This cake was a first for me. Although if you follow this blog or have seen pictures of cakes I’ve made before on Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest, then it may not look like it! But it was. It was the first time I’ve been asked to make a cake based on a cake design I’ve done previously. So it was the first time I’ve recreated a previous design, and the first time I’ve had a chance to learn from mistakes and try doing the same design but in a different way.
I made this cake just over five weeks ago in August. One of my cousins had seen the previous Minnie Mouse cake I’d made for my niece Madison’s 4th birthday back in May, and asked me if I could do the same design for Scarlett who was 2 in August and is one week older than our little girl. 🙂
So the first place I started was by looking back at this blog at the post I written after I’d made Madison’s Minnie Mouse cake. I wanted to check back at what things I’d said I would do differently if I made the cake again, and which parts hadn’t gone so well so I could try doing them in a different way.
Last time I made Minnie out of gumpaste. I didn’t leave enough time for her to dry and her nose/mouth section kept slightly coming away from the rest of her face so I had to keep pushing it back into place. So that was something I needed to rectify. This time I decided to try making her out of fondant instead. I use Wilton fondant for decorations as I love the consistency for it. It dries really firm and is not sticky to work with, and it colours easily too. I would never cover a cake in it as the consistency is all wrong for that, but it’s perfect for making decorations. I used it to wrap around the Jug of Roses Cake I made and it was perfect for that too due to it remaining firm. I’ve heard that Wilton have recently changed the recipe and so the consistency has totally changed, but I’ve still got a few boxes of the old stuff with a use by date of March 2015. Using fondant for Minnie worked much better this time as although I couldn’t start her until the day before the cake was being collected, the Wilton fondant dried really quickly meaning everything set fairly firmly and I didn’t have any issues with the nose/mouth area coming away from the rest of the face this time.
Another issue I had last time was the ears. I made them out of black circles that I pressed part of a cocktail stick into, let them dry and then attached them to the head with the bow in front. The weight of the bow against the ears kept pushing them back, so that was another thing I found myself adjusting throughout the party! This time I cut circles for the ears, but then cut a small part out of them with a circle cutter the same size as the head so that they would sit flush against the head. I attached the bow to the head with parts of cocktail sticks and then stuck the ears onto the back of the bow. This worked much better, and everything stayed put.
Last time that I did the name lettering I printed out the letters as they would appear on the cake, but then found that when I was shaping them I had no room to work as the letters were close together. So this time I printed out the letters for ‘Scarlett’ as they would actually appear, but also put them below really spaced out so that I could shape each letter on the wax paper over the printout with lots more space to work. This worked so much better, and made it much quicker!
I used Carma Massa Ticino Tropic fondant again to cover the cake, and I think this was probably the best finish I’d got yet on a cake. I love how elastic it is and this time made a really big ‘skirt’ when I covered the cake which made it easier. I also spent longer smoothing the fondant once it was on the cake and that made a big difference.
So although I normally enjoy coming up with a new design for a cake and trying to do something original I haven’t seen before, it was great to be able to recreate one of my previous designs and learn from what I did last time. If you want to read about my previous Minnie Mouse cake that I made for Madison and see the in progress photos from before, click here for the blog post I wrote when I made her cake in May.