The Violet Cake Shop™

Sharing inspirations for my designs, and tips I've discovered along the way in my caking journey! <3


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Western Steampunk Plaque Tutorial

Time sure does fly by so fast sometimes!  It’s been a while since my last post and so much has been going on both with cakes and home life and the recent holidays, that I haven’t had a chance to blog until now.

I still have so much to share and will have more time soon to share more, but for now, I wanted to let everyone know some great news from Marvelous Molds.  Their new Flexabets line has been such a successful addition to their offerings that they’ve had requests for more and more font styles.   Well good news!!  They just released two new fonts – WESTERN and ACTION COMIC.

I am lucky ’cause they send me prototypes of some of their new lines to try out and I have to say, I was so excited when I got these and just love the new styles!  They are so needed in the cake themes that we cakers get asked for today.  And the Flexabets system is SO easy to use.  Much better than struggling with the old hard plastic style alphabet cutters from when I first started decorating.

I’ve put together a quick mini-tutorial for making a birthday plaque using the new Western font.  It’s a great way to dress up your cakeboard.  Or just add it to the front of a western or steampunk style cake and voila!  I hope you enjoy the tutorial and if so, you can get your own moulds here.

 

MMWF - 1

Roll out some brown coloured paste made from 50/50 fondant and gumpaste to 1/32″ thickness (you can also use fondant with CMC added to make it stiffer instead of adding gumpaste). Brush some shortening into the cavities of the mould.

 

MMWF - 2

Lay the brown paste over the letters of the mould and press into the grooves with the palm of your hand.

MMWF - 3

Once firmly in the grooves, go over the back of the mould with a smoother until the cutting blades cut through the fondant.

MMWF - 5

Here the blades have cut through the paste.  Continue until all lines are clear and clean.

MMWF - 4

Once all lines are clean, remove the excess paste.  Remove the excess cutouts inside the letters with an exacto knife.

MMWF - 6

Roll out some white or ivory paste to 1/32″ thickness and using a large cookie cutter, cut out a shape for your plaque base.

MMWF - 7

Wet the back of the paste in the mould with some water or edible glue.  Remove any excess with a paper towel.

MMWF - 8

Position the onlay over the plaque base, ensuring it is centered.

MMWF - 9

Press the back of the onlay with your palm so the letters adhere to the plaque below.  Use your fingers to go over the letters again.

MMWF - 10

Once the paste has adhered to the plaque below, lift away the onlay carefully.

MMWF - 11

Roll out some brown fondant, large enough to fit the plaque.  Add some water to the back of the ivory plaque base and attach to the brown paste.  Using an exacto knife, cut out a border around the plaque.

MMWF - 12

Now it’s time to embellish your plaque.  You can add any decorations you like, to style it to the theme of your cake.  Here, we will style it in a Western Steampunk style.

MMWF - 13

Brush some shortening into the cavities of a mould with gears, keys and other Steampunk decor.  Add some 50/50 fondant/gumpaste into the cavities to create some moulded pieces.  Allow the pieces to dry at least 10 to 15 minutes before adding to your plaque.

MMWF - 15

Mix some gold lustre dust with lemon extract to create gold lustre paint and brush some onto the moulded pieces.

MMWF - 14

Mix some silver lustre dust with lemon extract to create silver lustre paint and brush onto the letters.  Add some rolled roses and voila!  You have a beautiful plaque to adorn your cake!

 

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FREE Gumpaste Anemone Flower Tutorial by The Violet Cake Shop™

Recently, I created a tutorial for my Industrial Steampunk Chic cake (a cake designed originally for the Steam Cakes Collaboration) that appeared in the October issue of Cake Masters Magazine, UK.

The Violet Cake Shop - Steam Cakes - 2 - IMG_8881 - ii - watermarked

The original cake featured an orchid coloured anemone flower in the design, sitting between the two tiers, but the flower was not included in the print tutorial since it would have added at least 28 more steps to an already lengthy tutorial. This was communicated to my contact at Cake Masters and passed along to the editors when the tutorial was submitted.

