Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Animal Cutouts

When I started to plan my design for this baby shower cake I knew that I wanted to make something very personal and unique.  I knew the parents were using a woodland theme for their new baby's nursery.  So I looked up their bedding set from their registry for inspiration.  The set was so darling I knew I had found my design.

I took the pictures of the animals and resized them on my computer making the largest animal about 4 inches
tall.  I cut these out to use as a template. 

The resolution of the pictures is somewhat lacking after enlargement, but the basic shape is all that is needed in this case.

After coloring my fondant the shades of brown that I wanted, I rolled the fondant out nice and thin.  Make sure to liberally dust the surface you are using(in this case, waxed paper) with corn starch.  If those little critters get stuck down, there is no way to get them off in one piece.

I use a sharp knife to cut around the paper template.

Next roll out the second color you have chosen for the portion that will be overlaid.  Place the template on the fondant and cut out the shape.  I used a toothpick to trace the shape onto the fondant.  This makes a slight indentation in the fondant that can be followed for cutting.

Attach the overlay to your original cutout with a little water.  I use a small paintbrush to apply water to the back side of the overlay and then place it on the original cutout .  The shiny area you see in the photo is an area that is still wet.  After it dries, it is no longer visible.

These little critters are ready for the small details.  I thinned a small amount of gel color with vodka to make a paint.  The vodka will make it dry quickly and does not leave a flavor behind.  Use a small paintbrush and paint the details on.  For the owls that perch on the top of the cake, cut a piece of wire about 2 1/2 inches long.  Carefully push 2/3 of an inch of the wire into the owl from the bottom.  The portion extending out of the owl will be pushed into the cake to allow it to stand on top.  The animals that will be placed on the side of the cake can be used immediately.  The owls that stand on top must dry until they are no longer floppy.

Apply the little critters to the side of your smoothly frosted cake with a little water brushed on the back.  I combined the animal cutouts with painted trees(coming in the next post) to create small vignettes around the bottom tier.  The little owls were placed on the cake at the event.  I did not want to risk them wobbling loose during transport.

Happy caking!



  1. Your little critters are soooo adorable!! I'm sure the baby shower recipient was over-joyed with the special care you took to make it personal.

  2. Love your attention to detail !!! You cake looks so lively !!! Thanks for your tutorials !

  3. beautiful idea for cute cake

  4. Do you mind if I ask where you found the animal templates?

  5. I used the pictures from the amazon listing of the nursery set, particularly the wall art and decals. I copied the pictures to my computer and manipulated them to the size that I wanted. The pictures were very low resolution,which is why they were quite blurry on the template. Let me know if you have further questions and I'll try to help. Also, feel free to email me at frostine@thatreallyfrostsme.com

  6. Thank you sooo much! I saw the link above for the bedding set, just didn't realize by clicking on it that it would take me where I needed to go to get the right size of animals. I'm attempting to make this for Saturday (similar) & I just printed out the animals I need to use for it. Now I'm off to the cutting, thanks again for the help! Now....would you be willing to put up a tutorial for a royal icing or white chocolate eiffel tower by the end of April?? hehehe =) Think I will just buy a figurine for that one.

  7. Crystal,
    Actually...I've made a tiara out of white chocolate before. You could probably make a small eiffel tower with the same method.

    I would love to see your cake when it's finished. Would you be willing to email me a picture?

  8. I sure would. I only HOPE it can look as good as yours!

    I want to, but I'm just sooo hesitant to try the white chocolate. I live in Louisiana & the humidity is awful, how on earth do I keep molded chocolate from losing shape in humidity? I tried making initials once, with dark chocolate, for a groom's cake & they just softened really quick & wouldn't stand up in the cake...need to learn the tricks first. And BTW, my story is a lot like yours, after my firstborn's 1st birthday, I HAD to have the nicer cakes, but just couldn't fork out the money for someone else to do it, lol. So, off to the internet I went, I've been baking ever since (2002, so you've got one year up on me), completely self-taught. Sooo, Happy 10th 'Baking' Anniversary! =) I'm loving your blog, I've NEVER even tried roses in any form, but I'm convinced to try the white chocolate ones from your tutorial. Will let you know when I 'finally' get the nerve.

  9. i have been looking for a cake like this to make for baby shower. Thanks for the great idea about cutting out the animals using paper version as template. How long can you store the animals? I am new to this and want to have them ready in plenty of time to make sure that I can get them to work! I have been enjoying all you tips and help.

    1. If you are applying the animals to a flat side of a cake, you can store them for a week or more. Make sure they are out of any sunlight or they will fade. If you are putting them on a curved side of a cake(like the side of a round cake) you will want them to be fresh and pliable so they will curve with the cake.