Cherry Almond Cupcake

Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Making a Sugar Christmas tree

Supplies :

Waffle Cones for Ice cream

Small bowl with 1/2 inch water


Forest Green Royal Icing

Piping bag with #67
Piping tip

Yellow colored Gumpaste

3/4" Five petal or Star Cutter

Gumglue or piping gel

Wilton Pastel Candies

Place two waffle cones together as shown.

Place in shallow water for 15- 20 seconds.

Remove from water and, using scissors, cut away soft edge of cone

until bottom edge is even and level.

Using royal icing, attach the cones to make "trees".

Starting at bottom of tree, begin piping leaves pulling out as you pipe.

Continue until you have filled the tree with "fir branches", leaving about 3/4" at top bare so you can move your tree into place. When the tree is placed where you want it on your cake or board, you can fill in the remainder of the top of the tree.

Roll out yellow gumpaste to about 1/4" thickness and cut out a star using your cutter. Place a yellow pastel candy on both sides of star, using gumglue or piping gel. Place on top of tree and secure with royal icing. Hold in place until firmly set.

Decorate your tree with colored pastels and dragees, securing with fresh royal icing if needed.

Photography and Tutorial by Jacque Benson
2009 copyright all rights reserved

Monday, October 16, 2023

Making a Vintage Luggage Cake



Ingredients :
Three 9"x 13" cakes
Non crusting chocolate icing
4 Lbs. dark chocolate fondant
Divided- reserving 1 lb
1 ½  Lbs. ivory fondant
½  cup gumpaste

Silver Luster Dust
Gold Luster Dust
Lemon Extract or grain alcohol;
Melted milk chocolate;
1 lb white fondant, divided and colored for clothing
2 large marshmallows

 Tools needed:

 fondant roller and mat
1- 8 ¾” X 6 ½” box , covered with wax paper & dusted with cocoa 
PME wheel cutter ( or Pizza cutter)
Ball tool
Wilton Alphabet/Number cutters
 3/8 “ round cutter & #6 piping tip
Gum Glue
Pattern tracing tool
Contact paper
1/4" Foam Core
X-acto knife
16" sqaure cake drum
4- ¼:” dowels -4” length
2- ¼” dowels- 5” length
1-1/2" dowel- 6-7" in length, 
sharpened at both ends

The top luggage lid is separate, propped up using wooden dowels. It must be
Completely dried and hardened. So it is imperative that the lid, as well as
hardward it be made ahead of time.
I recommend at least 4 days drying time for the lid, more time may be
necessary if the humidity is high. 


1. Knead together 3 lbs 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.

2. Roll out a 9x11 rectangle approximately 3/16” thick;
Lay over prepared 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.

3. 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.

4. Cut four Patches from dark chocolate fondant and attach to each edge of the lid using Gum glue. Trace a stitching line around the edge of each patch.

5.* 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 the small end of the#6 piping tip.

6. 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.


1. Roll out a small amount of firm gumpaste about 1/16th “thick. Cut out 2 lock plates using patterns.
Using the letter “I” Wilton cutter, punch out a slot in the smaller plate.
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.
Glue the keyhole to the right side of the plate using gum glue.

2. Cut 4 buckles using the “D” stretching the inner cutout and rolling the straight edge only, leaving the curved side flat.

3. 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.
Cut 4 buckle tongues, using the “I”, flattening and curving one side, and rolling the other.

4. Take a ball of gum paste (malt ball 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. Set aside to dry completely.

5. Mix the luster dust with alcohol and paint the lock and plates silver, and the buckles and d-rings gold.

6. 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 and insert end through finished d-rings and glue on underside.

The night before assembling cake--- From the blended chocolate fondant,roll out and cut two 4 X 13” rectangles, four 4X 9” rectangles, one 9X13” rectangle, two thin ¾”X 9” strips, two thin ¾” X 13” strips, and two 4X 6 ½” rectangles.

It is best to make these a bit larger than needed, then cut exactly to fit the iced cake as you apply them.

Allow to firm up overnight. This makes the sides easier to apply to the cake.


1. Cut a 9x13 cake board from ¼” foam core.  Cut 9x 6 ½” ”cake board from ¼” foam core. Cut the boards to fit your cake exactly.
Cover with contact paper.
Using a ½” sized dowel, make a hole in the center of the 9x6 ½”  board.

2. Stack and Fill two 9x13x2” cake layers.  Cut the third 9x13” layer in half to form a 6 ½” x 9” two layer cake. Stack and fill.

3.  Ice the bottom cake with non-crusting buttercream icing.

4. Measure your cake carefully and re-cut the edges of the precut fondant rectangles to fit your cake.  Measure twice, cut once. 
Trace a stitching line around the bottom and sides rectangles.  Place along back, then the sides of the cake matching the corners. Attach front last.
5. 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 with melted chocolate.

6. Attach the thin strips along the top edge of bottom tier using melted chocolate, creating the sides of the lid.

7. Cut a 6- ½”x 9” pattern from waxed paper.

8. Before applying the fondant lid, measure the top of cake. Re-measure and re-cut the large 9X13”fondant rectangle to fit top exactly.
Lay waxed paper pattern on top and faintly mark the position of the cake.  Punch out a ½” hole in the middle for the center dowel, and 4 ¼” holes to allow for inserting cake supports.

9. Lay on top of cake and spackle edges and corners with the melted chocolate.

10. Decorate the bottom tier  before placing the second tier on top—
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 2 ½ ” 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, attaching with gum glue.

