Now that I’ve conquered my fear of fondant and have a couple of cakes under my belt, I decided that cookie cutters and exacto knives were just too old school for me. I had secretly been jonesing for the Cricut Cake machine for quite some time but prior to having some fondant confidence, I couldn’t justify the expense.
And then Big Lots put it on their shelves. For $99. No lie. The full machine.
I bought two.
Okay, so one was for a friend, but still… They also had a few of the cartridges. Score! Love me some Big Lots.
I had big plans for my Cricut Cake, oh yes I did. I had seen my BFF’s amazing Rock Princess cupcake creations that she made with it and I had the bug. Bad.
Unlike my BFF who took a trial run before committing her Cricut Cake cutouts to final party-ready cupcakes, I pulled mine out at 1:30 AM to use it for the first time on the Princess Cupcake’s birthday cake. I also failed to do my research prior to its inaugural run.
It was a big hot mess, and so was I at 2:30 AM when I threw in the towel.
Not to be deterred, I did my Cricut Cake homework and try, tried again with much more impressive results for the next birthday event.
Here are the crown cupcakes that the Princess took in for her class birthday party.
We went the extra mile by including different colored crowns for the kids to wear during the school party. The nice folks at Medieval Times heard she was having a Princess and Knights party and sent her a box full of crowns (with coupons on the back!) to help celebrate her birthday! (Stay tuned for more on THE party.) So fun.
These crown cupcakes are made with purple (food gel coloring) strawberry cake on the inside with strawberry buttercream frosting on the top, a purple marshmallow fondant crown and Wilton pearls on the tips. There’s also a wee bit of purple sanding sugar around the edges to give it a little extra bling.
The cupcakes are basic, I know, but the Princess Cupcake loved them and I was thrilled with how easy it was to make the fondant crowns. I had allocated a couple of hours to struggle through making the crown part and I was actually done in about 40 minutes. Of course then I thought about embellishing the crowns – but I backed away and went to bed at a reasonable hour for the first time in a week and a half.
I was pleased with them. I’m certainly no expert, but after some trial and error, here are MY tips for using the Cricut Cake machine:
- Tear off a piece of fondant that you want to use for the Cricut Cake shapes. Now add an almost equal amount of gum paste to it and work it together so it’s well mixed. Add some (a little) Crisco if it’s too dry.
- Lightly grease your Cricut Cake cutting mat with Crisco – not too much.
- Roll your fondant gumpaste mixture to 1/8 of an inch right onto the Cricut Cake mat. I use the measuring rings on a fondant roller to make it consistent.
- Put the mat with the fondant on it into the freezer for 15-20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, adjust your settings on your Cricut Cake machine to medium speed and high pressure.
- After 20 minutes, remove the Cricut Cake mat and insert it into the machine. Do not try to reposition the fondant. It will not restick to the mat and it will slide all over when you try to cut. Just trust me on this one.
- Cut away as you would with a normal Cricut machine.
- Carefully lift off your designs and put them on your cake or cupcake.
After the crown cupcakes, I got a little braver and used my Cricut Cake machine again the next weekend to make this cake:
I cut the flowers out with cookie cutters, but the letters and the border were both made with the Cricut Cake machine. And it was easy peasy when I used the fondant with gumpaste. My regular fondant was just too dry.
Now that my love hate relationship with my Cricut Cake machine has evolved to a comfortable understanding of our capabilities, I am once again – all in, and seeking new fondant opportunities.