As promised, this is the tutorial for the Mad Hatter cake from the Mad Hatter Tea Party post. Remember, you can change and tweak however you like: colors, shapes… get creative!
1. First, you need a cake base to shave the shape into. I used a large cookie cutter (about 4 inch diameter) and cut out enough layers to get the height I wanted. You could also use 2 6-inch tiers stacked if you want it a little larger. Make sure each layer is held together with buttercream or frosting. Freeze it (if you freeze it longer than 1 hour, add saran wrap to keep it from drying out).
2. Take a sharp knife and shave the sides so they taper down to a smaller base… try to make it as even as possible. If it gets hard to work with. put it back in the freezer for awhile.
3. Frost the shape (again, its easier to frost if it is cold or frozen), then chill it in the fridge.
4. Take your green colored fondant and lay a thin layer over the shape. Due to the shape, you may find you cannot avoid getting folds at the bottom. That’s okay since you will be covering a good few inches with a strip of yellow fondant.
5. Cut a strip of yellow fondant long enough to wrap around the base of the hat, and a few inches tall. Fold the edges down on both sides of the strip of fondant so the lengthwise edges are smooth and not cut.
6. Wrap the yellow strip around the base of the hat using royal icing to secure it. Use your fingers to create folds, don’t lay it flat against it.
7. To give the yellow strip an “antique” look, take cocoa powder and using a brush or a Q-tip apply the powder to the creases.
8. For the brim of the hat, cut a thin circle of gumpaste that is a few inches larger than the full diameter of the hat (depending on how large you want the brim). *Remember, gumpaste and NOT fondant… they dry very differently. Flip the edges of the brim up and prop it up with cotton and let it dry as long as possible (I would suggest AT LEAST 4 hours but doing this the night before is usually best).
9. Once the brim is dry, using a thin spatula or similar utensil, place the chilled hat on the brim being careful not to break the flipped up sides of the hat. Add the 10/6 note by either using a real card with the “10/6″ written on it, or if you are a purist, use a square of gumpaste that has dried and an edible pen or black icing to write the “10/6″ (attach it with royal icing).
10. I used color luster dusts to give the yellow strip a “distressed” look (basically just brushing it on or using a Q-tip). But the “antique” look is enough if you want to stop there. As the final touch, take gold luster dust and brush it on the entire cake to give it a gold, shimmery sheen.
Hope you have fun!