Friday, June 13, 2014

Super Easy Hat Cake Tutorial

I made this cake for my mother-in-law for Mother’s Day this year.  Since she is a member of the Red Hat Society, I thought that a red hat would be appropriate for this occasion.  This cake was quick and easy to make (especially since I cheated and used a cake mix!).  In fact, it will probably take longer to write this tutorial than it took to make the cake!
·      I made this cake with one red velvet cake mix and a can of cream cheese frosting, but you could always go the extra mile and make a homemade cake!
·      Wilton Sports Ball Pan (6-inch diameter)
·      six-inch round cake pan
·      1 box of red Wilton Rolled Fondant
·      piping gel, edible glue, water, or something to adhere the fondant

To start, I used one red velvet cake mix and split in half between the Wilton Sports Ball Pan and a six-inch round cake pan, and baked them according to the directions for each pan.

While the cake was baking, I made the brim of the hat so that it would keep its shape when I added the cake.  To make the brim, I rolled out some red fondant onto a piece of parchment paper and used a 12-inch cake pan and a pizza cutter to cut out a large circle.  Next, I used the parchment paper to transfer the circle to the cake board.  I used a six-inch cardboard cake circle to make an indentation in the center of the fondant circle so that I knew where the top part of the hat would be.  Since I wanted the brim of my hat to be ruffled, I rolled up pieces of paper towel and placed the pieces under the edge of the circle.

While the cake was cooling, I made the rose so that it would also have time to harden for a little while before adding it to the cake.  To make the rose, I rolled out a long, thin strip of red fondant (about four inches wide and 18 inches long).  Then I folded the strip in half lengthwise, so that it was about two inches wide and 18 inches long.  Next, I “painted” the bottom length of the strip with piping gel and rolled it up, pleating it periodically, until I got to the end of the strip.  Unfortunately, I didn’t take pictures of this process, but it is pretty simple, so you can probably get the idea from the picture.  If not, here is a link to a tutorial from another site that shows a very similar process.  When I got to the end of the strip, I cut away the excess fondant and used small pieces of paper towel to help the flower hold its shape as it dried.

Once the cake had cooled, I leveled each layer.  (I think that it’s easiest to level the ball cake when it is still in the pan.)  I leveled the six-inch round layer so that it was about an inch tall.  This will determine the height of your hat, so adjust the height to meet your needs. :-)

Next, I attached the round layer to a six-inch cardboard cake circle with a dollop of frosting, frosted the top of that layer, and then added the domed layer. I covered the whole cake with frosting and, and then added the red fondant.  Then I placed the cake onto the circle that I made for the brim.  Remember Pogo Balls?...

The next step was to add the ribbon around the base of the hat.  I used three separate strips of fondant for this step.  First, I rolled out a long, thin strip, about 19 inches long and two inches wide.  I folded one edge of the strip under, so that it would have a smooth, ribbon-like edge, and then I used piping gel to attach it to the base of the hat.  I did the same thing with the next two strips of fondant, making each one a little bit smaller than the previous one so that they would overlap.  When I attached them to the hat, I put the part where the ends of the strips met in the location that would be covered by the flower later.

It's finally starting to look like a hat!

Once the ribbon strips were in place, I attached the flower with a little bit of piping gel.  It was heavy enough that it wanted to slide at first, so I held it in place for a minute, until it was dry enough to remain in place.

Next, I made the leaves.  To make the leaves, I rolled out a four-inch square of fondant and pinched two of the opposite corners together in the middle.  I cut this part in half to make the two leaves.  (Again, I didn’t take any pictures of this step, so you may need to refer to the tutorial link from the flower - sorry! - I will come back and add pictures for this step later.)  I attached the leaves to the hat with piping gel.  Since I made the leaves immediately before attaching them, they were pliable, which made it easy to shape/adjust them once I attached them to the hat.

I wanted the rose and ribbon to have a satiny finish, so I used a technique that I saw in another tutorial.  I started by painting some vegetable shortening onto the flower, leaves, and ribbon.  Then mixed some red petal dust with some pearl luster dust (50/50).  Next, I brushed the dust mixture onto the flower, leaves, and ribbon.  Edible pearlescent paint or red luster dust would have worked well for this, but I didn't have any... Oh well. :-) 

The last step was to remove the paper towels from the brim of the hat.  By this point, it had hardened enough to hold its shape.  And that’s it!  Easy peasy.  :-)