11. Hammer the ½” dowel through the center hole, and insert the  4 inch-¼” dowels in the surrounding holes.

12. 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.

13. Lay a layer of while fondant over the top of the cake before  applying the side panels.

14. Prepare and place panels on the sides, following the same procedure, as in steps 4 and 5.

15. After the corners are spackled, remove wax paper & cut and prepare 2 separate 2” straps just as before with buckle and tongue. Attach  to front of the cake, using gum glue.  Cut two more 4” straps, attaching to back of the cake.

16.Fasten the locks and plates to both cakes with gum glue.

17. Cut 4 handle holders (triangles). Insert the small end through the d-rings on the
 handles and glue to underside.

18.  Fasten Handles to both cakes with gum glue. Prop up and allow
to dry.

19. Insert two 6 inch ¼” dowels one inch inside front corner.  Cover each with a
large marshmallow. 


  1. Roll out several different colored fondants into 6 inch squares.  Texture and fold; Lay on top of cake.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.;

Jacque Benson . all rights reserved . 2007

This material may not be republished or reproduced in any manner without the expressed permission of the author.

Tuesday, February 28, 2023

How to make SugarPaste Butterflies

These little gumpaste butterflies make a lovely addition to a floral cake topper.
They are made on wire to easily insert into your topper.


Fondant Roller And Board

Patchwork Cutters
#20 Covered Wire
Wire Cutters
Gum Glue
Edible Markers
Non Toxic Pastels


Using wirecutters, cut wire into 6-8 inch lengths.
Roll out a small ball of firm gumpaste on a board, heavily dusted with cornstarch.

Roll thin, but not paper thin. Dust the Butterfly cutter with cornstarch. Press the patchwork cutter into the gumpaste, placing pressure on the edges of the cutter.

Pressing firmly on the cutter, move on board in a circular motion. Holding cutter in place, pull remaining gumpaste away.

Using a pin, loosen gumpaste from cutter. If butterfly should break in half at thorax, don’t worry, it will work just fine.

Roll a small amount of gumpaste into a 3/8” size ball. Moisten one end of wire with
gumglue, and insert into the ball. Press the gumpaste into wire, creating a ½” sausage on the end of the wire and brush with gum glue.

Place the gumpaste covered end of wire vertically over the center of the back side of gumpaste butterfly.


Fold the butterfly over the wire, gently folding the ends of wings to
create movement.

If thorax breaks off during process, make another by forming a thorax from a small sausage of gumpaste. Attach to the butterflies with gumglue

Place on a Styrofoam base to dry.
Once your butterfly has dried, use a colored marker
and paint a few sections of your butterfly.

With a black edible marker, outline the detail of the butterfly,

Repeat on back sides of wings.

Then finish by softening the shades, by coloring
the remainder butterfly using pastels. Gently rub
the pastel color in with a soft paper towel.

Insert wire into your cake topper. 

The butterfly can also be made without the wire
and attached to cake with gum glue.

Just have fun and use your creativity!

Photography and tutorial by Jacque Benson
All rights reserved 2009

Contents of this tutorial cannot be reproduced for
Commercial purposes without permission from author.

Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Sweetheart Cookies

Ready for Valentine's Day?

Here is a simple Jam-filled Butter cookie that is easy to make. They look beautiful and taste delicious!

Sweetheart Cookies


Butter Cookie Dough

1 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 tsp salt ( omit if using salted butter)
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla
2-3 drops orange oil 
2 cups+2 Tblsp all purpose flour
1/3 cup finely ground almonds ( or almond flour )
2 Tbsp confectioners sugar

With an electric mixer, cream butter with granulated and brown sugar. Beat in egg. 
Add vanilla and orange oil. Gradually mix in flour.
Mix ground almonds with confectioners sugar. Add to dough.

Wrap dough in plastic wrap and chill well for easier handling.
If when rolling or cutting with cookie the dough becomes too soft, simply chill for about 10 minutes.


1/3 cup seedless strawberry spread
1 tsp Grand Marnier (opt)

When ready to roll out, divide dough into 4 pieces. 
Place between sheets of wax paper and roll very thin, about 1/8".

Remove the top sheet of wax paper.

Using a 3" heart shaped cookie cutter, cut heart shaped cookies.
For every other heart, cut the center with a 1" heart shaped cutter, creating a "window" for the jam filling.

Flip over onto parchment paper and peel the wax paper from the dough.

Arrange the hearts on the parchment paper. Place on cookie sheet.
Gather scraps, wrap in plastic, chill and repeat process until all the dough is used.
Chill the cookies and the cookie sheet for about 10 minutes before baking.

Bake in a 350 degree oven for 8-9 minutes just until the edges of the cookies become a golden brown.
Remove from oven and place on a cooling rack and cool completely.

Place the Window cookies on a rack and sprinkle with confectioners sugar.

Drop a spoonful of jam onto the center of the solid heart cookies.
Using a spatula, spread the jam towards the edges of cookie, 
leaving a generous amount in the center.

Top with the "window" cookie, as shown below to make
a jam filled cookie.

Place on a pretty serving dish for a beautiful Valentine's display.
Serve, with a kiss, to your favorite person in the world.
Happy Valentine's Day!

Tutorial and photography by Jacque Benson
2011 All Rights Reserved
This material may not be reproduced without permission from the author

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