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.