adding more and more powdered sugar and kneading it.  I also poured the sugar out on the surface (which happened to be my kitchen table--because our counters are tile and not smooth).  After continually stretching, adding more sugar, and stretching, etc.  I rolled it out without it sticking.

APPLYING the fondant to the cake:
Definitely watch this video:  You Tube Video--Fondant application
You can see we are no professionals here! I used regular rolling  pin (not special fondant one) and used a measuring tape to size out the fondant :)
No need to re-invent the wheel :)   Make sure you have the right size diameter of rolled fondant and follow her instructions on the video.  It worked like a charm!  (Of course, the video advertises the "mat" which I obviously didn't use, nor need for my little experiment--but her tips on putting the fondant on the cake are awesome!)  *The fondant will stretch out when applying.  You can see in the above picture I had a lot of excess, but my rolled out fondant was only 2" greater than my diameter, originally.

DETAILS of the pig cake:
1.  I used 2 9 inch pans and 1 5 inch pan.  I used a 10" round cardboard bottom.  I wished the store had 11" but the 10 worked.
2.  I used this recipe using a cake mix which was perfect for all 3 pans.  The bottom was 2 layers (hence the 2 pans) and the top 5 inch was one big layer.
3.  Make sure you leave out a little fondant for the white eyes and the black pupils.  Best way to make eyes is to roll fondant into an egg shaped "ball" and then flatten it out.  I tried to cut out the circles at first, and they were imperfect, but later did the ball "smashing" and it was better.
4.  The nose is 2 rice crispy treats mushed and molded into the right size, covered in frosting and then covered in fondant.  The nostrils are made using the tip at end of a wooden spoon.  **DON'T do like I did and punched the nostrils before cleaning the end.  I really don't use wooden spoons (but we all have them) and it had dust on the end.  I actually had to redo the nose because he was dirty.  I didn't want our pig to be dirty ;)
My kitchen table mess.  Of course, this cake was just for my family--so it was acceptable ;)
5.  The tail was just rolled up fondant and the ears were rolled out and cut into a triangular shape.  You can add a tad bit of water to get them to stick in the right place. And mouth was rolled black fondant.
6.  For the cheek color I just took a little bit of the coloring on my finger and rubbed into cheeks mixed with a little water.
7.  I just used random cheesecake buttercream icing recipe to cover cake and to fill 2 layers at bottom. Of course chocolate or any other icing could be used.  I would use a decorators recipe though, because it firms up nicely.  Do not use store bought icing.
8.  Apply fondant to each layer separately.  Use icing as "glue" to hold layers together and to hold nose on top.
9.  I may have had too much icing on the cake because my pig got "pudgy" the next day when the icing began to come out between the layers.

Overall, it was really easy and so much fun!  And I think Lydia liked it!  Would I do it again....hmmm....probably :)

My finished cake.  I used red ribbon to go with the farm scene.  Soo cute!!

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Hey--It's me. I'm a simple, crafty, adventure loving wife and mom who loves to learn about almost anything. I enjoy the blogging community and love learning and growing from reading other's experiences. I became an RN (after being a teacher) and then realized I had lost the creative outlet of my classroom. I've always enjoyed arts and being creative, so I began sewing, smocking, soap making, and delving into other new hobbies! :) I live with my wonderful husband who is my best friend and our sweet little girl. Together we have entrusted our lives to Christ and His purposes. So through this blog, I invite you to walk along with me and my family through our daily adventures!