Cherry Almond Cupcake

Monday, September 29, 2014

Creating A Shoebox Cake


I quarter sheet cake (9x13), cut in half, filled and stacked
Non-crusting buttercream, or thick ganache



Ruler – with good straightedge
Pme cutter, or pizza cutter
White chocolate, colored to match fondant
Use milk chocolate if your box is brown

White Gumpaste

Edible markers and/or luster dust

Roll out fondant for box and lid the night before you want to decorate the cake. This allows the fondant to stiffen and makes it easier to handle.
If you want you box to be all one color then cover cake and cut out box lid in the same color
If you want a contrasting box and lid, then cover the cake in one color for the box,
and Roll and cut the lid in a different color.

Roll out rectangles 1/2" larger than the measurements to insure against mistakes. The 10 & 7" strips are the sides of the box lid. The thinner you can roll out the sides of lid the better.

Roll out white gumpaste in a small rectangle for the barcode, diamond shape for the box label. If you want, you can also cut out lettering for the top of the shoebox. Allow to dry. Using an edible marker and straightedge, draw a barcode and a label. You can also paint your lettering with luster dust.

To Assemble:

Take stacked and filled cake, and crumb coat with buttercream or ganache. Cover cake with fondant and trim flush with the bottom. Smooth and make your corners as sharp as possible. I use the straight edges of my fondant smoothers together at a 90 degree angle and crimp my corners.

When finished, remeasure lid sides to fit over fondant box place the sides of the lid on the top side of your cake. Attach with melted chocolate. Remeasure and recut top of lid to fit perfectly. Lay on top and run bead of chocolate over seams and corners, the smooth with spatula.

Once complete you can attach labels, barcodes or lettering to the box.

Because Buttercream or ganache will eventually soften the fondant, Place in refrigerator until ready for delivery to prevent sagging sides.

The original idea to incorporate the Birthday and Name into the barcode was the clever genious of Nati Leelavetchabutr. I was so thrilled when she gave her permission for me to use on this birthday cake! Thank you Nati!


Photos and Tutorial by Jacque Benson 2007 -all rights reserved.
The tutorial or patterns cannot be reproduced for commercial purposes without
permission from the author.

Vintage Stacked Luggage Cake


Jacque Benson 2007

3 – 9”X13” cakes
2 stacked, 1 cut in half and stacked

Non crusting chocolate icing
5 Lbs. dark chocolate fondant
1 ½ Lbs. ivory fondant
1 lb white fondant, divided
Divided- reserving 1 lb
Melted chocolate

16” square cake drum

2 cakeboards, cut to exact size of pre
iced cakes and a ½” hole centered
in the smaller board

1- 8 ¾” X 6 ½” box , covered with wax paper & dusted with cocoa

Gum glue
½ cup gumpaste fondant roller and mat

Silver Luster Dust pizza cutter

Ball tool (optional)
Gold Luster Dust

Wilton alphabet/number cutters

Lemon Extract, vodka, or Everclear
3/8 “round cutter & #6 piping tip


4- ¼:” dowels -4” length

2- ¼” dowels- 5” length
1- ½” dowel- 6” length

2 large marshmallows

Pattern tracing tool



Knead together 3lbs chocolate fondant with 1 ½ lbs Ivory fondant until color is
fully blended. Cut off a small portion, and wrap the rest tightly and set aside.
Roll out a 9x11 rectangle approx 3/16” thick. Lay over box covered with wax paper.
Measure ½” down from the top edge of the box; and using a pizza cutter,
cut the edge of the lid . Smooth top of lid with a fondant smoother. Set aside to dry.
When firm, carefully lift from box and invert to dry bottom of lid.
When completely dry, take the pattern tracing tool and run a “topstitching” line around
the bottom edge of the lid.
Cut four Patches from dark chocolate and glue to each edge of the lid. Trace a stitching
line around the edge of each patch.
Cut 2 separate ½” strips of dark chocolate fondant about 8” long, rounding the front
end. Trace the “topstitching” line around each strip and punch three belt holes at
the front end of the strip using a #6 piping tip.
Glue each strip to the top of the lid, allowing the hang over the front. Fasten silver lock
on center front with Gum glue.
Handy tip-let the straps on this lid be your last step on the entire cake. Then your strips will still be flexible when placed atop the cake, avoiding breakage.


