Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Chanel Classic Handbag Cake


I made this cake for my mother-in-law's birthday.  She loves Chanel and had requested for me to replicate one of her purses a few years ago.  This year, although being in the middle of a home remodel, I HAD to make her cake....I couldn't let another year go by.  She absolutely loved it and didn't let us cut it.  Luckily, I had also made some cupcakes to go along with the cake that everyone enjoyed.

So, here are the photo's of the process....

2 days prior, I made the Black MMF using black candy melts.  The recipe can be found under the "MMF Recipes" tab above.  You can also use dark brown/chocolate candy melts.  The black candy melts I had were more dark brown rather than black and I had to add a few drops of the black AmeriColor Gel to it to get it darker.

I think the black candy melts I used were either by Merckens or CK....I don't remember exactly but I do know that they were not the Wilton ones.

1 day prior, I made the blossoms, flower petals, and Chanel logos for the cupcakes with MMF (I mix the MMF with tylose to help it dry faster and harder like gumpaste).  I also made the chain links to use for the purse straps with MMF too.


I made over 100 links and only joined them in two's (you'll see why later).  I lay them over popsicle sticks so that they would dry with some curvature to them rather than being plain and flat.


I baked a 10" square cake (10 inch wide purse), and cut and stacked 3 tiers. Each tier was 2 1/2 inches wide by 2 inches tall (6 inch tall purse).


Carved the cake to the shape of the purse and covered it over in Italian Meringue Buttercream (IMBC).  I also inserted 2 dowels down the middle to help hold the purse up since it was narrow and tall.  Then, I put the entire cake into the fridge overnight to get nice and firm.

The following morning, I covered the cake over in MMF.


The 1st piece I did was the front.  I rolled out the MMF and trimmed it to size.  I also used Dark Cocoa to dust the surface with rather than Powdered Sugar or Corn Starch to help keep the MMF from sticking to the table top.  It was great at giving the purse a dark, brown look that matched the color of the purse perfectly.  Using a ruler and a stitching wheel (a sewing tool), I scored the quilt design over the MMF.  Flipped the MMF over so the underside was now facing up, and rolled 1/8" of the edge over and all around so you wouldn't see the cut edges - I wanted to seams to look just like they were sewed together just like the seams on a real leather purse - hope that makes sense.  Flipped the MMF back to the right side and lay it over the cake.   With a fondant tool (a small ball tool will work too), I went over the quilt seams and lightly pressed it into the cake slightly to give it a little bit of a puffed up look.

The next piece I lay, covered the back of the purse and went up and over the front of the cake for the flap.  I then added the 2 side pieces following the same technique above with scoring the quilt pattern and rolling the edges under.  I then lightly rubbed the entire purse with a little bit of shortening to make it look more like leather.


Once the cake was covered, I got started on the details.  I painted each link with edible gold dust mixed with vodka.  Tedious but well worth it - you gotta have the gold, Chanel chain!

Update:  For those that have asked, the Gold Dust I use (according to the simple label) is, 24 kt. Gold Dust, Non Toxic (2gr.)  #C409.  It looks to be the same as this one:
To use, add a little bit of vodka to the Gold Dust to create a thin paste and sort of dab it onto the fondant pieces or use really short brush strokes.  If you use too much vodka, the gold dust will get too thinned out and difficult to get a thick coating of it on the fondant.  If you fondant is greasy and the dust is not sticking, lightly brush some corn starch over the fondant first then try painting it again.  HTH.

I then cut out 4 circles out off the top of the purse (2 in the front and 2 in the back) using a piping tip.  The holes were then covered over with round circles made out of MMF which were also brushed over with gold dust.
  

Now to the fun part...laying each pair of links on the cake and threading the leather strap through it.  I cheated.  The leather strap is actually 1 1/2 inch wide pieces of MMF pinched in the ends and shoved into each link giving it the illusion of the strap going all the way through.

I used the same technique when adding the shoe laces on the sneaker shoe cakes I had done before...see them below:

Tennis Shoe Cake
Running Sneaker Cake

Now you can see why I only connected 2 links at a time to each other.  The part of the links that are under the black strap are not seen so therefore, do not need to 'actually' be connected - cool illusion hah!

