A couple of weeks ago I gave a demonstration to the WI on making some simple sugar decorations for an Easter cake. I must say that as the room filled and I heard snippets of conversations about past and future cake projects, I did feel a little nervous but the session was great fun with lots of good questions and conversations about techniques.
The ladies were very interested in my ideas and the creative process. I decided I would share these techniques and show you how to make a really sweet bunny and a cute chick.
The tools and equipment you will need:
- A mat to roll out on. This is not essential and if you are used to working on a table top or kitchen worktop this is fine
- A small rolling pin
- A palette knife
- Curved clay sculpting tools or something which makes the same indent (you can see the tool and mark it makes in the bunny section)
- A craft knife or scalpel
- A scribing tool or something suitable for making tiny round marks
- A paint brush with a fine tip
- Edible glue
- Cocktail sticks for colouring sugarpaste
- Bridal pins – the ones with bobbles on the end
- Paste colours: pink, yellow, orange and dark brown
- Heart cutters
- White sugarpaste - 250 g (you should be able to make 3 -4 bunnies and chicks)
- Take approx. 100g of white sugarpaste and colour with yellow paste colour. This should be a bright yellow. Cut approx. 1/2 of this off and add orange paste colour for the beak
- Roll some of the yellow sugarpaste into a ball app the same size as the bunny. This ball needs to be a bit fatter to accommodate the wings and will need to have a more pointy head
- You will need a very small amount of dark brown sugarpaste for the chick’s and bunny’s eyes
- To form the wings, pinch a small part of the sugarpaste on the side of the ball between you thumb and forefinger. Do the same on the opposite side of the ball.
- Roll a very small pea of orange sugarpaste and form into a cone
- Make a small mark on the bunny where the beak is going to go – this should be more towards the top of the ball so that the chick is looking upwards and the details can be seen
- Dab a small amount of glue on the mark you have made and stick the beak in place on it
- Use the curved clay tool to create a smile in the beak as shown in the picture
- First mark where you want the eyes to be the same way as you did the nose
- Take a very small piece of dark brown sugarpaste (app 5mm diameter) and roll into a ball
- Cut this in half to form 2 tiny balls
- Dab a tiny bit of glue on the marks you made and use a pin to stick into the side of each eye to place them on the glue. You can then gently push the eye to secure it.
- Using a pin on something so small is much easier and less likely to squash it than using your fingers or tweezers
- Roll out a small flat piece of yellow sugarpaste (finely) and cut a 1 x 2 cm strip.
- Along the 2 cm length cut narrow v shaped pieces out of the strip.
- Brush a small amount of glue along the straight edge and roll up
- Brush a small amount of glue on the top of the chick
- Once rolled use the end of a paint brush or one of the other tools (pushed into the centre of the tuft to pick it up and place over the glue, pushing down gently. Using a narrow tool will help to place the tuft accurately and avoid squashing it. Once in place you can tweak the tufts if desired.
*When using glue, brush on sparingly. If you use too much it will bulge out of the sides of attached decorations and will stain your cake*
- Take app 100 g of white sugarpaste and cut in half. Colour one half with pink paste colour to achieve a medium pink. Colour the other half paler pink (this can be done by adding white sugarpaste. Put the darker sugarpaste into a plastic bag.
- From the pale pink sugarpaste roll a ball and shape it to give it a flat surface which it can balance on. Put this aside.
Feet & Ears
- Roll out a flat piece of the dark pink sugarpaste. This should not be too thin.
- Using your heart cutter, cut out 2 hearts and put one aside (for the ears) underneath a stay fresh mat or plastic sheet to stop the air getting to it and to keep it soft.
- Smooth the rounded parts of the heart with your finger and cut the pointed part away from the heart
- Paint a small amount of glue onto the heart (be careful to brush it where it will be covered by the body) and stick the body onto the feet
- Take the heart from under the plastic sheet and cut away a section as with the feet
- Elongate the rounded parts of the heart by gently stretching using your fore finger and thumb
- Make a fine indent from the top central part of the heart to the centre of the base to give the appearance of separate ears
- brush a small amount of glue along the cut edge of the heart and place on top of the body. Place this leaning slightly forward to stop it toppling backwards as it sets. If you want to you can fold one or both ears over at the top
- Make a mark on the bunny where the nose will go. This will make it easier to place it
- From the dark pink sugarpaste, roll a very small pea sized ball and then shape into a triangle with fingers
- brush a very small amount of glue on the mark you have made and stick the nose in place
- With the curved clay tool, make a semi circle indent from the point of the nose. Do the same on the other side
- Repeat the steps used for the chick
- Take a pea sized piece of white sugarpaste, roll it into a ball and stick to the bottom of the bunny
*Remember to keep your sugarpaste in a plastic bag when not working with it to keep it soft. If it sits uncovered it will start to dry out and crack will form on the surface*
Now you have some lovely decorations which can be used to decorated cupcakes or a larger celebration cake. You could even use them for an Easter egg hunt for the kids, although I suspect you may get some complaints about the lack of chocolate.
If you have any problems with making these decorations, just ask a question in the comments section and I will reply.
Happy Easter cake making!