I recently got a freelance job styling a photo shoot for a large company for Valentine’s Day. One of their requests was one of those great ones Vintage cakes Which you may have seen recently. I’ve loved the super decorative, intricate piping and pastel colors of 50’s and 60’s cakes for ages. It’s just fun and whimsy! I decided to make a fake cake myself because I didn’t know any decorators who could do it. Then, on Valentine’s Day exchange, I decided to make 20 little fake cakes to give away. You could say I’ve caught the baking bug. I had a few people Instagram He inquired about how to make it so I decided to make a tutorial on how to make a fake cake.
First, here’s the heart cake I made for the shoot.
It was for falls apart Cookies So the hero was the cookies and I’m honestly so relieved that you can’t see the sides very well because it was my first time making a cake in my life and I had no idea what I was doing. I didn’t even look for any tutorials because I was in such a difficult time. I’ve since made quite a few cakes, and although no bride or groom has hired me for their big day, I will say I’ve picked up a few tricks that will help you make your own.
How to make a fake cake
Beginner to advanced depending on skills
2-3 days (including drying time). Actual time can be an hour depending on size and skill
Make your own model
You can either choose to make a model out of cardboard, which is what I did, or you can purchase one. I used old shipping boxes to make it look like a pinata. I’ve included a link to where to get the forms in the materials above. If you choose cardboard, you will draw your shape, choose a 4-inch circle, cut it out and then choose how thick you want it to be by cutting rectangular strips of that size against the grain of the cardboard (this is important).
Once you have your shapes cut out, you will use your rectangular strips and bend each piece of cardboard so that it is flexible and can be shaped into the shape you want.
How to mix colors
If you want everything to be white, you’re in luck! Just use spackling directly from the sink. If you want your cake to be colorful, you will need to mix the colors with acrylic paint. I use a plastic tub and add it to the spackling. I take out a little acrylic paint and mix it up. I start with less than I think (the less you have, the more pastels you will have). If you want a really bold color, use dark acrylic paint and add more paint to it. It will take some experimentation to get the right color.
Warning: The more saturated the color, the runnier and less defined the tubes will be. To compensate for this, use a darker acrylic paint color.
Fill your bag
Use the instructions on your baking tips to add the tips to the bags. I like to fold the end of the bag over when I add the bag to the bag. Close it with an elastic band to keep it tight.
Add on frosting to the base
Now we have to add on the frosting! If you want a white cake, you’re in luck! Just use spackling straight from the bucket. If you want color, see above on how to add colors under How to Mix Colors
Using a putty knife, add the filling to the cake. You can make them vertical or horizontal lines. I liked the “frosting” not to be completely smooth to make it look like real frosting. Wait about 24 hours for the coating to dry.
Pipe your cake
Now is the fun therapy part! Get our cake tips and get to work! I used the instructions on my cake tips to learn how to make the shapes.
I found that where the top meets the sides doesn’t always get a good base coat of frosting so I knew I wanted to hide it with some piping. I started by placing a shell design around the edge, then filled it in with stars, dots, flowers, and more.
As you plan your design, add cherries as you go so they can pipe dry. If you don’t, that’s okay too, but at least make a spot in the pipes where they’ll eventually sit.
Have fun piping your design. When finished, leave it to dry for 24 hours. It may be a little rubbery, but it should be sturdy enough to be moved.
Once dry, I added a piece of automotive stock to the bottom of the cake and used Elmer’s glue to attach it. I also added the words “Happy Valentine’s Day” and have since flagged “Happy Birthday” on a skewer and punched it into the cake. I love the height it adds to the cake!
How to connect a shell
The size of the tip depends on the size you want. I used the star tip to create this. You start by releasing the frosting onto the cake, then making a ring around it and releasing it. Honestly, I didn’t read any instructions before I started so it took me a while to figure it out but eventually I got there. Oof!
How to poop a star
Use your star’s advice for this. I think the star is one of the easiest ways to make it look impressive. All you have to do is place your tip where you want it, squeeze it and release it while keeping the bag and your hand centered.
How to connect a point
Use a round decorating tip for this. Squeeze the bag in one small push to create the dot. If it forms a dot from its release, you can dip your finger in cornstarch to pat it down!
How to create loot
I really wanted to do some lining around the sides of the cake, but I found that the overlay created a stop-and-go line, which is basically Morse code, and I couldn’t get it to work well, so I ended up making them out of stars and loved how it turned out! If someone has some advice, I’m all ears!
How to install pipe rosettes
I used Star’s tip for the roses. There are a lot of variations on roses, but the one I like the most is that I’ll start in the middle, create a circle and then end up in the middle again.
I had such a great time making my 20 cupcakes that I started wondering to myself if this was my new identity. Am I a fake cake person now? Ha! The answer is yes. Now I want to make them for every holiday and every birthday. Stay tuned! Hahahahaha!