Just in time for your Halloween cakes, here’s a tutorial for how to make a cute pumpkin cake-topper. Since the topper is made of Styrofoam (or rice cereal treats), you can make it ahead of time, and just put it on your cake when you’re ready.
What you’ll need:
A Styrofoam ball or ball of rice cereal treats (I used a 5″ ball because it will sit on top of a 6″ cake.)
fondant (I used black, white, brown, and orange.)
ball & veining tool
cutting board or other cutting surface
3 bamboo skewers or cake dowels
1. Carve your Jack-O-Lantern’s face into the Styrofoam ball.
2. Press black fondant into all of the cut-out parts of the face. This step doesn’t have to be perfect – it’s mostly just to cover the Styrofoam temporarily. We’ll actually do this step again at the end so just focus on filling the space here.
I used my dresden tool and ball tools to push the fondant around the cut-out space. Then, I trimmed the edges with my pairing knife.
3. Roll a 1 to 1 1/2-inch ball of white fondant.
4. Roll this ball into a long sausage shape that’s approximately 6 inches long.
5. Using a rolling pin, flatten one side of the sausage, leaving some bulk in the center.
6. Now, flatten the other side and the ends. You should now have a piece of fondant that’s fatter in the middle than on all of the edges.
7. Trim the edges with a pairing knife so that it resembles a rough ellipse. Again, it doesn’t have to be perfect, and you can see mine definitely isn’t!
8. Using royal icing, “glue” these pieces all around the Styrofoam sphere. You can leave some spaces between them. When we cover the sphere with orange fondant, these pieces will give it that typical lumpy pumpkin shape.
I mounted my sphere on 3 bamboo skewers so it would be easier to work with. You can even leave these skewers in when you transfer the pumpkin to the cake. The skewers will provide extra stability so there’s no fear that your pumpkin will roll right off the cake!
9. Carve out the face shapes from the white fondant pieces. Oooo, it looks a little creepy now, don’t you think?
10. Roll out a large piece of orange fondant. The size you’ll need will depend on the size ball you’re covering. Basically, calculate the circumference of your ball and add a few inches to that for your total size. For example, I used a ball with a 5-inch radius so the circumference [Circumference = 2*(3.14)*Radius] is approximately 30 inches. I rolled my fondant to approximately 35 inches, just in case.
Need help with covering something with fondant? Check out this YouTube video from Country Kitchen Sweet Art (one of my favorite cake and candy supply shops).
See how pumpkin-like your sphere looks because of those white fondant strips?? Nice!
11. Repeat Step 1, pushing black fondant into the carved out facial features. This time, be careful to make it look good because this will be the finished product. Then just stick a stem on top using brown fondant.
Finishing touches: You can brush a little brown petal dust (or airbrush it) in the creases to give it depth. Also, consider adding leaves and vines to really bring it to life!
Good luck on your pumpkins and with your Halloween preparations! I’ll post pictures of my final cake next week!