Steampunk Rocket Ship Cake Decorating and Baking Tutorial

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Steampunk Rocket Ship
with Karen Keaney
Skill level: Intermediate
HD Lessons: 14
Decorating time: 2 Days
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If you are struggling to fins the time to watch each and every lesson then this is the video for you. Here we have selected all the key points and condensed the whole tutorial into a 12 min video. More than enough to get you started!

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1. Stacking and Carving

As no one will be eating this cake (unfortunately) Karen doesn’t layers the cakes up as you might want to. We would recommend cutting each of the three cakes in half and filling with ganache in between each layer. She cuts a dome shape and remember that it doesn’t need to be perfect. Once it’s covered, it will fill out and if you make any dreadful mistakes you can always re-attach some cake using ganache. When carving shapes like this it’s always best to use dense cake like chocolate sponge or Madeira cake as opposed to something like Victoria sponge.

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2. Ganaching the Cake

Make sure you have eaten before doing this part as the temptation may be too great. Clean up all your crumbs before ganaching as you don’t want them sneaking into the smooth ganache. Karen recommends putting lots of ganache on your spatula each time you start a new section as you don’t want to end up working with too little and scraping crumbs into the ganache. Once you’re done you can let it harden and get your hot water ready for the next section.

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3. Ganaching the Cake and Covering the Board

Karen shows the benefit of using a flexible cake smoother when finishing of the ganaching of the cake and just a little bit of hot water and the cranked spatula to completely finish it off. That can now go in the fridge while we focus on the board. Karen shows us a quick and easy way to cover the board and remember not to put any water on the centre of the board as we want to be able to easily cut that section away later.

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4. Airbrushing the Board

You can use the stencil that Karen uses, but any other one with an industrial look will work well. The only colours Karen uses in this lesson are brown and black. By simply concentrating on certain areas and fading out she creates the illusion of different shades of brown. When you notice a particular area of the board looking shiny, it means it’s getting a little too saturated and can start to bleed.

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5. Covering the Cake

In this lesson, Karen uses a clever technique to manoeuvre a large piece of sugarpaste that prevents it from stretching too much. She then covers the dome part separately and uses her cake smoothers to help blend it all together. She then begins to mark the cake by adding panel like shapes like the ones on a space shuttle. As it is an industrial steampunk look, there’s no need to make them all completely aligned, the pattern can be quite playful and irregular.

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6. Decorating the Cake Pt 1

Karen has gone ahead and marked all the panels with rivets. Wait until you see it all airbrushed! Karen then shows us how to create cute windows using a little sugarpaste and some edible lace. If you don’t want to make the lace then Karen demonstrates how you can use an impression mat instead to achieve an effective finish.

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7. Decorating the Cake Part 2

Karen now shows us why we kept the centre of the board and how to place a support for the cake that allows it to sit above the cake stand, giving it a gravity defying look. This lesson alone may convince you to use modelling chocolate more often when creating decorative pieces. The mess is definitely worth it as it doesn’t need strengthening or require any drying time which is a huge plus! Just wait and see what you can create with it.

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8. Decorating the Cake Pt 3

Karen shows us even more great decorations using modelling chocolate and it does a great job for objects that need to have a wooden look as very little needs to be added. Maybe just a few marks with a dresden tool and you’re done. If at any point you feel it getting a little weak, just put it in the fridge for a few minutes and try and not handle smaller pieces too much.

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9. Finishing the decorations

In this lesson, Karen finishes the decorations by making landing feet and wings for the rocket. She uses white modelling chocolate for the wings which is not as strong as dark modelling chocolate so you may want to use flower paste depending on room temperature, and you would have to allow for drying time.

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10. Painting the Cake

First of all, Karen adds rivets to the landing feet – another advantage of using modeling chocolate is that it remains soft enough to work with but strong enough to hold its shape. When it comes to the painting, there’s no need to spend too much time perfecting it or painting every inch of it as you will be airbrushing as well.

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11. Airbrushing the Cake

We’re onto the final stage and perhaps the easiest as well! Karen uses black airbrush paint and simply goes in between all the painted panels and over the ones she left unpainted. She then focuses on the cake board to create a shadow effect from the floating shuttle and goes over the chimneys. This enhances the sugarpaste smoke and finishes of the little robot astronaut very effectively.

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12. Other Ideas

In this lesson, Karen shares some ideas that you can implement when making this cake to make it unique to you. We would love to see your versions of this cake so please share your pictures with us Facebook Page, as well as Karen’s!

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13. Pro Lesson

In this lesson Karen gives some insider info for this cake including the cost to make it as well as how much you should price the cake at when selling it. Vital information for any professional cake designer.

Karen Keaney of Rows and Bows Cakery introduces us to her magical Steampunk Rocket Ship Cake. Karen takes us through each step of the design to create a rocket ship in a stunning array of metallic colours, complete with intricate details and a little astronaut! This cake incorporates lots of different techniques including covering a cake, working with ganache, working with modelling chocolate, creating metallic effects, edible painting, airbrushing and more.

We would love to see your take on the Steampunk Rocket Ship – Please share your snaps with us on our Facebook Page, as well as Karen’s.

Karen Keaney

Karen Keaney

Karen Keaney is a multi award winning cake decorator and owner of her custom cake decorating business, Roses and Bows Cakery. Known for her airbrushing skills, sculpted cakes and her unique approach to cake design, Karen's cake designs are unique and instantly recognizable.
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