Sparkly Toadstool Tutorial for Cake Decorating

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Toadstools and mushrooms always make me think about fun family hikes.  Not here in the desert of Arizona, particularly, where it's not wet enough to find many mushrooms.  But the association persists.  There's just something so magical about them--how they pop up overnight, the amazing colors and shapes.  How could I not want to take advantage of that for parties?  

Best thing about these sweet little toadstools is that they're amazingly easy to make, and work with all sorts of fabulous sweets!

Cakes, of course.

But cupcakes as well.

And even cookies!  To make these gum paste toadstools, you'll need:

  • prepared gum paste
  • food coloring
  • vodka
  • Spray Oil 
  • a dedicated, food safe paintbrush
  • Disco Dust cake decorating glitter

I've said it before, but I'll say it again: Satin Ice brand gum paste is awesome to work with.  Wilton is easier to find in all the big craft stores, but Satin Ice doesn't dry out quite as quickly, and you don't get the wrinkly elephant skin problem as much as with other brands.  Well worth finding!

Start by spraying your work surface lightly with oil.  I usually use olive oil spray, because that's what I keep in the cupboards.  The spray will prevent the gum paste from sticking to your counter, and make it much easier to create your shapes.  Some people use cornstarch, but that just makes it dry out more quickly, and can leave a white, powdery residue.  I prefer a light spray of oil.  

Roll white gum paste into long snake, and use a sharp paring knife to cut stem segments.  Not all the same length--make some longer, some shorter, some fatter, some thinner.  You know, like real mushrooms.

If you'd like your mushroom caps to be a different color, color up some more gum paste, and form mushroom caps in different shapes.

Use the vodka as a little bit of glue to attach the toadstool tops to the stems.  Let dry for at least an hour.

Once the mushrooms have had a chance to dry a bit (at least enough to keep the cap attached to the stem when turned upside down), it's time to add some sparkle.  Usually, I'm a big fan of little shakers for evenly dispensing disco dust, but for this project, there's an even easier method.  Paint the mushroom cap with a thin layer of vodka, then dip the wet toadstool top directly into the pot of edible glitter.  Gently tap off any excess, and set aside to dry completely.  You get instant, full coverage without any waste.  

Arrange on cakes...

Or cupcakes.  

Wherever you want to add a little bit of fairy or woodland magic, really.  

Nicole Wills, creator of Tikkido

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