This beautiful Baby Shower Cake based on Beatrix Potter Stories was designed by Cat Harper who is the owner of Cat's Cakes.
Cat share her scoop on this design:
There are many things to tell you about this cake. About me as a
"Caker". But the first thing to tell you is how much I love Beatrix
Potter. Since I was little I adored all of her characters from Peter to the
kitten's and even poor sad sack Jemima Puddle duck. The first stories ever read
to my babies were Beatrix Potter stories. So when Cake Central Magazine
contacted me about creating a cake based on the Beatrix Potter story of Johnny
Townmouse I was over the moon...well, after I picked myself up off the floor in
shock that they would have contacted me about doing a cake at all.
You see, while I have always been the Mom or Aunt who makes the
cool cakes for the family birthdays, I've only been doing this professionally
for about 4 years now. I am completely self taught and have used websites, like
Cake Central, in order to learn more and push my skill level with each cake I
make. And, yes, YouTube is my best friend in this endeavor. So to say I was
honored to be contacted to create a cake that might end up on the pages of a
magazine I pour over regularly is putting it a bit lightly. I was floored. I
was giddy. I was terrified! Once I had agreed to do the cake I actually had to
DO the cake!
So here it is...in all it's full page glory...inside Volume 4,
Issue 6 of Cake Central Magazine...on page 65.
We were given access to drawings from the story and
encouraged to created a Baby Shower Cake based on those drawings. I started
with, what I consider the easy work, the covering of the cake. I hand make my fondant
from scratch and let it set up over night before I rolled it out to cover the
At this point I set it all aside and started working on the mice I
would need. I started out with a blob of white fondant that had tylose added to
it, which helps it to get harder faster, and just started to work it with my
fingers until I had the body shape I wanted for each mouse. Then I took bits
and created arms and feet as well as tails. These I smoothed onto the body with
a bit of water to act as glue and then let it dry for about an hour. After
letting it set up a bit I took a scoring tool and started marking
"fur" marks on the body. Then came the painting. This is just food
color gel mixed with a bit of clear alcohol till it is a paint consistency.
In this case a watercolor consistency. I mixed up black, dark brown,
golden brown and golden yellow paint and started painting the mice in layers of
color. I began with the golden brown and then, with a spiky paint brush, added
in the dark brown, black and golden yellow bits to create the fur. At this
point I added dark brown fondant for eyes and let them sit up over night to
The next morning I covered the cake with the light blue fondant and then trimmed it with white fondant for a clean look. Next came the hand painting for the background. For this I used the same spiky brush I had used for the mice fur.
For the next part I added color to a couple of balls of fondant, making one a darker green than the other, so I could cut out the leaves. Most of these were scored with a fondant tool and added right onto the cake. The leaves needed for the umbrella had a bit of tylose mixed into the fondant first so it would dry nice and hard and then, after they were cut out and scored, I allowed them to dry in a flower form for a few hours. I wanted them to be stiff but not to the point where if I wanted to bend them a bit they would break. At this point I also rolled out the strawberries and let them dry in flower cups. Next came the vines. Once they were on the cake I decided where I wanted to set my mouse and where I wanted the, now dry, strawberries. I set the mouse in place and then added the strawberries to the cake with toothpicks to hold them into place. Then it was time for the part I knew was going to be the hardest...the umbrella. Truth be told, it took me three tries and sets of leaves to get this right. The stem is just floral wire covered in fondant that goes about a quarter inch past the end of the wire and flattens out into a platform. I tried to use this to hold the three leaves but it just wasn't sturdy enough. In the end I used two totally dry leaves and one fresh one that I glued to the side of the cake to help hold it up. The last touch were adding the mini leaves in dark and very light green fondant just to give it a little more texture.
The sleeping mouse was a bit easier. I painted him at the same time as the other mouse and let him dry on his side. The cabbage and pea leaves around him were a bit harder. I needed them to be stiff but not so stiff that they would crack when I tried to place them on the cake. Finally I put down fresh fondant for the cabbage leaves and let one hard taco shell shaped leaf to dry around the mouse for most of the afternoon. Once that was dry I set it onto the cabbage leaf covered top and added half rounds of leaf shaped fondant to the outside of the "shell". Then I tucked in the "peas" and the pea leaves to finish it.
No, I didn't make the cover but I did get a full page spread inside the magazine. For my very first Magazine Cake I learned a lot. I had no idea what was expected, how exciting and torturous it would be to wait to see if you make the cut and then wait to see it in the magazine! I'm hoping in the future to do more work for them and I'm ever so proud of my "Potter" Cake.
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