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Need help with cake topper idea


LCS
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Here's a sketch of a cake I'll be making for this Saturday. This has all been last minute and with that in mind, the sketch was just approved today by the bride and she wants some kind of topper. We brainstormed and she suggested a pyramid, but if I think of something better, I have the go-ahead to make it. Everything is drawn to scale. The rectangle that's drawn around the cake is the "window" it will be sitting in. The colors in the room are brown, burnt red, and burnt orange. Very warm colors and an orange-colored wood (I am getting a cake stand to closely match the wood grain and stain). The bridesmaids are in assorted shades of blue so that's where the blues come in on the cake. All the square and round appliques will be in all of those colors (there are lots of square and round shapes in the room). The dimensions are: 4" round, 5" square, 9" round, 10" square, and 11" x 15" rectangle of varying heights. Everything covered in fondant. Any ideas for something that will fit on a 4" cake, won't take too long to dry or assemble, and goes with the theme? I was thinking to just do a bunch of spheres, but I already did that on this cake which I got pretty well known for around these parts so I don't want to seem like I'm repeating myself, especially since I'm already doing round cutouts even though the cut outs on my cake for this weekend will be in varied colors and some will be rings too, not just solid circles and not all will be textured the same way (some smocked, some smooth since there are assorted textures in the room as well).

Edited by LCS (log)
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How funny that you should mention origami! I grew up in Hawaii and in kindergarten and 1st grade, I went to Japanese school after regular school. Between Japanese culture being so much a part of living there and going to Japanese school, I did quite a bit of origami. Unfortunately, all I can remember is how to make paper cranes. I'm headed to the craft store today. I'll take a peek and see if they have some books to refresh my memory. The bigger challenge will be if I can find paper in complimentary colors. Sometimes all that's available are multi-colored prints and I would be surprised if there was something using these colors! So with that in mind, if there are any other suggestions, keep em coming!

How about topping it with a few large koi goldfish origami? Or maybe some other sort of brightly colored origami.

Edited by LCS (log)
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Suggestions-- I was thinking little miniature boxes piled up on top would be cute--are you using any flowers??? Little flowers sticking out the seams of the boxes would be cute too.

It would be easy to do--y'know cut out additional fondant pieces like the ones in your sketch and glue them like with piping gel or something to mini-marshmallows and let them dry a bit--so the mini-marshmallow is inside the 'box' covered on all six sides (4 sides plus top & bottom) by little fondant squares and/or circles. Or cut the correct shape you need out of a regular marshmallow, apply the fondant pieces--let it dry and pile the little fondant boxes up on top. You could also leave the 'lid' off one so stacking them up randomly would be easier. Then you could put the corner of the next box into the open lid so that next box is at an angle.

I like to add tylose to fondant to get it to dry crisper for something like this. Probably wanna let the fondant pieces dry before gluing.

Kinda far out idea but maybe it will spark another idea for you.

One other idea for you--if you add brown, even a dit dot of chocolate icing to your blue color it will smoke-ify it and it will blend better with the warm colors you got going. Actually I would make some brown fondant and use a pinch of that to add to the blue fondant to make it smokey. It's still blue, just a little dusty blue.

Love both the sketch & the cake--great stuff!!!

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There may or may not be time for this to dry, but use squares and circles with the centers cut out. If you use straight gum paste, it will dry faster, and if they're not too too thick, that will help speed the drying too.

You could make small ones and put them on wires so they're "bouncing" on the top of the cake and provide some movement as well as color; you'd have to use a heavy weight wire if these are bigger than 1" square or round. I prefer white wire when I can get it, it "disappears" better. Or you could make larger shapes (3" squares and circles) and then attach them at random on a bamboo skewer tinted brown or blue (with food color) - sort of like an art sculpture - and put the skewer into the top of the cake.

When I use shapes with wires on them, I always put a straw in the cake so I'm not putting the wire into direct contact with the cake. I most frequently use the little brown coffee stir sticks that are round and hollow, I can also get the individually wrapped straws in green (like the ones Starbucks uses) from my paper distributor - these are larger and are perfect for bigger flower arrangements.

Great design - hope you'll post a photo of the finished cake!

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The thing that strikes me the most is how you repeated your balls on the layers and scattered them around the table. If you hadn't done that with the balls I don't think it would have worked as successfully as it does.

If you did something 2D I'd like to see it repeated also as you did the balls.....keeping the shapes of squares or circles.

I like the idea of doing squares, and or a combo of squares and balls, including cutting out squares and circles from the 3d square or ball.