Roll out a small amount of firm gumpaste about 1/16th “thick. Cut out 2 lock plates.
Using the letter “I” Wilton cutter, punch out a slot in the smaller plate.
Cut 4 buckles using the “D” stretching the inner cutout and rolling the straight edge only, leaving the curved side flat.
Cut 4 d-rings using the “0”number cutter, stretching the opening slightly and rolling all the edges. Crimp and straighten one edge to make one side flat.
Roll a small amount of gumpaste ¼” thick, and cut two 3/8”circle. Press each round, flattening slightly and using your cutter, make an impression to form an outer ring. Then press a vertical line just to the center, forming a keyhole.
Cut 4 buckle tongues, using the “I”, flattening and curving one side, and rolling the other.

Take a ball of gumpaste (maltball size) and shape into a lock by elongating one side and smoothing with a ball tool to shape. Press a line across the top to define the lock. Glue the keyhole to the right side of the plate using gum glue.

Set aside to dry completely,
Mix the luster dust with alcohol and paint the lock and plates silver, and the buckles and d-rings gold.
For Handles, cut 2 separate 5/8” strips of dark chocolate fondant about 4 inches long. Fold over and Trace stitching line along the edge, then insert end through finished d-rings and glue on underside.


The night before assembling cake--- From the blended chocolate fondant, Roll out and cut 2 separate 4 X 13” rectangles, 2 separate 4X 9” rectangles for the sides of the bottom tier,

1- 9X13” rectangle,
2 thin ¾”X 13” strips, 2 thin ¾” X 9” strips, and 2 separate for the lid of the bottom tier.

For the top tier cut 2- 9x4-1/2" and 2- 7x4-1/2" rectangles for the sides of the cake.

Allow to firm up overnight.


Stack and Fill 2 quarter sheet cakes and one cake cut in half to form a 6 ½” x 9” two layer cake. Place each on a cardboard divider cut to fit the cake exactly and
Place larger cake on square drum. Ice the cake with non-crusting buttercream icing.
Measure your cake carefully and re-cut the edges of the rectangles to fit your cake
Measure twice, cut once.

Trace a stitching line around the bottom and sides of 2 of the 4X9 and the 4X13 about 1/8”-1/4” from the edge. Place along the side of the cake matching the corners.
Run a line of melted chocolate along the corners and smooth with a spatula.
Re-measure and cut the thin strips and glue them along the upper edge of the cake (upper edge of fondant panel) with melted chocolate.

On the large 9X13” rectangle re-measure and cut. Lay a 6 ½” X 9” rectangle pattern on top and faintly mark the position of the cake. Punch out a ½” hole in the middle, and 4 ¼” holes to allow for Dowel insertion.
Lay on top of cake and spackle edges and corner with the melted chocolate.

Cut 8 corner patches, tracing the stitching line on each outer edge. Cut 2 leather straps for the base cake about 15” by 5/8”, and 2 straps 2½ ” X 5/8”. Punch holes with the #6 tip and trace the stitching on the 15” strap. Cut a small opening in the smaller strap for the tongue of the buckle and wrap it around the buckle. Pull the end of the upper strap through the buckle and glue to the cake, cutting any overage at the base of the cake. Place the tongue on the buckle and glue.

Hammer the ½” dowel through the center hole, and insert the 4 inch-¼” dowels in the surrounding holes. Align the bottom hole of the cardboard divider with the center dowel and stack the smaller cake on top, using wax paper to protect the bottom cake. Ice the cake with buttercream, Place a layer of white fondant just over the top of the cake and follow the same procedure attaching chocolate fondant panels to the side, this time including an extra stitching line on the upper edge of each panel.

After the corners are spackled, remove wax paper & cut and prepare 2 separate 2” straps just as before with buckle and tongue. Glue to front of the cake. Cut two more 4” straps and glue to the back of the cake. Fasten the locks and plates to both cakes with gum glue.
Cut 4 handle holders (triangles). Insert the small end through the d-rings on the handles
And glue to underside. Fasten Handles to both cakes with gum glue. Prop up and allow
to dry. Insert the 6inch ¼” dowels one inch inside front corner. Cover each with a
large marshmallow.


