Beauty and the Beast Cake Giveaway! 

I have to admit, when Disney first announced the new Beauty and the Beast movie, I wasn’t that excited. Could Emma Watson, best known for her role as Hermione Granger, make a good Belle? Is it a good fit? How is the film going to look?

But after I saw how beautiful the live-action Cinderella turned out, my doubts sort of went to the side. Then I saw the first image from the movie and I fell in love!

This all came about because I was challenged by a friend to make a stained glass window cake, using the stained glass window from the first movie. I really thought about doing this for a while. I printed it out, figured out how big it would have to be for both quarter and half sheet cakes. But then I saw how small all the details would have to be on a quarter sheet and quite frankly, making a half sheet would be too much for a personal project.

Then I got the idea to do something more in my style. I was in love with the lovely folds of Belle’s dress in the image used for the cover of Entertainment Weekly. I thought about how these characters would look on a cake. I then took an inventory of the colors I already had to see if I could do this in some sort of economical way. When I can be resourceful and use what I already have on hand, I absolutely try to be!

Then I thought, “wouldn’t it  be fun to give this cake away on my Facebook page to feel like I am a part of this huge movie event?”  I know a lot of people are excited about this movie, so I hope that whomever wins is both a super fan of custom cakes AND Walt Disney pictures!

Below I am going to take you through my process of making these characters step-by-step. The very first thing I do is come up with my color palette. These are the colors I came up with, below. I only had to make a bit more of the golden yellow.

The next step was to make a silhouette. I use this as a backing for my realistic fondant work. It allows me to give it extra support and to keep everything in proportion. I used a Sharpie to make an outline of the basic image. Then I rolled out some white fondant very thin.

Next, I added tylose powder to a good amount of fondant. Tylose powder makes fondant dry quickly and more firmly.

Then I put my image on top of the fondant and gently pricked it with a pin. This allows me to only cut the image ONCE. I used to cut out the image as a template, then put it on my fondant and cut it again. This way is so much better.

It is almost impossible to see the little pin pricks in the photo I took, so I left that photo out! I got my X-Acto knife and put in a fresh blade and began to cut. I also cut out the negative space. In fact, I cut the negative space out first so it doesn’t get distorted. Then I dusted a piece of wax paper with corn starch to avoid sticking and transferred the image to the wax paper to dry.

From here, it was just a matter of slowly layering and building up the image from the bottom up. The first thing I did was Belle’s torso without her head. I wanted to make the head separate so that it would appear that she was looking up. I wanted to layer the bottom of her head on her neck to make it more realistic.

I rolled my fondant sort of thick for Belle’s head so I could add details and really contour her nose and blend her neck and throat together.

For her hair, I started with the hair in the back. Then I could layer the hair in the front over it.

I made sure to make her sleeves before her hair since her hair rests over her dress. I didn’t take a ton of pics of making the Beast’s head, but I did it in the same way. I added extra fondant for his cheek and blended it in. Then I made some thin strips for some more of his fly-away hairs. I skipped his horn for now. I wanted to start in on that beautiful dress!

The Dress .. I noticed in the image that she has a lot of light, tulle-like layers underneath. The best way to tackle this was from the bottom up.

The first step was to make some very thin strips of my yellow fondant. I made sure my surface was well-dusted so it would not stick.

Next, using my ball tool and my sponge, I made the edge even thinner!

The next thing to do was to lightly wet the white fondant with a little water using a paint brush. Then I ruffled up my thinned-out fondant and applied it. I kept going and going until I had three layers of ruffles.

The finished ruffles, below. This did not take very long.

The next part, I knew, was going to be much easier. I rolled out my fondant, but thicker than last time, for the main part of her dress.  I would layer this over her underskirt. I noticed that there is one barely noticeable layer above the tulle, so I started with that.

I added it to the figure, cut it down to size, and thinned it out at the top to avoid bulk.

Using a pencil and looking at my reference material, I planned where I would place the rest of the layers. Then I simply added them from the bottom to the top.

