Thursday, 31 October 2013

My First Handbag cake

It's my friends birthday tomorrow and we are all going out for a meal. I wanted to make her a cake to have brought out at the end of the meal and I knew straight away what cake I wanted to do, a  bright pink handbag cake!

I had no idea if it was going to work as I have never made one before, but I was quite surprised at how easy it came together. Ok so it's not perfect, but for a first attempt I thought it was quite good.

If I could change anything it would be the handles, they just wouldn't do what I wanted them to do, but they are glued on now so it's too late to change them.

I started with two rectangle cakes. I cut about 4 inches along the length of one and about 6 inches along the length of the other, then I stacked them all in order of size with the widest on the bottom.
Each layer was butter creamed in between and then I carved the edges of the cake slightly until I had what looked like a pyramid. I then crumb coated the whole cake.

I covered the two end pieces first. I rolled out the bright pink sugar paste and then rolled over it with my print mat and fitted it to the smallest sides of the cake, but instead of smoothing it flat I pinched it in the middle and let it hang before cutting it to size to give it more of a material look.

I then covered the two larger sides of the cake, I also used my print mat on these, but these sides were smoothed on to the cake. I was going to cover the two sides in one piece of sugar paste and go right over the top and down the other side, but I found it almost impossible to roll the sugar paste that big and still be able to move it onto the cake, so I decided to do each side separately and then just cover the top panel with an extra strip, this seemed to work fine but you do need to be careful that the sugar paste doesn't slide off.

At this point, I realised I hadn't made the decorations, like the clasp, which needed to be left to dry and be sprayed silver and left to dry again before they could be added to the cake, so this is what I did next.
The clasp was cut from grey sugar paste (I find grey works best when colouring silver) glued together, left to dry and then sprayed silver. Then I made the handles, I wanted them to dry out before putting them on the cake so they didn't flop down and pull the cake apart!
I rolled sugar paste over a strong florist wire, bent into shape and left to dry (I did two of these).

The next part was to make the front flap of the bag, it only took me three attempts!!
It was a lot more difficult than I thought it would be! But I got there in the end, I basically just measured the size I wanted for the panel, divided its width into equal portions and hand cut the shapes, they looked a bit like cartoon key holes, these were the gaps the handles would come through.

Once the front flap was stuck in place, I glued the handles on and pushed the wires slightly into the cake. I then made the belt to go around the flap by rolling out a long thin strip of sugar paste, the clasp was glued to the belt.

To finish the cake off, I rolled some sugar paste into 'worms' and used this as piping on the two smaller sides of the cake, then I added stitching detail to the whole thing.

Decorating The board was actually trickier than doing the cake. I can't decorate the board first and then the cake because I make too much mess! And I can't decorate the board and transfer the decorated cake onto it because I would drop the cake! So I always have to decorate my boards around the cake.
I wanted a wooden floor look, and I was going to lay the sugar paste over the visible parts of the board and make lines in it to make it look like the joins of the floor boards, but this wasn't working for me, so I had to cut and lay each piece individually! It took a long time but I think it was worth it. I then hand painted the floor boards with a mix of orange and black food colouring. 

The flower is also edible, it is something I had made a few days before making the bag cake, and it wasn't meant for the bag cake, but I think it finishes it off nicely :)


  1. Hi Ria,

    This cake looks impressive!

    Are you going to bake any cakes for this coming Christmas?


    1. Hi Zoe.
      Thank you!
      I am very new to cake decorating, only been doing it about 6 months.
      I did make my very first iced Christmas cake, but it was just a very simple basic design.
      Thank you for the comment. Happy new year to you :)