At Mike Elder’s Icing on the Cake Sugar Art Show and Exposition that recently took place in Kansas City, Christy Ammel demonstrated how to make Cake-lets. Cake-lets are just a bit bigger than traditional cupcakes, and just a bit smaller than most mini cakes. And they can be decorated in hundreds of different ways. “The cake-lets are great because they take about 15 minutes to make verses the hours it can take to make a full-size cake,” Ammel says. The cake-lets are very popular for children’s birthday parties, wedding showers, wedding table centerpieces and more. Ammel charges between $6 and $7 for one cake-let, but she thinks she could probably get more if she wanted.
When making cake-lets, the cake pan is key. King-sized cupcake pans work best, and those that have round bottoms can be used to make different designs than those that have flat bottoms. During her demonstration, for example, Ammel showed the spectators how to make a woman’s silhouette out of cake from a round-bottomed pan, and a flower pot out of cake from a square-bottomed pan.
First make the bodice out of fondant at least 24 hours in advance so it can dry. To do so, draw and cut out a template from paper. It should be about 1.5 inches wide by about 2 inches tall. Roll out the fondant to about an eighth of an inch. Then put down the template and cut it out of the fondant with an exacto knife. You can add detail in other colors of fondant if you wish.
After you have baked the cake-let in the round-bottomed, king-sized cupcake pan, frost it in buttercream, using a paper towel to smooth it out. The next step is to cover the cake-let in fondant, which will become the silhouette’s skirt. The skirt takes about 4-5 oz. of fondant. Roll it out and drape it over the cake. Let the bottom fold over itself a bit to create motion in the skirt. Then trim off the excess at the bottom.
To add the bodice to the skirt, rock the dried, cut-out bodice back and forth on top of the fondant skirt to make an indention where you want it to be place. Then remove the bodice and cut a line in the indention with an exacto knife. Finally, push the bodice down into the cut in the fondant and add a ‘belt’ with a different color of fondant to secure the bodice to the skirt. Piping gel or water can be used to adhere the fondant if it’s not sticking by itself. You can embellish the belt with tiny balls of another color of fondant if you wish. You can also add fondant details, such as flowers, around the bottom of the skirt. Plunger cutters are a great, easy way to add fondant detail. Let the small flowers dry and then adhere them with piping gel.
FLOWER POT CAKE-LET
Begin with a cake-let from a square-bottomed, king-sized cupcake pan. Trim up the cake so it is flat on both the top and bottom.
To make the flower pot, add terracotta food coloring to white fondant. Again, do a rough buttercream frost, smoothing it out with a paper towl. Cut a strip of terracotta fondant to cover the cake; it takes about 3 oz. of fondant. The top band of the pot is done separately and should be about ¾ of an inch tall. After both strips are applied, clean up the top with scissors if you didn’t cut it exactly.
For this cake-let, you will also need cake from a ball pan. This will be used for the top round on the flower pot. After you secure it to the top of the flower pot using buttercream, cover it in green fondant, and then top it with fondant leaves and flowers.
As an added tip, the mini ball pan would also work great for graduation hats—just add a flat fondant square and a tassel to the top.