The top-most layer in her three-layer dress was the most-ruched. I made that a little thinner than the other layers to allow me to make all the pretty folds. I adjusted this layer and all the layers by hand to emulate the feeling of movement of the original photograph.

I took a break for a few days after this part was finished. The next part to complete was the Beast. The best place to start was his legs, so I could overlap his jacket over it. I made a layer of brown, and added a thicker layer in the middle to add depth. Then I made it look hairy with my veiner tool. I shaped small pieces of brown fondant and attached it to the bottom for his paws. Very small pieces of black fondant were used for his claws, which I shaped by hand. I used my viener tool to help me attach the claws so I wouldn’t smoosh them.

The next step was his jacket. I added some tiny white ruffles for his undershirt and sleeve. Only a simple, small amount of brown was needed for his hand. It can barely be seen.

Using small amounts of rolled blue fondant, I started to make the folds of his jacket at the shoulders and at the back where his buttons are.

Then I cut his jacket using the same method I used before for the sillouette and gently added it on, cutting where it was too much. Then I added some fondant for his arm and made his sleeve over it. I used my ball tools and my viener tools to define the wrinkles even more.

I am going to take a very quick detour here …. I am very active on Instagram (@nicholescustomcakes) and posted a step-by-step photo. Somehow or another, it got featured! I went from barely any Followers to almost 800! And the post got 12,000 likes total! It was astounding! Usually  my posts only get about 20-40 likes.

Next, I added his horns with some dark brown fondant and used a flat-sided tool to add the texture. Then I used some small bits of white fondant to add his buttons and the piece in her hair.

I bought a fresh, new small tipped paint brush at Michael’s Arts and Crafts to paint the remaining details. This part was very relaxing. I made edible paint by combining gold dust and a little vodka. I cleaned by brush often to avoid build up and to keep my lines clean. When the paint builds up on your brush, your strokes become much less defined.

First I painted the buttons and the hair piece, then cleaned up where I got paint on the jacket with a little water. Then I went back in to do the embroidery. My brush wasn’t quite as fine as I expected, so my strokes ended up being thicker than I wanted, but that’s okay.

The very last thing to do was to take a small, dry brush and to add a little shading on the jacket and their brown hair, as well as the horn. I decided not to shade the dress at all because it makes its own shadows. I added some blush to her cheek, but I cleaned it off because it was too much. All I did to take it off was wet a clean brush, wet her face, and pat it dry with a paper towel. You can’t always erase your mistakes with luster dusts, but since this area had no other painted details, I could.

Next stop will be adding this to a cake!

You can win this cake on Facebook! From March 6-13, like and comment on my post that looks like the picture below to be eligible to win this fondant decoration on a 9″ x 13″ vanilla cake with vanilla buttercream. My page is

beauty and the beast.JPG

Look for this post on FB to like and comment to win this cake!

Rules: Must be able to pick up on March 18 or 19, 2017 at 9-10 AM or in the afternoon in Quakertown, PA. You will receive one cake, no purchase necessary. Winner will be drawn randomly on If the winner does not claim the cake, we will just have to eat it ourselves (darn!). All customers are eligible to win (both new and existing). This giveaway is NOT sponsored by the Walt Disney Company or Facebook.


Daniel M. was randomly selected and won this cake! Here are two pictures of the finished cake, which was chocolate chip pound cake with vanilla buttercream icing:


They loved the cake and gave me this wonderful feedback:

Everyone loved the beautiful cake! The cake was delicious! It tasted as good as it looked! Even better than the taste was the fact that the cake gave us a reason to get together with friends and family. Thank you again for the beautiful cake and the memories we made because of it.

Thanks for reading!

DQ Blizzard Cake 

For a couple of months now, I have been planning how to make my husband a surprise DQ Blizzard cake for his birthday – and in his favorite flavor, chocolate with Reese’s peanut buttercups. I was inspired by Cake Style’s Starbucks cake ( and watched the tutorial a bunch of times. I didn’t want to make it quite as big as her cake, however. I decided to make a cake that was 6″ diameters at the top and tapered down.