Roll out several different colored fondants into 6 inch squares. Texture and fold; Lay on top of cake. Roll out white fondant and cut with shirt pattern, then trace stitching line on shirt cuff. Cut 2 small circles for buttons. With toothpick, make 2 holes in center, then dust with pearl dust. Glue to cuff. Place immediately on left side of cake, falling over side.
Roll out and cut chocolate fondant, texture or stencil. Glue the three pieces together with gum glue and attach a white fondant ribbon to cover the seam. Make a thin 3 inch roll from white fondant for the straps. Attach one edge with gum glue and tuck the free edge under. Arrange over left side of cake

Place lid on top of cake, resting on back edge and front dowels. Brush cocoa powder
randomly over surface of cake to give a scuffed and weathered appearance.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Sewing up a Sweet Summer

Looking for a fun way to create a summer styled cake? When I think of summer, gingham comes to mind.
So I incorporated my love of summer gingham checks with fondant and flowers and ....here it is!



Fondant- 1 lb. white
                ¾ inch ball of electric yellow
                8 oz. neon or electric Pink
                4 oz. neon or electric Green
                 ½ inch ball of black            
Orange petal dust
Bright green petal dust
Fondant Roller and Mat
Small stripes or gingham stencil
2 Clean Foam make-up wedges
Ruffled Heart cutter 2”
Heart cutter-1”
Gum glue
PME Wheel cutter
3” Leaf cutter
¾”, 1” and 3” circle cutter
Small blossom cutter
#2, 10 piping tube
Small scissors


Roll out yellow gumpaste
 into thin layer.
 Cut a circle using a ¾” cutter. 
 Using the large end of
the #2 piping tube, 
make a slight indention
 in the circle.  

 Turn the piping tube over
 and make two or four holes
 in the center
 to create a button.

 Set aside to dry.


1. Roll out white fondant into a rectangle approximately 3”x 12”.

2. Lay stencil over the fondant 
and press into the fondant
 by gently rolling over the stencil.

Using the wedge foam applicator,
 apply a layer of orange petal dust
 over the fondant.
Lift the stencil, 
and wipe it clean 
with a paper towel.


Lay crosswise over the 
stenciled fondant 
and repeat process.

3. Cut 5 ruffled hearts,
 lightly cover with plastic wrap
 and set aside.
 4. Roll out pink fondant approximately 5”x 12”. 
 Using your ruffled heart cutter,
 make an very light indention for a guide, 
then moisten the inside of the heart with gum glue.
Lay the patterned heart petal 
over the moistened fondant.  

Using a ruffled cutter or a PME wheel cutter 
and cut 1/8”away from the edge of heart petal,
creating a pink border. 
Repeat with the remainder of the petals.  

 Cover and set aside.
For smaller petals, roll out white fondant
 into a rectangle approximately 3”x 10”. 
 Press the clean stencil over the
 fondant in a diagonal. 
 Using the wedge foam applicator, 
apply a layer of of orange petal dust
 over the fondant. Lift stencil.

Repeat steps 3 – 4,
this time using a 4”x12” rectangle
of pink fondant.

Cover and set aside.

Thoroughly wash and dry stencil.

For the leaves, roll out white fondant
 into a 5” x 4” rectangle. 
Repeat steps 2-4 with green petal dust 
and green fondant using the leaf cutters.   

Cover and set aside.

To assemble flower:
Cut a 3” circle from white or pink fondant and moisten. 

Pinch the heart petals, 
as shown,
 then press into the
 center of the circle.   

Continue process,
overlapping the petals.

 Roll out a small amount of 
pink fondant and cut a 1” circle. 
Moisten with gum glue.

 Pinch the smaller heart petals, as before, 
then press into the center of the circle. 
Continue process, overlapping the petals

Roll out pink fondant and cut a flower,
 using the blossom cutter. 

Moisten the back and place 
 in the center.
Moisten center top with gum glue 
and place button in center of flower.

Attach the leaves, using gum glue,
 to bottom of circle.

Place cotton or 1” strips of rolled paper towels to give petals some lift. 
Set aside and allow to dry.

