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Teddy topper (1 Viewer)

I was asked to make a cake for one of the gardeners at work who was expecting a baby girl.
I was surprised but really pleased. I decided on a teddy and toy theme, with Some baby items.
The cake was a vanilla sponge but to add a surprise I added sprinkles to it.
I had never made a teddy topper before but after a few false starts was really pleased with my efforts.
The cake was a huge hit and she was over the moon with it as was my friend who asked me to make it.
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Angie

Administrator
Staff member
Hi Tintagel

Wow, you are busy with all this cake making. You've done a fabulous job with the bear and the design and style of the overall cake. I like the quilted blanket effect that you have created.

If I may, I want to offer a little advice to help you perfect your cake making. I can see on the bottom of this cake that the icing has slightly bunched up. To help smooth this out, you can use a cake smoother to soften the edges, giving you a much sharper, cleaner edge/finish. Or add a little border to finish it off. I looked at the log you made, and the bottom of that one looks good, as does the jigsaw one because you have given it a border.

As for the creatures and bear, always try to have the pupils or eye shine to one side, the reason being it gives the topper more character and helps make them look less startled.

If you tweak your characters slightly, you'll be amazed at how much life you can bring to them. Moving a hand here or a glance there can make all the difference.

You are doing a remarkable job and will perfect your technique after each and every cake.

I've listed below a few tutorials to help show you the subtle changes I have mentioned.

This tutorial shows you how to smooth out and get a cleaner finish with your icing. I smooth it out and then cut the very close to the cake giving me a flush finish.


Look at how I originally made the Panda Cupcake Topper Eyes; the top ones stare right at you, and others look a little funnier and have a bit of character.


Now, look at the way I did the Superhero Toppers. The eyes give them much more character and depth.


I do hope the above helps you and look forward to seeing what you create next. 😊
 
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Tintagel

New Member
Thank you Angie for taking the time to advise me on how to achieve a better finish. This is the one part of cake decorating that I really struggle with.
I have watched endless tutorials but it still never turns out the same, I have the same problem with smoothing butter icing, the more I try the worse it looks, I’ll add that cake later to show you what I mean.
I would love to have a one to one with someone to go through what I am doing wrong but there aren’t any near me, so I will keep practicing and taking on board all the advise I can.
I can’t wait to try those eyes and the cupcakes, I’ll make those for work.
so thank you again I really appreciate it.
 

Angie

Administrator
Staff member
You're most welcome. 😊

I'll advise you and help you in any way I can. Once you master the basics, you can create anything. I have learned lots over the years and am happy to share techniques and advice with you.

I do have a video of how I cover a cake somewhere, so if that helps, I'll find it and post it for you. If you are ever unhappy with the finish of a cake, you can always double-ice it. By that, I mean adding another layer of icing over the top of your first layer to help give it a smoother finish. Like you would if you had marzipanned it first.

I must admit my first cakes had to have marzipan on them to ensure that nothing bled through and I got a smoother finish, but once I got used to the icing and what brands worked well for me, I plucked up the courage to do one layer. Even now, sometimes it doesn't come out perfectly smooth, but as long as you know how to cover the blemishes and draw your eye to the overall cake, that's what matters.

We will always find fault with our cakes because we look at them with a fine tooth comb, but other people look at the big picture and love what they see.

You have lovely ideas for your cakes, are great with colour, and are working with various techniques already, so be very proud of your achievements.

I'm not sure if this may help you, but I now attend meetings with the British Sugarcraft Guild every month; it's basically a meeting where cake decorators, home bakers, teachers and anyone who is in to cake meet up to chat about and see different techniques relating to cake. It's not expensive, but there are ladies with up to 40 years of knowledge who are always happy to pass on tips etc. In addition, they also run workshops and schools across the country (I haven't been to those), so you might want to check that out to see if it is something you are interested in or available in your area.

I've posted the branch finder below, just in case it's something you fancy doing. That's for the meetings, not the workshops; if you look at the site that will tell you more about the workshops.


If you look in the Cake and Events Section on my site at the posts that end in BSG, these are some of the demos I have seen over the months.


If it's something you are interested in, then great if not, then fine. As I said, I'm happy to help you in any way I can. 😊

Remember to post that cake you mentioned too when you have a minute and we shall see if we can help you with that. 👩‍🍳
 
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Tintagel

New Member
You're most welcome. 😊

I'll advise you and help you in any way I can. Once you master the basics, you can create anything. I have learned lots over the years and am happy to share techniques and advice with you.

I do have a video of how I cover a cake somewhere, so if that helps, I'll find it and post it for you. If you are ever unhappy with the finish of a cake, you can always double-ice it. By that, I mean adding another layer of icing over the top of your first layer to help give it a smoother finish. Like you would if you had marzipanned it first.

I must admit my first cakes had to have marzipan on them to ensure that nothing bled through and I got a smoother finish, but once I got used to the icing and what brands worked well for me, I plucked up the courage to do one layer. Even now, sometimes it doesn't come out perfectly smooth, but as long as you know how to cover the blemishes and draw your eye to the overall cake, that's what matters.

We will always find fault with our cakes because we look at them with a fine tooth comb, but other people look at the big picture and love what they see.

