"Hey, I can do that!"

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Veil Painting Cake: Completed

Veil Painting Cake
(+5 skill points -> 100/400)

Today I made a "Veil Painting Cake" for my brother-in-law's 17th birthday. A veil painting is a style of water color that he took a liking to recently. I figured since painting on fondant is kind of like water coloring, it would be a cinch! I think it turned out ok, and I learned more things about cake decorating.

This is a 10" square cake (Duncan Hines French Vanilla) with buttercream icing. There is a 8" square of fondant on top that was the canvas of the veil painting. I don't have pictures of the entire process because I was short on time.

OH! So I went to Ace Mart. It was so much fun! I've never been in a restaurant supply store, so this was a real treat. They even had molds for ice sculptures! I bought:

  • small icing spatula
  • medium icing spatula
  • scraper
  • 2 cake turners
  • small dredger
  • small ladle
  • 4 plastic trays
  • long dowel for rolling fondant (which the cashier told me that if I get pulled over by a cop and he sees that in the car, I could be sited for carrying a deadly weapon)
  • stack of cake boards
Back to the cake. Like I said, I learned a lot. It was slightly a bummer that when the cake was presented at dinner (we were at the Oasis), it was past sunset so it was hard to see the brush strokes ... it just looked like a blue cake. Tyler did recognize it though.


  • I tried to use the cake turners to flip the cake (10" square). The cake split down the middle! You couldn't tell once it was iced ... except for when he was cutting the cake and some slices were split!
  • I was running very low on time. I wanted to do some errands in the morning (like go to Ace Mart), but my husband asked to sleep in for another hour (he was going to watch the baby for me). It took a lot longer to drive down to Ace Mart than I thought, and I had to get some other supplies from Hobby Lobby. I rushed home and started right away; the cake was done after 4 hours but it really could have used 8 hours. My husband helped out by making the buttercream and reviewing my initial design.
  • Since I was pressed for time, the paint layers on the fondant didn't have sufficient time to dry completely. Additional layers smudged the previous layers. Veil paintings are very time consuming because each layer must dry completely before starting the next. I rigged a fan to point at the fondant to help out.
  • Again, because of time, I couldn't even out the top layer of buttercream well. It definitely was not as flat as I wanted it to be.
  • For a 10" square, you really need 2 batches of cake mix to have it layered. After I trimmed the cake, it was too short to put in filling.
  • I'm still not awesome at shell piping, but I'm getting better!
  • I didn't bother writing "Happy Birthday, Tyler!" because it was way too many letters and I was out of time.
  • Candles! I forgot all about candles. I think it would've been nice to include at least one. :(
  • My cake decorating books suggest first covering the cake with a thin layer of buttercream to seal in the crumbs. The final thick layer should come afterward. If I had tried to do that I wouldn't have cursed out loud so many times when the icing kept pulling up the cake while I was spreading it.
  • Now I understand why there are tilted lazy susans. It was very difficult to pipe the bottom border at that angle!
  • I bought 10"x14" rectangular cake boards from Hobby Lobby. I was able to use my paper cutter to make a 10" square for the cake. Covering it with foil is easy!
  • Now that I have multiple spatulas, I was able to make crisp edges. I held one spatula against a side and used another to build up a corner with the buttercream. Here are the instructions: http://cakecentral.com/articles/109.
  • I read something somewhere saying that if you dip your spatula in hot water, it'll be easy to smooth out the buttercream. That worked like a charm! It was better than smoothing it with parchment. If I had bunches of time, I could have made it very smooth and the corners crisp.
  • I saw Ben on Ace of Cakes trim the sides of a rectangular cake by lying a ruler down on top and cutting down along the edge with a serrated knife. That worked well for me!
  • It's very nice now to have a lot of the tools I need. I really like my new spatulas. The cake pan worked well. I bought a t-square ruler to help me make a perfect square "canvas". I also picked up a compass to help me measure out perfect circles in the future. It's good to know that all the money I spent is an investment for a very fulfilling hobby and some day my daughter will be using them (she's 3 months old right now).

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