Cake Decorating Community - Cakes We Bake

I have a question that I should have asked a long time ago. How long does everyone dry their people and animal figures before putting them on the cake? Also how do you dry them? I have seen the big round letters and numbers made of fondant being used too, I have tried that but can never get them to stand up on the cake. any ideas?

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I usually make my figures a week in advance...let them dry on wax paper covered loosely with a paper towel or clean cotton tea towel. If I want something to stand up, I insert skewers into it...enought into the figure to make it stable with enough left out to go deep into the cake. Do this when the piece is still soft and let it dry that way. I use 50/50 mix (half fondant/half gumpaste or add tylose to my fondant

hth
Sherry
If I need something to stand up like letters or numbers I use gumpaste...dries fast and much harder than fondant...usually 24 hours.....placing skewers or toothpicks halfway in the bottom is a good idea so you can stick them into the cake and the piece will stand up. Just let the person know who gets the cake to take the letters/numbers off first before serving.
Hello ladies

You could use spaghetti instead of toothpicks - less dangerous!
I also make my figures atleast a week in advance. If it is something flat that you are making and want it to dry I place it on
a piece of foam sponge so that air can circulate around it to dry it. Depending on the figure I'm making, if it is people then I make always let the body dry atleast 24 hrs before adding the head, just to give some stability to the figure before adding the extra weight of the fondant head. I use either spaghetti or thin sugar sticks they dry very hard and are good to hold heads in place. I attach dryed figures to cakes using a little melted chocolate, holds things in place really well.

Hope this helps.
When I make the numbers or letters for a cake I use gumpaste whenever possible it dries harder and faster. If you need to use fondant, add tylose powder to it. I make the number or letter on the computer, print it, then trace it to parchment paper. Cut the parchment pattern out using good scissors. Roll your gumpaste about 1/4 to 3/8" thick and cut your letter out with an exacto knife or get a cutter bee at wal-mart in the scrapbook section, it works really good just remember to only use it for cakes and not both. After cutting the item out, I use skewers that you would use for kabobs. My drying method is a bit different but it works so well. I purchased a couple of the grease spatter screeens in the kitchen section at the store. I put the screen on 4 glasses to hold it in the air and put my items to dry on the screen. The air circulates around the objects and they dry so nicely. I do make them a week in advance at least.
As for using spaghetti, I would not. It is fragile and if it breaks you are screwed. The numbers or letters are rarely eaten... never seen one eaten myself. The skewers are food safe and do not break. Hope this helps!
Thank you all for the good advice. I love the skewer idea. I have tried toothpicks but it didn't work very well. Also I am having trouble getting the fondant and gumpaste to stick to any kind of wire-any ideas? I found a good website for some tutorials on figures-I only wish I was as good as she is.

creativecelebrationcakes.co.uk
It depends on how big / thick they are and the humidity level at the time. Depending on the amount of lead time I have on a cake, I will typically do them about a week in advance. I will let them dry a day or two before putting a toothpick or a skewer into them so that it doesn't change their shape when I insert it. You can put a skewer in when you make them if you need it to keep a figure straight. It just depends on the design. My rule of thumb is: longer is better. But then again, I live in Texas where the heat and humidity in the summer is brutal on cakes. I also just like to have things done in advance as much as possible so I'm not franic at the last minute. It gives me room to correct mistakes if something happens. Happy modelling!
Jennifer try using the paper coated wire and dip in gum glue before inserting them into the gumpaste/fondant...works for me! Also the gumglue does help it stick to unpapered wire too...you can also dab where the wire gets inserted for extra sticking power....

jennifer henke said:
Thank you all for the good advice. I love the skewer idea. I have tried toothpicks but it didn't work very well. Also I am having trouble getting the fondant and gumpaste to stick to any kind of wire-any ideas? I found a good website for some tutorials on figures-I only wish I was as good as she is.

creativecelebrationcakes.co.uk
I made the circus cake from the Wilton Yearbook 2010.... I let all my figures dry at least 24 hours before I put them on the cake and they were nice and stiff. To make them stand on the cake I put them on chocolate lollipop sticks and stuck them into the cake, that allows you to position them and not have them shift around.
Good Luck!
If you have a thick model you can prick them through with a toothpick or kebab stick. the holes will help considerably with the drying. Do this of course on the inside of the mold.

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