Monday, January 20, 2014

Leopard Print Birthday Cake - the 'Trial Run'

My Best Friend & I are turning 40 this year and celebrating with a joint birthday bash.  We're determined to make it awesome ... right down to the cake!  I love leopard/cheetah print and my BFF loves pink so we've decided on a combination of those two things for our party theme. 
I've found a bunch of really cute leopard print cake ideas on the Internet, but the thought of attempting to make a leopard print design is a little intimidating!  I found a channel on YouTube: (Laura Varela of Krazy Kool Cakes) and she shows some GREAT tutorials on cake decorating, including a great one on painting
the leopard print design onto fondant.
For this design you cover your cake with fondant tinted in a light color (I used tan/beige). Once you have your cake covered, mix a little bit of black gel tint with vodka.  Using a fine bristled paint brush,  paint little C's, U's and parentheses all over the cake (no pattern, just randomly).  You don't want them perfectly shaped either... kind of ragged on the edges & slightly different sizes is better.
Then you mix your highlight color (in this case I used brown to go with the beige, but you could use light pink & dark pink, lavender & purple, you get the idea....) - mix this gel tint with a little vodka as well and fill in the middle of the C's, U's & parentheses.  You can also use lemon juice
to thin the gel tint, but the vodka evaporates and works nicely with no added flavor.
To finish off the 'trial run' cake I added a ribbon around the bottom and a bow.  When I do the cake for our 40th Birthday bash I will do a couple of tiers in the leopard and I'll use a darker
pink for the ribbon.  I'm SOOOO glad that I did a practice cake... now I have a good idea of
the areas I want to practice more before attempting our cake (ribbons & bows for sure)!!   
But all in all, the leopard was much easier to do than I expected it to be.