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This site is dedicated to sharing what we have learned with you! Enjoy our tutorials, and if you have a question please feel free to ask! I know one of our sugar enthusiasts will either know or try to find the answer.
We all have something to share...and we all have something to learn!


Modeling Chocolate Roses

Modeling Chocolate Roses
Check out Mame Recckio Wolfe's tutorial for modeling chocolate roses! Amazing! Thank you Mame!



Tuesday, December 30, 2008

How to Make a SugarPaste Princess Crown--- by Sharon Zambito

When I say Princess, you say Cakes.....
Me: Princess
You: Cakes!
Me: Princess
You: Cakes!

OK, so I get a little excited about cake.

And princess cakes have been a very popular design for a few years now. I have made more than I can count. I get asked quite often how I make the gumpaste crowns, so here are some step by step pictures I took many years ago. The pictures are rather craptastic, due to the fact that I had a craptastic camera at the time, and had no idea how to take a good picture back then. But I think you can get the idea of what I am doing in them. (PS. Craptastic = if crap was fantastic, this would be it)


Paper template:

Cut the metal rim off one end of your can (like a shortening can; I use the gumpaste mix can):

Wrap parchment paper (or wax paper) around your can and tape it in place. The end with the metal lid still on goes down on the counter:

Tape parchment or wax paper down well on counter (you do not need the blue mat under it) and grease it well with shortening:

Roll out gumpaste onto the wax paper and lay the paper template over it and trace over it to cut out the crown shape:

Apply shortening to the surface of the cut out crown with a brush:

Cut the wax paper with a knife along the bottom edge of the crown, and proceed to cut out the rest of a rectangle around the crown. Do not cut out the wax paper along the exact shape of the crown, except along the bottom edge:

Take the can and roll it onto the crown, lining up the base of can with the bottom edge of the crown. The greased side of the crown is sticking to the parchment paper wrapped around the can:

After crown is in place, wrapped all the way around the can, stand it up. Wax paper is still in place on top of the crown:

Gently peel off the wax paper from the top side of the crown. The side of the crown that was face down on the counter, touching the wax paper, is now the upside of the crown and exposed to the air:

Let that sit and dry for 1-2 days. Do not rush it or you will surely break it. (Ask me how I know):

When the crown is dry enough to hold its shape, grab the top of the parchment paper extending above the can and gently slide all of it together off the can:

Sit that on a board and then gently peel the parchment paper off of the inside of the crown:

Let that sit and dry for a few more days. When the crown is really firm you may need to wipe the excess shortening off the inside of the crown, and then dust it with a tad of cornstarch:

When fully dry, you can airbrush or paint it silver or gold. (This photo below is a lie. I was not actually airbrushing it at this time because I had to hold the airbrush with my left hand while my right hand took the picture. Impressive, eh?):

Then you can add plastic craft jewels, or even better, make edible ones!:

Pretty easy but you have to plan a few days ahead at least. Make 2, because if you make only one I guarantee you will break it. (Ask me how I know.) I like to use the Wilton gumpaste mix in the can for these because it not very elastic and rubbery, and that cuts easier than other types I have tried.
Here is a template for the crowns shown above. This is only one half of the crown. And you will have to enlarge this template to the right size for your cake:

Here is another template, the first one I ever made, an older design:

So there you have it! Now go get to making crowns!
Lots of crowns!

All kinds of crowns!
We love Princess cakes!!


Want to see more of Sharon Zambito's work? Then visit

And to order Sharon's fantastic instructional DVDs and other great decorating supplies, visit

Tutorial and Photos by Sharon Zambito-SugarEd Productions- copyright 2008
This material may not be republished or reproduced in any manner without the expressed permission of the author.
This material was used with the permission of Sharon Zambito, SugarEd Productions.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

How To Make Victorian Style Gilded Gumpaste Fruit

Victorian style Gilded Gumpaste Fruit


Firm Gumpaste
Green Royal Icing in Piping Bag
Red, Green, Orange and Brown Gel Colors
Gold, Silver, Champagne, Copper, Super Pearl luster dusts
Gum Glue
Assorted Plastic Fruit
PME cutter or Pizza cutter
Wire cutters
32 gauge wire
28 gauge white covered wire
White floral tape


Pine Boughs

Cut 32 gauge wire into 3-1/2” lengths. Place together 8 wires and wrap the middle with floral tape. Spread the wires at the ends.

