Saturday, October 25, 2014

DIY Owl Cake and Heat Proof Buttercream Frosting...

Here's my first attempt at a fondant covered character style cake.
I didn't just make this for any old soul. It was a special labour of love for my darling little granddaughter no. 2, who has just turned one. Happy Birthday little petal :)
You might remember the giant cupcake I made for her to be photographed with for the invitations to this grand event....
I've been dabbling in cake decorating for a year or two, ever since my daughter in law asked me to make a Princess cake for granddaughter no. 1 for her first birthday.
This was my first fondant covered cake and I was pretty proud of it overall.
The owl was more challenging and do you have any idea how many variations on 'owl cake' there are out there in cyber world....I'm talking thousands. So it was hard to arrive at a decision on how the owl was to be accomplished.
In the end, it was just a round cake. Crumb coated, covered in buttercream and smoothed, chilled overnight, and draped in hand tinted supermarket fondant (big cheat!), before using coloured fondant to model the features.
I used egg cups and port glasses to cut the eye circles, a heart cookie cutter to cut the breast feathers and impress the wings, and the wings themselves were cut from the curve of a bread and butter plate. The heart cutter came in handy again to cut the sweet eyelashes (just one side of the cutter), and the beak, ears, and feet were hand modelled.
A dusting of edible pearl lustre, brings it up a treat :)
The quote my daughter in law had for a similar cake was $400. I kid you not. And, might I add, it wasn't nearly as pretty as the one I made with LOVE. And cost? $40.
Don't be frightened of decorating with fondant. It's a bit like plasticine modelling and heaps of fun.
Like a lot of things though, it  helps to have the base right, and a good smooth buttercream undercoat seems to be the key.
Here's a great buttercream recipe for use in hot weather....a must for grand babies birthdays here!
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup Copha
  • 2 tablespoons cornflour
  • 4 tablespoons milk
  • 2 teaspoons of flavoured essence (I used Rosewater)
  • 6-8 cups icing sugar
Mix the first five ingredients then slowly add the sugar till you get a consistency you're happy with. It needs to be fairly stiff, but still spreadable.
Crumb coat the cake with a thin layer of this, and allow it to chill. Then coat it lavishly, smoothing and squaring it up at the edges, before allowing it to chill again. There are lots of great Youtube videos on how to do this if you're not sure.
I found this one particularly useful....
Then knead the colour into your fondant, a few drops at a time. Remember you can always add more, but it's fiddly to add extra white fondant to fade the colour if it's too dark.
Dust your bench liberally with icing sugar and roll out like pastry or dough, flip it on to the rolling pin, then drape over your buttercream'd and chilled cake. Smooth it down with your hands, and trim. Again I viewed a few Youtube tutorials to get my head around this.
Then off you go with modelling your decorations. I did mine on the day and fixed them with a little water, but apparently you're supposed to do them ahead....cest` la vie...grandbaby did not notice.
A triumph, I think. What say you?


  1. What artistry on these cakes, love if you share this on Fabulous Friday Party

    1. Thankyou Maria! And I'd love to share with you. Consider it done :)

  2. What say me???? Mimi, your beautiful owl cake is the best I have ever seen!! She is so carefully crafted!!
    You can easily see why $400 would be the charge for a cake of that nature. It is Art! Xxx
    Hope you had a lovely time with little loved ones and big ones.

    1. Thankyou Flora! Not quite as arty as your creations, but a good stab, nonetheless. Let me know if I can craft a cake for you ;0)

  3. Hi Mimi, Blueday Jo here:) WHAT a gorgeous cake. Of course, I have already seen it on Simple Savings, but it is even more impressive after reading everything involved. i will bookmark this for later use. Both my older daughters (18 and 14) dabble in cake decorating for special occasions (because I am rubbish at it!), and this is such a clear tutorial. So is 'crumb coating' a thin layer of the buttercream then, to sort of 'trap' the crumbs? I've never seen the term before, but can see how it would make a smoother base to work from. Lovely, lovely cake. I expect you are very proud of yourself:)

    1. Thanks Jo. Yes the crumb coating does exactly that. And I was a tad chuffed with myself, yes. Thanks for stopping

  4. G'day! Looks cute! Thanks for sharing at our #SayGdayParty!
    Please remember to stop back if you haven't already and say G'day to the hosts and someone else at the party!
    Cheers! Joanne @ What's On The List Pinned!

    1. HI Joanne. Thankyou! Yes I've said hi to a few, as always. Love your

  5. Mimi the eyes are so expressive I think that took great artfullness (is that a word?) You have inspired me with cakes and biscuits. This week I am searching for the shimmer as I am starting some Christmas cooking. Have a lovely week! xxx

  6. Thanks for sharing owl cake at my last Fabulous Friday party, hope you can come to my party this Friday to share more of your pretty posts. Thanks Maria

  7. Beautiful cakes! Your grandkids are so blessed to have you making their cakes. And the fact that it was your first attempt at a fondant covered cake makes it even more amazing.


I love hearing from you! I always respond to comments, so don't be shy! Mimi xxx