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How To Make A Circus Cake

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Equipment

Edibles

Inspired by the film, The Greatest Showman, we wanted to create a really colourful and fun circus cake that uses simple shapes and techniques! Let us take you through our step by step tutorial, showing you how to create all the cake’s decorations and the equipment we used. For the cake we used Golden Delight Madeira cake mix which is deliciously moist and super easy to make, simply add water, mix and bake. Then once cooled, layer and cover with Sattina vanilla frosting which is tasty and very convenient as it does not need to be kept in the fridge.

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Decorating The Cakes

The Bottom Tier

Cover a 15″ round cake board in Sattina true red sugarpaste (use cool boiled water or edible glue to attach the icing to the board). Cover a deep 9″ round cake in Sattina Mediterranean blue sugarpaste and decorate the sides with red diamonds using the PME XL geometric diamond cutter. Cut out small yellow circles using the the largest cutter from the PME round plunger cutter set and attach them to the cake between the diamonds with edible glue. Attach the cake to the board with some royal icing or mix some sugarpaste with a little edible glue to make a paste.

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The Top Tier

Place a 5″ deep cake coated in vanilla frosting onto a thin round 5″ cake board and cover with approximately 750g of white sugarpaste. Then decorate the sides with red stripes using the Fmm ribbon cutter tool and use the PME geometric lantern cutter set to create a brightly coloured pattern in between the stripes. For the Big Top’s entrance, cut out two tall triangles exactly the same size – one in black and one in red. Attach the black one to the front of the cake with edible glue then cut the red one in half longways and attach to either side of the black opening to look like flaps folded back! Before attaching this tier with a little royal icing or sugarpaste to glue them together, remember to insert 3 cake dowels into the bottom tier equally.

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‘Big Top’ Roof

You can create the tent roof from cake or a marshmallow and Rice Krispie mix (there are plenty of recipes available online for this). We used the small PME doll pan and attached a small dome of white sugarpaste to the top to make the roof pointed. Spread over with vanilla frosting, then cover in white sugarpaste ready for decorating. Attach to the second tier before decorating with red triangles and a strip of red around the bottom where the tent roof meets the cake below. Lastly, add a ring of yellow semi-circles to finish the look!

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Modelling The Animals & Ringmaster

Before you start making the animals and the ringmaster, here is a really handy tip to transform Sattina sugarpaste into a modelling paste which will make the icing firmer, easy to use and keep its shape. Take all the colours you are going to use and knead a little Sugarcel (cmc) powder into each colour – for 250g of sugarpaste you will need a level teaspoon of Sugarcel powder. After kneading each colour, make sure you wrap up the icing really well in an airtight bag or container so that is stays soft and pliable!

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Larry The Lion

We have kept the animal shapes really simple but cute! Always start with a ball – 2 large balls for the body and head, then roll a ball into a long sausage for the tail and made a little teardrop shape for the end! Create 2 small paws and make 3 indents evenly along each paw, 2 tiny ears, eyes and a tiny triangle for the nose. For the mane, cut out a scalloped circle and create the smiley mouth with the end of a straw.

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Ellie The Elephant

As per the modelling tip above, add some Sugarcel (cmc) powder into Sattina dove grey sugarpaste to create a modelling paste. Make a ball for the head, then roll a ball into a sausage shape for the trunk, making it slightly wider one end. Use a palette knife to make a couple of creases along the trunk. Cut out 2 circles for the ears and shape them by cutting away one edge then mould 2 small balls for the eyes and 2 long tear drop shapes for the tusks. For extra strength, we recommend inserting a cake pop stick into the head then attach with a little royal icing, then scrunch up some kitchen roll and place underneath the head for a while until it is held firmly in place.

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Coco The Chimp

Knead about a quarter of a teaspoon of Sugarcel (cmc) powder into 100g of Sattina chestnut brown sugarpaste. Make 2 balls for the head and body, the head should be just slightly smaller than the body. Roll 2 long sausages, one for the tail and cut one into 4 to create the arms and legs. Remember to gently round off one end of each sausage and make the other very slightly pointed! Cut out a heart in golden brown sugarpaste and use the end of a straw to make a little smile then make 2 tiny black balls for the eyes.

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Sally The Seal

Of all the animals, this shape is probably the hardest to achieve! Make a large ball then roll between the palms of your hands to create a fat sausage, rolling one end into a point. Roll the other end slightly narrower and use the side of your palms to form the neck. Very lightly shape the seals head to a point for the nose. Cut out 3 heart shapes making one a little larger for the tail, using the other 2 for the seal’s flippers. Make 2 little black eyes and a nose. Leave the model to dry, then use a black edible ink pen or black food colouring to draw or paint on the seal’s mouth and whiskers!

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Reggie The Ringmaster

Start by modelling a ball of white icing for the ringmaster’s body then make a pale pink ball the same size for his head. Add his ears and nose and once again, emboss the smile with the end of a straw. Mould 2 small balls for his hands then flatten them and make a small snip in each for the thumbs. Next take some black icing and create the top hat by cutting out a circle then shaping the top of the hat. For the legs, roll some black icing into a ball, flatten a little then make an indent for the legs. Now start assembling the ringmaster using edible glue to attach each piece of icing. Stand up the legs and attach the body into place before pushing a cake pop stick through the middle (making sure it will be no taller that his hat!) Push the head onto the cake pop stick then the top hat. Now you can dress him by cutting out a red coat and if you wish, use the designer wheeler to add some stitching. Wrap the coat around his body then attach two arms followed by his hands (you may have to hold his hands in place for a minute to stick or use a piece of spaghetti pushed into his arms). For the finishing touch, add a red strip of icing around his hat and a few gold buttons to his coat. We popped him on a yellow sugarpaste disc on the board to look like he is standing in the spotlight!

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Carnival Wording

Cut out a name to personalise your cake using Cake Star’s large push easy upper case alphabet cutters in white sugarpaste, mixed with a little Sugarcel. Leave to dry then paint with black gel food colouring mixed with a little water. Make sure you use a good quality fine brush to paint around the edge of each letter and a design inside. Leave to dry fully before attaching to the cake board with a little edible glue.

Handy Hint: When decorating the cake, dust your work surface with a cornflour pouch to stop your icing sticking – you can even dust your hands if they get a little sticky!

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Browse Our Range of Sattina Sugarpaste

A superior range of sugarpaste (also known as Ready To Roll Icing or Fondant Icing) with a subtle vanilla flavour and aroma. It looks amazing, tastes delicious and is a dream to work with.

Made with the highest quality ingredients, it kneads and covers smoothly without tearing or cracking making it perfect for covering all types of celebration and wedding cakes.

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