This dinosaur cake was my first attempt at several things: shaped cakes, gluten-free cakes, and homemade fondant. As I look back on my efforts, any one of those things would be an undertaking in itself. But all three together?! It just goes to show that I didn’t know what I didn’t know.
Tips and Tricks
I’m proud of my efforts, but a couple thoughts:
- Because gluten-free cake tends to be very unstable, I’ve found that it doesn’t work well with fondant. If you are going to attempt fondant on a gluten-free cake, make sure you have tried your recipe and that it’s firm enough to hold the weight of the cake. One of my favorite gluten-free cakes to make is a pumpkin cake made with Mochiko flour. Because pumpkin cake already has a small amount of flour and gets most of its structure from the pumpkin and eggs, the replacement is minimal and the taste is excellent. Cake brownies are also a great candidate for GF flour.
- If you are making a shaped cake, consider making the small parts with rice crispy treat or cake ball material (cake scraps mixed with a small amount of icing). Here, I tried to use straight cake for the tail, back leg, and neck of my dinosaur, and you can see that I just wasn’t able to get it thin enough to be convincing.
- Always ice the outside of your cake with buttercream before covering with fondant. This will ensure a smooth surface for your fondant lay on. Fondant is very revealing, but sometimes this can work to your advantage, like with this Body Form Quilt Cake.
This cake kicked off what was to become a decade of bakes that just got better and better. I’m pretty good now, but I still have flops. Baking is a skill, and all skills require practice. Hang in there friends!
April 7, 2010