When ready, place on top of cake.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Here comes Peter Cottontail!


I just wanted to share a very quick and cute way to have fun on a sweet Easter Sunday!   Just so you know how fast this project is, I sent my husband out to pick up grilled chicken a few miles away, and by the time he got back, the chocolate egg was out of the mold, the bunny was finished and salads were made!  

Here's what you will need. 

White Chocolate fondant :
2" ball of white
1" ball of electric yellow
1" ball of neon pink
1" ball of neon green

1/2 cup white chocolate melts
 A few Pastels
Shortening for rolling out fondant
Malted Milk eggs or favorite candy


gum glue
Fondant Roller
Fondant Board
Blossom Cutters
Leaf Cutter 
Blue or Black edible pen
Cotton gloves for handling chocolate

Start by rubbing your fondant board lightly with shortening.

Roll two very small balls, 3/8" and 1/4".

Press flat into mold, as shown.

Roll out pink fondant on lightly greased board. Cut two small blossoms, using your cutters.

Place over yellow centers in mold. Gently press the petals into the mold.
When you turn it over, it should look like this.

Roll a narrow green cord about 4" long from the green fondant.

Cut in half and press into back of flower, then shape into stems, pressing the stems gently into the mold.

Roll out green on lightly greased board and cut a leaf.

 Place on stem, gently pressing into the mold.

When turned over, it should look like this.
 Set aside.

In the microwave, melt the white chocolate in a heat safe measuring cup, for about 2 minutes at med power.
Remove from microwave, and stir until chocolate is melted and smooth.

Spoon into molds, tilting to coat the sides,
continuing to rotate the mold slightly to cover the sides with a nice thick layer of chocolate.
 If some spills over the edge,
just scrape off with the flat side of a spatula.

Place in the freezer. 

While the chocolate is in the freezer, 
Divide the white chocolate fondant into two equal pieces. 
Form one into an oblong shape slightly larger on one side, as shown.

Clip the sides to create arms, and clip 1/2" into the center of the bottom to create legs, 
as shown below.

Gently roll the arms and legs to create a body.
Clip off ends of arms and set those pieces aside for later use.

Make feet and hands by shaping the rolled ends of the fondant.
Place the body in a sitting position and set aside.

Take the second ball of white fondant and make another oblong shape,
 as shown below.

 Clip the center of the narrow edge, as shown to create ears

Flatten the ears.
Roll out a small amount of pink and place in the center of the ears.
Attach with gum glue, if necessary.

Break a toothpick in half and place into body, with a portion extending above the neckline.
Moisten bottom of head with gum glue and push into the toothpick to secure to the body.

Add pink to the bottoms of the feet, (as shown below)
and buttons on the front of bunny, if desired.

Roll out two tiny balls with the reserved white fondant, and a smaller pink ball. 
Attach to the face to create the bunny's nose and mouth.
And don't forget to save a little white for a tail!
Using an edible pen, make two dots for eyes.

Reheat the leftover chocolate in the measuring cup.
(being careful not to burn it, 30 seconds, med power should be plenty, but keep a watchful eye)
Okay, now using the artist brush, dip into chocolate
and brush a little onto on side of the pastels to attach to the bunny.

 We don't want our Easter Bunny empty handed! 

If you cannot find pastels, just  use 1/4" edible pearls, candies or rolled fondant. 
Okay, Bunny is finished!!
 The chocolate eggs should be set up.
Remove from freezer and set mold side up.
 Allow the eggs and base to loosen.
They should fall right out of the mold.
How cute is that?

Use cotton gloves to prevent fingerprints.
Turn the flat sided egg upright and fill it with candy.

Gently brush melted chocolate along the edge of the egg,
 then gently afix the decorated side of the egg on top.  

Brush a little melted chocolate over the seam,
 then add the butterflies to cover the seam.
Brush a little chocolate on the top of the base,
 then set the egg on top of the base.
Place the bunny on top of the egg.
 And add a little butterfly to his foot,
just because it's spring!

There you go...
Peter Cottontail with lots of sweet treats!

  Happy Easter!

Tutorial and Photography by Jacque Benson
2014 all rights reserved.

"God gave us our memories so that we might have roses in December." ~J M Barrie