Last week I was given the challenge to create some Peppa Pig themed treats for my niece’s birthday party. I prepared some Peppa Pig cookie pops, Muddy Puddles and the actual birthday cake. I’ll be uploading these within the next few days.
In the mean time, I’ll be sharing how I completed the cake, some tips, general thoughts on the whole process and problems that I had. I found that the most challenging part was actually covering the cake with fondant, especially because it was my first time using it. I made my own marshmallow fondant to cover the whole cake, but all of the other elements were created with Satin Ice fondant, which I picked up from my local Spotlight and cake-decorating store. I personally thought that the marshmallow fondant was a little more difficult to handle, though tasted much better than premade fondant. The marshmallow fondant, although very sweet, it has a nice textural spring to it. The recipe I followed was by My Cupcake Addiction, her youtube video and recipe is here. I have also the written version of it is below. I’m more of a visual learner, so I prefer to actually see the process of how it was made; this is more crucial when you need to actually see whether the consistency of the fondant is right. Essentially, this will vary with your climate and you will need to adjust the water and icing sugar content accordingly. If you’re in a warmer climate like me, you will generally need to add more icing sugar and less water.
When it came to actually covering the cake (I had a 7inch cake), everything was running smoothly until I was trying to keep the edges sharp. I began to see the dreaded elephant skin. I quickly massaged some vegetable shortening (I used Crisco, which I picked up from my local cake decorating store. Copha should do the same job too, but needs to be softened in the microwave).
Disclaimer: This is my first time working with fondant. I am far from a professional. Sorry if this isn’t 100% correct! This is just how I achieved this finish. I would love to hear your feedback and tips! I have plenty room for improvement.
- The design of the cake was inspired by Sheila Laura Gallo’s Peppa Pig cake.
- I just used a basic, dense vanilla cake. Do not use a sponge cake.
- After the cake had cooled after baking, I trimmed the tops off to ensure that they were level.
- Once the cakes were levelled, I drizzled some vanilla simple syrup (equal parts water, caster sugar and a dash of vanilla essence until boiled) on each layer, including the very top.
- I made a dark chocolate ganache. I allowed it to cool at room temperature until it reached a spreadable consistency. I spread some of the ganache onto a cake board that has the exact SAME dimensions as my cake. Place my cake on it and then proceeded to spread in between my layers. Then I stuck it into the fridge for 10 minutes to harden.
- I removed it from the fridge, trimmed off the edges and continued to cover the cake with the ganache as a crumb coat. Placed the cake back into the fridge for 20 minutes, until cake has set firm. I then continued to cover the cake with ganache again, to fill in any other gaps and start to really even the surface out. It helps to dip your spatula in get some warm water to try to make everything smooth. I placed the whole cake in the fridge to firm up again for another 20 minutes. During this time, I was kneading out my marshmallow fondant that I had taken out from the fridge. This was my workout for the day!
- After kneading the fondant until pliable and at a workable state, I dusted my surface with corn flour and rolled it my marshmallow fondant out to roughly 4mm thick. I then covered my cake, used 2 fondant smoothers to smooth out the surface. I then trimmed the excess and continued to ensure that the surface was smooth and attempted to remove any trapped air bubbles.
- I left the cake out at room temperature.
- The top tier was a dummy cake (entirely made out of foam). I stuck my dummy cake with royal icing onto a cake board that has the same dimensions, then spread some Crisco on the foam and rolled out the same marshmallow fondant to cover it.
Marshmallow Fondant Recipe
- 450g (16oz) white marshmallows (I used the massive camping marshmallows from Costco)
- 2-4 tablespoons water
- 900g sifted icing sugar
- ¼ cup vegetable shortening (e.g. Crisco or melted Colpha)
- Heat the marshmallows and water (start with 2tablespoons first) in a heatproof bowl; 30 second bursts in the microwave until marshmallows are completely liquid and melted.
- Mix in the icing sugar with the marshmallows, kneed the dough until it is smooth.
- Roll the dough into a ball and rub vegetable shorting all over the surface of it. Refrigerate for a minimum of 12 hours.
- All of the figurines had tylose powder added to it, in order to reduce drying time.
- All figurines were moulded using Satin Ice, premade fondant. I used the white one and added gel colours (used both Americolor and Wilton gel colours) to achieve the desired colour.
- To make the eyes of the characters, I used a fine black edible marker
- I prepared my figurines a week in advance to allow them to dry solid and to give myself ample time to complete the cake.
- The whole family Peppa pig family had toothpicks inserted in them to attach the head to the body.
- The bicycle was purely made out of fondant; no wires were used to support it. Again, I used tylose powder to stiffen the fondant. I was extremely fiddly but was easy to assemble when everything was dry.
- The duck pond was just made out of blue fondant, with some piping jelly on the top to make it look like fluid water. I placed 3 dried fondant ducks on the top.
- The appearance of elephant skin on my fondant at the top of my cake, meaning that my fondant was dry. Luckily I had the dummy cake to place on top of it. I massaged some Crisco on top to try to revive it but wasn’t a complete fix.
- Does anyone know how to prevent this?
Such a lengthy post! I hope it was somewhat helpful though. If you have any questions, tips or like to share how you would do things differently, please share them below! I’d also love to hear your own experiences on working with fondant. As always, please like and follow if you enjoy this post! Happy baking everyone 🙂