American Cake Decorating is one of my very favorite cake magazines.

Serious coffee table eye-candy, I tell you.
It’s just beautiful to look at on top of being chock full of good stuff on the inside.


So when asked to design a “Modern Bride” themed cake for their debut issue under their new editor, Rebekah Naomi Wilbur, well… you can imagine how ridiculously lovely that made me feel.

When it came time to sit down and design this particular cake, my brain didn’t even struggle.

(Uhh, did you HEAR(read) that?  MY BRAIN DIDN’T STRUGGLE.  Say wha??)

An image immediately popped into it and I knew exactly what I wanted to do.
(Ok, it was a really weird day, ’cause, like, THAT NEVER HAPPENS.)


Golden drippy…gold dipped feathers, sparkly sticks and balls, and gelatin bubbles.

All in a dusty rose and *AHEM* gold color scheme on a white backdrop.
(It was all there in my brain.  I kid you not.  And then I proceeded to close my gaping mouth at the sheer and utter shock of the design already BEING right there in my brain.  Without struggle.
Did I mention how weird that is?)


I knew how I was going to go about fashioning most of the design… but gelatin bubbles were new to me.
And since they were a non-negotiable feature of the design in my brain, I figured I better get to working out how to go about making them.
(Brain STILL bossy.  No changing that, apparently.)


So’s I did.
And they turned out to not be nearly as complicated as I thought they would be, hallelujah!  (The video tutorial of how to make them… what I did wrong, and then what I did right is up at the top of this post.  The recipe is also listed in the recipe section of Cakeheads, here.)


And the cake came together just how I was hoping it would!  (Ok, it was a really weird WEEK.)
And now I think I’ve finally gotten “drippy” cakes out of my system.  (No judging!  They’re fun, and easy, and extremely addicting… and ALL the rage these days, it seems.)


Aaaaaand I’m gonna go ahead and pretend the designing of this one was not particularly easy, like normal.
So that way, next project, I won’t have any standards for my annoyingly picky, stubborn, over all “difficult-to-deal-with” brain.

You know.  Just sayin’. Xx


Cake Notes:

You can view the tutorial on how to make roses, HERE, which I made out of modeling chocolate this time (no drying time, yay!) and attached them to the cake with wooden white lollipop sticks.

You can view the recipe for and the tutorial on how to create the drippy effect, HERE.


After I created the drippy on my fondant covered cake (though, you could leave the finish as buttercream if you’d rather) I let it dry for an hour or so and painted the drippy with a mixture I created of Pharoah’s Gold luster dust by Oasis Supply Company and Everclear.  (Or you could use Vodka or lemon extract.)
Don’t add too much alcohol or the “paint” will be too thin… which will be completely frustrating when trying to get a solid coat of color on it.

When it dried, it wasn’t as solid gold as I was hoping it would be… so I then took the same gold highlighter dust and brushed it over top of the painted gold, and that did the trick.

Clearly you’ll need to give yourself some extra time for these steps as it’s not the quickest process in the world.   And SERIOUSLY charge for your time if you’ve to do this on a large cake like this one!

Another note… the gold dust I used, while non-toxic and intended for cake decorating use, is not technically edible.  SO, it’s best to inform your customer of this and tell them to avoid eating the “drippy” if you’ve painted it gold with this same gold lustre dust.

If you want to keep it edible, you can use Rolkem Super Metallic gold, which is FDA approved edible in Australia ( though awaiting FDA approval in the US).  But you’ll have to plan far ahead if you’re from the US as it’s mostly sold overseas.


To create the sparkly sticks, I painted dry spaghetti with Rainbow Dust Edible Dark Gold premixed paint (which is a bit streaky when used over a large mass, which is why I didn’t use it on the drippy), and then rolled them while still wet in gold disco dust.  (Also non-toxic but not technically edible, keep in mind.)


Some I left without the disco dust to be used as the shaft of the feathers.


To make the feathers, I cut out a general feather shape from wafer paper and then cut little slits at an angle upwards along the edges (not all the way to the middle, though!)


I painted the upper half of the feathers with the edible gold paint and sprinkled them with the disco dust while still wet.
The wetness of the paint on the wafer paper gave the feathers some movement which was a nice effect!


I decided which side of the feathers would be the back and I rubbed just the tiniest bit of water along the painted spaghetti stick and held it down the center back of the feather for about a minute so it would stick.


Turned it over, and voila!


Gold dipped feathers that could be added straight into the cake!


I also hand rolled some fondant balls, brushed them with water and rolled them in the disco dust…and punched a few blossoms out of wafer paper using a hydrangea punch.


Adding it all onto the cake was big time fun. 🙂


Check out American Cake Decorating Magazine to see the rest of the amazing cakes in this Modern Bride feature!

  1. 11 months ago

    do you think spraying the balloon with Pam before coating with gelatin would help with easier removal of balloon at the end?

    • Author
      Shawna 11 months ago

      YES, Hillary! Actually, since I’ve made this video I’ve found this info from Elizabeth over at Sugar Hero… “Too much grease and the gelatin won’t stick to the balloon, but omit it and you’ll have a tough time removing the balloon at all. The method that worked the best for me was to spray my hands with nonstick cooking spray, rub them together to get it to absorb, then to rub my hands on the balloons to transfer some of the oil. Just the lightest coating possible is all you need for happy balloons that release easily and cleanly.”
      So that should be very helpful!! Xx

  2. doriekinney 1 year ago

    How far in advance can I make these bubbles? Do I store them in an airtight container? Is it best to make them the day before needed? Are they fridge friendly or should they be placed on cake right before customer pick-up? I don’t have any experience with gelatin. Dorie

    • Author
      Shawna 1 year ago

      These last sooo long, Dorie! I made that cake over a year ago and I have left over gelatin balloons in my cupboard that are still perfect! They’re not in an airtight container though I think they’d be fine in one. They are fridge friendly so there’s no problem with placing them on the cake and then popping it into the fridge! They’re pretty stable once set, Dorie!

  3. Mareg 2 years ago

    I just love this tutorial!! I was so scared of the gelatin bubbles!! I can’t wait to make some for a cake!!

    • Author
      Shawna 2 years ago

      Yayy!! So happy to hear this has made you feel better about making them, Mareg! I do recommend making them WELL ahead of time (they last a loooooong time) just in case you need a redo before the cake is due! Xx

  4. Debbie 3 years ago

    What an honor to be asked to design a cake for this magazine and what a tribute to your talents.
    Stunning cake!!!!

    • Author
      cakeheadShawna 3 years ago

      Thanks so VERY much, Debbie!! Xx

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