* 24-oz box of Wilton Decorator Preferred Fondant - Black
* 24-oz box of Wilton Rolled Fondant - Hot Pink
* 5-lb box of Wilton Decorator Preferred Fondant - White
* 14-inch cake board (decorated however you prefer)
* Tappits Funky Alphabet cutters
* Mickey Mouse cookie cutter (or use two different sized circle cutters)
* Piping gel, edible glue, water (or whatever you prefer to use to glue fondant together)
* Cardboard cake circles, dowels, and whatever tools you prefer to use to stack cakes
* Small piece of cardboard and some skewers or toothpicks for the ears
* Clay extruder or long ruler for the black ribbon
This cake had several components that I was able to make in advance, which turned out to be very beneficial for me because I ended up coming down with viral labyrinthitis (a problem with my inner ear that caused me to feel dizzy and nauseous), which almost prevented me from completing this cake. If I hadn't made portions of it in advance, there is no way that I would have completed it in time.
A few days prior to baking and assembling this cake, I made the ears, the little balls of fondant, and all of the bows (the big bow on top, the medium-sized bow on the bottom tier, and the five little bows for the middle tier).
To start, I used a 3.5-inch cookie cutter to trace two circles onto a piece of cardboard. Then I cut out the cardboard circles and cut the bottoms of the circles to make it so that the ears would sit flat on the top of the cake. Then I stuck my wooden skewers up through the center of each of the circles. Next, I rolled out some black fondant and used the same cookie cutter to cut four circles (two for each ear - back and front). I brushed some piping gel onto the cardboard to attach the fondant circles to each side, and then smoothed out the seams around the edge of each ear where the fondant from front and the back met.
Here is a photo of everything drying:
The last piece that I did in advance, was prepare the cake board. I considered covering it with white fondant, but since I knew that the skirt would end up covering the majority of the board, I decided to use paper with clear vinyl contact paper over it. I also found some pink tape with white polka dots, so I ended up using that instead of ribbon to go around the edge.
Two days later, when I was finally able to get myself off of the couch, I baked the cake, iced it, covered it with fondant, stacked it, and decorated it. Needless to say, that was a long day/night! I usually like to bake/frost/cover/stack my cake one day, and decorate the next day, but it just didn't work out that way. I covered the bottom tier with white fondant, the middle tier with pink fondant, and the top tier with white fondant. Then I stacked them and began decorating.
I prefer to work from the top down. I'm not sure why, but it just seems to make sense. So to start, I added the ears and bow. I wasn't sure how stable this topper would be, since it ended up being kind of heavy due to the amount of fondant that I used for the ears, but it ended up being sturdy with no additional reinforcement. I also added a white rope border with my clay extruder - this part wasn't really necessary, but it looked like it needed a bit more dimension.
Next, I added the polka dots to the top tier. I used a 1.5-inch cutter for the dots. I used the same cutter for the half-dot border (I just cut each dot in half). I used the same cutter for the half-dot border on the middle tier. Then I added the balls around each tier, attaching each one with a liberal amount of piping gel because those little buggers just kept trying to roll away! Then I used my Mickey Mouse cutter to cut the heads for the middle tier (two different sized round cutters would have done the trick, as well), then I added a little bow to each head. There ended up being five heads in all. Next, I rolled out some white fondant and used a sharp knife to cut out the number 1 (since I didn't have any cutters that were that size). It ended up being about three inches high.
The bottom tier was my favorite part to work on. I was really looking forward to making the skirt (although, that excitement didn't last long since it was about 10:00 PM at that point). I started by using a sewing tool to make little holes all around the circumference of the bottom tier (so that I could use it as a height reference). To make the skirt, I cut several two-inch squares (around 35 in all, but I only made four at a time), folded one side into the middle (to make the pleat), and then brushed a layer of piping gel onto the top side of the square to attach it to the cake. Then I used the next square to overlap the previous square.
I used my clay extruder to create the ribbon that went around the top of the skirt, and then attached the black bow, with a bit of piping gel, where the ends of the ribbon met.
The last piece that I added was the name. This was my first time using my Tappits cutter, and it is definitely going to take some getting used to. What worked best for me was rolling out the fondant very thin, allowing it to harden for about ten minutes, and then dusting corn starch on the cutters before using them. Even though it was a bit of a hassle, I really do like the font.
Here is the finished product: (I even added some pink striped wrapping paper to my backdrop!)