Steampunk Chic Blog Title

Unfortunately, there was a miscommunication or misunderstanding somewhere along the line when the magazine went to print, so although the printed tutorial did not have those steps included, there was promotional material created and posted that indicated the flower was part of that tutorial in the print issue.  Of course, a few people were a bit disappointed to find out it was not in the magazine.

img_20171024_144158

As a happy solution, I created a free tutorial for the anemone flower that I posted on my Facebook page, to share with Cake Masters, their readers, and anyone else that was hoping it was part of the tutorial.  I am also adding it permanently here to my blog so it will be easier to find later on for those looking!  See below for the step-by-steps details and pics…but first…

GREAT NEWS:  A few people sent me messages when the magazine first came out, asking if the full Steampunk Chic Cake tutorial would be available to download in PDF file format and I’m happy to say that it is finally now available for sale in my Facebook SHOP.  It’s on for an introductory price of 50% OFF, for a limited time.  So that’s just $11 CAD for over 135 high quality pics and 85 pages of step-by-step instructions, tips and best practices, which works out to less than $9 USD (reg. $22 CAD or $17 USD).  It also includes a printable version of this Gumpaste Anemone tutorial as a BONUS.

The Violet Cake Shop - Steampunk Chic Full Tutorial - 1 - cover

Here is what the tutorial covers…

Steampunk Chic Full Tutorial - 4

I’m also putting ALL my other tutorials on SALE for 40% OFF in celebration of the release of this latest tutorial.

So now on to the good stuff, the free stuff…😉

The Violet Cake Shop™’s FREE GUMPASTE ANEMONE TUTORIAL:

TVCS Anemone - 1

Tools and supplies you will need:
– 3 petal flower cutter (alternatively, you can use an oval cutter – pictured) – floral tape – #2 piping tip and #12 piping tip – 5 petal flower cutter – small silicone rolling pin – dresden tool – ball tool – craft or exacto knife – needle nose pliers/wire cutter – wide mouth Japanese soup spoon – 1 oz (large gumball size) gumpaste coloured black – 2 oz (golf ball size) gumpaste coloured orchid/magenta (2.5 parts deep pink to 1 part purple) – thin foam pad – flower veiner – 20 or 24 gauge floral wire cut to 3″ length – lily stamen (if cannot find long black stamen) – black gel colour for dyeing stamen – aluminum foil – paper towels (not pictured)
**All Images, Content and Technique Ideas Property of The Violet Cake Shop™ – All Rights Reserved – 10/25/17**

TVCS Anemone - 2

STEP 1 –
If you cannot find black stamen (which I could not find readily), you will have to dye stamen of similar size and length as those found on anemones, which I find lily stamen work well.
You can dilute the black gel colour with some vodka before dipping your stamen, or you can paint the colour on with a standard brush dipped in the colouring. Let your stamen dry on some paper towel. Wipe off excess colour if necessary.
**All Images, Content and Technique Ideas Property of The Violet Cake Shop™ – All Rights Reserved – 10/25/17**

TVCS Anemone - 3

STEP 2 –
Spread out the stamen with your fingers, into a line, so they are not so bunched together.
**All Images, Content and Technique Ideas Property of The Violet Cake Shop™ – All Rights Reserved – 10/25/17**

TVCS Anemone - 4

STEP 3 –
Roll out a small ball of black gumpaste approximately 2/3″ or 1.5 cm wide, to create the centre. Flatten the top slightly against your work surface.
Use the needle nose pliers to make a hook at the end of the 20 or 24 gauge floral wire. Insert the hook end of the wire into the gumpaste ball, approximately halfway up.
**All Images, Content and Technique Ideas Property of The Violet Cake Shop™ – All Rights Reserved – 10/25/17**

TVCS Anemone - 5

STEP 4 –
Use the small end of a #2 piping tip to mark small circle details on the top surface of your centre.
TIP: hold the wire just under the gumpaste ball, to prevent the ball from slipping down the wire as you mark the top.
**All Images, Content and Technique Ideas Property of The Violet Cake Shop™ – All Rights Reserved – 10/25/17**

TVCS Anemone - 6

STEP 5 –
Insert into a styrofoam dummy to dry a few hours, until the gumpaste ball is set fairly firmly onto the wire.
**All Images, Content and Technique Ideas Property of The Violet Cake Shop™ – All Rights Reserved – 10/25/17**

TVCS Anemone - 7

STEP 6 –
After a few hours, your centre should have set a bit and your dyed stamen should be fully dried.
Add your stamen bunches to your centre, one or two at a time, wrapping well with floral tape before adding the next bunches. You will need approximately 6 to 7 bunches to go around your centre nicely.
**All Images, Content and Technique Ideas Property of The Violet Cake Shop™ – All Rights Reserved – 10/25/17**

