Cake toppers are popular for decorating occasion cakes such as birthday and wedding cakes. Cake toppers of people utilise the cake decorator’s medium of choice, fondant or gumpaste. Working with fondant or gumpaste is similar to using modelling clay. You can buy it premade if making your own is too much of a hassle.
Roll a ball of flesh-coloured fondant one-fifth of the size you want the overall figurine to be. For example, a figurine standing five inches high will have a one-inch head. Roll two small balls of white fondant for eyes and a third small ball for the nose.
Poke two eye sockets into the head with the end of a skewer. Wet the sockets lightly with a damp paintbrush and insert the white balls of fondant for eyes. Make an indent where the nose will go—not a full hole, just a small depression. Wet it slightly and stick on the nose.
Locate the place where you want the mouth. Make a hole with the end of the skewer, and drag the skewer slightly up and to the sides to make the hole into a smiling mouth shape.
Draw on the pupils and the eyebrows with the black felt-tipped marker. If it is a female figurine, add a couple of eyelashes also. For a blushing bride, dilute red food colouring with water. Paint two blushing cheeks on the face.
Roll out a thin layer of hair-coloured fondant. Place it over a marble roughly the same size as your figurine’s head. Cut the hair to the right shape with the knife. Wet the top of the head slightly, and apply the hair. Add details, such as a part and hair texture, with the skewer. Roll a ball of hair-coloured fondant for a girl’s bun, and stick it to the back of the hair.
Roll a flesh-coloured log. The torso should be a little shorter than two head heights and a little wider than the head. Roll two logs about two and a half head heights for the legs. Roll two thinner logs for the arms; make them a little longer than the torso.
Wet the joining areas and attach the arms and legs to the torso. Position the body in the way you want it to be on top of the cake.
Roll out the coloured fondant for the clothes to a thin sheet. Cut pieces to cover the body in clothes. If you are making a bride, you can skip making the body. Just form the shape out of white fondant for the dress. Because dark colour fondants are harder to colour, it is easier to make thin layers for men’s clothes than to make the whole body out of the dark colours.
Wet the top of the torso slightly, and attach the head to the body. Adjust the whole figurine into the position you want it to be on top of the cake. Store in an airtight container until needed. Fondant will keep for months in a dry, airtight container.
Things you need
- Fondant/gumpaste, various colours
- Food colour
- Paintbrush, fine-tipped
- Felt-tipped pen, black
- Rolling pin