Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Tennis Shoe Cake

We made a pair of Air Jordon shoes and their box as part of a larger groom's cake.  We have made two other shoe cakes.  A pair of Converse All-Star's and a pair of fancy high heels with a shoe box.  Lucky for us, the bride let us pick the shoe design, it just had to be accurate as the groom was a collector.   The easiest avenue for any 3D cake is to have the item in front of you, or at least a 3D model (like a car).  I find it so helpful for all those little things, like accurate measurements!  We picked these because they looked easy compared to all the rest of the Air Jordon line.  Shoes are notoriously deceiving so keep that in mind when you're planning.  It took us eight hours to make the pair.  Some people may think that is crazy long, but I have not figured out a way to "hurry" on a project like these.

Let me tell you what I learned/did wrong with this project.

1.  Black fondant FADES!  I added extra black food coloring when I started but I truly believe that the fondant faded just in the time it was exposed to lights.  I saw these girls on "Amazing Wedding Cakes" practically working in the dark to avoid their black from fading.  I thought they were crazy!  I'm sorry ladies, you are sane and black fondant is stupid.  MAYBE if I was doing this exact same project again, I would airbrush the shoes before adding the soles and edible images.  MAYBE that would have helped.  They really didn't fade until I had the details on and at the point the air brush ship has sailed.

2. Make paper templates of sections so that all sides are exactly the same.  For example the side squares with the dots and without the dots.  I should have made all the templates and pinned them on one of the shoes before I started scoring the lines.  I wouldn't have gotten "off" had I done it that way.  Every cake has a backside!

3. CK Edible lacquer is super awesome!  The shoe had shiny parts and I sprayed some lacquer in a paint cup and used a small paint brush to apply it precisely when it was supposed to go.  Lesson here, the stuff dulls the longer it sits.  What until a couple of hours before the event to apply this if possible.  It won't go away over a day or two, it's just less shiny.

4.  Edible image paper is my friend!  Chad found a little dot pattern and printed out one page.  I used my templates to cut the pieces a tiny bit larger and then used a clad tool to bend them into the seam. 

5.  The sole is so important!  I used straight fondant for the black parts, but the red and white parts were 100% modeling chocolate.  The white part was put on as one big, thick piece and I took a ball tool and carved the lines and details in.  I should have spent much more time on the sole as the real shoe had more ridges, but I was out of time.....

6.  I have lost my ticking tool.  The one that makes it look like you have a sewn line.  I used some Wilton tool, but it just looked bad so I didn't add anymore detail with it, but once it's done you have to live with it. 

Remember to plan EIGHT hours or more and charge accordingly :)  Now I have to go and order my missing tool!


  1. 8 hours! Yup - been there! When I explain to people how long I spend on some details because I have to get it right - I end up saying "its an illness" ha ha

  2. I just made a black wedding cake and I found that working shortening into the black fondant helped it keep the true color. It did add a bit of shine, but for the most part is absorbed it well the longer it sat. I learned about this little trick from Sharon Zambito on one of her videos.


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