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This article was taken from our November 2019 Issue Buy this issue now

Snowflake Sleigh Cake Tutorial – Renshaw Christmas Cake Competition Finalist

Katarina Pfaffenrot lives in Germany and has been designing cakes for several years. She tutors workshops for beginners and advanced cake decorators in different categories. Her cake designs have won international recognition through competitions and she has worked as judge in German cake shows. Katarina has experimented with many new techniques and loves to find new ideas for her cake designs. Over the years, she has published three books, the last of which was Wedding Cake Fashion in 2017.

Instagram @katarina_pfaffrenrot


Equipment Required:

  • Renshaw White Flower and Modelling Paste
  • Renshaw Skin Tone Ready to Roll Icing
  • Brushes
  • Veining tool
  • Modelling pen
  • Ball tool
  • Knife
  • Snowflake cutters
  • Snowflake stencil
  • Rainbow Dust Edible Glitters: White, Ocean Blue, Silver
  • Rainbow Dust Paint Metallics: Pearlescent White, Metallic Dark Gold
  • Rainbow Dust Purple ProGel
  • Rainbow Dust Edible Glue
  • Powder colours: red, white, blue, black, brown
  • Face mould
  • Wooden skewers
  • Dry powdered gelatine
  • Piping bag
  • #1 piping tip
  • Small six leaf calyx cutter
  • Air balloons
  • Cutting wheel
  • Grater
  • Alcohol
  • Styrofoam

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Snowflake Children - 1.

Leave a clump of white paste to dry for a few hours. When dry enough, use the grater to create flakes.


Use wooden skewers as internal support. If too long, cut to the right size to go through the whole body up to the halfway point of the head. On the other end, extend a bit further down so it can be inserted into the cake.


Roll out white paste and cut out two large snowflakes for the head piece.


Before the snowflakes dry, form the face from skin paste using the face mould or by hand. The back of the head needs to be flat to use edible glue to attach to the snowflake.


With the modelling pen, accentuate the smile and maybe add dimples.


For the back of the head, roll a ball of white paste and cut neatly in half. Push a wooden skewer up to the halfway point before taking out again so it can be attached to the body after drying. Glue the back of the head to the back of the snowflake.


Lay the heads in a spoon shaped drying rack so the snowflakes are slightly bend inward. While drying, give the cheeks a healthy red colour then mix the same powder with a little concentrated alcohol and contour the lips. Dissolve the other colours and draw the sclera in white, iris in blue and pupil in black. Give the eyes accents in white and finish with brown or black eyelashes and brows.


Form two small swirls out of white paste and glue on the forehead as a glimpse of hair beneath the hood. Roll a longer string, cover in edible glue and sprinkle on the white flakes created earlier. Glue the string around the face as the border of the hood. To finish, use the white metallic paint to draw structured lines onto the snowflakes to make them shimmer.


The torso and legs are made of a pear shaped piece of white paste about twice the length of the head. Split the thicker portion into two to form the legs. The figures are wearing bulky jumpsuits so emphasise the round shapes with a few folding lines at the hips and around the ankles. Cut off a third of the outer part of the feet so they look smaller. Smooth any hard edges with your fingers.


Insert the wooden skewers into the body. For now, the figures can stand in the Styrofoam. Attach the head and make sure everything is standing securely.


To form the arms, roll a small sphere for the mitten and another three times the size for the sleeve. Press the mitten into an oval and separate the thumb with the knife. Flatten the larger portion of the mitten so a hand takes form.


Elongate the sphere for the sleeve into a pear shape. On the end, press an indentation into the sleeve to glue in the mitten. To attach the arm on the body, another indentation is needed on the shoulder. Create the second arm in the same fashion only mirrored. Be mindful of the placement of the thumb or the arms will look off.


Lastly, brush the jumpsuit in edible glue and cover in the white paste flakes and a little white glitter. Leave the figures to fully dry.

Baubles - 14.

The baubles need at least a day to fully dry and become stable enough to work with. Blow up an air balloon into a small spherical shape. Bind the end to a wooden skewer and hang to dry. Depending on how many baubles needed, dissolve 4-5 packets of the gelatine according to the instructions. Carefully warm in the microwave and mix in gel colour.


Before using the gelatine, cover the balloon in simple cooking oil. Then evenly brush on the first layer of gelatine, let dry for a few minutes and apply the next layer. Do this up to 6-7 layers and leave to dry fully at least overnight.


Pop the balloon and take out of the bauble.


Cover the hole with a flat, round piece of white paste. Roll out more white paste and cut out two six leafed calyx. Additionally, roll a thin strip of white paste for the hook. Glue the calyxes over the cover of the hole and attach the hook. Use the gold paint to colour the paste.


Fill the piping bag with white icing and use the #1 tip to delicately decorate the bauble.


Apply this technique to create different sized baubles in any colour you like.

Wreath & Sleigh - 20.

Both the wreath and sleigh are done similarly. They need time to dry before they can be safely attached to the cake. Cut the shapes out of modelling paste. For larger more complex shapes, it’s easier to transfer the template onto a semi seethrough material like baking paper and then indent into rolled out paste. This way, you can be more precise with the cutting wheel or scalpel. For simple shapes, a template on hard paper is the better choice as you can use it to guide your hand and create straight and neat lines.


With the wreath and two side views of the sleigh, cut out different sized snowflakes from rolled out white paste and leave everything to dry. With the white paint, draw a few glittering structures on the snowflakes to make them look more interesting.


With a little icing or glue, arrange the snowflakes on the wreath in two layers.


For the sleigh, airbrush the colour gradient. It is possible to colour the paste itself and spice things up with powder colours.


Use the snowflake stencil and white icing to apply a handful of snowflakes on the sleigh. Before detaching the stencil, sprinkle with blue and silver edible glitter as a final touch. Assemble the cake and fit all the completed decor elements into a cohesive design.