Western “Branded” Birthday Cake with Horseshoes & Barbed Wire

This western cake is surrounded by hand made sugar barbed wire, sugar horseshoes and western cattle/horse brands. The cake is german chocolate with homemade coconut pecan filling in the middle and covered with german chocolate buttercream – all from scratch.   Yum! This cake was done for my Wee Bites cancer fundraiser website along with 80 large german chocolate whoopies – fit right in with their western theme and got lots of compliments (the party organizer told me there were anyway) 🙂  Had a lot of fun making this one:

western birthday cake brands branded barbed wire barb wire horseshoes

Western cake with barbed wire, horseshoes & brandswestern birthday cake with brands, horseshoes & barbed wirewestern birthday cake with brands, horseshoes & barbed wirewestern birthday cake with brands, horseshoes & barbed wire

 top of cake with custom brand



18 thoughts on “Western “Branded” Birthday Cake with Horseshoes & Barbed Wire

  1. Pingback: Western Horseshoe Wedding Cake « 2bluedogs’ blog

  2. This is a very elegant western cake. I love the white barbed wire on this cake. I am making a western wedding cake in April and would love to know how you made this sugar barbed wire. I am an amateur baker, I bake for close friends and relatives. Did you paint the brown tint on? Please share your wonderful skills.

    • Thank you so much! All the parts of the barbed wire are made from fondant. The wires were done in sections (from one barb to the next only) then ran the fondant through my pasta machine to flatten it, then cut it into strips. I wrapped each individual strip around a large lollipop stick cut into 1″ lengths – I think they were called cookie sticks? the regular lollipop sticks didn’t made a large enough gap for the twisted wire to fit inside of the barb once it came time to assemble them. After dry, I painted with browns and silver then added a little bit of shimmer dust. When assembling, I used a bit of royal icing to help keep the barbs and wire in place. Hope that helps! Have fun!! Tina

  3. Thank you Tina, it helps tremendously. This will be my first time to work with fondant, I have no idea how much I will need to make barbed wire and horseshoes. This is a little scary but I really like your cake especially the barbed wire and horseshoes (so does the bride-to-be). I am assuming the horseshoes were also made from fondant, did you use a cookie cutter? Did you paint them with same browns and silver as well? I have never painted or used dust. I have seen the shimmering dusts in various colors but I do not recall seeing paints. Can you please advise me on what I am looking for and what shades of brown? (any how to tips on painting or applying dust would be greatly appreciated). I am going to make 3 horseshoes and 2 rustic pink stars (stars requested on front and rear sides of middle tier with horseshoes placed on left and right sides of middle tier). I intend to “brand” their initials within a horseshoe shape on front center of top tier. Do you think the stars and horseshoes made of fondant will be too heavy to place on sides of cake? Originally I was going to pipe the stars and horseshoes with tinted icing until I saw your cake. I am undecided on whether I will use barbed wire as a top border on each tier, a bottom border OR both LOL I just love the look but I don’t want to over use it. The bottom tier will have paisley design piped on sides. I am wondering if I use fondant for stars and horseshoes on cake if I should be doing the paisleys in fondant as well, I rather like the white on white look of paisleys piped with icing but I want a professional uniform look to the tiers of the cake as well. If I give stars and horseshoes a rustic antique 3D look and use a 3D barbed wire border, seems like paisleys need a rustic 3D look too. I wonder if painting or using dust on the paisleys would be sufficient, what do you think? Thanks so much Tina, and if I am asking you to reveal too much….I apologize, my motto is “it never hurts to ask!” I will send you a photo of my finished cake in appreciation. I am very excited and so is the bride to be and her mom and sister. Thank you again Tina.

    • Well hello again! No problem. I printed off your questions and I will look at them tonight on paper where it might be easier to sort them out 🙂 Do you do a pencil/paper sketch of your cakes? I would highly recommend it. It’s a great way to see the composition and to make sure you have a good focal point on a cake. The trick is not to make too many focal points. You want to draw the eye into one place – that then leads the eye to the rest of the cake. I am an artist and a graphic designer so my education there really flows into cake design – or at least I hope it is! 😉

      With my first few big cakes I also made a “Dummy cake” for me to wrap my mind around the size and what to do. I would take my cake pans – turn them upside down and then use cans of food or boxes to act as dividers… this really help me to actually visualize the size/scale of the cake. I’ve gotten to where I don’t have to do that anymore – but it really helped on the first few. I do sketch EVERYTHING though.. and it doesn’t have to be perfect. Just a loose drawing. Always think “focal point, composition and balance” – it really makes for much more cohesive design.

  4. Oh how kind of you Tina to help me. I could tell you had real artistic talent as well as baking/decorating skills. Yes I do sketch my cakes, I have changed this cake a few times already but what I described is my final sketch.. I have made about a dozen wedding cakes but most were decorated using icing /tips only. One had marzipan fruit and chocolate leaves, that was fun. The look I am going for is whitewash, antique, or rustic if you will. The lone star I am matching from her invitations is light pink with white streaks, has a very faded look to it. That was her only specific request on her cake., the pink star. Maybe I should “think pink”. Maybe I should consider paisleys to be outlined faintly with same faded pink. Good thing wedding is at end of April and I have plenty of time to play around! I admit I am a bit concerned about something front and center on both top and middle tiers, I will definitely look at sketch again and carefully consider your expert advice. Perhaps I will create an even better sketch as a result….thanks again Tina.