You have lovely ideas for your cakes, are great with colour, and are working with various techniques already, so be very proud of your achievements.

I'm not sure if this may help you, but I now attend meetings with the British Sugarcraft Guild every month; it's basically a meeting where cake decorators, home bakers, teachers and anyone who is in to cake meet up to chat about and see different techniques relating to cake. It's not expensive, but there are ladies with up to 40 years of knowledge who are always happy to pass on tips etc. In addition, they also run workshops and schools across the country (I haven't been to those), so you might want to check that out to see if it is something you are interested in or available in your area.

I've posted the branch finder below, just in case it's something you fancy doing. That's for the meetings, not the workshops; if you look at the site that will tell you more about the workshops.


If you look in the Cake and Events Section on my site at the posts that end in BSG, these are some of the demos I have seen over the months.


If it's something you are interested in, then great if not, then fine. As I said, I'm happy to help you in any way I can. 😊

Remember to post that cake you mentioned too when you have a minute and we shall see if we can help you with that. 👩‍🍳
 

Tintagel

New Member
Thanks Angie, that means a lot.
here are the pictures of the cake I made for a friends little boys birthday. He loved mr Bean!
i made 2 chocolate 8inch cakes, which I cut into two, then hollowed out 3 of them with a large cutter so that I could fill with various types of chocolates.
I used chocolate orange flavoured butter cream to fill, being careful not to get any inside the void, filled with chocolate, added the top layer and crumb coated with the same buttercream. I even used a spirit level to make sure the cake was level.
i left the buttercream harden then covered with natural buttercream flavoured with orange.
this is where I get stuck, not matter how careful I was I struggled to get a clean smooth finish. I even popped it in the fridge to harden and gave it another coat.
I then added the pictures, yes I realised that I had put the pictures (I had these printed on icing so we’re edible) onto too thicker fondant, so they didn’t lie as flat as I would have liked, though the balloons and cat worked really well, then to finish added chocolate buttons in blue, yellow and white.
My friend loved it but I was a bit disappointed.

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Angie

Administrator
Staff member
Hi, honey, I haven't forgotten about you just having a bit of a hectic Sunday, I have seen the pics, and I understand what you mean, I have lots of thoughts going around my head, so will post them in a little while when I get other stuff out of the way.

Speak to you in a bit. :wink:
 

Joan

Well-Known Member
I'm not surprised your friend loved it and her little boy did as well, Mr. Bean is funny. I can see what you mean about the edging but just you hang in there and I'm sure Angie will give you plenty of good advice so that you can overcome your problems and not feel disappointed.

Looking at that cake though and if the only problem is that small smoothing out you have nothing to worry about as you seem to have lots of brilliant ideas and plenty of talent so wishing you many years of perfecting your baking. :loveit:
 

Angie

Administrator
Staff member
Hi @Tintagel

I see what you mean about the edges. In all honesty, I think it has a touch of rustic charm, and I quite like the overall look of it, but I understand that you want to perfect the edges. I can see a few issues with the cake with the buttercream not aligning up the sides and top and also dents in the top, so what I will do is list lots of things to help you with the overall cake, and then you can pick and choose what works for you. I'll try and cover all the bases without overloading you with info.

Looking at your pics, I suggest the following:
  • When you buttercream the sides of the cake, make sure the buttercream exceeds the top of the cake that way, when you put the buttercream on the top, the edges will meet up.
  • If you are happy with the layer of buttercream on the cake but still have gaps, fill the remaining gaps with extra buttercream and then scrape all the way around again. This should fill in the voids without you having to keep putting layer upon layer on the cake. Instead, keep filling the gaps and scraping until it becomes smooth.
  • Always clean your spatula or cake scraper every time you take excess buttercream off the cake. This will ensure you get a lovely smooth finish.
  • Use a cake scraper for the outside edges to ensure one smooth motion each time you scrape around the exterior.
  • When scraping the top off, use the spatula at a slight angle rather than straight/flush against the cake. This will prevent you from dinting the buttercream edge on the top of the cake. Also, scrape the excess buttercream towards the centre of the cake and not the edge.
  • Buttercream your cake on a turntable, that way, you can rotate and scrape at the same time.
Other things to make a note of are:-
  • Use good quality ingredients for your buttercream, and ensure it isn't too thick or too dry. If it's too dry, it will be hard to spread. If it is a little dry, add a little milk until you get a smooth-spreading consistency that won't drag on your cake. If it's too thick you won't get a smooth finish.
  • Ensure you chill your cake before you buttercream as the buttercream goes on easier.
  • Always use buttercream at room temperature.
  • Always do a crumb coat first to ensure you seal all the crumbs, chill it again, and then add your next layer.
  • Use an anti-slip mat on the turntable under your cake board to help keep the cake in place when you buttercream.
  • Ensure you put buttercream on in a thick layer. That way, you can scrape off and leave enough underneath for a coating.
  • Use a cake scraper for the sides; you can get them with a straight edge or ridges to create patterns, so if you're not getting a perfect finish, try using these, which may hide a few flaws for you.
Hopefully, that is enough to keep you going or at least gives you food for thought. If you don't get what I mean by any of the above, then let me know.
 
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