Cake dummies, also known as dummy cakes or styrofoam cakes, are the perfect canvases to experiment, practice, and showcase your artistic skills.
These faux cakes provide a cost-effective and reusable alternative to real cakes, allowing decorators to create stunning displays for various occasions. Whether you’re a professional baker, an aspiring cake artist, or simply someone who loves to explore their creativity, decorating cake dummies is an exciting and rewarding endeavour. In this article, we will guide you through the process of decorating cake dummies, providing tips, ideas, and techniques to help you unleash your creative potential.
Choosing the Right Cake Dummy:
Before diving into the decorating process, it’s important to select the appropriate cake dummy. Cake dummies come in different shapes and sizes, so consider the design or theme you have in mind. Round, square, hexagonal, petal or tiered cake dummies are popular choices. Ensure that the size of the dummy corresponds to the desired final cake size to maintain proportion and balance.
Preparing the Dummy:
To ensure a smooth decorating experience, prepare the cake dummy by covering it with a layer of plastic wrap or a food-safe material like parchment paper. This step helps protect the dummy’s surface from any potential damage during the decorating process.
Fondant and Buttercream Techniques:
Fondant and buttercream are two commonly used mediums in cake decoration. Fondant provides a smooth and polished look, while buttercream allows for a more textured finish. Experiment with both to discover which style suits your design.
Roll out a sheet of fondant larger than the dummy’s dimensions. Carefully drape the fondant over the dummy, smoothing it gently with your hands or a fondant smoother. Trim off the excess fondant, and use additional pieces to cover any seams or imperfections. Add decorative elements like ribbons, bows, or handcrafted fondant flowers to enhance the design.
Apply a crumb coat of buttercream to the cake dummy to seal any gaps or holes. Once the crumb coat has set, use an offset spatula or piping bag to apply buttercream in your desired patterns or textures. Experiment with different piping tips to achieve various effects, such as rosettes, ruffles, or basketweave patterns.
Painting and Airbrushing:
Painting and airbrushing techniques offer endless possibilities for adding color, shading, and intricate details to your cake dummies. Use edible food colours mixed with a clear alcohol-based liquid or water to create a paint-like consistency. With a fine brush or airbrush machine, apply the colours in layers, blending and building up shadows and highlights to achieve a realistic or artistic effect.
Elevate the visual appeal of your cake dummy by incorporating edible decorations. Consider using edible luster dust, shimmer sprays, or edible pearls to add sparkle and shine. Edible glitter, gold or silver leaf, and hand-painted edible designs can also provide a touch of elegance or whimsy to your creation.
Gaining inspiration from various sources is essential in developing your decorating style. Explore magazines, books, online platforms, and social media for cake design ideas. Adapt and personalise designs to suit your preferences, or combine different elements to create a unique and eye-catching display.
Practice and Experimentation:
Decorating cake dummies allows you to practice and experiment with new techniques without the pressure of time constraints or customer expectations. Use this opportunity to refine your skills, test new colour combinations, and push your creative boundaries. Document your progress by taking pictures or keeping a portfolio to track your growth as a cake decorator.