Alternative to fondant icing for novelty birthday cakes?

(17 Posts)
Minesnotahighhorse Tue 08-Nov-16 19:23:38

DS1 is turning 3 and has requested a robot cake, my first attempt at a 'novelty' birthday cake. I plan to do two sponges in rectangle trays and make one the body and use the other to create head, arms and legs. Then cover in icing and add face/features with sweets. Most of the examples I've seen on Pinterest etc. use ready to roll fondant icing to cover the cake which looks good and would be simplest, but I really don't like it - I find it really sickly and synthetic tasting. Has anyone used homemade icing to cover a 'novelty' cake? Would a layer of buttercream covered in glacé work? Thanks!

MalcolmTuckersEyebrows Tue 08-Nov-16 19:33:39

Buttercream covered in glace would be a little odd. Ready roll icing is easy to use and mould and to get a good finish on - you don't have to eat it although it becomes weirdly.compelling

You.might like making your own instead? You can add some orange/vanilla/lemon extract to it then for a better flavour

shouldwestayorshouldwego Tue 08-Nov-16 19:37:25

Just do buttercream anyway and enjoy it.

hannahpan Tue 08-Nov-16 19:41:10

You could make your own marshmallow fondant?

Lazybeans50 Tue 08-Nov-16 19:43:11

My DCs don't like fondant icing. I use buttercream and accept it looking a little more rustic. If you really want a smooth finish you could try royal icing or make a fondant icing (you can buy boxes of fondant icing sugar) in a thick pouring consistency but it's very tricky to get right (and not just pour off cake and into a puddle of the worktop!)

zzzzz Tue 08-Nov-16 19:46:51

what about butter icing all over and then rectangular choc biscuits and piping/choc buttons to make "rivets"?

Minesnotahighhorse Tue 08-Nov-16 19:47:19

Yes, must remember that the point is for it to look good for DS, not taste good for me!! Going to do a trial run of the sponge this weekend so will maybe cover a leg in each and see whether buttercream looks too messy and if I can make my own fondant!

Minesnotahighhorse Tue 08-Nov-16 19:48:38

Ooh, I like the chocolate rivets idea, thanks!

plimsolls Tue 08-Nov-16 19:49:25

You could try piping buttercream in a "rosette" blob way. It was how we had novelty cakes when I was a kid, when fondant icing for some reason wasn't used by anyone we knew. So it's more of an "impressionist" type look and not smooth, see the picture attached.

Also if you google "how to make buttercream look like fondant" there's loads
of tutorials, think you use a paper towel or something.

gastropod Tue 08-Nov-16 19:51:43

My kids don't like fondant, but they love fancy/novelty cakes. So I do a layer of buttercream covered in fondant, and they peel the fondant off and eat the rest. Doesn't really bother me too much - I accept that the fondant is mainly for "effect".

Thatwaslulu Tue 08-Nov-16 19:54:20

Marshmallow fondant is nicer than regular, I find. Do you like marzipan? You could use that instead?

zzzzz Tue 08-Nov-16 19:55:35

Actually forget biscuits, use Dime bars grin

SophieofShepherdsBush Tue 08-Nov-16 20:02:55

You could do a white chocolate ganache and pour it on while it is still runny and it sets smooth, snd you could use it as a smooth background for your icing and sweetie design. I'm sure with the white chocolate ganache you have the option of colouring it using food colouring too. I hate fondant and dislike the way it is always wasted. Id rather make a delicious cake that everyone will actually eat every scrap off!

SophieofShepherdsBush Tue 08-Nov-16 20:03:14

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Minesnotahighhorse Tue 08-Nov-16 20:13:54

Some great suggestions, thank you! I now forsee a trial with icing options on each robo-limb!

Pythonesque Tue 08-Nov-16 20:22:11

A birthday cake book I use suggests a "fluffy frosting" which is great for some sorts of designs. A bit of butter, icing sugar, beat together with a little milk or lemon juice - I go for more sugar and less butter. It is fairly easy to colour and spread, more forgiving on a crumb-y cut cake surface, and also easy to stick sweets to! It will set a little on the outside given enough time (eg overnight) but remain fairly soft. Absolutely agree with you about fondant - I've got a terrible sweet tooth but even so never been keen on it.

Cake sounds like it will be great - have fun!

Gizlotsmum Tue 08-Nov-16 20:23:55

Butter cream or royal icing would work

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