Haybale Cake

Image credit: SAMSUNG CSC
Perfect your piping skills with this summer showstopper by Sherry Hostler of Sherry Hostler Cake Artistry.
You will need:

For the cake:

15x20cm (6x8in) and 20x25cm (8x10in) sponge cakes, both filled with buttercream and crumb coated

To decorate:

  • 3kg (6lb 9¾oz) light brown sugarpaste
  • 850g (1lb 13oz) green sugarpaste
  • 250g (8¾oz) mid-brown sugarpaste
  • 250g (8¾oz) dark brown sugarpaste
  • 250g (8¾oz) grey sugarpaste
  • 50g (1¾oz) yellow flower paste
  • 100g (3½oz) white flower paste
  • 5g (just under ¼oz) pink flower paste
  • royal icing
  • edible glue
  • black edible pen
  • dark brown edible pen
  • edible silver paint
  • dried spaghetti stick

Equipment:

  • cake cards: 15x20cm (6x8in) and 20x25cm (8x10in)
  • 30cm (12in) square cake board
  • non-stick rolling pin
  • smoother
  • small paintbrush
  • sharp knife
  • dresden tool
  • craft gun with 1.5 dia mesh
  • sunflower cutter
  • circle cutters – 5mm, 1cm, 2cm, 5.5cm (¼in, 3/8in, ¾in, 2¼in)
  • flower former or tin foil
ribbon, to decorate board
  1. Roll out 850g (1lb 13oz) of green sugarpaste on a surface which is lightly greased to approximately 3mm (1/8in) thickness. Brush your cake drum with a little boiled, cooled water and cover it with the sugarpaste. Use the smoother to create an even surface. Cut off any excess and allow to dry overnight.
  2. Roll out the yellow flower paste thinly on a lightly greased board, and cut out five sunflowers using the sunflower cutter. Roll out five pea-sized balls of dark sugarpaste and press these into the centre of each flower. Set these aside to dry overnight in either a flower former or a piece of foil shaped into a slightly curved cup.
  3. Roll out the white flower paste thinly on a lightly greased board, and cut out two horseshoe shapes. You can use a horseshoe cutter, or a template that you have made yourself to cut around. Impress small circles all along the front of each horseshoe, then set aside to dry. Once the horseshoes are dry, you can paint them with edible silver paint, and stick the two together with a little royal icing. At this point you can also stick a wooden skewer to the back of the horseshoes vertically, so that it can stick down into the cake and hold them in place.
  4. To make the cowboy hat, first take a ball of 50g (1¾oz) of mid-brown sugarpaste and shape it into an oblong with a flat bottom. Use the fat end of a dresden tool to mark a line down the length of it. Then roll out 50g (1¾oz) of mid-brown sugarpaste thinly and cut out a 5.5cm (2¼in) circle. Stick the two together. Roll out approximately 10g (¼oz) of the dark brown sugarpaste into a thin worm, and twist into a rope. Stick this around the join of the hat with a little edible glue and trim at the back, then fold up either side of the brim of the hat, and stick to the sides with edible glue to hold in place. Roll out a small piece of white flower paste thinly, and cut out a circle with the 5mm (¼in) cutter. Stick this to the front of the hat band and paint with edible silver glue.
  5. To make the cowboy boots, take 80g (2¾oz) of the mid-brown sugarpaste. Roll it into a short, thick worm shape, before bending at a 90 degree angle. Shape the bottom of the boot, where the foot would go, by flattening the base. Then shape the top of the boot which would encompass the leg, by flattening either side with your fingers, and then making an indentation across the top. Use a dresden tool to make the indentation and then smooth with your fingers. Roll out 10g (¼oz) of the mid-brown sugarpaste thinly and cut out two little strips approximately 2x0.5cm (¾x¼in) and stick these over the top of each edge of the boot. Roll out 40g (1½oz) of the dark brown sugarpaste thinly and cut out a foot shape to fit the base of the boot. Stick this on with edible glue to form the sole of the boot, then roll a small flattened oblong of dark brown to stick on at the back end to create a heel. Repeat this process with the second boot, and then leave to dry for 24 hours. Once dry, the stitch work can be painted on with the brown edible ink.

    Making the body

  6. For the mouse, you will need to shape approximately 100g (3½oz) of grey sugarpaste into a teardrop shape. Run your finger across the centre to create a slight belly, and then make a little belly button using the end of your paintbrush. Roll out two 10g (¼oz) pear-shaped balls of grey, flatten slightly, and make two indents across the wide end with the thin end of a dresden tool to create the illusion of toes. Stick these to bottom of the mouse’s body. Next, roll out two 10g (¼oz) worm shapes of grey, which are much fatter at one end. Flatten the shapes slightly and again make two indents across the wide end to depict paws. Stick these to the top of the body.

    Making the head

  7. Roll out a 30g (1oz) ball of grey sugarpaste, and shape this into a teardrop shape to form the mouse’s head. Insert a dried spaghetti stick through the body so that it sticks out by approximately 2.5cm (1in) and stick the mouse’s head on top, holding it in place with edible glue. Use your dresden tool to create a mouth. Roll out a small amount of white flowerpaste thinly, then cut out two circles with the 5mm (¼in) cutter, and also a tiny oblong approximately 5mm (¼in) across. Stick the white circles on the head to become eyes, and stick the oblong to the top of the mouth to create teeth. Once the eyes have dried sightly, you can paint black dots in the centres with the edible pen.

    Making the tail

  8. Roll out a small amount of grey sugarpaste thinly, and cut out two 2cm (¾in) circles. Roll out the pink flower paste thinly and roll out two 1cm (3/8in) circles. Stick the pink on top of the grey, but close to the edge, then indent slightly with a dresden tool, before sticking to either side of the top of head to create ears. Roll a tiny ball of pink flowerpaste, and stick to the pointed end of the head to make a nose. Last but not least, roll out around 5g (just under ¼oz) of grey sugarpaste to form a long thin worm and attach to the back of the body to make a tail.
  9. Adhere each of the cakes to the corresponding size cake card using a little buttercream.
  10. To cover the top tier, roll out 900g (2lb) of the light brown sugarpaste to 3mm (1/8in) thickness on a lightly greased surface. Lift over the cake and smooth down with your hands. Use the smoother to create an even surface and cut off any excess.
  11. To cover the bottom tier, roll out 1.25kg (2lb 12oz) light brown sugarpaste, and repeat the process above.
  12. Leave each cake overnight to set.
  13. Place the larger cake onto the cake board, sticking it down with some royal icing. Dowel the cake and then stack the top tier on it at a slight angle, using a little royal icing to hold it in place.
  14. Using a small amount of light brown sugarpaste at a time, fill the craft gun (making sure the sugarpaste is really soft), and push through approximately 5cm (2in), before cutting it off, and sticking it onto the bottom of the bottom tier vertically, so that it rests along the base of the cake. You will need to repeat this process all the way around the cake, before then working your way up, so that the ‘hay’ can fall over the top of that below it. Repeat the process on the top tier.  This is a slow process, so you will need lots of patience!
  15. Roll out two long worms of dark brown sugarpaste approximately 30.5cm (12in) in length, and twist the two together to form a rope. Affix this over the top and down the sides at one end of the top tier, and repeat the process on the other end to create ropes. Repeat the process for the bottom tier using shorter lengths of the dark brown sugarpaste, as they will only appear at the front and the back of the larger haybale.
  16. Finally, fix the sunflowers, boots, hat, horseshoes and mouse to the cake, using small dabs of royal icing to hold them in place.
  17. Add the ribbon around the side of the cake drum to add a nice finish.

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