Zoe, from Zoe’s Fancy Cakes, is a Gold award-winning cake designer based in Leeds. Zoe started decorating cakes in 2013 as a hobby, and 2014 saw Zoe leave her full time career to pursue Zoe’s Fancy Cakes full time. Zoe makes all kinds of cakes and specialises in figure modelling. She runs classes from her home and operates a free YouTube Channel aimed at helping budding cake makers.
- 8” cake or iced cake drum
- Sugarflair colours: Holly Green, White, Orange, Extra Red
- Small rolling pin
- White and black modelling paste (or sugarpaste mixed with tylose powder)
- Non stick board
- Brush for water
- Small round plunger cutter
- Dresden tool
- Circle cutters
- Cocktail sticks
- Small square of greaseproof paper for keeping the topper on
- Water (or edible glue)
Start by making the polar bear’s body. Roll a ball of white modelling paste. Roll one end to make it into a cone shape, keeping the fatter part as the bottom of the body. Halfway down the body, press with the side of your finger to create a curved dent above the belly. Use your thumbs to push a small dent into either side of the bottom of the body, where we will attach the legs. Add small lines all over the body with the dresden tool to create a fur effect.
For the legs, roll a small ball of white modelling paste about a fifth of the size of the body. Roll so you thin the piece just off centre, creating a hip and foot out of the leg. Squash the hip slightly (the larger end of the leg) between your finger and thumb.
Using a dresden tool, add two lines into the top of each foot. Then at the bottom of each line, add a small horizontal line. Ensure the top of the leg is diagonal so that it fits tight to the side of the body.
Mix a small amount of black and white modelling paste to create a grey. Make three small dots for the toe pads and one larger circle for the centre pad of each foot. Attach with a small amount of water (or edible glue). Score small lines down the legs with the dresden tool to create a fur effect. Attach the legs to either side of the body using a small amount of water (or edible glue). Place on greaseproof paper to prevent the figure from sticking to the work surface.
For the bear’s fur collar, roll a small ball of white modelling paste and flatten it slightly. Create a teardrop shape by pinching one end of the circle. Add a line around the pointed edge with a dresden tool, just up slightly from the edge, creating a stepped effect. Mark lines along the outside edge of the paste with the dresden tool to create a fur effect. Attach to the top of the body with the point on the bear’s chest pointing downwards. Add a piece of raw spaghetti through the body, leaving about an inch showing.
For the head, make a round ball of modelling paste, approximately a fifth of the body size. Pinch either side for the top of the furry jaw line and push your thumbs in at the centre slightly to create eye sockets. Use a dresden tool to draw lines at the very edge of each side of the face to create a fur effect.
To make the snout, roll a cylinder of grey paste slightly smaller than the head. Pinch one end at the top slightly. At the other end, create a line with the dresden tool from the nose down to the bottom of the mouth. Add a small ball of grey just underneath the snout for the jaw. Add a small piece of spaghetti to the back of snout.
Push the snout onto the face. Using a cocktail stick, add two small eyeholes just above the snout. Fill the eye holes with two tiny balls of black modelling paste. Cut a very tiny circle of white into semicircles and add to the top of each eye. Using white food colour or white modelling paste, add two tiny dots to each eye.
Using black modelling paste, roll a small oval and pinch it slightly on two sides to create a rough triangle. Stick the nose to the end of the snout. Using a cocktail stick, poke small holes into the side of the snout on both sides. Make two small teardrop shapes for the ears, pressing into the centre to create the shape. Stick the ears onto the head. Roll two tiny black thin teardrop shapes for the eyebrows and stick just above the eyes. Place the head onto the body by carefully pushing it onto the piece of spaghetti.
Roll two sausage shapes in white modelling paste the same length as the body. Add two lines to one end of each arm to create fingers. Down the bottom side of each arm, indent lines to create a fur effect. Attach the arms to either side of the body using water or edible glue. Position how you feel looks best. I have kept one down by his side and one up towards his head. Push on firmly.
To make the present, colour a small amount of modelling paste red and roll it out to a couple of millimetres thick. Using a small round plunger cutter, cut out circles of thinly rolled white modelling paste and stick onto the red strip. Curl the strip to create a cylinder. Roll a thicker piece of red and cut a larger circle out for the present lid. Cover in white dots to match the present.
For the penguin, roll a small white ball of modelling paste for the penguin’s head and a larger slim teardrop shape for the body. Roll out some black modelling paste and cut out two small circles at one end creating a point. Roll another piece of black, this time a rectangle just longer than the body that wraps around the back of the body, from one side of the body to the other. Attach the rectangular piece to the back of the body, pinching slightly at the bum to make a tail. Add the piece with the point to the head, wrapping it around the ball shaped head so that it leaves a white area at the front of the face.
Roll a pinch of orange modelling paste into a tiny teardrop shape and stick the rounded end to the face, leaving the pointed end sticking out. Run a knife up both sides of the beak and slightly onto the white of the face. Poke two eyeholes with a cocktail stick and fill with two tiny balls of black modelling paste. The same as with the polar bears eyes, you can add a small dot of white to each eye either with food colouring or a very tiny piece of modelling paste. Sit the penguin on the present. Roll two small pieces of black for the penguin’s wings and attach to the body, bringing them onto the front of the present.
Make a bow for the present lid. Roll out some white modelling paste to about 1mm thick. Cut out one long rectangle, one short rectangle and two long triangle shapes. With the longest piece, fold over each end to meet the centre and create the bow. Wrap the short rectangle over the centre of the bow where the folded ends meet. Stick the two long triangle pieces onto the present box lid and then stick on the bow. The present lid can then be leant against the present.
You can make extra smaller presents to put around the polar bear to create a busier looking Christmas scene. I have chosen some green and red presents. Making small cubes with modelling paste, decorating them with stripes and polka dots and adding a bow to the top. Leave the models overnight to harden up before moving them onto a decorated cake or cake board. You can make the figures a few weeks in advance.