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This article was taken from our April 2016 Issue

Beautiful Bird House

Follow this ‘How  To’  to learn how to create your very own beautiful birdhouse cake, with a sweet little heart detail makes this cake perfect for a valentines day cake or as a gift for your special someone… Zoe shows you how to make a really sweet love heart bird house cake model out of gum paste / modelling paste and fondant in these easy to follow steps.

 

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Cut The Cake

Your cake should be 2” deep (the same depth as the side piece of the birdhouse cutter). If making just one mini cake, you will need a round cake that is 4” in diameter.

Tidy The Edges

Taking the hexagonal shaped cutter from the birdhouse cutter set, use this as a template and cut your cake around this. Then cut another half a centimetre off each edge making it now slightly smaller than the hexagon cutter. This is because it will become slightly larger once we have added buttercream.

Butter Cream

Cut the cake into three and add a thin layer of buttercream between each section. At this point, I put my mini cakes into the freezer for 10/15 minutes whilst I cut out all the fondant shapes needed for the cake. The cake can be kept in the freezer to keep it moist while you assemble the rest of the decorations.

Cut your Template

Roll flat white fondant, then cut out shapes to make the walls and roof of your bird house. For the cake, we used the FMM More than a Birdhouse cutter.

Create Texture

Use a decorating tool or texture matt to score the surface of your fondant to create the illusion of wooden grooves. Add straight lines, use a ruler for this, pushing it into the fondant to create a line so it looks like planks of wood.

Add Colour

Dust over all wall pieces with an ivory edible dust. Brush some brown dust onto the edges of each piece, running it slightly up between the planks of wood that you have created. To colour the roof sections use green edible dust and blend some brown on the edges of your roof for a more weathered look.

You're ready!

For the roof, colour some fondant green (I have used a mix of Gooseberry, brown and Holly Green), add a small amount of tylose powder to firm up the fondant. Using the thicker of the rectangle cutters, cut two. I have again added a texture using a wood grain texture mat. Dust the edges with brown dusts. All your pieces should now be cut and ready.

More Buttercream

Cover your cake board in green fondant, using a damp finder to smooth the edges. Then cover your sponge cake in buttercream using a small palette knife. I have covered all edges apart from the back, which I will cover after it has been transferred to the cake board. Stick the cake upright onto the centre of your cake board using a small amount of buttercream.

Add the sides

Stick the hexagon with the cut out heart onto the front of your cake, and the two thinner rectangle shaped ones onto each of the sides. Carefully buttercream the back of your cake.

Build Your Bird House

How to Make a bird house cupcake

Add the other hexagonal shaped piece to the back of your cake. Place the two green pieces onto the top of your cake, creating the roof.

Create decorations

Taking the left over green fondant from the roof of your birdhouse, roll out and cut a larger circle using the fluted edge of your cutter. Cut a smaller circle using the straight edge from the centre of the larger one. Pull this out into a straight line and using a piping nozzle, cut out a small circle from each small curve. Cut to fit across the top of the birdhouse and stick in place using a small amount of water or edible glue.

Embellish your birdhouse

Repeat the same process but this time, use larger round cutters and pink fondant (I have used Dusky Pink). Cut into two pieces and stick along the front of the birdhouse just underneath the roof. Colour a small amount of brown fondant. Roll out thinly and cut out a heart then add the heart into the heart shaped space at the front of your cake. You can also add steps to your bird house by stacking left over wood textured fondant cut into semi circles

Roll out your Leaves

Roll out some green modelling paste over a veining board.

Make it lifelike

Push a leaf veiner into the modelling paste and cut around to create the leaf shape (you can use a leaf shape cutter if you prefer).

Add Floristry Wire

Insert a 28 gauge wire around half an inch into the leaf.

Shape your leaves

Place the leaf face down on a foam pad and run the rounded end of the dresden tool around the edge of the leaf to thin it out. Shape each leaf by pinching together at the bottom around the wire.

Colour Your Leaves

Once the leaves have dried, they can be dusted with a deep green dust and run through the steam of the kettle to fix the colour.

Make the Pollen

Bend a 28 gauge wire so it has a small hook at the end. Take a small ball of pale yellow flower paste and roll into a teardrop shape. Push the hooked end of the wire into the point of the teardrop and pinch around the wire. Snip a cross shape into the top of the flower centre and leave to dry.

Add the Petals

To make the buds, take the purple flower paste and roll into a teardrop shape. Place on the end of a hooked wire and cut a cross into the top as you did for the flower, but this time, keep the bud tightly together rather than opening it up like we did for the flowers. Let the buds dry. Once the flowers and buds have dried, they can be brushed with colour. Brush the purple dusts to the centres of the flowers and an olive green to the underside of the flower. You can these steam the flowers to fix the colour.

Gather your buds

Using a half width florist tape, wrap the tape around each wire (for both the buds and flowers). You can then start taping together your buds and flowers. Start by taping three or four buds together.

Increase your followers

Start adding the flowers, starting with the smaller flowers and adding the larger ones last.

Its a bunch

You want to create two small bunches of flowers. Only add one leaf at this stage.

Secure your Flowers

fondant flowers

Secure you flowers and leaves in place with balls of green modelling paste making sure that as much of this is hidden by your flowers and leaves as possible.

Finishing Touches

Finish it off by neatening off the cake board. Measure your ribbon so it fits around the cake board and using double sided tape, stick it in place.