My first task was to find a reputable person to make my edible image. I decided on the seller Edible Party Images on Etsy. Before I even ordered, I messaged them and explained exactly what I wanted to do to see if they understood. I had issues in the past with another seller who didn’t make my custom image correct at all. They seemed to know what I meant, so I ordered a 7.5″ x 10″ and asked for two logos in a couple of difference sizes.

The only other thing I had to do ahead of time was make the illusion of the famous Dairy Queen red spoon peeking out of the top of the Blizzard. I got some red fondant, mixed it with Tylose, then rolled it out sort of thick. Then I put my skewer on the fondant and folded over. Next, I cut it in the appropriate shape and sealed the sides.I let it dry for about a week, so that it would be nice and stiff.

For the cake, I baked 1.5 batches of Hershey’s Perfectly Chocolate Cake. I baked them up in 3 6″ tins. Then I split them so I would have 6 layers total. I left the top layer domed so it could look like the ice cream.

When that was done, I tested to see if everything was going to work.

From there, I made a big batch of buttercream. I made about 3 cups into peanut butter by adding some Natural Jif until I was satisfied. To make what would look like ice cream, I added some cocoa powder to about a cup of buttercream. Then I swirled some peanut butter icing in, making it a chocolate AND PB icing. It’s so delicious!

I also prepared my 8″ cake board.

In between the layers, I knew I wanted Reese’s minis. I chopped the entire 8 ounce bag up for the cake.

From there, I slowly built up the cake. I put blue on the outside, which was completely unnecessary because I was going to carve the sides of the cake.

After the first three layers were done, I added some dowel rods for support since the cake is going to be so tall.

Eek, it looked scary at this point, but it was now ready to carve. I also put in a center dowel rod at some point:

All the yummy cake scraps from carving.

Below is how it looked after carving with my serrated knife. I simply and carefully tapered it toward the bottom, careful not to over do it.

It’s important to put it back into the fridge at this point so your buttercream gets stiff and doesn’t budge as you put the icing on the outside.

Next, I put on a thick layer of blue icing.

Then I smoothed it out. After this, put it back into the refrigerator to stiffen up.

While it was resting in the fridge, I cut the logo with my X-Acto knife and made the rim with my extruder.

I used the half moon shape for the rim. I feel like the rim really brought it together to make a realistic cake.

Next, I added the chocolate buttercream and made it look nice and messy, like a real Blizzard. Then I cut my miniature Reese’s peanut buttercups and half and stuck them into the chocolate. Next, I put my “spoon” in the cake. After chilling the edible image in the freezer for about ten minutes, I carefully peeled it and placed it on the cake.

My kids couldn’t believe this cake! My husband loves it and didn’t guess what it was for a while into the process what exactly I was making. When I took my photos, my kids got into the action. They had a lot of fun taking pictures with the cake. I don’t normally let my kids so close to my fancy cakes, but this was for ourselves, so I let them have some fun.


Well, there you have it! That’s how you make a Dairy Queen Blizzard cake. I hope that you enjoyed my tutorial. As usual, if you have any questions, just ask me here, on Facebook, or even on Instagram (@NicholesCustomCakes).

Finally, here it is cut! It was delicious. 


Football jersey cake 

Time for a quick tutorial! But first, I want to say that I adapted this idea from the Starry Delights blog here: .

My nephew, Nate, has turned 11! He’s my godson and we almost share a birthday — he’s on the 1st and I am on the 6th. I’ve been making cakes for him for a while now:

And I haven’t made him one in a few years. My very first one for him (above) was a Spiderman Wilton cake and I haven’t used the pan since then! It was simple, but I was really proud of it at the time. You can see he went through a ninja phase and also a Ben Ten phase. But what he really loves right now is football – as a fan and as a football player himself. Last year, his team even won the Championships!  Football is really big in his family and in his area, so it only made sense.

