We've teamed up with our sister magazine Making Cards & Papercraft, whose March issue is full of mandalas galore and packed to the rafters with craft papers! With your issue of Making Cards & Papercraft magazine, you get no less than 16 papers (Fashionistas and Mandalas in this one!), as well as free digital papers that you can print as many times as you want! Find out more about this great magazine and all of its freebies here!
The craft world is going wild for mandalas at present, with the designs popping up all over the place. From cake craft to card making, wall art to window panes, mandalas are here and they're here to stay!
This stunning mandala cake featured back in March 2017, so we wanted to share it with you all again, now that the world has recognised just how beautiful these patterns are!
By Lindy Smith
"I love using and experimenting with colour and pattern, they both intriguemand excite me so I can completely understand the current popularity of adult colouring books. Colouring and creating Mandala patterns is a wonderfully therapeutic activity and as sugar is my creative medium, a cake mandala was a must!"
You will need
• bake, layer and prepare your choice of cakes to create the following tier sizes:
• base tier: 20cm (8in) side to side hexagonal x 8.5cm (3.4in) high covered in peach sugarpaste
• top tier: 18cm (7in) round x 20cm (8in) high covered in ivory sugarpaste
• modelling paste: 25g (1oz) ivory, 15g (½ oz) deep pink, 50g (2oz) pink, 15g (½ oz) light blue, 15g (½ oz) blue, 50g (2oz) purple, 25g (1oz) peach, 25g (1oz) orange and 25g (1oz) yellow
• dusts: rose, violet, gentian, nasturtium, sunfl ower (Squires)
• liquid food colours: pink, orange (Cassie Brown), daffodil (Squires)
• royal icing coloured ivory
• yellow wafer(rice) paper
• piping gel
• sugar glue
• vegetable oil
• template: 20cm (8in) concentric circle template and circle divided into 16 equal parts
• square 20cm (8in) cake board or larger
• waxed paper
• 1mm spacers (Lindy's Cakes)
• cutters: Lindy's pointed oval set, Lindy's flat floral collection set one, Lindy's Persian petals set one, Lindy's large teardrops, Lindy's small teardrops, Lindy's curled leaf set, Lindy's Asian elephant (All Lindy's Cakes)
• glass headed dress makers pins
• Dresden tool
• cutting wheel (PME)
• embossing sticks, micro designs, set 5 (Holly Products)
• 6.5cm (2.5in) circle punch
• small fl uid writer
• piping tubes numbers 1, 1.5, 16, 17 and 18 (PME)
• reusable piping bag and coupler
• craft knife
1 Using a ruler and a pencil, divide the concentric circle template into quarters, eighths and then sixteenths. Tape the template securely to the cake board and cover with waxed paper. This template is to help you with initial placement.
2 Roll out some of the purple modelling paste between 1mm spacers, so that the paste is of an even thickness. Take the 5.5cm (2.2in) pointed oval cutter and cut out eight ovals and remove the excess paste.
3 Roll out the light blue modelling paste and cut out eight 4.5cm (1.75in) pointed ovals.
4 Load a dry paintbrush with gentian food dust and dust one end of each light blue oval as shown.
Lindy's Top Tip!
"It is essential that your icing is of the correct consistency, you want to be piping dots or pearls not pointed cones. You need a smooth icing so if necessary add a few drops of cold water to give a perfectly smooth icing. Supporting your hand, either on your work surface, turntable or other hand, makes piping easier. To pipe, hold the tip fractionally above the surface on which you wish to pipe. Squeeze the bag until the dot is the required size, release the pressure and only then remove the tip, this also helps avoid any unwanted peaks. Remember: squeeze, release and lift."
5 Take the 3.5cm (1.4in) pointed oval cutter, place it at the end of the light blue pointed oval that hasn't been dusted and cut through the paste. Repeat for all the blue pointed ovals. Remove the excess paste, leaving the dusted sections.
6 Cut out eight yellow pointed ovals using the 3.5cm (1.4in) cutter and place these on top of the purple pointed ovals at one end. Next add the cut out, dusted blue shapes around the top of the yellow pointed oval, to build up the pattern.
7 Place the decorated purple pointed ovals onto your template, using the circles and lines to help you place the shapes so that they are equally spaced.
8 Cut eight x 3cm (1.2in) teardrops from deep pink modelling paste rolled to a thickness of 1mm, using the large teardrop cutter set. Add to the centre of the design as shown. Note that the teardrops sit in between each of the oval patterns.
9 Cut out a purple flower using the eight petal flower cutter and add to the centre. Decorate each petal with a small circle cut using a no. 16 piping tube. Use the wide end of the tube to cut and then add an orange centre.
10 Roll out the pink modelling paste and cut out eight x 4.5cm (1.75in) wide Persian petals. Load a paintbrush with rose food dust and dust the inner curve of each shape.