TVCS Anemone - 8

STEP 7 –
Once all the stamen are added, wrap the stem of your centre all the way down. Set aside to dry fully, overnight.
**All Images, Content and Technique Ideas Property of The Violet Cake Shop™ – All Rights Reserved – 10/25/17**

TVCS Anemone - 9

STEP 8 –
To create your petals, use a 3 petal cutter OR use a small oval cutter, 1.75″ long (refer to alternative steps 20 and 21).
First, colour your gumpaste with 2.5 parts deep pink to 1 part purple colouring. Next, roll out the gumpaste to 1/32″ or 1 mm thickness. Next, cut out two cut outs using the three petal cutter. You will need four cut outs overall but work with two first, to prevent the petals drying out.
If using oval cutters, you will need two sets of 6 cut outs for a total of 12.
**All Images, Content and Technique Ideas Property of The Violet Cake Shop™ – All Rights Reserved – 10/25/17**

TVCS Anemone - 10

STEP 9 –
Using the large end of the ball tool and pressing gently, thin out the sides of the petals slightly, with the ball half on the paste and half on the foam pad.
**All Images, Content and Technique Ideas Property of The Violet Cake Shop™ – All Rights Reserved – 10/25/17**

TVCS Anemone - 11

STEP 10 –
Use the veiner to imprint vein detail onto each of the 3 petals.
**All Images, Content and Technique Ideas Property of The Violet Cake Shop™ – All Rights Reserved – 10/25/17**

TVCS Anemone - 12

STEP 11 –
Frill the edges of your petals with the large end of your ball tool and mark two lines down the centre with the thin end of your dresden tool.
**All Images, Content and Technique Ideas Property of The Violet Cake Shop™ – All Rights Reserved – 10/25/17**

TVCS Anemone - 13

STEP 12 –
Use a Japanese soup spoon as a flower former. It is deep enough to create a lovely cupped shape and is the perfect size for the anemone flower.
Dust the cavity of your Japanese soup spoon with some cornstarch to prevent the gumpaste from sticking to the spoon as the petals dry.
**All Images, Content and Technique Ideas Property of The Violet Cake Shop™ – All Rights Reserved – 10/25/17**

TVCS Anemone - 14

STEP 13 –
Lay the first frilled and veined 3 petal cut out into the cavity of the spoon. Using a brush, dab some water onto the very centre.
**All Images, Content and Technique Ideas Property of The Violet Cake Shop™ – All Rights Reserved – 10/25/17**

TVCS Anemone - 15

STEP 14 –
Place the second prepared 3 petal cut out on top of the first one, with the petals of the second set, in between those of the first set.
**All Images, Content and Technique Ideas Property of The Violet Cake Shop™ – All Rights Reserved – 10/25/17**

TVCS Anemone - 16

STEP 15 –
Repeat STEPS 8 to 11, to prepare a second set of petals. But for this set, you will need to cut the petals as shown so they are small enough that they can lay inside the petals of the first two sets.
**All Images, Content and Technique Ideas Property of The Violet Cake Shop™ – All Rights Reserved – 10/25/17**

TVCS Anemone - 17

STEP 16 –
Add the petals individually. First, dab some water with a brush onto the centre, brushing slightly towards the petals, approximately 1/3 of the way up.
**All Images, Content and Technique Ideas Property of The Violet Cake Shop™ – All Rights Reserved – 10/25/17**

TVCS Anemone - 18

STEP 17 –
Position the first set of three petals evenly, in a trillium shape, in between two petals of those from the first set.
**All Images, Content and Technique Ideas Property of The Violet Cake Shop™ – All Rights Reserved – 10/25/17**

TVCS Anemone - 19

STEP 18 –
Position the second set of three petals evenly on top of the first set.
**All Images, Content and Technique Ideas Property of The Violet Cake Shop™ – All Rights Reserved – 10/25/17**

TVCS Anemone - 20

STEP 19 –
Add some small pieces of paper towel in between the petals to add some movement and shape to the petals.
Using a #12 piping tip, cut out a small circle in the very centre of all the petals and set aside to set for about half an hour.
**All Images, Content and Technique Ideas Property of The Violet Cake Shop™ – All Rights Reserved – 10/25/17**

