Most of you may know me as the blogger behind Pin Up Persuasion; a gal with a fierce passion for pinup and vintage clothing. Through our wonderful online community, I was fortunate to have crossed paths with the lovely Denialle from The Oblong Box Shop. Needless to say I was super flattered when she asked me to guest write on her blog, sharing my hobbies outside of vintage. A little known fact about me is that I've always been artistic and creative, even as a child. Mixing those creative skills with my passion for baking, I developed a keen interest in cake decorating.
Some years ago, I took several Wilton Cake Decorating classes at our locals Michaels store to learn the fundamentals behind this new pastime. There I learned a variety of decorating techniques, working with different mediums like fondant and buttercream icing. I particularly took a liking to fondant as it allowed my imagination to run wild sculpting unique designs with every cake. As soon as Denialle mentioned the idea, I knew instantly that I wanted to create a cake based on the Puffer Fish Skirt theme…since it is my all-time favorite design from The Oblong Box Shop! Yes, I like a challenge and always tend go over the top with my ideas.
To start, I made my grocery list of ingredients to make the buttercream icing and fondant from scratch but I do cheat with boxed cake mix because they taste great and are a lot less hassle. The two icing recipes that I use are from Wilton, both are super easy and quite delicious. It is always best to bake your cakes the night before allowing them to fully cool and prep your icing so the fondant can rest overnight.
I got an early start Saturday morning “dirty” icing the two cakes with a thin layer of buttercream and letting them set. Meanwhile I went to work colouring the fondant to sculpt the six puffer fish. Working with fondant is a lot of trial and error, therefore requires an incredible amount of patience. Each fish had to be assembled in separate steps (tail, fins, eyes, etc.) to allow each element to fully dry before moving onto the next.
The next step was coloring the fondant an ocean blue and rolling out two large sections to cover each tier of the cake. I won’t lie; this can be extremely difficult even for skilled cake decorators. Being a total perfectionist by nature, it drives me a little crazy when the fondant doesn’t go on seamlessly but thankfully it is easy to conceal when adding the sculpted elements. Once the two tiers were covered, I set the foundation by inserting small dowels before stacking the layers.
For the remainder of the time, I worked on sculpting the various coral pieces and allowing them to dry overnight. The seaweed was attached while still pliable in order to mold them to the layers of the cake. There’s no right or wrong way, I just do whatever works for that particular project. The main thing is that you have to be ready to improvise when something is not going according to plan. After taking a little dinner break, I felt re-inspired with new ideas…adding an island with the Tiki God and naming it “Oblong Island”.
The following day I assembled all the sculpted pieces finished off by the floating puffer fish and Tiki God. I could not tell you how many hours I invest in each design but I will never quit until everything just right. Many people tell me I should offer my cakes as a service but I truly do it for fun and could never put a price tag on my personal hobbies.
The Oblong Island cake was my very first ocean themed design and I could not be more pleased with the final result. It is always a mystery on how an idea will evolve into the final design; I just let my creativity run wild! Needless to say, my coworkers were quite thrilled to reap the savory benefits of this masterpiece.
Thank you for sharing in my love of vintage fashion and my interest for cake decorating.
You can always find me at www.pinuppersuasion.com!