From Sketch to Cake #4—Ellen’s Candy Factory

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Candy lovers unite—cause like Halloween, this cake is all about the candy. Ellen came across an adorable invitation on while coming up with a design for a celebration display cake. Filled with rainbow stripes and candy icons, the image kick started her brain on a design concept for a kid’s birthday party. And really, it’s hard not to get inspired by candy!

provided by
original invitation provided by


As you may notice, Ellen made quite a few tweaks to her original design. This is not uncommon with display cakes. For instance, in Ellen’s sketch, the bottom tier had singularly diagonal stripes; but while she was working on the cake, she thought doing a variation of the popular chevron pattern would be more eye-catching and still just as colorful. The border stayed the same though, and that’s key because they’re sugar coated fondant “gumdrops”.


The middle tier showed the biggest change from the original sketch. Ellen realized that that tier was just too busy. A sprinkled band, a plaque, and swags of gumdrops—something had to go. In order to retain the vibrant color, Ellen covered the tier in sky blue fondant as opposed to white. She then removed the gumdrops and let the plaque be the centerpiece. The style, shape, and coloring of the plaque came directly from the invitation but the band of nonpareils came from Ellen’s imagination. What better way to celebrate a candy cake than by putting actual candy on it?

Then came the making of the sugar swirled lollipops. Here’s a peek at how these were made:


First comes the log of white gumpaste that is immediately followed by rolling it onto thin strips of rainbow-colored gumpaste.  This is stretched and rolled until it elongates, and then is twirled in perfect little swirls.  Rolled up into a spiral and finished off with a wooden skewer for its stick and the lollipop is complete.  The same method was used for the smaller candies accenting the plaque.


Ellen also made changes to the top tier to give it a more candy-loving effect. Just like the middle tier, she changed the color from white to a light green giving the cake more of a visual pop. She then turned the top into a sprinkled-covered white overlay. What remained? The other desserts of course—two fondant-made ice cream cones and a cupcake—yum! And the pièce de résistance of our candy cake is, of course, a “licorice” 5.


Thank you Hannah Metler for the fantastic, colorful photos!