Friday, February 12, 2010

Bee My Valentine?

by Darla

I’ve always loved bumblebees and ladybugs. As far as bugs go, they’re pretty darn cute…for bugs. Plus, I think they’re perfect for Valentine’s Day.

To make these sweet little bees, you just need fondant and food coloring. Gel colors work best anytime, but especially with fondant because it’s a more concentrated color. It’s more expensive, but if you’re going to be spending a lot of time using fondant or decorating cakes, it’s worth the money. Just tint a small amount of fondant black, an equal amount yellow, and either leave a small bit white for the wings or tint it a color of your choice. I decided to go with light pink.

After tinting your fondant, tear off a small chunk of the yellow.

Roll it into a ball to smooth out any cracks or bumps.

Shape the ball into an egg-like shape. This will be the bee’s body.

Roll out a small piece of black fondant relatively thin. Don’t worry too much about getting sugar on it, it rubs off easily. By the time you’re done decorating everything most of it will have brushed off on it’s own.

Cut strips in the fondant with a sharp knife or Xacto knife. These will be the bee’s stripes.

Wrap the stripes around the body of the bee, trim the excess off, unwrap the stripe and lay it backside up. Using a small paintbrush or a toothpick, paint a small amount of water across the back of each stripe to act as glue. Wrap the stripe back around the bee where you want the stripe to be. You can use a small piece of the excess for the bee’s stinger. Just pinch and roll it until it takes on a cone shape. Press one side down flat and glue it to the bee.

For the bees’ faces I used Wilton Food Writers. These are markers that use food coloring as “ink,” so they are safe to eat. There are other colors and shades, as well as different brands, but these are the most widely available.

Don’t they look happy? When using Food Writers, be careful not to smudge your writing or drawing. The color takes a while to dry, so I suggest doing your writing, then leaving the piece to sit and dry for a while.

While their cute little faces dry, roll out the fondant that you set aside for the wings. Cut out two teardrop shapes per bee with a cutter or by hand.

Dab a small amount of water onto the pointed end of each wing and glue them to the body. And that’s it…happy little bees. Set them aside to dry a bit before you use them.

I think they’re in love!

I also made a little lady bug.

To make one yourself, start out with a ball of fondant just like with the bees. Shape it into a subtle egg shape, then lay it on a flat surface and gently press down to flatten one side. Now draw the details on with Food Writers.

To use your sweet bugs on a cupcake, just make your favorite recipe and cover with a thin layer of frosting.

Allow the frosting to air dry, then add more frosting to build up a small dome on top of the cupcake. If your recipe already baked up with a pretty dome, you can skip this step. After building up the dome, allow it to air dry again. Gently smooth the frosting by tapping lightly with your fingers to get rid of any bumps or lumps. If the frosting is still a little sticky, you can dampen your fingers lightly with water to prevent sticking.

Once your cupcakes are ready, roll out some more fondant and use a round cutter that is the same size as the cupcake top, or very slightly smaller, to cut out a disk for the top of the cupcake. If the disk is slightly small, you can gently stretch it to fit over the dome better.

At this point, you can emboss the fondant if you like. Here I used a clean rubber stamp (I only use stamps that have never had ink on them, just to be safe), but you can use embossing sheets or they sell tools specifically for embossing fondant. Place the fondant disk on top of the cupcake.

Smooth the disk over the dome of frosting so that it comes down to the paper liner. I like to put a little trim around the edge of the cupcake sometimes. You can make tiny little flowers and glue them on, or you can put a pretty ribbon of fondant around the cake. Here I used craft scissors to get a scalloped edge, but you can also get aWilton fondant ribbon cutter. Once the piece is cut, just use a small amount of water to glue it on. Now you can decorate with your bees, some flowers, and other pretty elements.

Next week I am posting another flower tutorial, this time for the little red rose seen on the cupcake to the left. Be sure to check it out, they’re easier than you think.

I hope everyone has a fun, sweet Valentine’s Day! Enjoy!

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Melissa D. February 12, 2010 at 11:53 am

I just clicked over from your cake wrecks comment. I love the bees and lady bugs . . . and most of what I've seen on your site. Just thought you might want to know a total stranger stopped by and thought your site and work was super-duper adorable! Happy V-day!

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2 bttrflybabydoll February 12, 2010 at 2:51 pm

So cute! Good job on those! I'm going to try fondant soon. I swear!

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3 Rosa February 13, 2010 at 2:18 pm

I just hopped over from Cake Wrecks, too. I never would have thought to use scrapbooking tools for fondant! Really, that's so clever. I love the effect of the rubber stamp on the fondant. What great ideas. I've bookmarked this page so I can visit often.

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4 Sugarbear February 13, 2010 at 2:31 pm

Thank you so much for checking me out!! And thank you for the nice compliments! I'm just starting out at this and it means so much to hear positive feedback from people!

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5 Tina @ Sugar Bean Bakers December 21, 2012 at 2:52 am

Dawww!!! I love them

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