I was recently asked to make a monkey/jungle theme birthday cake for a little boy who was turning one and his father who was turning 30. In order to have all the decorations done in time, I actually started making the fondant animals one week before the party.
Fondant needs plenty of time to dry. I did not add gumpaste or tylose to the fondant, although some say you can to make it dry faster and make more firm.
I started making the trees by applying brown fondant to bubble tea straws.
I used the smallest circle cutter from this set by Ateco.
I just placed the circles intermittently around the straw…this gave it, I thought a more natural look of the texture of a palm tree.
In order to store these without the fondant getting “smooshed”, yes, that’s a cake decorating term, I slipped the straws over some dowel rods and placed them in a styrofoam block.
I used green fondant and these leaf cutters. I planned on placing a wire into the leaf and then wire them together, that’s why you see the pliers and the pack of wires. That plan did not work so well and I ended up throwing those out and starting over.
I used this little cutting tool from Wilton to make slits along the edge of each leaf to make the palm frond.
Here are the leaves, wired and airbrushed green. I did not like the color, I thought it was way too dark. I used the wrong gauge wire and they were sooo difficult to ben and place inside the straw. I took the wires out and then just “glued” them onto the tops of the trees with brown royal icing.
Here are the first batch of trees. My husband was quick to point out that the coconuts are actually found “under” the leaves! The more I looked at these, the more dissatisfied I was, so I went on to making my animals and decided to redo the leaves at a later time.
I had NEVER made any animals such as these, so this was a first! I just molded the fondant into the desired shape and used a veining tool to make “wrinkles” all over the elephant. I put toothpicks into the bottoms of his legs and inserted those into these styrofoam halves so he would stand at attention.
Here he is getting a quick paint.
Here was my first attempt at a zebra…I thought he looked too much like a dog…so I made him again.
Much better…don’t ya think?
This little giraffe’s neck was way too top-heavy and would not stay up! I originally inserted a toothpick into the bottom of her neck to anchor it to her body…this was not strong enough. I cut a dowel rod and worked perfectly..no more neck leaning!!
Oops! I became so engrossed in the making of this lion..I forgot to take any pics. I used a clay craft gun to make his mane.
Since this was a father-son double birthday party and the client had originally asked for a monkey, I thought it would be cute to make a father and son monkey cake topper. Here are there heads and body, I used Aine2′s you-tube tutorial to learn how to make the monkey faces.
The bodies of these monkey were pretty heavy and I was very concerned about whether or not they would stay in place, so I again used a trusty dowel rod and inserted the rod into the body and head and then decided to wait till I had the cake stacked before I added their limbs.
The leaves …AGAIN…
This time, I skipped the airbrushing and left them the original color.
I placed a small glob (another cake term!) of green fondant on top of the tree instead of using royal icing to attach the leaves this time.
I added a second set of smaller leaves onto the tops for a more natural effect.
I took equal amounts of orange and brown fondant…
and twisted them together to make my snake..
Time to assemble:
I decided to make zebra print on the bottom tier and leopard spots on the top.
It was pretty easy painting the spots…jus use the black to outline and brown to fill it in.
The finished product!!! The client loved it and so did I! I think it’s one of my best cakes yet!