Reported by Dana Vitek
Taylor did a great job of telling you what was in the giant box that arrived compliments of Provo Craft, so I’ll just jump right into my projects and lessons learned by my trials (and errors) with my new Martha Stewart Cricut Cake.
After watching the included DVD and scouting around online for pro-tips, I picked up some Cricut Cake Gum Paste at my local Michaels, as well as a bunch of Wilton frosting colors, and some fondant.
For my first project, I envisioned a stacked cake with the dragon from the Pagoda cartridge on the top, standing guard. I used my polymer clay mixing skills, and started swirling colors together in an attempt to make black gum paste. It turned out to be more of a marbled green, but I really liked it. After I got the color mixed, I wrapped it in plastic wrap and put it in the fridge to chill out. I prepared the mat by brushing shortening on it (I used plain Crisco), and then rolled my chilled (but not too hard) gum paste directly onto the mat. I stuck it in the freezer for as long as I could bear to wait (probably 5-7 minutes) and then loaded it into the machine… here’s what I wound up with:
The gum paste cut perfectly… I was thrilled! I put him back in the freezer to firm up a little while I planned my next project. I managed to get him off the mat in one piece (admittedly tricky, even when frozen), and set him aside to dry overnight. Unfortunately, I picked him up a few days later and accidentally dropped him. Dried gum paste shatters, friends. It’s the nature of the beast. Literally.
Not one to get discouraged, I tried coloring and cutting some fondant. I had less luck with this media; fondant just is a little more gooshy than gum paste, even when frozen. It started out great,
but by the time the design (from the Cindy Loo cartridge) had finished cutting, the fondant had thawed too much, and sort of got squished:
The best part about your frosting media getting messed up is that you can ball it up and start over. I let it chill for a little while, and then rolled it out as thin as I possibly could directly on the mat. Thin, thin, thin.
I let it sit in the freezer, while I decided on a doily from the Martha Stewart Seasonal Cake Art cartridge. I cut a heart shape out of some sheet cake I’d already made, and covered it in white fondant. When my pink fondant was good and frozen, I quickly got it into the machine. I got a little nervous as I watched, but this time it was a success!
Right out of the machine:
Removal of the extra bits (I used a dinner knife, but any pointy, pokey thing would work):
And here it is in place, with candles for my daughter’s birthday!
With that success under my belt, I wanted to kick it up a notch… a tiered cake with a snowflake theme. I made a three-tiered cake, and covered each tier with white fondant. I colored up some blue and brown Cricut Cake gum paste, and then I rolled, and froze, and cut, and rolled, and froze, and cut, and you get the idea…
In the machine:
Out of the machine:
Because I only had one cutting mat to work with, I did a lot of transferring the finished motifs to parchment paper. This actually helped matters when it came time to start putting them on the cake; I was able to cut the parchment and use it to help smooth the cut gum paste into place.
This is the snowflake motif for the top of the cake:
And here it is all together:
Not too shabby for a relative novice, if I do say so myself.
Okay, so having used this machine quite a bit, I can offer my own (semi)pro-tips:
- Thin. Roll whatever you’re using super-thin. Then keep rolling.
- Cold. Freeze that super-thin stuff.
- Hold your breath while it cuts. This won’t help, but you’ll probably be doing it anyway, so consider this validation.
- Freeze it again before trying to get it off the mat.
- Buy an extra cutting mat or two.
- Use just a little dab of water to get your cut motifs to stick to your cake.
- Rookie mistake: covering your cut gum paste with a damp paper towel to keep it from drying too fast turns it into a very pretty puddle of oobleck. Waxed paper would be better.
There is a learning curve when it comes to figuring out how different media are going to act under the blade. The Martha Stewart Cricut Cake machine is a tool; it’s not magic. I had to learn the ins-and-outs of gum paste before I could get it to do what I wanted it to do. So if you’re investing in this machine, you’ll need to invest the time to figure it out.
As for whether or not cookie cutters wouldn’t be less work, well, that’s true. But a cookie cutter can’t adapt to exactly the size you need, nor can you match the motif on your cake to create paper invitations or matching decorations for your party. While you shouldn’t cut paper with your Cricut Cake (not saying you can’t, just saying you shouldn’t… there can be heavy metals in scrapbook paper; you don’t want to ingest that dust), you CAN use the Cake cartridges in your regular Cricut machine.
Carrying coordinated motifs all the way through your event, from invites, to cupcakes, to goody bags… it’s a good thing.
- Beautiful designs to coordinate your event decorations from start to finish.
- With some time invested, you can really create some impressive cakes.
- Mistakes can be
- People have probably been calling you “Martha” for years anyway… here’s one more way to live up to that!
- Time. This is not as simple as slapping some paper on a mat and pushing “cut.” The learning curve can be steep.
- Rolling the gum paste that thin can be difficult. I’m going to invest in a food-only pasta machine (which sounds ridiculous, but my pasta machine is dedicated to polymer clay).
- Freezer space. I’m lucky to have lots of freezer space, but that’s something you should consider.
The kind folks at Provo Craft will be giving one lucky winner their very own Martha Stewart Cricut Cake!
To enter, just leave a comment on one of the “Vendor Spotlight: Martha Stewart Cricut ” article. Answer any one of these questions in the Comments Section right below this article on our website.
Do what would you use the Martha Stewart Cricut Cake to cut? Are you a professional cake decorator or a hobbyist?
One comment per person, per article, please. You have until Sunday, November 21st 6pm CST to enter.