Insert each wired end into the tip of the piping bag and withdraw gently. Set aside to dry. When dry, fold the ends together and set aside.



Cut 28 gauge covered wire into 3” lengths. Make a hook at the end of each wire. Roll a ½” oblong ball of gumpaste. Moisten the hook end of the wire with gum glue and insert into the end of gumpaste grape and turn a quarter turn to secure.Moisten the hook end of the wire with gum glue; insert into the end of gumpaste grape and turn a quarter turn to secureMoisten the hook end of the wire with gum glue and insert into the end of gumpaste grape and turn a quarter turn to secure.. Pinch and smooth the end of the grape to the wire. Set aside to dry. Twist together the grapes in groups of 3. Wrap 3-4 grape clusters together with white floral tape. Paint grapes with Super Pearl mixed with everclear, then brush ends with gold luster dust.

Gilded Fruit

Color your gumpaste to match your fruit. Orange for oranges, red for apples, green for pears, ect.

Liberally dust one side of plastic fruit with cornstarch. Roll out gumpaste on a well dusted board into a circle about 1/8” thickness. Dust underside of gumpaste well with cornstarch and lay over one side of plastic fruit, smoothing
To fit over half of fruit. Using your PME or Pizza Cutter, Cut in a straight line on the half. Lift to make sure your gumpaste is not sticking and lay back on fruit to dry. When dry, Mix your gold, silver and champagne luster dusts with everclear and paint onto fruit. Steam fruit to set in the color.
Attach to cake using white royal icing piped around the edge.

Gilded Pinecone

Color Gumpaste brown, and roll into a 1” oblong ball.
Placing scissors at a 90 degree angle, snip V shaped using the very end of your scissor blades. Repeat the process just under the first row, alternating the cuts to create the pinecone seeds. Continue the process until the cone is cut all way to the end. Using a small spatula or knife, make a vertical indention on the middle of each seed.
Set aside to dry. Mix copper lusterdust with everclear, and lightly paint the pincone. Steam to set in color. Attach to cake using white royal icing.

For more flair and interest, add pearlized gumpaste green leaves, gumpaste pink roses, and pearlized gumpaste feathers to your guilded fruit groupings.

Tutorial by Jacque Benson 2008-all rights reserved
Photography by Morgan Jackson 2008-all rights reserved

This material may not be republished or reproduced in any manner without the expressed permission of the author.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

How to make a wired gumpaste swan

You need the following: Two appropriately sized cutters. These ones are amaryllis cutters from Tinkertech Two. Any lily-like cutter will work for this. A chestnut veiner - or similar. White florist tape and florist wire, gauge 20 and gauge 24. As you can see, I only had green. I think I might have to go shopping for cake toys again soon. What a burden (or not). You also need gumpaste, but you probably already figured that one out. And gum glue and a fine pair of scissors.

Start with the neck. Roll a sausage and shape a beak at the end. Dip a piece of gauge 20 wire in gum glue and wire the neck. Curve it and leave it to dry for 24 hours.

For the wings, roll out gumpaste on a grooved board and cut out 4 large shapes. If you use curved cutters, like here, make sure you have two facing each way. Dip pieces of gauge 24 wire in gum glue and put all the feathers on wire. Then vein them. Make sure you vein them so the dents are on the front and the wire on the back.

Now take your pair of fine scissors and cut the edges so it will look like feathers. With a ball tool, work the outer edges so they curve and look more like feathers. I forgot to take a photo of that, sorry.

For the tail, make 3 smaller feathers the same way as you made the larger ones. Leave all 7 feathers to dry overnight. Curve them over something. An empty Pringles can is the perfect size for the larger feathers (and a great excuse to eat Pringles) and for the tail feathers, an empty roll for kitchen towels work just fine. Or a 4.5 oz Americolor bottle. Leave to dry for 24 hours. Remember, drying times may vary from place to place. Humidity is very low in Denmark right now, so I only had to let them dry for 6 hours, but I know some of my friends from southern parts of USA might need much longer drying time, especially in the summer.

