Pet Lovers Cake

Dogs and a Cat

This is a new one on me… my friend is having a dinner party. She has invited two couples and wants a carrot cake with her dogs and her guests pets on it. She is the owner of two Portuguese Water dogs with wavy coats. One of the couples also has two Portuguese Water dogs, but with the curly coat. The third couple that will be at dinner has a large cat.

Well,  I guess I’ll just jump in. I asked for photos of all the pets so I could try and make these animals  look like themselves, not just generic dogs and cat.

dog skeletons from wire and foil

Stainless wire, foil and masking tape make up the armature of the dogs.

After doing some research on making armatures, of which I had trouble finding for cake decorating, I decided to start with stainless steel wire. It took me a few times to get the right size. All the dogs were pretty much the same size, but to help with personalizing I wanted them in different positions. Not sure where to go after the wire structure, so I figured maybe I’d just build up the forms with aluminum foil. Turned out I needed some masking tape to hold the foil in place. Like I said, new to me. Hopefully I was doing something right. I’d given up the edible part at the get go. This way they could keep the sculptures if they wanted.

With the armatures finished it was time to figure out the hair on each dog. I had two wavy and two curly haired dogs. I think I went the long way around doing this, but in the end decided to use a garlic press. I could press out long enough sections of hair to then curve a little for the longer-haired dogs. Since the curly-haired dogs are groomed closer to the body I didn’t have to actually make it curly. For the most part the dogs are black or black and white. It was going to be hard to make different shades of black to get some depth. I think my best bet is to use some dusting powder afterwards to change shades here and there.

dogs with first layer of fondant

Armatures that are covered with a mixture of gum paste and fondant wait for their hair.

First I put a layer of gum paste mixed with fondant on the armatures. That gave me a little more shape to work with. I would have to use the length of the “hair” to shape from here on out though.

I would begin with the longer wavy haired dogs. For the hair to overlap, I had to start at the bottom of the legs and work my way up to the head. It took me a few tries to get the right amount of gum paste in the garlic press to do what I wanted. Referring to  the photos of the dogs, I added “hair” trying to get the colors in the right place. I left the eyes for later.

wavy hair portie

First wavy hair Portie with pink tongue and nose.

How am I going to make personality show in these dogs?! I figured I wouldn’t make them too perfect, give them a few quirks.  For sparkling eyes I can use small black beads. Remember, these are non-edible so beads are okay. Maybe a tongue sticking out? Sure, why not?

curly Porties

Finished black and white curly-haired Porties.

Next, I tackled the two curly-haired dogs. I would need shorter clumps of “hair”. Only the ears are somewhat longer, but still neatly clipped. I found that after I stuck the clumps on, I could gently push and create some movement to the hair.

cat on a couch

Long haired cat on cereal treat couch.

The cat I made with just gum paste and green bead eyes. That was trickier because it was so much smaller. I only had photos of it lying down, so that was the pose I went with. Having had a cat for many years I knew that cats are pretty much always in charge. The picture in my mind was of a cat lying on a red couch, looking down at the dogs. The couch I made of cereal treats.

wavy haired dogs

Finished wavy haired dogs with brown petal dust for color variation.

My next task was to put the eyes in and give the wavy haired dogs a little variation in color. They have many different shades of brown, especially around the faces. A little grey/white around the mouth.

A little dusting powder for them and the cat’s markings and I was finished with the animals. I think they look like their photos, hope the owners feel that way!

I had settled on the red couch (ha,ha), but not on the other colors for the cake. I’ve always liked red and camel together. I went with that. and  covered the cakes in camel colored fondant. Looked pretty plain, so I added a red stripe at the  base of each layer. Last minute decision was to add paw prints somewhere. I tried a couple of places and decided on placing them around the base of the cake. That’s a lot of little pieces! Who’s bright idea was that?!

Finally finished with the prints. Now it’s time to add the dogs and cat… Nice!

dog and cat cake

Dogs and cat portray the dinner party guests’ pets.

 

 

2 Comments

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  1. Nkese says:

    I absolutely love this cake….I have a cake coming up in which I have to make an armature thank you for giving instructions….I love the pets I think they are awesome and so lifelike great work…

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