I like anything in that retro. style when you tie it into the whole design.......

Your work is stunning LCS, we definately need to see more of it!! Do you have a website?

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How about shards of sugar glass in the appropriate colors

Oooo! I am LOVING this idea! I had to meet with the bride today and mentioned it to her and she liked it too. Thank you!

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There won't be any flowers on the cake. They want it to look very modern, just like the lounge it's going to be in. There won't be any flowers in the room. I had thought of boxes as well, but was afraid it may look too "baby block" looking. I guess b/c I've done little gumpaste baby blocks on cakes before so it's stuck in my head to see it that way. And yeah, tylose in fondant or gumpaste all the way! I will be adding dark chocolate fondant to all the colors to have warm hues. When chocolate isn't an option, I do the same as you and add a bit of brown in there. Thanks for your suggestions! :)

Suggestions-- I was thinking little miniature boxes piled up on top would be cute--are you using any flowers??? Little flowers sticking out the seams of the boxes would be cute too.

It would be easy to do--y'know cut out additional fondant pieces like the ones in your sketch and glue them like with piping gel or something to mini-marshmallows and let them dry a bit--so the mini-marshmallow is inside the 'box' covered on all six sides (4 sides plus top & bottom) by little fondant squares and/or circles. Or cut the correct shape you need out of a regular marshmallow, apply the fondant pieces--let it dry and pile the little fondant boxes up on top. You could also leave the 'lid' off one so stacking them up randomly would be easier. Then you could put the corner of the next box into the open lid so that next box is at an angle.

I like to add tylose to fondant to get it to dry crisper for something like this. Probably wanna let the fondant pieces dry before gluing.

Kinda far out idea but maybe it will spark another idea for you.

One other idea for you--if you add brown, even a dit dot of chocolate icing to your blue color it will smoke-ify it and it will blend better with the warm colors you got going. Actually I would make some brown fondant and use a pinch of that to add to the blue fondant to make it smokey. It's still blue, just a little dusty blue.

Love both the sketch & the cake--great stuff!!!

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Yes, I was thinking of rounds and squares/rectangles too. My husband and I just moved so I have to dig up my silicone. I was thinking to cast some molds and pouring the sugar in the molds. Yes, I will definitely post the pic (well... if it comes out ok). Hehe. *blush*

How about shards of sugar glass in the appropriate colors

I love the idea of colored sugar "glass" -- perhaps rectangular and round shards, rather than random shapes, to further tie in the design? I love the sketch and dearly hope you plan to post a picture of the finished work!!

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Ah yes! I did this once before on a 4th of July Cake several years ago. But unfortunately, with the humidity and lack of time, I won't be able to pull it off for this Saturday. Thanks for reminding me of this. When I have some down time, I should just make a bunch and keep them on hand for last minute orders. Cheap, but striking!

There may or may not be time for this to dry, but use squares and circles with the centers cut out.  If you use straight gum paste, it will dry faster, and if they're not too too thick, that will help speed the drying too. 

You could make small ones and put them on wires so they're "bouncing" on the top of the cake and provide some movement as well as color; you'd have to use a heavy weight wire if these are bigger than 1" square or round.  I prefer white wire when I can get it, it "disappears" better.  Or you could make larger shapes (3" squares and circles) and then attach them at random on a bamboo skewer tinted brown or blue (with food color) - sort of like an art sculpture - and put the skewer into the top of the cake.

When I use shapes with wires on them, I always put a straw in the cake so I'm not putting the wire into direct contact with the cake.  I most frequently use the little brown coffee stir sticks that are round and hollow, I can also get the individually wrapped straws in green (like the ones Starbucks uses) from my paper distributor - these are larger and are perfect for bigger flower arrangements.

Great design - hope you'll post a photo of the finished cake!

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I just had the balls on top and on the sides. I can't take credit for scattering the balls on the table. That was the Trevor's (the photographer) idea. It was for a shoot for Philly Style Magazine and while he was shooting the cake, I was helping the art director with another cake project so I didn't even know what Trevor was doing. When I went back into the studio and saw them scattered, I was like, "Wow! Why didn't I think of that?" If I had the money, I would make 30 dummies and have him do all the photography. His work is amazing and he's great to work with.