When everything is nice and dry, it's time to assemble. It's quite simple, almost like assembling a lily. With the neck as a center, attach the feathers in pairs, two large feathers on each side.

The tail feathers are taped together as one, then bent at an angle and taped to the neck. I managed to break a feather in the process - always make extra!

Here's a top view of the assembled swan, complete with two and a half tail feathers. These swans are best stored like here, with the wire stuck in a small jar with dried beans. This way they won't break or tilt.

If you wish, you can paint the beaks and make eyes with an edible marker. They make for a great wedding cake topper. I cut drinking straws to appropriate length, and stick them in the cake. Then I stick the wire in the straw, so it wont come in contact with the cake.

You can make the swan any color you like. Have fun!

Sif Jenson -2008
all rights reserved

This material may not be republished or reproduced in any manner without the expressed permission of the author.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Scratch Baking Tips (and troubleshooting too!)

I know that sometimes it seems like it is WAY to hard to bake from scratch, or just easier to use a mix, but really, it's not!

I been baking for 20 years (I like saying it that way, makes me feel "experienced"!) and although things sometimes still go awry. I think I am pretty good at it.. sooooooo here are a few tips and troubleshooting items.

~ use an oven thermometer- this is true no matter if you are baking from scratch or a mix. Ovens can be "off" so you want to make sure that you are baking at the proper temperature.

~ FOLLOW THE RECIPE- baking is alchemy, it is not like cooking where you can just substitute things all willy nilly in the recipe! (I tell my friend that all the time) If you want to try a recipe, try it the way it is written the first time. Once you get an understanding of what the writer intended then you can tweak it to your liking. Joyofbaking.com is a good reference for ingredients in baking and their purpose. Baking soda and baking powder are two different animals, you can't just sub one for the other.

~when making a "butter" cake (as in not a sponge or foam cake) there are multiple mixing methods you can use, the most common being the creaming method. I use room temp butter and eggs, but if you don't you will need to cream your butter and sugar for a longer amount of time. The butter/sugar mixture should be light in color and increased in volume. I also add my eggs on medium (4 on my 4.5 quart kitchenaid and 2 or 4 on my 5 quart kitchenaid). count for about 20 seconds between adding each egg so that it is fully incorporated. (the eggs, not being fully incorporated could result in a tough cake)

~when adding the dry ingredients, add them in at LOW speed on the mixer, you could even mix by hand, but I am usually making too much cake for that! you don't want to overmix which could result in a tough cake which brings me to troubleshooting

***My cake has pulled WAY away from the pan and kinda dips in the side****
this is usually caused by too much liquid. The recipe could be incorrect or your measurements could be off.

***My cake has big holes (or tunnels) in it***
This is usually the result of overmixing, which affects the cakes structure

*** My cake is 'gummy' or has a dark line in the middle***
the cake has "fallen" which means that the structure was not strong enough. this could be caused by many things such as overmixing/undermixing, oven too high, which caused the cake to rise but not be completely baked

the best advice I can give when baking from scratch is to pay close attention to the recipe and don't leave the kitchen to do other things.. (ASK ME HOW I KNOW)

Baking Tips by Samele Thorner
All rights reserved 2008
This material may not be republished or reproduced in any manner without the expressed permission of the author.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Baby Animals Cake

This adorable Baby Faces Cake, designed by Mame Recckio-Wolfe, was a finalist in the 2007 American Style Competition. It was featured, along with the tutorial, in the October/November Issue of American Cake Decorating Magazine.