TVCS Anemone - 21

(ALTERNATIVE) STEP 20 – If you do not have a 3 petal cutter as shown, use STEPS 20 and 21 instead to create petals.
Use a 1.75″ long oval cutter to cut out 12 petals total. Work with 6 at time, to vein and frill the petals.
**All Images, Content and Technique Ideas Property of The Violet Cake Shop™ – All Rights Reserved – 10/25/17**

TVCS Anemone - 22

(ALTERNATIVE) STEP 21 – If you do not have a 3 petal cutter as shown, use STEPS 20 and 21 instead to create petals.
Frill and vein the petals as shown. The first petal is untouched. Thin the sides with the ball tool, vein with the veiner, mark the centre details and frill the edges.
Cut out a small circle of gumpaste to sit under the petals. Add each petal on top of the circle gumpaste in a similar position as that shown in STEPS 13, 14, 17 and 18.
**All Images, Content and Technique Ideas Property of The Violet Cake Shop™ – All Rights Reserved – 10/25/17**

TVCS Anemone - 23

STEP 22 –
After the flower petals have had a chance to set, start making your calyx.
Create the calyx using a 5 petal cutter. Roll out some green gumpaste to 1/32″ or 1 mm thickness. Use the 5 petal cutter to cut out one shape.
**All Images, Content and Technique Ideas Property of The Violet Cake Shop™ – All Rights Reserved – 10/25/17**

TVCS Anemone - 24

STEP 23 –
Using your craft or exacto knife, cut out slits in the petals as shown.
**All Images, Content and Technique Ideas Property of The Violet Cake Shop™ – All Rights Reserved – 10/25/17**

TVCS Anemone - 25

STEP 24 –
Use the #12 piping tip to cut out a hole in the centre.
**All Images, Content and Technique Ideas Property of The Violet Cake Shop™ – All Rights Reserved – 10/25/17**

TVCS Anemone - 26

STEP 25 –
Shape some folded aluminum foil into the same cupped shape as a Japanese soup spoon and place on top of a cup. Poke a hole in the centre with something pointed, like a skewer.
**All Images, Content and Technique Ideas Property of The Violet Cake Shop™ – All Rights Reserved – 10/25/17**

TVCS Anemone - 27

STEP 26 –
Dab some water around the centre of the prepared calyx cut out, brushing outwards.
**All Images, Content and Technique Ideas Property of The Violet Cake Shop™ – All Rights Reserved – 10/25/17**

TVCS Anemone - 28

STEP 27 –
Place the calyx in the foil cavity. Gently remove your flower petals from the Japanese spoon former. The petals may still be a bit soft but that’s ok so long as you are gentle.
Place the flower petals on top of the calyx where the water was dabbed and ensure the petals adhere to the calyx. Add some water to the centre of the semi-set petals and insert your prepared flower centre. You may need to add some fresh fondant if the petals are too dry.
**All Images, Content and Technique Ideas Property of The Violet Cake Shop™ – All Rights Reserved – 10/25/17**

TVCS Anemone - 29

STEP 28 –
Reposition the paper towel bits between the petals and leave to dry overnight.
Once fully dried, dust as desired to bring more life to your flower.
**All Images, Content and Technique Ideas Property of The Violet Cake Shop™ – All Rights Reserved – 10/25/17**

I hope this will come in handy for those of you out there that are new to decorating and sugar flowers!  Please keep in mind that I tend to try things out on my own so these techniques are ones I’ve come up with and are not the only way to create this flower, nor are they necessarily the best.  But they are shared for those who might not have other resources or who just want to use what is easily available.

IMG_9573 - wm

So please use for your own pleasure and I hope you ENJOY!  Remember, you can always share your creations with me on my Facebook page.  I love seeing what you create using one of my tutorials!

Happy Caking Y’ALL!!


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FREE Peek into how I make my Signature Standup Ruffles

Finally, I can share with everyone how I make my signature Standup Ruffles as seen in my Modern Tropical Ruffles Cake below.  Since this tutorial was originally made for publication in Cake Decoration & Sugarcraft Magazine, I had to wait until the issue, came off sale.  I share key steps of the technique further in this post but having taken pics of all the steps for that tutorial, I had all the makings for creating my own paid tutorial in pdf version so have made it available in my SHOP.