I love your Idea of Awesomeness. Now I'm thinking: sugar 2D shapes (circles, squares, rectangles) on the top and some scattered like rather large pieces of confetti around the base. Wait, no. I can't do that. The base is going to be dark orange-y wood so being that the sugar will be transparent, the wood will show through. I was even thinking to glue sugar pieces on the cake instead of doing the shapes in fondant, but again, with blue and brown fondant, it wil show throught. DAMMIT! (Haha, boy am I going to be known as the "circles and squares" lady). Well, I am definitely using this idea on an all white cake where color showing through won't be a problem. Ok, so I am back to my original idea with just "glass" on top.

Thank you for your compliment. You're seriously making me blush. I have a contact page up, but that's it for now. I'm getting my branding worked on and as soon as that's all done, my website will get worked on too (and it will be announced to the world). I've never wanted to pidgeon hole myself, but I keep coming back to pre-school basics of circles and squares. Even the cake I did for the Cakewalk was all circles and squares. Especially the latter. I love moasics, plain tiles, graph paper, the squares on sidewalks... I just love squares. Maybe b/c I am one? :D

The thing that strikes me the most is how you repeated your balls on the layers and scattered them around the table. If you hadn't done that with the balls I don't think it would have worked as successfully as it does.

If you did something 2D I'd like to see it repeated also as you did the balls.....keeping the shapes of squares or circles.

I like the idea of doing squares, and or a combo of squares and balls, including cutting out squares and circles from the 3d square or ball.

I like anything in that retro. style when you tie it into the whole design.......

Your work is stunning LCS, we definately need to see more of it!! Do you have a website?

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Uh oh... I haven't done poured sugar in a few years and I can't find my notes. Cook 'til three hundred _ _ degrees. Three hundred what? Eep! *calming down realizing it's as simple as "cook until hard crack phase"* Ok, that I can do. But just for curiosity's sake, what *is* the magical number?

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Uh oh... I haven't done poured sugar in a few years and I can't find my notes.  Cook 'til three hundred _ _ degrees.  Three hundred what?  Eep!  *calming down realizing it's as simple as "cook until hard crack phase"*  Ok, that I can do.  But just for curiosity's sake, what *is* the magical number?

Kinda depends on how much coloration you're willing to accept vs. how rapidly it'll get affected by humidity. 320-340 is where you want to head. Less color in the lower range, but will dissolve into a puddle quicker.

B. Keith Ryder

BCakes by BKeith

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LCS, I'm just a novice here, but could you do a mixed media for the topper and surrounding decoration? Glass shards which are shiney and clear mixed with some pastillage sugar that is colored and solid. It could tie in the solid colored shapes from the cake and make the clear sugar shards bursting from the cake make the original shapes take on a new dimension. Sounds neat, but I have no idea if this would work in the real world. FWIW.

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There may or may not be time for this to dry, but use squares and circles with the centers cut out.  !

You could use white chocolate with colored hilights...this dries quickly...use non-water based colors like the colors for tinting candy check here for a sample

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Thank you, Keith!

Uh oh... I haven't done poured sugar in a few years and I can't find my notes.  Cook 'til three hundred _ _ degrees.  Three hundred what?  Eep!  *calming down realizing it's as simple as "cook until hard crack phase"*  Ok, that I can do.  But just for curiosity's sake, what *is* the magical number?

Kinda depends on how much coloration you're willing to accept vs. how rapidly it'll get affected by humidity. 320-340 is where you want to head. Less color in the lower range, but will dissolve into a puddle quicker.

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Hi Genny, I was thinking along those lines for the simple fact that if everything is poured sugar, the colors will overlap and depending on what angle you're looking from, 3 - 4 colors could overlap and it would just look muddled. But if there's an opaque piece behind it, no muddling. Then again, we'll see how fast I can get the pieces to dry. I may have no choice in the matter.

LCS, I'm just a novice here, but could you do a mixed media for the topper and surrounding decoration?  Glass shards which are shiney and clear mixed with some pastillage sugar that is colored and solid.  It could tie in the solid colored shapes from the cake and make the clear sugar shards bursting from the cake make the original shapes take on a new dimension.  Sounds neat, but I have no idea if this would work in the real world.  FWIW.

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Hehehe, this is always my last minute decoration and depending on humidity, may be my back up topper if the sugar melts. I forgot that the bride made glass bead bracelets for her guests so yet another reason to go with the sugar.

There may or may not be time for this to dry, but use squares and circles with the centers cut out.  !

You could use white chocolate with colored hilights...this dries quickly...use non-water based colors like the colors for tinting candy check here for a sample

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Hi Ruth. It went "ok". I'll try to post a pic this weekend. I still can't remember how to upload pics from my camera so I have to get my husband to do it for me.

So, LCS, how did it go?  Gotta pic?  :wink:

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