I looked over so many purse cakes trying to figure out how the straps were done on the cakes that did have edible straps and didn't like what I saw so after playing around with the links, I came up with my own technique....at least I haven't seen anyone who has done it this way or at least shown us how.  Now, with this tip, I hope to see much better chain links out there by you all :-)


I used clear piping gel to help hold all the links up against the cake and onto the cake stand.

The 'minor' imperfection that really bugs me is that on the following day, since we didn't eat the cake the night of the party, I took the photo that you see above, outside in the morning light.  As you can see, the cake settled and the 2 dowels used to hold the cake up appear as bumps (to me, they look like horns) along the top of the purse...err!  I've been told, by a dear friend, that it's actually a bulging wallet full of cash - gotta love her!  Next time, I'm cutting those things down at least 1/4 inch lower than the actual cake to avoid such an awful bump...Live and Learn!


As for the large flowers, I made them up.  These were the very 1st flowers I've ever made petal by petal.  There are 5 medium petals for the inside and 5 large petals for the outside all glued together with piping gel.  The large, pink flowers are dusted over in pink luster dust and I added pearls of white, silver and black in an assortment of sizes to the middle of each flower and mini blossom.  I just love how they turned out but I do need to take some classes and learn the REAL way to make flowers someday.




I made both regular and mini sized cupcakes frosted with IMBC and topped with the Chanel inspired decorations.  The white, round disks have the quilt pattern on them too which is hard to tell from the photo.  The C's for the logo were made using circle cutters.

The cake is on the pedestal while the 2 purses on the table are the non-edible, real ones.


And alas, 3 days later, we finally cut the cake....and ate it too.

Chanel Purse Cake


69 comments:

  1. That is, absolutely, the best Chanel bag I've seen?,! Oh my! Your details are fabulous....that chain! And the shine is incredible! Really well done!

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  2. Wow....by far one of the most amazing Chanel purse cakes I have seen! LOVE IT and thanks for the tutorial...

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  3. woow this purse in one of the best!!! thanks for sharing your work with us!! Eliana

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  4. Oh my gosh!!! How inspiring!! I love watching tutorials like these that show pics. New bakers like me love to learn! Thanks for posting!! Looking forward to seeing more tutorials!!

    Yaneri
    SweetBakesOfMine
    www.sweetbakesofmine.com

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  5. This is spectacular !!! i've never seen a more realistic chain link. Did you pipe the chain links ?

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    1. I made them out of MMF mixed with tylose (I edited the post above to include this...forgot to mention it). Used a fondant smoother to roll out the ropes then cut them up into 1 1/2 inch pieces, pinched them together to form a link and lay them over the Popsicle sticks to dry.

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    2. Hi Angela,

      Do you mind to share whats the proportion of MMF and tylose that u mentioned to make those fabolous chain?

      U're so talented btw,thanks a lot

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    3. @PinkCake - I just sprinkle about 1/8 tspn some tylose over a golf ball size piece of MMF and knead it in. You will feel the texture get a little bit firmer and dry faster.

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  6. This is AMAZING! I agree best Chanel bag I have seen by far! I'm tempted to give it a go and make one for my sisters birthday this coming weekend. Absolutely beautiful!

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  7. Thank you very much for this tutorial. I am a new baker and your instructions made it easy to create my own Chanel 2.55 Cake. I owe it all to you
    I will place a link below:

    http://cakecentral.com/gallery/2253724/chanel-purse-cake

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    1. You're so welcome Jemisha! Love the chain links =) =)

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  8. I was just asking around for advice on the chains and 'Royal Bakery' referred me to your wonderful tutorial! Thanks!! Is there another chain strap hanging on the back?

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    1. Great =) There is a strap hanging in the back but shorter. I did the back first since I wasn't sure if I would have enough chain links to create the chain for the front.

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  9. Thanks for your amazing tutorial, this actually inspired me to do a Chanel Classic Flap Cake. The chain technique is so smart and really easy to do. Thanks again, here's the link to my cake in CC:

    http://cakecentral.com/gallery/2271478/chanel-classic-flap-cake

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    1. Your cakes looks amazing! Thank you for sharing! Whoo hoooo. Love the chain links!

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  10. wow so beautiful i am a new baker and so scared to make purses but now i will attempt to do this one thank you

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  11. this is amazing!
    could u tell me what sort of cake can be used for this purse cake ? does it have to b mud cake or pound cake or i can use any other cake ?

