I’m not a big celebrator of Valentine’s Day to be honest … I’m not a fan of big gestures and romantic notions. I feel that it has become such a commercialised industry that we are losing the real meaning of Valentine’s Day. In particular, social media is flooded with those dreamy-eyed people and their boxes of chocolates and their dozen red roses. It’s a way of telling the world “Hey look at me! Someone loves me! I am so special!”. And what about those people who are single and do not have that special someone? How do you think they feel?
I’ve been with my husband for 18 years and it came to a point where we looked at each other and thought …. really? Do we need to go through this commercial farce on a yearly basis? I think Valentine’s Day is great when you are younger and you get your first boyfriend or girlfriend … the butterflies in your tummy and cheap dates at McDonald’s. I remember when my husband and I were dating … one Valentine’s Day I made this giant poster declaring my undying love for him. He still has this poster somewhere, albeit gathering dust. But you get what I mean? Nowadays … Valentine’s Day consists of a peck on the cheek and a cup of tea. I guess 18 years of lazy has gotten us to this point … but I prefer it. We show love to each other for the other 364 days of the year. That’s more than enough to make up for February the 14th.
There are a lot of theories behind the origin of Valentine’s Day. One legend behind Valentine’s Day is actually a little less joyous. My favourite story is this … according to legend, Saint Valentine helped tortured Christians escape prison. He was then captured. Whilst in prison, he supposedly sent a love letter to a girl he fell in love with. She was the prison guards daughter and she visited Saint Valentine often. He signed the letter “From Your Valentine” and this salutation is still used today. How cute is that?
So anyway … this week I got in the spirit of things and I wanted to share some love. I made some Valentine’s Day cupcakes with some cute cupcake toppers. These are the perfect gift for your loved one. Who doesn’t like cake right?
Here’s how I did it …
I started by colouring some fondant. I wanted to use some traditional Valentine’s colours such as red, pinks, lilacs with a hint of white. I love using Sugarflair colour paste. They come in so many different colours and they are really concentrated so a little goes a very long way. Another great thing about Sugarflair colour paste is that it is really easy to mix the pastes to get the exact shade you want. In addition, the colour pastes can also be used as edible paint by adding a little dab of water. It is so versatile and great value for money.
Using a fluted round cookie cutter I stamped out some circles. I used a cutter that is 6.8cm in diameter. I find this is the perfect size to fit on top of a cupcake. It can be a challenge to try to make your design to fit in to such as small surface area … but once you have mastered this skill, you will find that your cupcake toppers will look amazing! For a little variety, I cut out some regular round circles as well as a few of those with the fluted edges.
I made 6 fondant circle bases … these will be the blank canvas that I will work on. I wanted to create 6 unique designs.
For a couple of my designs, I used my SweetStamps to emboss the word “LOVE” and the word “VALENTINE” onto the fondant.
Starting with the first cupcake topper, I rolled out some white fondant to about 2mm thick and used a smaller cookie cutter (about 5.8cm in diameter) to cut out a white circle.
I then placed the stamp letters onto the white fondant to form the word. I gently pressed down on to the fondant so that it leaves an imprint.
Once the toppers had dried and hardened, I stuck them onto the red topper bases …
I used rose gold edible paint to colour in the embossed letters. I found that Colour Splash Edible Food Paint is brilliant. Easy to apply and such beautiful colours. I also used a very thin size “00” brush to get into the very thin crevices. I had to apply three layers … allowing each layer to dry first before applying the next. By doing this, it gave more of an even and vibrant colouring.
For the next design, I rolled out a thin layer of white fondant. With a heart shaped cutter, (which was a little smaller than the 6.8cm cutter) I stamped out the heart and stuck it on to the middle of the round pink fondant circle.
Using some red fondant, I rolled it out until it was really thin (about 1mm thick) and used a small round cutter which was about 15mm in diameter to stamp out some circles. Taking one of the red circles, I gently gathered the outer layers of the circle and brought them to the centre – almost like a flower. I then stuck the flower to the white heart. I did this a few times until the whole of the heart was covered. I made sure that the shape of the heart was still visible.
With some red food colouring, I used a fine paint brush to write the word “love” in fancy calligraphy style handwriting.
For the next topper, I rolled out some red fondant, then stamped out a heart shape. I used my finger to gently smoothen down the edges to give the heart a softer look.
The red heart is then stuck on to a thin piece of rolled out white fondant. I cut around the white fondant so that it it gave the red heart a border.
Some indents where made where the eyes were going to be. This was done with a small balling tool. Small balls of black fondant were rolled with my fingers, then placed into position with a little edible glue.
The same process was used for the cheeks, little pink balls of fondant were rolled and placed underneath the black eye, using my finger I gently pressed on it to flatten it.
Using a Dresden tool, I crimped the white border just to give the heart a fancier look.
For cuteness, I painted on a little smile using black food colour paste and to brightened up the eyes, I just added a dot of white food colour paint on to the the black part of the eye.
How kawaii does it look! So cute and adorable!
Carrying on … I used a textured impression mat to make an imprint on some rolled out red fondant. These mats are great and come in so many different patterns. They are really easy to use and easy to clean.
If you look closely at the picture on the left, you can see the imprint of the flowers from the impression mat. It’s subtle and effective and a great way to add some texture to an otherwise boring piece of fondant. It is advised to lightly dust the impression mat with some cornflour before pressing in down on to the fondant. By doing this, the fondant will come off easily without sticking and tearing.
I used a cutter to stamp out a heart shape onto the patterned fondant. With a pink piece of fondant, again I rolled it out and applied the impression mat to it. I also cut a heart shape into the pink fondant.
I wanted to create an image of the red and pink hearts locked together, so with the red heart I used the heart shape cutter to cut out part of the heart.
The pink heart is then placed into the cut out space. It is a neat and perfect fit and gives a great impression of two hearts locked together.
The hearts are then stuck on to the cupcake topper base with some edible glue. Such a simple design but follows a traditional Valentine style.
The last design in this set is my version of the well-known lovebirds. I cut out a small circle of fondant and allowed it to dry for 15 minutes.
I moulded two small balls of fondant into the body of two birds. I wanted them to face each other.
With some brown fondant, I moulded this into a branch and positioned it underneath the body of the birds. I left a little gap so that I can draw in some bird feet later.
Using a little red fondant, I added little beaks and wing details on the birds.
Once the wings and the beaks are in place, I used a little black food colour paste to paint on the eyes and the little feet.
To finish the look, I stamped out some little red hearts and used a little edible glue to stick the hearts to the fondant.
If you don’t have any edible glue lying around, you can also use a little dab of water. Be careful not to use too much water as you can make the colour in the fondant bleed out.
The last cake topper is complete. That’s wasn’t so hard was it?
These fondant toppers look great on a some cupcakes. Just pipe on a small amount of buttercream onto the cupcakes, then gently place the toppers on top. Just make sure the cake toppers are hard before sticking them on top of the buttercream.
These six toppers look great … and although each topper has a different design, they still look great together in a set.
These toppers are edible and have a long shelf life if kept in a cool, dry place out of the sun.
I hope you liked my Valentine’s Day cupcake topper tutorial and have a chance to give them a go. Let me know how you get on!
Much love to you all!
~ The Cake Lady xxx