Did you know that in proper tea culture, it’s actually faux pas to drink tea with your pinky up? Personally, I notice that my little finger goes higher or lower depending on the occasion for tea. Play time with my nieces? Pinkies up, of course! Enjoying tea at a luxury hotel? Stay down, pinky. But up or down, there’s no doubt about it–tea lovers of all kinds are going to love this cake!So how do we create a cake that looks like a teacup? With Wilton’s clever Wonder Mold, of course! You may already know about this pan from making princess cakes. Here, we simply flip the finished cake upside down to create a perfectly contoured teacup shape. Princesses & teacups—you can create both with this one amazing pan!I actually ended up making 2 versions of this cake, each a riff on my favorite English china pattern. The first was a simpler version, while another cake was a much more exact interpretation of the same design. Once you’ve created the fondant-covered cup and saucer, the teacup becomes a canvas for you to draw and paint on.
I’ve loved Wilton products for as long as I can remember, and am always amazed at the crafty cake decorating tools that they come up with. Wilton’s Color Right Performance Color System allows you to create so many brilliant colors in varying shades of intensity. And for the most realistic gold-trimmed effect, I used Wilton’s Edible Metallic Cake Paint Set. Simply paint it onto the fondant with a flat-tipped brush.
To create the look of a freshly poured cup of tea, one of these teacups is topped with chocolate ganache while the other was finished with brown-tinted piping gel. Feel free to play around with the colors of the “tea.” These teacups feature black tea, but green tea or even a frothy cup of matcha would be fun to create too.
Special thanks to Wilton for supplying the tools and ingredients for creating this cake. Wilton’s Wonder Mold pans come in both large and small sizes so if you’re not up to decorating a large cake, try the smaller versions first. Please check out their brunch campaign for more festive recipes, both sweet and savory!
“Pinkies Up” Teacup Cake
Makes 1 large cake.
1 recipe for your favorite 2-layer cake
(I used Wilton’s Butter Cake recipe, swapping out 1/2 cup of flour for cocoa powder & adding the contents of 3 tea bags of Earl Grey tea. The result…a delicious Earl Grey Chocolate Cake!)
1-24 oz. box white fondant
1-16 oz. tub white decorator icing, stiff
1/2 cup of your favorite recipe for chocolate ganache or clear piping gel
gum paste, for creating the handle
6” or 8″ cardboard cake rounds
- 1. Bake the Cake. Bake one full recipe of a double layer cake of your choice. Allow it to cool completely, then trim the top with a serrated knife until it is even. Brush off any crumbs from the surface of the cake.
2. Make the Saucer. Trace a 3” circle round in the middle of a cake round (use a 6” cake round for a small teacup cake or a 8” cake round for a large teacup cake) Cut the circle out using a box cutter. Stack the cut-out cardboard ring atop another cake round, then tape them together. Roll out the fondant to slightly less than 1/4″ thickness, about 1” more than the diameter of the cake round. Cover the top of the “saucer” with the fondant. Cut away any excess fondant and smooth the fondant onto the surface of this cardboard “saucer.” Set aside.
3. Make the Handle. Cut out the handle from thickly rolled gum paste. Allow to dry completely, then decorate. 4. Make the Flowers. Make stiff royal icing. Distribute the white icing into smaller bowls, then color each icing according to the flowers on your teacup. Pipe the flowers directly onto the cake or onto small pieces of parchment, then allow to dry completely. Some tips may require that you pipe onto the tip of a toothpick, then puncture the opposite tip of the toothpick through parchment to set the flower atop the parchment.
5. Cover the Cake in Fondant. Roll fondant out to just shy of 1/4″ thickness. Place 2-8″ cake rounds at the base of the cake. Cover the teacup cake with an even layer of icing, then chill for 10 minutes in the fridge. Remove from the fridge, then coat with a second layer of icing. Chill again for 10 minutes, then cover in fondant, covering the edges of the 2 cake boards as well. Very carefully flip the cake over to reveal a teacup-shaped cake. Remove the 2 cake boards, then roll in the edges of the fondant to create a teacup lip. Spread a thin layer of icing over the exposed cake.
6. Decorate the Saucer & Cup. If you don’t feel confident in your ability to draw free form, try using a toothpick to poke small patterns into the fondant. You can use the dots as a guide for painting on a design. Also, use colored icing piped through decorating tips to create a 3D effect. If you’ve made royal icing flowers, attach them with a small dab of icing.
7. Attach the Handle. Attach the handle to the teacup with decorator icing or royal icing. For extra security, try cutting small slits through the fondant and inserting the handle gently into the slits by 1/4″.
8. Fill with “Tea.” Heat brown-tinted piping gel in the microwave for about 20 seconds into a more liquid-like state. Pour and smooth over the top of the cake as “tea.” Alternatively, you can use chocolate ganache for this step.