So I got the idea last year (or the year before, I think) of making him a jersey cake. My sister uploaded the photo below to Facebook and I was inspired. My skills have really progressed since the slightly embarrassing Lego cake above, so I really wanted to make him something cool.


I found the blog (see first paragraph, above) about how to make a realistic jersey and knew I had to make my own version for him as a surprise.

The first thing I had to do was print and scale down the Parkers logo, Under Armour logo and the Adidas logo. I wanted it to be a very close replica! I do all of this in a Word Doc. Old school, I know.

Then I cut it out and put it on my 1/4 sheet pan to make sure that it will all fit properly.

I hand-cut all my letters out of fondant. I actually had to make a new Adidas logo because I made it the wrong color, whoops. His birthday message was out of my favorite Tappit letter cutters. I really didn’t think the tiny Under Armour logo was possible, but it turned out pretty good (if you didn’t get too close!).

I knew that I didn’t want to cut away from the cake to make the arms, but wasn’t sure how to tackle that. But then I remembered that I had a spare 6″ cake in the freezer from another project. Really glad that I didn’t toss it! So what I did was I cut it in half, then adjusted it to look like football jersey sleeves by cutting up at an angle.

Then I put it onto the sides of my quarter sheet cake and adjusted accordingly to make sure it would fit on the board! I had to use a 13″ x 19″ board to accommodate the sleeves.

Nate chose a red velvet cake. I have tried other red velvet cake recipes before, but decided to try one that was specifically meant for a sheet pan. I found it on Pinterest, of course, from the Spice Southern Kitchen blog

When it was time to decorate, the first thing I did was a good crumb coat in buttercream. I also used buttercream to attach the sleeves to the sheet cake. Then I let it rest to chill and set.

From there, I had to cover it in fondant. First thing I did was a light coating of vegetable shortening so that the fondant would stick to buttercream.

Using a toothpick, I drew where I wanted the undershirt to be. Then I traced over my markings on parchment paper (which is slightly see through), making sure I also marked off the width of the side of the cake.

Then I laid my template on my black fondant and cut it out with a pizza cutter.

Then I placed it on my guidelines and trimmed it up.

Next, since I wanted a realistic shirt, I rolled some fondant and tapered it at the top and applied it to my cake. This would be for wrinkles that naturally occur in fabric.

I make wrinkles where the arm meets the arm pit and long ones on the torso.

Next, I measured out 2.5 lbs of fondant (2 lbs, 8 oz). This is theamount that the Wilton chart says for a 9″ x 13″ cake. I hoped that it would also be enough for the sleeves, too (it was).

I rolled it out as evenly as I could.

I folded the fondant over and placed it over half way. Then flipped the top onto the cake.

I marked where the black undershirt was hidden underneath and cut it out with my X-Acto knife.

Then I wanted to add my collar. I used my ruler and my X-Acto board as a guide.

Then I placed on both sides and trimmed it down. I made sure to overlap with the black undershirt to make sure that it covered the gap. Don’t mind the Halloween candy in the backround …

Next, I cut some gray for the lines on the sleves, applied them, and trimmed them up.

Next, I wanted to add some shading. I mixed white and black petal dust and got a large, dry Wilton paint brush and lightly added shadows.

I think this is what truly made everything POP and come together. I forgot to mention, I also added my logos and numbers after making the collar. All it needed was a light moistening with water. I used my veiner tool to add other details. I stuck on the birthday message by wetting it with some water and was done!

When the lighting was good, I took my “professional” picture. I sort of like the one above better, though!


Finally the night of his party came. Most of his friends were decked out in Under Armour and Parkers gear, so I was excited for them to see the cake. When we presented him with the cake, he was completely surprised! And all of his friends loved it, too. Here he is with his cake:


I hope that you enjoyed this blog post. If you have any questions about anything I may have missed or left out, just give me a shout here, on Facebook, etc.

Don’t forget — I had an Instagram account @NicholesCustomCakes.