The Violet Cake Shop - Modern Tropical Wedding Cake - Stand Up Ruffles

So if you could not get your hands on the magazine, you can now purchase your own copy of how to make this cake HERE.  I’m starting it off at an introductory price of just under $10 USD (depending on exchange rate as I can only price it in Canadian dollars in my SHOP).

BUT……..

I did promise in my previous post to share some key steps for my Signature Standup Ruffles, (which are great for making structured diagonal ruffles and many other directions, shapes, patterns and colour sequences), so here I go!

Oh…but another BUT first…….

**Keep in mind, I am generously sharing a technique that I came up with after experimenting with different ideas and theories on how I could make these ruffles in fondant/gumpaste so I ask you to please, out of professional courtesy, not share this technique in any way, whether in live classes or publications or in tutorials of any form (video, pdf file, pictorial, print, album on Facebook etc.), without my written consent.  If you must share, please share from this post or my Facebook page and give credit where credit is due!  Thanks so much!**

Now, back to the good stuff…

I first thought of doing these after seeing some beautiful buttercream piped versions done by Shannon Bond of Shannon Bond Cake Design.  But I suck at piping – I neither have the muscle strength in my arms to pipe a full tier, nor the steadiness needed.  So I set about looking for a fondant/gumpaste version.

I did a lot of research and never could find the tight, clean and structured look I was going for in the standard fondant or gumpaste ruffles because all of them lay flat against the surface of the cake and only the ruffled portion would dance a bit above it due to the frilling.  So I thought, ruffles would be so much more versatile if I could make them stand up.  Making them stand up would allow them to be manipulated more easily and used in different patterns, directions, colour sequences…

BUT…what would make ruffles stand up?  All ruffles I’d seen were thin and flat.  If I saw a ruffle effect that had pattern and structure, it was when people twirled strips of flat fondant that they folded lengthwise in half, like the technique used most often by Tortik Annuchka who’s work I discovered on Instagram.  But I know, having tried it, that this technique doesn’t give clean straight lines around a curved surface like those on cake.  So, it’s great for straight up and down vertical lines and bunched patterns, but was not as effective for straight diagonal lines.

Then I thought, what if I could make the bottom of a ruffle flat, so it could stand, and keep the top thin and frilly?  And the idea was born…

So here are pics of a few critical steps in the process of making my Signature Standup Ruffles along with a high level description…for more info or detailed instructions on how to create these, unfortunately you will need to purchase my tutorial.  But these steps below should be straight-forward enough for the seasoned cake decorator to figure out and use…and I hope they inspire others to use them in creative and new ways.

Sneak Peek into making my Signature Standup Ruffles:

My Signature Standup Ruffles FREE Peek - cover

 

TVCS - Modern Tropical Cake Seaside - 39 - wm

I roll out my paste using dowels as spacers, to get a thick, even strip

 

TVCS - Modern Tropical Cake Seaside - 40 - wm

I then thin out the top end of the strip to create a frilled or ruffled effect

 

TVCS - Modern Tropical Cake Seaside - 41 - wm

Next, I trim just under the ruffling where the paste is still thick

 

And here are just some of the other ways I’ve used them so far.  One design is for a collaboration that has not yet been revealed so I can only share a sneak peek of it…

The Violet Cake Shop MIL's Greenery 75th - diagonal stand up ruffles       The Violet Cake Shop - Elegant Indian Fashion Collaboration - Utsava

The Violet Cake Shop - Incredible India Elegance - IMG_9236 - ii - wm - cropped to ruffle

I hope you’ve found this post engaging and informative.  I’d love to see what you create using this ruffle idea.  Feel free to post pics of your creation on my Facebook page.

Remember, if you’d like to purchase the full tutorial with 44 pages jam-packed with detailed instructions, tips and techniques, and 64 high resolution pics and steps, teaching a variety of not seen before techniques, you can go to my shop on my Facebook page or click HERE.

Here is just a peek of what’s covered inside!

Modern Tropical Ruffles Wedding Cake Tutorial by The Violet Cake Shop - 08-05-17 - cover

Modern Tropical Ruffles Wedding Cake Tutorial by The Violet Cake Shop - 08-05-17 - content

OH and it happens to be on for half price as an introductory offer so you can get it for just under $10 USD for a limited time!  The price will go back up to $20 USD one week after my Facebook page hits 125K followers…which can be anytime.

Have fun and Happy Caking Y’ALL! =D