Let your imaginations run wild as you create jungle animal toppers for the cakes and cupcakes of your child’s party! Here’s a quick how-to! For this activity, we’re going to make some staple jungle creatures: a lion, a monkey, a zebra and an elephant. These take time to make so it’s better to prepare them well in advance.
Tools Needed 1. Cutters – you will need these for making the animal faces, ears, noses and eyes. -Small and medium round cutters
-Small oval cutter
-Leaf cutter#10 icing tip
2. Icing gel – for coloring your fondant and for additional details you will need black, violet/purple, yellow, orange and brown
3. Rolling pin – to roll out your fondant
4. Modeling sticks – I use these to draw my details on the faces or to put little holes (for the monkey nose). If you don’t have these, a barbecue stick or toothpick can be used.
5. Brush – used to attach the fondant pieces together to form a face
Cutting Out The Parts
1. Prepare your fondant. Get a handful of fondant and divide it into 6 parts. Color one part black, another violet/purple, yellow, orange and brown. Keep the last part white (for the eyes and zebra). To color, simply dab a bit of icing gel onto the fondant. Icing gel is very potent so it is best to add it using a toothpick. Knead the fondant until it reaches your desired shade. Have some cornstarch on standby for dusting in case your fondant gets too sticky. Roll out all the colors (except black) with a rolling pin.
2. Eyes: Using a #10 icing tip, cut out eyes on the white fondant. Next, roll small black balls to form the eye’s iris. Stick to the white base with a damp brush. Make eight sets for the eight animals.
3. Nose: a. Monkey: cut out a small oval fondant shape in orange. Imprint a smile on it with the oval cutter and nostrils with a modeling or a barbecue stick.
b. Lion: get a tiny piece of brown fondant and shape into a triangle.
c. Elephant: shape a bit of violet fondant into a log, then make grooves on it with a pizza slicer. A knife can also be used.
d. Zebra: form a small piece of violet fondant into an oval, and with a barbecue or modeling stick, imprint the zebra’s nostrils
4. Ears: a. Monkey: cut out two small orange round shapes
b. Lion and Zebra: Cut out ears using the leaf cutter. White for the zebra, and yellow for the lion. Without this cutter, you can always use either a pizza slicer, a knife or small blade cutter.
c. Elephant: cut out two heart-shaped pieces of violet fondant. Slice the bottom part off.
d. Faces: Cut out medium round pieces of fondant in white (zebra), yellow (lion), brown (monkey) and violet (elephant). Make an extra brown piece of scalloped round fondant for the lion’s mane.
Assembling the faces. Refer to the pictures to see how the shapes go together to form the animal faces. You can stick the parts to each other using a damp brush. Details, such as lion’s whiskers and the zebra’s stripes can be “drawn” on the faces using icing gel and a modeling stick or a toothpick.
Decorate!: Use your toppers to decorate your cupcakes and cakes!
Recipe: Marshmallow Fondant
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16 ounces white mini marshmallows
2 to 5 tablespoons water
2 pounds powdered sugar
½ cup Crisco shortening
Melt marshmallows and 2 tablespoons of water in a microwave or double boiler:
Put the bowl in the microwave for 30 seconds, open microwave and stir. Repeat process until everything is melted. Place 3/4 of the powdered sugar on the top of the melted marshmallow mix.
Next, grease your hands GENEROUSLY - palms, backs and in between fingers, then heavily grease the counter you will be using and dump the bowl of marshmallow/sugar mixture in the middle. Start kneading like you would bread dough. Keep kneading while applying shortening on your hands as needed. Keep mixing in the powdered sugar until everything is incorporated. Best to let this sit overnight.
Storage tips: Make your toppers up to 1 week in advance! After assembling the faces, air-dry them for a day. Line them up in a vacuum sealed plastic container, away from light.