Steampunk Embossing Mini Tutorial – Tour of Britain inspired!

I was a bit late in coming up with a plan for my cupcake workshop at the Norwich Food and Drink Festival. It needed to be bike related to link to the Tour of Britain.

Whenever I’m asked to make a cake or cupcakes with a theme, my first step is to search for it on Google images or Pinterest. Not to copy the designs, quite the opposite in fact, I would rather do something more original so I aim to do something that hasn’t really been done before. It is not easy to be completely original as many clients desire a particular item on their cake but wherever possible I like to create something different.

My search for “bike cupcakes” (and various other key word searches) threw up lots of mini bikes on top of cupcakes, most were non edible and would be removed before eating.

Such as these cool acrylic toppers. They look awesome but were not something I could teach to children; “Here you go, stick this into a cupcake, done!”


Some had meticulously piped little bikes out of royal icing or chocolate but again, not easy to teach to a 5 year old and would take too long to set, so not workshop suitable.


I also found this cute little design but again not suitable for a drop in workshop.

So after a fruitless internet search I started to think a little more abstractly and thought about the cogs and gears on a bike. I didn’t have access to any cogs but I do have a 9 year old boy with boxes of Lego and Knex. I had a rummage through the Knex box and found a few useful cog type objects, some Lego wheels with rubber tyres and the final joyous discovery was two tiny BMX bike wheels.

steampunk bike cogs

All items were sterilised to make them food safe and I set about using them to emboss fondant to create toppers for the cupcakes.

It was such a simple technique but looked really impressive and I had so many comments about them during the weekend The best bit about the technique was despite looking really intricate with the metallic textures, anyone, of any ability could access it and create their own effective designs. Throughout the event I taught children from age 3 to a group of students around 19 years of age and they all produced iced cupcakes with beautiful fondant toppers.

FullSizeRender (2)

I’ve put together a simple little tutorial to show how easy it is to create these stunning toppers.

You will need:

White fondant, a non stick board, non stick rolling pin, paint brush, metallic edible dusts, circle cutters, edible glitter, selection of toy wheels and cogs.

steampunk bike cogs 1


  1. Roll out the fondant to a thickness of about 3mm              steampunk bike cogs 2
  2. Press the cogs and wheels into the fondant to create a range of interesting textures and patterns.                               steampunk bike cogs 3
  3. You can use the tyres to give tracks across your fondant. steampunk bike cogs 4
  4. Use a selection of metallic dusts to brush onto your textured fondant. steampunk bike cogs 5  steampunk bike cogs dusts
  5. I blended the three metallic colours so they merged into one another.steampunk bike cogs 6a
  6. Use different sized circle cutters to select the most interesting areas.steampunk bike cogs 7
  7. Peel away the excess fondant leaving the detailed metallic discs. steampunk bike cogs 8
  8. Use the discs to decorate some freshly iced cupcakes. steampunk bike cogs cupcakes

Sugar Buttons and Vegucation at the Norwich Food and Drink Festival 2015

I have been particularly terrible at blogging, I never seem to have any time. It was my New Year’s Resolution to keep up to date with social media for my business and to write a blog post every 2 weeks. Hmmm….it’s been months since I started this blog so I’ve got a lot of catching up to do.

I plan on doing several posts looking back at various Sugar Buttons events but for now I will start with something far more recent.

On Saturday and Sunday the 12th and 13th of September, Sugar Buttons collaborated with Vegucation once more to bring foodie workshops for children visiting the Norwich Food and Drink Festival.

On Saturday morning the Tour of Britain cyclists whizzed by Chapelfield Gardens and with this in mind, Phoebe and I decided to theme our workshops to match. Phoebe was offering a “Wheelie” good pasta salad and I decided to go a bit abstract choosing to create a metallic embossed cog and wheel cupcake design

Flyer crop

Our weekend started on Friday when we set up the event tent ready for the next day. The sun was shining as we decorated the tent with bunting, sadly this sun did not last for the weekend.

On Saturday we arrived bright and early and began setting out our tables with leaflets, equipment and ingredients. It had rained all night and our sweet tent had survived the worst of it but much of our day was spent wiping up puddles and wringing out the wet bunting!

nfad15 banner

My new banner made its first appearance and stood up to the random changes in weather.

Despite the slightly dreary weather we still had a range of visitors to our take part in our workshops.

We had some really young children taking part and they showed excellent concentration becoming really engrossed in their tasks.

nfad cute

Sunday was still a bit rainy but thanks to the Battle of the Bangers competition we had lots more visitors across an age range from 3 to 19!

IMG_0990  IMG_1003  IMG_1011

I have to admit that I only planned my cupcake decorations the night before the event, but the last minute pressure obviously worked as I was really pleased with the embossing technique* I came up with. They had a kind of steampunk feel to them. The technique worked a treat with all ages and I loved seeing everyone becoming completely engrossed in creating their decorations.

nfad15 hands   IMG_7673 IMG_1033  IMG_1044  IMG_1040IMG_1026  IMG_7672 IMG_7674

It was a crazy busy weekend and after taking down the tent in the rain, Phoebe and I were exhausted and ready for our beds!

*See my next post for a mini tutorial for my steampunk inspired bike cog cupcake toppers*