    • Thank you! I’ll go down the list to your questions:
      1) the horseshoes were cut out of fondant using a pattern and a a very sharp exacto knife

      2) I painted the horseshoes at the same time as the barbed wire using the same colors and methods

      3) for color, I use gel color and mix it with vodka then use artist brushes to paint it on. I got one of those little white painting pallettes (with wells) to mix my colors in. If it gets to dark, just move to a new well, add a little of the color you already mixed and just add more vodka to it using the plastic syringe to control the amount. To be honest I don’t remember what colors I used. More than likely I painted the whole thing with a light coat of silver (silver shimmer dust mixed with vodka) until it was thin enough not to be TOO shiny. then after that when in lightly with the browns. (brown gel color mixed with vodka) and painted on with a paint brush. I use paint brushes and my hands for all my painting… you can also blot with paper towels to get patterns, etc. If they are really thin (lots of vodka) then they work a lot like water colors. If they are mixed thick they are more like acrylic paints.

      4) As far as attaching stars and horseshoes to the middle tier – are you covering it in fondant? If so, I would just mix up some “glue” (A little fondant disolved in a small amount of water) to secure them to the tier. If it’s buttercream, you could likely still attach them – but just don’t make them overly thick. If you wanted to do something thicker, you could even dry a few popsicle sticks into the back of them to insert into the cake. I’m not sure how big your star and shoes would be – so I’m not sure there.

      One thing I would suggest is to dry your star and shoes on a curve. Find a curve about the thickness of your icing/fondant and dry them on that curve. For instance. If I want something to go on the outside of a 6″ cake. I could take the 6″ cake pan, prop it up on it’s side. Add a kitchen towel over it to add thickness (to compensate for icing/fondant) then a piece of waxed paper or parchment then dry the fondant on that. This will make your final curve actually fit the cake. Now it it’S a really big cake or a square cake, the fondant decorations being flat wouldn’t make much difference. Hope that made sense.

      5) I am thinking just barbed wire at the bottom of each tier.

      6) LOVE the idea of the white on white paisley – but like you said, that might might not look cohesive. What about piping on the paisely, then bringin in some of the colors (hand painted color or dust on the piping) heavier color at the bottom of the tier fading to white on white at the top of the paisley design?? If you’re piping their initials on the top tier – then you could take some of that color back into the top too to tie it all in. Maybe even a few touches of white on white paisley too.. hmm. that would be one of those “figure it out when you get there” kind of things. 🙂

      Hope that helps. I can ‘t wait to see it! It’s going to be gorgeous!!

      • Wow That was very helpful…thank you. I never thought about the fondant stars and horseshoes having to dry on a curve, thank goodness I have you on my side! The whole vodka thing would have never entered my mind either. You have been great and I have a lot of respect and appreciation for your generous guiding advice.

        I will definitely post a pic for you,

      • You’re so nice, thank you! I had a few people help me with some things so I know how much it can really help things along. I didn’t have vodka once, so I used Tequila… LOL. Resulted in complete failure – I had sticky & stinky flowers. Can’t wait to see your pics!! Thanks Keeli!

  5. I am getting very excited, as I have visited with the bride to be, Laura, her mother Cindy and her sister Lyona, all three very sweet ladies. We decided to add a few edible pink and white flowers to her cake, she wants western but I can tell she wants feminine and beautiful too.

    • oh man.. the excitement is contagious, isn’t it?!! wow. pink will be really pretty and pop right off that fairly neutral palette. I’m even getting excited now! 🙂 ha.

      Do you work from your home? Do you do tastings? I don’t do tastings and always feel bad about that… but of course it just doesn’t make sense since I’m not a full time bakery – or full time baking for that matter. I always figure it’s kind of a compromise and I know for some people that’s a big deal – which I guess that means I’m not the “right fit”. Which of course doesn’t bother me… I want them to be delighted and have the perfect fit.

  6. SO for the barewire let me understand this as i am looking for ways to do barbwire also. You took fondant and rolled it out using you pasta roller then wrapped the fondant around the lollipop sticks and then formed it around your cake?

    • Hi Christine, Yes, initially, I rolled the fondant out using a pasta machine to make it the same even thickness throughout. Then I cut the fondant into thin strips. For the barbs. I cut the thin stips of fondant into approx. 1″ pieces. Then took those 1″ long strips and wrapped them around a piece of cookie stick (large lollipop stick). The larger diameter cookie stick created enough room for the wire to fit into it during assembly.

      Set the barbs aside to dry on parchment or waxed paper. Cut more long thin stips and twist two around each other to create the wire. I cut the sections of wire into the lengths I wanted. Then pinched the ends a little bit and dried them on a slight curve to match up to the curve around the cake. This does not have to be exact. I kept my lengths of wire fairly short and the curve pretty modest.

      Once completely dry – assembly around the cake and “glue” the wires inside the barbs with a little bit of royal icing or some fondant disolved in water and applied with a paint brush.

      Hope that helps!! have fun!!!

  7. Love your Western cake. I have a Western wedding cake to make, and would love to know how you made the barbed wire.

    • Hi Karyn! Thanks for the note! If you look back in the comments for this post, I have explained how to make the barbed wire. If you have any other questions, let me know! Good luck with your cake!!
      Thanks! Tina

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