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    1. You can pretty much make any type of cake. I've even made a chiffon cake once that was carved and covered in ganache. The trick is to freeze the cake for about an hour before carving it and to chill the cake either overnight or for another hour before laying fondant over it. A chilled cake is a firm cake and makes it easier to carve and cover in fondant with.

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  12. I love it... beautiful. Thanks so much for the tute on the Chanel Chain. Exactly what I've been searching for. Amazing

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  13. I was googling for tappit cutters and came across one your photos. glad I did because it led me to this chanel caviar cake. (LOVE LOVE LOVE IT!) and other super cakes you have!! this is so awesome! looks like the real thing. Im going to your mmf/candymelt recipe. btw, what kind of bc do you use to ice your cake?

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    1. Thank you =) Most of my cakes are iced in Italian Meringue Buttercream - I prefer the taste of it.

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  14. Dear Angela..
    Thank you so very very much for this post...Your post was detailed and explained very well that It convinced me that I can finally try to make one. An I did!... It was fun and I learned a lot ..but I am a real rookie and I need more help.
    ... My cake is so floppy since I rolled the back piece to cover the back and the top over the front. I found the rolled fondant was too heavy to be carried up in one piece to cover the back and the top in one piece so I break it into two pieces... However, after all, I finished it and left it in room temperature to let the fondant set. It seems like the vertical fondant is too heavy to be set out in normal room temperature.. As I heard before that fondant work should not be kept in the fridge as it will leave the damp wet trace, so I left it out ..but that leads to melted buttercream and it pulls the fondant down...so I have to put it back in the fridge all the time now... Could you please help giving me more knowledge and your way of keeping it stands not sliding down to me?....Now I have a floppy version Chanel...ha ha ha... I hope I can show the pictures but I don't know how to attach it here...

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    1. You can post pictures on my Facebook page (www.facebook.com/sugarsweetcakesandtreats). I hope the floppy version still looked great =)

      I always cover a cake that is cold so that it's firm and stable. The fondant is rolled out about 1/16-1/8" thick (no more) and pressed up against the cake. With the purse, I had a 2 inch flap folded over the edge to help hold it up as the MMF set. While the cake comes back to room temperature, the MMF dries up and I've never had an issue with it melting or sagging down. I have also put cakes right back into the fridge overnight and they're perfectly fine after coming to room temperature. Also, as for the melting buttercream, I use IMBC which is really soft at room temperature and it's never melted on me. Not sure on the BC recipe you're using but you may have too much liquid in it. And if you use MMF, don't add too much liquid or shortening into it or else it makes it really soft and saggy. I have a couple tips on MMF under the tab above. Good luck and thanks for sharing.

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  15. Hi very beautiful cake I was wondering if I can use fondant to cover it instead of mmf ? and also how many days can it stay in the fridge without it sweating , and what is the difference of mmf and fondant? Thanks ;)

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    1. Thank you. You can use fondant. MMF is homemade fondant using marshmallows and powdered sugar (recipe is at the tab above). All fondant sweats and depending on the brand or the recipe of fondant you use it either will do well or won't - you may need to experiment to see what works for you. Although my MMF does well in the fridge (condensation dries up within a few hours without leaving any marks or melting) there are many whose MMF recipe melts and sags with condensation.

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  16. Thanks, I'll post pics of my version hope it comes out ok

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  17. Hi,

    i was just wondering how you made the cc clasp? did you use letter cutters for the c's?
    thanks p.s LOVE this cake.

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    1. I used two sizes of round piping tips: roll out the fondant to the desired thickness, cut out circles using a larger round piping tip, cut out the centers of each circle with a smaller round piping tip then trim off the side of the "O" to form the "C" - this way, you can make the logo pretty much in any size needed.

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  18. Hi I love your blog recently i made the lalaloopsy cake for my daughter everyone loved it! Now I want to try this one but I was wondering how do you make the fondant shinny? Thanks for all your help

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    1. you can steam it or like I do, rub the surface with a little bit (tiny, tiny, tiny) bit of shortening - it's almost like polishing the fondant using your fingers to buff the surface with the shortening. Don't use too much or else it looks awful and greasy.