Supplies Needed:Patterns (Follows Tutorial)
Cookie Sheets or Cake Boards
Waxed Paper
Royal Icing (2 cups)
Paste/gel coloring: brown, red
Deep pink and yellow
Parchment or Pastry bags
Piping tips: #3, #5, & #12
Art Brush
Rolling Pin
Textured Pin (optional)
Ribbon Cutter (optional)
Craft Knife
Unused hair roller
Corn Syrup (glucose)
Orchid Luster dust (optional)
Lemon Extract (optional)
Black food-coloring marker

1. Make several copies of each animal face pattern and the Onesie. Attach them to a firm, smooth surface that can be set aside. Cover the patterns with waxed paper and tape the in place. Prepare a batch of royal icing, reserving 1/5 of the icing as white. Then divide the remainder into 4 portions, tinting beige, brown, deep pink and yellow. Load a small handful of icing into a small piping bag fit with tip #3, and then pipe the outline of each figure, beginning with the detail colors first. Do not leave any gaps in the outlines. Use a damp brush to help correct mistakes and join lines together. Leave off the noses on the lion, cat, and giraffe for now, as well as the pink in the rabbit’s ears.
.2. Add a drop of water, one at a time, to the remaining colored icing until a ribbon of icing melts into the icing below it within 10 seconds. Use top #2 to flood each outline, building it up until the icing has a puffy, raised appearance. Allow the decorations to dry at least 24 hours. If you choose to flood the backside of each face, do that now. Otherwise, add the remaining facial detail with undiluted royal icing

Handy tip- remove the dried floodwork from the waxed paper with a thin, flexible spatula. Alternatively, pull the paper to the edge of a table or countertop. Pull the paper slowly down over the edge, catching the piece as it comes free with your other hand.
3. Dilute a small wad of gumpaste with water until it becomes thin enough to apply with a brush. Pour the “gum glue” into a small container and cover until needed. Roll out a thin layer of gumpaste. If a texturing pin is available, you may apply a pattern to the gumpaste at this point. Cut two rectangular strips 7 by 2 inches in dimension. Flip the strips over and brush the ends with gum glue.

4. Place a hair roller (dedicated for food use) at the center of the strip. Pinch each end to taper the strip, then bring the ends together and press to attach. Allow the bow loops to dry for 24 hours.

5. Fill and stack the cake layers on the cakedrum, using a dab of buttercream to secure. Ice the cake smoothly with buttercream icing. Allow the icing to crust, then mark a diamond pattern into the icing using a diamond impression mat or a straightedge to create the lattices of parallel diagonal lines.

6. Prepare a bag with light red royal icing, adding a small amount of corn syrup ( glucose) to keep it from setting hard (about 1 tsp per cup of icing). Fit the bag with tip #12 and pipe a bead border around the base of the cake. Next, using tip #5 and white royal icing (with the corn syrup added), pipe a small dot at each of the places where the lines cross in the side design. While the icing sets, make a pair of light red gumpaste ribbon tails measuring 2 by 9 inches. Trim one end of the first strip at an angle. Trim the second strip’s end in the opposite direction. The white dots should now be set enough to flatten any points with a fingertip.

7. Arrange the bow pieces on top of the cake, with the tails tucked under the loops, flowing toward the front. Prepare another strip of gumpaste to match the bow, measuring 3 by 4 inches. Invert the piece, brush the 4 inch edges with gum glue, then fold the edges up about 1/8 inch width and adhere them. Gather each the unhemmed edges and brush with a dab of gum glue to hold them. Tuck one end under the front of the loop ends and tuck the end underneath the ends on the backside.

Handy tip- At this point, you may choose to color the bow and border with a mixture of pearl dust and clear alcohol. Use royal icing for the border only if you plan to brush it with coloring. Otherwise, use buttercream. For this cake, orchid luster dust was mixed with lemon extract.

8. Use a black food-coloring marker to add any remaining detail to the animal faces. Position the Onesie and animal face on the cake with a dab of buttercream for each. Finish the cake by adding a complementary ribbon the edge of the cake drum, using a glue stick to adhere it.

Enlarge baby faces by 200%
Enlarge Onesie Pattern by 120%

Cake Design and Tutorial by Mame Recckio-Wolfe.
all rights reserved 2008
This material may not be republished or reproduced in any manner without the expressed permission of the author.

Photography by Katie Hilbert. 2008

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