Baker of Dragons
April 28, 2016 12:57 AM   Subscribe

What is the easiest way to decorate a very detailed cake made with this dragon cake pan?

Elsewhere on the Internet, there is a page showing someone decorating it with a thin layer of fondant, but that looks too time consuming and resulted in much loss of detail. Is there any way to spray on a coating of colored glaze without gumming up a spray bottle? Or brush on some kind of color without reducing it to crumbs?

(Recipes for high definition, easily unmoldable cakes also welcome.)
posted by Soliloquy to Food & Drink (20 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I think it will be hard to do any glaze without some loss of detail, but I wonder if you could do some sort of simple sugar glaze and drizzle over the top, or thin it out and apply more evenly for a silky-looking dragon? Perhaps if you pour a bit of very thin glaze on and then roll the pan about to coat the cake evenly, that might get even coverage.

Alternately, try a chocolate or spice cake and just decorate with powdered sugar and maybe decorative eyes? Plus or minus some thin cake icing piped on the wings or eggs to highlight the detail?

I'd definitely do some trial runs, and do lots of greasing and flouring in preparation, no matter what.
posted by stillmoving at 1:09 AM on April 28, 2016 [3 favorites]

I am not a cake decorator. My step-mom is. (Okay well I did work at Baskin Robbins and did the "Happy Birthday"s and stuff on cakes.) If I wanted to do something on this I would pipe out icing using a bag and small tip to get fine detail, especially for areas that lost some during baking. I would add accents and color to each little scale and feature but would NOT cover the whole thing in icing. It would only be to add details and color, and of course yummy frosting flavor. It would not be easy. It would not be quick. I agree that fondant or an frosting layer would lose detail.

The only other thing would be to make a thin glaze of icing that you'd see on a lemon pound cake. The drippy powdered sugar stuff. But I'd worry that it would settle too much in the cracks. But you could try lightly doing thin coats and moving the cake around to spread it. But there lies the problem because that thin glaze is meant to drip and puddle not to coat evenly. So maybe some sort of brush method and a way to scoop it out of the deep areas...

But again, no expert here. Just what I would do with it.
posted by Crystalinne at 1:11 AM on April 28, 2016 [1 favorite]

I know spray on food colouring and glaze stuff exists (like here), but I haven't tried it so I can't vouch for it being any good
posted by stillnocturnal at 1:25 AM on April 28, 2016 [2 favorites]

How about sprinkling it with a few different colors of edible glitter? I think I've even seen tutorials for making your own with sugar and food coloring.
posted by BoscosMom at 1:25 AM on April 28, 2016 [4 favorites]

Rum glaze. 2 sticks butter, 1/4 cup water, 1 cup sugar - stir together on stove, gentle boil for threeish minutes while constantly stirring, take off burner, stir in 1/4 cup rum. (Most recipes call for one stick butter but I like my glaze to not be so sugary tasting and also, butter is delicious on cakes.)

Or...just dust with powdered sugar.
posted by fluffy battle kitten at 1:31 AM on April 28, 2016 [2 favorites]

You may know this. But "cake release" will save the detail. Then a thiiiiin cinnamon glaze. In grey.
posted by taff at 3:04 AM on April 28, 2016

I also immediately thought of dusted powdered sugar, especially if you could find a way to colour the powdered sugar red or green or something to make it more dragon-y!
posted by ukdanae at 4:07 AM on April 28, 2016 [3 favorites]

Dusting with powdered sugar would be my thought. You can make your own colored powdered sugar for a little variety.
posted by drlith at 4:08 AM on April 28, 2016 [1 favorite]

Glazes will be see-through, so if you want any color at all, you're going to have to go with something that isn't going to show the cake's color underneath, which will lose you some detail. Using a buttercream in a pastry bag with a small tip and going over the details the cake pan put in the cake with color would work really well.
posted by xingcat at 4:13 AM on April 28, 2016

I'd consider using a thinnish but sticky frosting, but piping it only along the _edges_ of things. So, a thin line -- whatever color you want, maybe gold or green or dark brown -- around the eyes, the mouth and teeth, the top edges over the head, definitely the scales of the eggs, etc.
posted by amtho at 4:17 AM on April 28, 2016

Whoa. That's too awesome to muddy up with quick/easy decorations. Even powdered sugar will quickly overpower the details. If frosting is a must, perhaps get a round pan of equal or greater circumference and flesh out the "nest" concept with another, more boring cake as the base. Or provide some on the side for dipping.
posted by teremala at 5:16 AM on April 28, 2016 [4 favorites]

Yeah I was thinking put him on a moat of lava, where the lava is dippable icing. Like a cold fondue.
posted by St. Peepsburg at 5:24 AM on April 28, 2016 [2 favorites]

A dragon would be awesome with some edible gold brushed gently along its scales.
posted by carrioncomfort at 5:30 AM on April 28, 2016 [9 favorites]

If you feel a need to coat it but not use a heavy glaze, brush on melted jelly or even jello. Test a bit to see if it gives you a finished look - but it's not going to cover like icing or an icing glaze.
posted by mightshould at 5:36 AM on April 28, 2016 [1 favorite]

If you are looking for a way to add moistness, flavor, and sweetness without changing the look of the cake you could try soaking it with something before flipping it out of the pan. I'd serve with whipped cream. Personally I would not decorate the top of the cake unless you're doing very thin piping. You can buy edible jewels though, if your dragon is a hoarder.

Edible jewels.
posted by that's how you get ants at 5:55 AM on April 28, 2016 [3 favorites]

With bundt pans I aways butter and flour the pan to make sure I get crisp detail and also so that the cake releases easily. I wonder if you could mix in powdered food coloring into flour that you use to coat the pan??

My favorite HIGH DEF cake is this one; it's the best pound cake recipe I've ever found.

Previous question about HD cake.
posted by gregr at 7:17 AM on April 28, 2016 [2 favorites]

I would consider decorating only the eggs, perhaps attempting to preserve the scales with a fish scale technique like this one.

Otherwise, if you are sufficiently resourceful/creative about masking (I'm thinking sarah wrap, maybe), you could probably do some great things with a food spray. Especially if you layer it -- think a green/blue base coat with a light silver spray on the dragon body. Then maybe gold over red or something else striking on the eggs.
posted by sparklemotion at 10:55 AM on April 28, 2016

I have made cake with this pan twice! Both time mixes - once lemon, once key lime. Use two cake mixes and bake a little longer. Spray the pan with sprayable coconut oil -- the "baking spray with flour" is too clumpy. Gently tap the pan before baking to get most of the bubbles out. Flip when cool.

Here's how I decorated: first time with a sugar glaze -- it looked o.k., but lost a lot of the detail. Second time my friend with the fancy icing tools went to town, and just colored everything in -- outlining the wings, making the eggs solid colors with sprinkles, doing up the ground as grass, etcetera. Both times, I left out the pan so my friends could see what the cake was supposed to represent. I have to say, the finished cake is somewhat weird looking.

Good luck!
posted by Malla at 11:47 AM on April 28, 2016 [1 favorite]

I would go with a sugary glaze (to make it sticky) with cinnamon sugar sifted on top (to make it sparkly). Almost like a light lemon glaze on a Bundt cake, you know?
posted by wenestvedt at 8:07 AM on April 29, 2016

Note: This is not something I have tried, but what about putting color in some of that white chocolate candy coating stuff and applying a thin coating of that? Then you could spray on some details of other colors too, I'd think.
posted by freezer cake at 10:20 AM on April 29, 2016

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