Big letters for cake

Discussion in 'Decorating' started by Adi, Feb 9, 2017.

  1. Adi

    Adi New Member

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    Hi, I am relatively new to cake decorating and I was asked to make this cake. It's pretty simple just that I have never made 3D designs like the letters on the cake. I was thinking of using fondant, but I'm not sure if thats the best option. If you could please help me figure out how to make these letters I would really apreciate it. Thank you in advance!
    I couldn't figure out how to put the image, but here's the URL:

    https://www.instagram.com/p/9lgGFpBNUm/?hl=en
     
    Adi, Feb 9, 2017
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  2. Adi

    Becky Administrator

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    Welcome to the forum :)

    You'll definitely want something rigid enough to last well. I don't have much experience with fondant in sculptural stuff, but you could do a trial. Alternatively how about making them out of biscuit? Something fairly sturdy, like gingerbread, that could be iced.
     
    Becky, Feb 9, 2017
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  3. Adi

    ChesterV Well-Known Member

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    Does it HAVE to be made out of food? You can go to a hobby store and buy paper mache' numbers and letters in all different sizes and shapes. You can cover them with fondant if you want them to look like food, or you can cover them with a non-toxic paint. Sometimes the store will have them made out of fabrics, wood, glass, and other media as well.

    If it HAS to be edible, then I say get some chocolate molds and just make chocolate numbers.
    If they need to be a color, you can make white chocolate and use edible glitter or edible paint on them, or you can mix color into the liquid chocolate before you pour it.

    There are different depths of molds as well, so if you need a sturdy number made out of chocolate, then I would look for a chocolate mold in the shape of the numbers you need, and at least one inch deep..
     
    ChesterV, Feb 10, 2017
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    Becky likes this.
  4. Adi

    Norcalbaker59 Well-Known Member

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    I know this is an old post, but I thought I'd comment in the event others want to know how to make editable decorations to apply on a cake. I've made 3-D numbers and letters of the size and thickness shown in the OP's photo. It's a pretty straightforward process. You just have to keep a few things in mind.

    1. Fondant: fondant is NOT ideal for 3-D decorations as it will not dry hard. 3-D decorations made out of fondant will sag under its weight. Fondant is best used when the decorations are 2-D, thin and applied directly on the fondant or buttercream. And yes you can apply fondant decorations to buttercream. I use a tiny art brush to apply a little shortening or water on the underside of the cutout, then gently press to the side of the cake. Be very careful using water. You do not want the water to drip down the cake.

    The buttercream should be chilled well before you attach. And since buttercream has moisture in it the decorations should be applied at the last minute.

    Apply to fondant covered cakes the same way. If the decoration is large, you can use a piping gel to attach.

    Fondant decorations can be made ahead of time and stored in airtight containers until needed.


    2. Gumpaste: gumpaste is excellent for 3-D decorations. Gumpaste is made with confectioners' sugar, gum tragacanth, and glucose. Gum tragacanth is a plant resin that dries hard. It's sold under the brand name of tylose. You can make your own gumpaste or purchase it pre-made. It's edible, but I wouldn't call it delicious by any stretch of the imagination.

    The benefit of gumpaste is its stability when rolled very thin. It can be rolled much thinner than fondant. Gumpaste is the preferred medium for flowers since it can be rolled thin and dries completely hard.

    It also dries faster than fondant so do you need to work quickly. You should have all of your necessary tools and your workstation set up before you begin. Only remove the amount of gumpaste you need; keep the rest wrapped in plastic to prevent if from drying out.

    Gumpaste can it be colored with gel food dyes or pedal dust. Whether creating delicate realistic flowers or big bold 3-D letters and numbers it is best to make gumpaste decorations at least 3 to 4 days before needed to allow it to dry through completely. Store in a box (I use a cake box) in a cool dry place. It's important to keep it out of direct light--especially sunlight. Light will cause colored gumpaste to fade.

    3. 50-50 Fondant-Gumpaste blend: 50-50 blends are ideal for both 2-D and 3-D decorations. The inclusion of fondant allows for more work time. So 50-50 blend or ideal when making more intricate decorations such as figurines. 50-50 blend can also be colored with gel food coloring's and pedal dust. Like gum paste it will dry rigid. But it is a bit more durable than gumpaste.

    Make 50-50 decorations ahead of time to allow for through drying. And store in a box, in dry cool dark place.

    2-D 50-50 blend decorations can be applied to fondant or buttercream in the same manner as fondant decorations. A little bit of water or piping gel is all that's needed. Again if using water be very careful not to let any run down the side of the cake.

    If applying to buttercream, apply at the last minute.

    4. Securing 3-D Letter/Numbers to cake: when making thick 3-D letters or numbers there's two ways to insert supports.
    A) Roll the gumpaste or 50-50 blend to the desired thickness. Cut out the letter with a cookie-cutter or template. Then gently insert a flat wood toothpicks into the center of the bottom of the letter. Make sure enough of the toothpick is inserted into the decoration to provide stability. I always use two flat wood toothpicks to ensue stability and balance. Dry the decoration on a flat surface for 24 to 48 hours depending on thickness. Dry in a dry cool area away from direct light.

    B) Roll the gumpaste or 50-50 blend to have the desired thickness. Cut out two letters. Place one letter backside up. Gently press two flat wood toothpicks on to the letter. Leave enough toothpick exposed from the bottom to stick into the cake. With a fine brush, apply a thin coat of edible glue over letter. Then carefully place the second letter backside down over the first letter. Gently press. Gently smooth over the seam.

    Dry the decoration on a flat surface for 24 to 48 hours depending on thickness. Dry in a dry cool area away from direct light.

    Link to 2 recipes for edible glue.
    https://www.craftsy.com/blog/2015/11/how-to-make-edible-glue/

    Flat wood toothpicksI prefer are the ones used for eating tapas.

    https://www.amazon.com/Don-Palillo-Spanish-Toothpicks-toothpicks/dp/B003L7N7I6
     
    Norcalbaker59, Jul 1, 2017
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  5. Adi

    DenLach Member

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    When I make large decorations like that, letters, Sports balls, ETC I generally just make them out of rice krispies treats. Got the idea one day from watching the cake boss show and that is how he does some of the larger figures. Then wrap it in fondant to give it that smooth look. For smaller stuff, I just make up a batch of modeling chocolate (and also make some modeling white chocolate to be used with an air brush for color if making flowers for the chocolate stems). Just a thought for Ideas.
     
    DenLach, Jul 1, 2017
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  6. Adi

    Norcalbaker59 Well-Known Member

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    Rice crispy treats has the added benefit of being light weight. You can also carve it into any shape. So it's a very good choice for large pieces. But it does take some skill to get the smooth finish.
     
    Norcalbaker59, Jul 1, 2017
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