11 Cut eight x 4cm (1.6in) peach teardrops using the large teardrop set and dust the pointed ends with nasturtium food dust.
12 Pin the circle divided into sixteen equal parts to your cake, the centre of the template will be the centre of your design. Using a scriber, prick through the paper along the lines of the segments. This is to help with placement.
13 Using a cranked pallet knife, carefully lift the centre of your mandala design, apply sugar glue to the back and then carefully stick to your cake ensuring the design is central and the pointed ovals all match up with the pin pricked lines.
14 Stick the peach coloured teardrops between the purple 'petals' of the central design, as shown.
15 Next add the pink Persian petals that connect the pointed ovals as shown.
16 Complete the design by adding eight small yellow 2.5cm (1in) teardrops cut using the small teardrop set, eight purple curled leaves and finally eight blue circles cut using the no. 18 piping tube.
17 Individually warm and soften some pink and purple modelling paste, do this by kneading in solid white vegetable fat and boiled water. Knead the paste well until it is soft and stretchy.
18 Using the softened purple paste and the large round disc, squeeze out paste to go all the way around the base cake. Swap the paste for the softened pink and disc for the medium round disc and add a pink layer of paste on top of the purple.
19 Roll out the brown modelling paste and cut out six elephants. Smooth and round the edges of each elephant using the warmth of a finger.
20 Take a Dresden tool and make indents between the legs and the bellies. Add mouths, marks to the trunks, eyes and finally toes.
21 Load a paintbrush with violet food dust and brush around the indents to help the elephants look more three dimensional.
22 To create the elephant's robes, start by cutting out elephants from your choice of modelling pastes. Next, take a cutting wheel and cut out the required shapes by referring to the step photo.
23 Emboss the edges of the shapes using the micro designs stick embossers, the set includes six different designs so mix and match and experiment to see what patterns you can create.
24 Cut the next layer, again using the elephant cutter as a starting point. Adjust your cuts to fit and emboss as before. Layer up the pieces as shown and attach to your elephants ensuring that the robes go over the top cut edge of the backs and heads of your elephants.
25 Cut six ears from brown modelling paste, using the elephant ear cutter. Stick in place as shown and add movement by adjusting the ear shapes with a finger.
26 Add more decorative elements using piping tubes to cut out circles, the sugar shaper to create tassels and a craft knife to cut strips to hold the robes in place and to go around the feet. Add one decorated elephant centrally to each side panel on the hexagonal cake.
27 Dowel and stack the two cakes, adding peach trim to the join between the layers using the sugar shaper medium sized disc. Next, using the 1 and 1.5 piping tubes and the ivory coloured royal icing, add piped dots to the mandala design and elephants.
28 Punch out five circles of yellow wafer paper using the circle punch. Note you can cut up to four sheets of wafer paper at any one time.
29 Cut into the centre of each circle with a pair of scissors, this is to help you shape your petals.
30 Pick up a large circle and overlap the cut edges to create a shallow cone then stick in place with piping gel. Repeat for all the circles and leave to dry for a few minutes.
31 Once the petals have set in shape, roll a small ball of ivory sugarpaste and place on the top edge of your cake, to the left of the mandala design. Using a small amount of piping gel as glue, attach the petals to the ball of paste as shown. Overlapping the petals and tucking the last one under the first.
32 Draw and cut out a 20cm (8in) circle onto a sheet of yellow wafer paper. Using scissors and starting at the outside edge of the circle, cut a spiral finishing in the centre as shown.
33 Place the spiral, textured side upper most on a fresh sheet of clean white paper and lightly paint over the spiral with piping gel. Pick up the outside edge of the spiral and roll it up like a bandage. Roll tightly at first but then allow the flower to open up by rolling more loosely. Continue rolling until you come to the centre. Paint piping gel over the base of the roll then place onto the centre. The spiral will probably open up a little more at this point, a bit like a spring.
34 Attach to the centre of the five petal flower and leave to set. Once set, mix some sunflower food dust with vegetable oil to make a paint and use to add more colour to the flower as shown.
35 Use a small fluid writer and water based liquid colours to add more intricate patterns to the mandala design, load the fluid writer using a paintbrush and change colour by flushing the edible ink out under a running tap.
36 Add coloured dots to your design by simply touching the tip of the fluid writer onto the design and quickly removing it.
"Mandala is a sanskrit word that loosely translates as 'circle', although a mandala is so much more than a simple circle. The intricate patterns within the circle represent the universe and wholeness."
Using the same techniques as for the main cake, decorate cupcakes using Lindy's small Asian elephant cutter. The level of detail and colour is up to you. You can make it quick and simple or while away an hour or two.
Don't forget, to make the most of our sister magazine's gorgeous freebies, bonus papers and more, pick up your copy here today!
Don't forget, there's always oodles of inspiration in any issue of Cake Decoration & Sugarcraft magazine!