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Cricut Cake Part 2

If you read Part 1 (yesterday) you will know that my Cricut Cake and I were not fast friends. However, I was determined to master it and I did. So I wanted to share my tips and discoveries with all of you.

This is a cake I made for Super Bowl Sunday:


We were a house divided so I had to make a half and half cake.


I used my Everyday Paper Dolls Cartridge for the little football players, goal post and footballs.


The side has a banner from Cake Basics and then I added the little footballs. I FINALLY had enough time and energy to do a bit of “finishing” on this one and added dots of yellow buttercream around the top and bottom. Kevin said this was the best one yet…it was also the easiest!

I can’t believe how easy it has turned out to be to use my Cricut Cake machine. I really struggled with it at first and I know a lot of others have as well so I will go through all of my steps:

1. PLAN YOUR DESIGN – it is really the best to plan your design and lay it all out in Design Studio. I make a file for each color of gumpaste I will be using. I use the cake pan size as a guide for sizing my design. By doing this you can cut your gumpaste quickly before it warms and softens when you take it out of the freezer. Resist the urge to weld one long border piece – it will be MUCH harder to move and put onto your cake!

2. Make your gumpaste sheets (not fondant.) – I have been using the Cricut Gumpaste in the tub and have been very happy with it. I use 3 mats when doing this but I may need more….be sure to knead your chunk of gumpaste really well to get it soft and pliable. Now put on some latex gloves, rub them all over with a bit of crisco and start coloring. I use Americolor coloring gel a drop or two at a time…knead it really well to get the color smooth and not streaky.

3. Roll it out on a flexible plastic mat (Cricut mat if you have enough) dusted with a mix of half cornstarch and half powdered sugar. Roll it really thin. Like really thin. Then roll it thinner.

4. Cover your Cricut mat with Crisco – you want a good thorough coating so your gumpaste will stick and not move around. Lay the mat on top of your rolled gumpaste and then flip your “sandwich” over and carefully peel your top mat off.

5. Trim the gumpaste so it is within the borders of your Cricut mat. Now roll it out some more – I can usually get it even thinner at this stage. Trim again to keep from gunking up your rollers.

6. Now put the mat in the freezer for 30 minutes or so. I do ALL of my mats at once so they can all sit in the freezer. You can put some saran wrap over them so they don’t dry out.

7. Once the gumpaste has chilled you are ready to cut. Since you have your design laid out in Design Studio you can cut all your items from each color quickly. Once each one is done remove the excess gumpaste and put it back in the freezer.

8. Now you need to put your layers together. I used some “glue” I made by dissolving a bit of gumpaste in water. I painted it on the back of my layers as I put them together. Once done I put them all BACK in the freezer, covered, until I was ready to put them on my cake. This way they would be a bit sturdier when I move them.

9. Bake your cake and ice it – I highly recommend Rick’s Special Buttercream – THE BEST.

10. Now simply add your gumpaste cut-outs to your cake!

Does anyone else have a Cricut Cake machine? Do you use yours? Do you have any other helpful tips to share? Leave a comment and let us know.

Cricut Cake Part 1: Cookies

I have been the proud owner of a Cricut Cake machine since it came out. However, it has not come without a long learning curve, so I am here to give you the lowdown on the machine as I have experienced it.

I have been a cookie maker/decorator for many years so I was honestly more excited about the cookie possibilities than I was about the cake decorating possibilities. So how did it do?

Fall cookies made using the Doodlecharms Cartridge and frosted with Royal Icing. Cupcakes in the back with little matching Fondant leaves.

Ladybug cookies with Royal Icing base and Fondant top layer

These little gems did NOT come without frustration.

First cutting the cookie dough. I ALWAYS use Martha Stewart’s basic sugar cookie recipe and have for years. Tastes delicious and DOES NOT lose it’s detail or puff out when baked.

As shown above the dough MUST be put in the freezer for 10-15 minutes before you try to cut it or your edges will be ragged. In addition you must be sure to roll it out thin enough to fit under the roller bar of the machine. In addition I found it better to cut the SHADOWS of each shape out of the dough for you cookies.

Next I put the royal icing base on. Now, I have always done the entire surface of a cookie with Royal Icing – details and all. But, I thought, wouldn’t it be awesome if I could do layers with my Cricut Cake instead? Commence disaster….I used fondant. I rolled it out nice and thin (I thought) and tried to cut. The fondant did NOT stay still on the mat despite having used Crisco like I was supposed to. I put it in the freezer for half an hour and tried again. I had much better luck with the actual cutting:

Getting it OFF the mat was another story altogether. The fondant was sticky and stretchy and I found it nearly impossible to get it off the mat without it being distorted. I would put it in the freezer but it would thaw back out quickly and get sticky so I was putting it back in constantly and it was very time consuming. After spending an entire day trying, I only had the three ladybugs that turned out well. Here are a couple others I tried to do but gave up before doing all of the layers.


You can see how badly the fondant layer matched the base shadow layer.

I finally admitted defeat with the fondant, but not the Cricut Cake. I was determined to master it and I did. Tune in for part 2 tomorrow to see what I finally learned for perfect results every time.

Pros:

  • I can cut a huge variety of shapes in all sizes without the expense or storage headache of individual cookie cutters.
  • I knew once I learned – I would be able to make the layers for each cookie shape quicker and easier and better than I could with Royal Icing
  • Works with ALL of the regular Cricut Cartridges.

Cons:

  • Cricut Cake has a learning curve – you cannot take it out of the box and be an instant decorator. (Of course this can be accomplished and then this con goes away).
  • It takes a lot longer to cut cookies this way than the traditional cookie cutter way.
  • Supplies can be tough to find.

Do you have a Cricut Cake? Do you like it? Do you use it? Have you thought about getting one? Why did you or did you not get one?

Martha Stewart Cricut Cake Winner

Congratulations to the winner of the ProvoCraft Martha Stewart Cricut Cake Machine and cartridges…
Gwen Howard said…
How cool to be at the show live! I’ve always wanted to be there. Love the pillow created with a stencil made with punches. Would love to win her tool give-a-way and your Cricut give-a-way! Hope to join you today for the Tweetchat.
If you are our lucky winner, just email your name and address to info{at}craftcritique.com.  Please put Cricut Cake Winner in the subject. Thanks everyone for your great comments and stay tuned for a complete recap of our Martha adventure!

Click on the link at the top of the page to visit Craft Critique for comments, giveaways and more!