Follow this step-by-step tutorial and learn how to make this Steampunk Witch’s Hat cake by Karen Keaney of Roses and Bows Caker – perfect for the spooky season!
Karen is a multi-award-winning cake artist based in Ireland. She is best known for her sculpted cakes and imaginative character designs. Karen has achieved many accolades including Best in Show at Cake International, Top 10 International Cake Artist at the 2016 New York Cake Show and the Novelty Cake Award at the 2016 Cake Masters Magazine Awards. When she’s not entering competitions, she teaches around the world and in her online school.
- 2 6”x4” round cakes
- 600g buttercream
- 600g dark chocolate ganache
- 1.5kg Satin Ice red sugarpaste
- 400g Satin Ice black sugarpaste
- 50g Satin Ice white gum paste
- 350g Vera Miklas dark modelling chocolate
- Tylose powder
- Sugar glue (edible glue)
- Magic Colours: Bronze Sheen, Metallic Gold
- Magic Colours black airbrush colour
- Confectioners’ glaze
- 6” cake drum
- 12” cake drum
- Carving knife
- Palette knife
- Rolling pin
- Innovative Sugarworks flexi smoothers
- Innovative Sugarworks Mini Tip Sugar Shapers
- Black Cherry Cake Company steampunk cutters
- Martellato pantograph cutter (ribbon cutter)
- Leather impression mat
- FPC frame mould
- Cocktail sticks
- 1” circle cutter
- 20 gauge wire
- Foam pieces
- Working board
Torte, fill and stack the 6” cakes onto the 6” cake drum. Refrigerate until the buttercream is firm.
Place the cake onto a spare working board and begin to carve into a cone shape.
Coat the cake with ganache. Flexi smoothers are great for spreading ganache on odd shapes. Refrigerate until firm.
Cover the 12” cake drum with the black sugarpaste and leave aside to dry.
Once the cake is firm, place the dowel through the centre as shown. This will be an anchor for the top of the hat.
To make the pointed top, roll out some dark modelling chocolate into a cone shape. The wide end of the cone should be approximately the size of the top of the cake.
Place the modelling chocolate on top of the dowel.
Use the blue Sugar Shaper to smooth the join.
To add a little character to the hat, bend the tip a little.
Place the cake onto the centre of the covered 12” board.
Cover the cake with the red sugarpaste. Overlap the sugarpaste at the back and use the sharp knife to cut through the overlap. Remove the excess to make a neat join.
Use the heat of your hand to smooth the seam.
Trim the excess sugarpaste from the bottom of the cake.
Use the round end of a tool to add some creases to the tip of the hat where the tip bends over.
Use your little finger and the side of your hand to add some creases into the hat.
Add a teaspoon of tylose powder to the remaining red sugarpaste and knead. This will strengthen the paste and help it to hold the shape of the brim. Roll out the red sugarpaste into a long strip and pinch one side in random spots to create ruffles in the brim.
Attach the brim around the base of the hat using edible glue. To create a little movement, place pieces of foam under some sections of the brim as shown. These can be removed once the brim dries.
Roll out some dark modelling chocolate and press the leather impression mat over it.
Use the ribbon cutter to cut two strips to make the belt for the hat.
Cut a V shape at the end of one strip and use the end of a paintbrush to make buckle holes.
Use edible glue to attach the belt and buckle around the base of the hat.
Roll a small piece of modelling chocolate to make the latch for the buckle.
Roll out some dark modelling chocolate and use the steampunk gear cutters to cut out three small and two medium sized gears. Use edible glue to attach to the hat.
To make the chimneys, roll out some modelling chocolate into a cylinder shape.
Cut a section out of the cylinder and bend into an L shape. Make three of these.
Roll out some more modelling chocolate and use the circle cutter to cut out three circles. Attach the circles to the cake using edible glue. Insert a cocktail stick into each circle.
Attach the L shaped chimney pieces onto the cocktail sticks. Add a strip of modelling chocolate to the top and bend on each chimney.
Paint the gears, buckle, buckle holes and chimneys using the metallic dusts mixed with alcohol.
To make the chimney smoke, cut the wire into three sections and bend the wires to create movement. Use a little edible glue to attach a little white gum paste to each wire. Push the wire into the chimney. Remember, the wire should not be inserted directly into the cake, just the chimney.
Use black airbrush colour to add some shading to the cake.
Paint the belt with confectioners’ glaze to give it shine. Don’t forget the ribbon!
For more information about Karen and her work, visit her website!