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  19. Hi just wondering when your done putting the fondant on cake is it ok to put in the fridge if you need the cake the next day? Thanks

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    1. perfectly fine to put in the fridge. It will form condensation when coming back to room temperature so give it few hours to dry and don't touch it until then.

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    2. Thanks angela! How much you charge for chanel handbag cake? If you dont mind me asking. Right now its hard for me to put prices on cake. Im just starting on this business. Thanks alot!

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    3. What to charge.....it gives me a headache to think about it. I'm a hobby baker and this was made for my MIL (and at no charge of course). In fact, all my cakes are made for family and friends. I'm in California where you need a commercial license and a commercial kitchen to be able to sell baked goods. If you're trying to figure out cost, take a look around your area and price it out then compare it to your level of style of decorating to make the right decision. Pricing is so different out here in California than in other regions of the States. So sorry I can't be of any help and I wish you all the best with your business....for now, I can only dream of starting up my own.

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  20. Hi Angela!

    Your work is amazing and I just wanted to say thank you for taking the time to give such detailed and helpful instructions! It was so easy to follow I gave it a good go and though it wasn't as perfect as yours it was one of my better cakes! Thanks again!

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    1. Thanks Natasha and I'm so glad to hear of your success with the cake =) =) =)

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  21. Wow finding your blog couldn't have come at the perfect time. My coisin's 30th bday is Friday and I wanted to make her a purse cake. I have a few questions. How labor intensive is it? I have another cake to make for Saturday. Also how much black fondant did you use? Also how wide were the black strips that went in the hoop? This is amazing. Can't wait to surprise my cousin.

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    1. Hi Jass28. For me, it was a pretty easy cake to assemble but it still took me about 7 hours to carve, crumb coat and assemble - I barely finished it just minutes before the first guests arrived for her party. The labor intensive part was prepping it - making the MMF, IMBC, making the links and painting them. If you do them ahead of time, you should be ok. How much black MMF did I use? Around the size of a baseball (you could roll it out thinner if it's not enough - I always estimate what I need based on how it looks by eye balling it rather than how it actually measures out so I'm sorry for not having an exact amount). You have to consider the proportion of the purse to the size to make the loops. If you have a picture of the purse to use as a guide, it'll help. Mine were about 1/4" wide. Good luck!

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    2. Thank you. I made just one recipe of black mmf that you have. I am making the links tonight and for me painting them should be quick since I have an airbrush machine for my cakes and have gold color thank god. I am assuming the links are no more than 1 inch long string right? I going to use my clay extrude. Thanks again so much for your tutorial. It truly is amazing.

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  22. I tried but my cake collapded during icing. I think it eas my dulce de leche filling that was too soft and made it slide. I want to try again but I am so scared it'll collapse during transport. Any pointers? Just finished baking another square.

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    1. hi Jass28. Try inserting 2 or 3 dowels straight down from the top and into the cake board (I sharpen the ends of the dowel's with a pencil sharpener, that I only use for sharpening dowels with, and hammer it into the cake board). Also, make sure the cake is cold and firm for transport - I always leave my cakes in the fridge overnight or for a couple hours before driving it. You may need a more stable/thicker filling to help keep everything together and solid. HTH!

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    2. Angela thank you si much. I followed your suggestions along with a few tricks of my own and te cake turned out amazing. It looked so real that someone at the party was going to lift up te purse to move ot. I had to run and stop her to tell her it was a cake. For the filling I still wanted to use the dulce de leche and so I carved about the inside of the cake and created a little pool for my filling. Didn't even need a Dam and worked beautifully. I also refrigerated my fondant cake for the first time and you're so right. It was perfectly fine. Before I wouldn't do fruit fillings because I couldn't refrigerate and thanks to you I will now be able to make a lot more yummy fillings. Thank you so much.

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  23. I just tried your link tricks, it worked perfectly! Thank you so much Angela! Just one question: may I know what gold you use? I use CK's Super Gold but they don't look as pretty as yours! :) Thanks again!! :)

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    1. Hi Wen, I added the link to the Gold Dust to the post. I'm not sure on the exact brand of it since it has a simple text label on the side of it. I also find that you need to get the right consistency with the vodka or lemon extract in it to work well - too much vodka and the gold thins out (spreads apart), too little and the gold sticks to your brush or gets clumpy. You could try to let them dry an hour then dab a 2nd coat over it.

