Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Dragon Cake Tutorial

I have seen tons of dragon cakes online, but I couldn't seem to find a tutorial for the type of dragon cake that I wanted to make.  I was looking for something 3-D, but not too complicated.  I found a picture of just the cake I was looking for on icemaidencakes.com but, alas, no tutorial.  Oh well... it was a good excuse for me to create another tutorial. :-)

For this cake, I used a 12x18 inch (half sheet cake) pan with three chocolate cake mixes.  I put a piece of parchment paper in the bottom of the pan and then baked the cake at 325 degrees for 45 minutes.  While it was baking, I taped a few pieces of cardstock together to create my outline and then I cut it out.  I also prepared my cake board.  Instead of covering the board with fondant, I used black wrapping paper and covered it with clear contact paper.  This enabled me to work directly on the board, instead of completing the cake on a piece of cardboard and then transferring it to the cake board.


When the cake was cool, I placed my outline on top and used a serrated knife to cut out the basic shape of my dragon.  Then I removed all of the scraps and rounded the edges of the dragon while it was still in the pan.  Once it had the shape that I wanted, I transferred it to the cake board.  I covered it with a coating of chocolate frosting (which I had slightly melted in the microwave for smoother application).  Then I rolled out some red fondant and covered the body of the dragon.






Next, I covered the head with chocolate frosting and added strips of fondant around the cheek, above the eye, and around the nostril to exaggerate these areas.  Then I rolled out some red fondant and covered the head.  I used my ball tool to make the indentations for the eye, the smile, and the nostril.  Some of the fondant from the head overlapped the body, but I didn't bother to remove it because I knew that it would be covered by the scales.


I created the belly next by rolling out a strip of yellow fondant and cutting it into sections.  Then I overlapped the sections to create a new strip.  I cut the strip to fit on the front/chest of the dragon, and I attached it with piping gel.  I repeated this process to create the wider section of the belly that twists around the dragon.  Then I used a small amount of black fondant to create an elongated ball for the eye.

I used the same yellow fondant for the hair/mane and the tail.  I used a pizza cutter to cut flame-shaped segments, and then I scored them with the back of my knife.  I attached these pieces to the head and tail with a bit of piping gel.  Once the pieces were arranged the way that I wanted them, I used some edible gold paint and painted all of the yellow pieces.  (It ended up needing three coats... An airbrush would've been handy!)


Next I added the scales, which seemed to take FOREVER!  I used a frosting tip to cut out the scales.  I used the smaller end for the scales near the end of the tail and around the base of the legs, and I used the wider end for the rest of the scales.  I started at the tail and worked my way upward, overlapping the scales.  I used piping gel to attach the scales to the body.



Once all of the scales were attached (hours later), I added some tylose powder (to help the fondant harden) to the remainder of the red fondant and created the arms and legs.  I don't really have a tutorial for this part - I'm not much of a sculptor, so I just did the best that I could.  I used the back of my knife to create creases in the hands/feet, and I used a small frosting tip to give them some texture.  I used an edible marker to color the claws black.  I had a difficult time deciding where to attach them, since the dragon was supposed to look twisted.  After looking at some pictures of Chinese dragons, I noticed that there was a lot of variation in arm/leg placement, so I decided that it didn't really matter too much. :-)



The last thing I did was add some detail to the face.  I cut some small triangles of white fondant for the teeth, and I added a wavy strip of red fondant above the eyebrow.  I also painted some piping gel on the eye to make it shiny.

Here is the finished product:







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