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  24. Thank YOU very much for this very detailed tutorial. I will definitely try same once I have made my gum paste from scratch as I just almost finished same. THANK YOU for your generosity. Blessed & a very Happy New Year. God bless.

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  25. I know you have gotten a ton responses already but I still have to say this: THANKS SO MUCH FOR SHARING THIS TUTORIAL!! A million pictures online but tutorial (especially good ones) are hard to come by. This is the exact purse that my coworker requested, I hope it'll turn out good! :)

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  26. Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful tutorial. I always wondered how to make the purse chains, now I can't wait to try it. Really much appreciated!!!!!

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  27. Hello! Did you use some professional tricks to get more followers for this site on a regular basis? Can't wait to hear from you.

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  28. I just discovered your blog and boy I'm glad I did! That Chanel purse looks amazing...I hope one day I will be able to make one just like it. Thank you for sharing the tutorial. :)

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  29. Hi,
    Love your tutorial...
    One question..how is your fondant so shiny?

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    1. I mentioned it above. I rubbed a tiny bit of shortening on the surface to give it the appearance of shiny leather.

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    2. Thank you so much..sorry I missed it...
      It looks amazing...
      I have an order coming up..
      I hope I really pull it through...

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  30. Thank you for such detailed instructions, it was a huge help. I made this for my friend's 30th birthday and it has turned out so well... (thanks to you). The only thing I struggled with was the chain - the link idea is brilliant but it wasn't quite clear that you stuck the links on the bag and then put on the 'leather' strap bits... I made the mistake of making the chain first and trying to place it on, but obviously too heavy and had to start again. Luckily I made lots of links like yous aid - live and learn! Thank you again, she was totally thrilled with her birthday cake. xx

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  31. What a great tutorial and cake!!!! Thank you very much for sharing! ♥

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  32. This is amazing. Thank you so much. What did you use as a glaze to give the bag a shiny look.
    Wendy

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    1. No. I mentioned it above. I rubbed a tiny bit of shortening on the surface to give it the appearance of shiny leather.

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  33. thank for the tutorial! can you let me know how many people this cake was able to feed?

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    1. 10" L x 2.5" W x 6" H cake feeds about 10 people (1 x 2.5 x 6 inch slies). You can half it and get 20 servings (1 x 2.5 x 3 inch slices).

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  34. This looks incredible. Btw, can I mix the gold dust with anything else other then vodka? Any other substitute for the vodka? And if I use regular red fondant, how do I get the gloss? Do I brush it with a little margarine or something?

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    1. thanks Nadia. You can mix it with anything that will evaporate such as almond extract, lemon extract or orange extract. Don't use water, it will leave your fondant tacky/sticky. For the gloss, I rub the fondant with a tiny bit of shortening (not sure if margarine will work) - almost like polishing it up.

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  35. Hi I just was googled for channels cake and the site directed me to your blog and I love it your amazing handbag I read the all answers but don't find my question answer,what color did it you used before coloring gold on the chains?thanks

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  36. Hi I love it you handbag cake but have some questions about color did it you used for chains before brushed with gold color?thanks

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    1. the chains were done in yellow fondant so that it would be easier to paint over in gold. See the photos above as the links were drying.

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  37. Hi there, love the cake but was wondering would it feed 40 people?? many thanks

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    1. This one won't (10x6x2.5 inches = 10-12 servings). You will need to figure out a larger purse to feed 40.

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  38. Hello Angela; thanks for your helpful turorial. Please if I need this cake to feed 25 slices, what size square cake would I need to bake? 12 inch? Sorry; just confused. Thanks a lot and I look forward to your reply :)

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    1. Math...This is the way I calculate it out = A typical slice is about 1"W x 2"D x 4"H and you can always cut it thinner or thicker to accommodate the number of people too. If you bake a 12" square (2"H) and cut it into 3rd's to stack, you'll have a 12"W x 4"D x 6" H cake. Since the cake is tall you don't have to have a too deep of a cake slice. You can get about 24 servings by cutting each slice 1"W x 2"D x 6"H - Cut thinner and get a little more, cut thicker and get less. Hope that makes some sense to you - everyone seems to calculate servings differently especially with it comes to odd shaped or carved cakes.

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