Shape and mold fondant into an adorable Autograph Dog for your graduates this year.This cutie will look great on top of a cake at your graduation party.
Post sponsored by Wilton.
Did you ever have a stuffed autograph dog?
I had several, including one that I received for my middle school graduation. When I was a young girl, having my friends write special messages on my stuffed dogs was so precious. The first dog I ever received, sat on my shelf for many years. I loved reading the kinds words over and over again.
When I spotted one while shopping a few weeks ago, I was inspired to make an edible version and knew I could use the Wilton method of modeling fondant to create a really cute one.
I had recently attended a class at the Wilton School of Cake Decorating in the suburbs of Chicago where I learned how to create 3-D figures using fondant. One of the animals they had on display was a Dachshund, which, although brown, looked so much like the autograph dogs, so I knew I could use their instructions to make one of my own.
The Wilton School of Cake Decorating is in Darien, Illinois, about 40 minutes southwest of Chicago. They have two large classrooms, each set up so students have their own work area. You don't have to bring a thing to class, they provide you with all the tools and equipment you need.
They teach classes almost every day of the year, and you can learn to bake, decorate, and even run a cake decorating business.
The instructors are incredibly knowledgeable and helpful. People travel from all over the world to attend classes. I met students from as far away as Australia.
I attended a few classes including the Fundamentals of Modeling where I learned to create figurines out of fondant. Now they realize not everyone can attend their school, so they have an amazing website featuring hundreds of tutorials.
They have an entire collection of 3-D modeling tutorials on their website. They show you how to use a super simple method to measure and color the fondant in perfect proportions so that your figures turn out each time.
During the four day hands on class, I created this cake featuring a fondant rabbit, boy, dog, elephant, and lion. The 12 hours of class time was jam packed with so much information and lots of time to work.
The instructor demonstrated each technique, then we'd sit at our work station and repeat what she had just done. By following her instructions, I was able to make really nice looking fondant pieces for my cake.I did have some experience with this technique, but even my friend who had never sculpted any fondant did a great job. She was thrilled with her cake.
To make our practice cake, we covered a Styrofoam square with fondant, then created two grassy sides and two water sides. We assembled our figures and attached them to the cake.
I was most intimidated about making the boy, but soon found that by using the simple step-by-step instructions, he wasn't too hard to create. I though he looked pretty life like.
I loved my lion before I started to add the mane. I ran out of time to finish the mane and realized I should have just left it off. The lion was pretty cute as a female.
To create an autograph dog using fondant, I followed the step-by-step instructions on the Wilton site for creating the Dolly Dachshund (click here to see those instructions.)
When you visit the site, you'll see how they use a Measure-N-Shape Sizing and Blending Tray to measure out just the right amount of fondant for each part of the animal.
Once you have the right amount of fondant, you follow the instructions for shaping each part of the animal.
One of the most important aspects of creating figures out of fondant, is to use Tylose powder, It will help to harden the fondant so it keeps it's shape.
You need to add the Tylose powder as you work and there really is no specific amount to use. We would just measure enough fondant and dip it in the powder then knead it in. The fondant should start to feel a bit stiffer, but not so stiff that you can't work with it.
Once the Tylose powder is added, you can begin shaping your fondant.
To make your own fondant autograph dog, follow the instructions for making the Dolly Dachshund, only use white instead of brown, and add black ears.
I kept my ears a little shorter and more squared off at the top, so they looked like stuffed animal ears, not real dog ears.
The instructions will show you how to use the fondant tools to create each part of your dog and where to use Clear Piping Gel to attach pieces together.
It will also show you where to add toothpicks for support. For the dog, you'll need them in the legs and head.
To hold pieces up while they are drying it's best to use sponges. I grabbed some paper towels, which stuck a bit. The sponges work great.
I added a graduation cap to my dog as the finishing touch.
To make the hat, take a ball of black fondant and hollow it out using a fondant ball tool. Attach it to the dog's head using piping gel.
Roll out a small amount of black fondant and cut out a square. Attach it to the black cap using piping gel. Allow the hat to dry for at least 30 minutes.
Press some gold fondant through a clay extruder fitted with a multi hole disc. Cut off about 2 inches and press one end together. Attach it to the center of the square. Roll a tiny ball of gold fondant and press it onto the center of the square.
Allow it all to dry before signing the dog.
Use a food coloring marker to write on the dog.
You can create all the messages yourself, or allow party guests to do so.
These autograph dogs can be used on top of a graduation cake or all on their own.
How cute would this looks sitting next to a diploma cake?
As part of the Wilton Sweet Treat Team, I have been compensated and given free merchandise and classes in exchange for sharing my experiences with you. I had a blast at the Wilton School and hope to be able to take more classes there in the future.
If you have a chance, I highly recommend taking classes at the Wilton School. If you plan to travel there, send me an e-mail and I can tell you about the amazing house we rented during our stay.
Items used to create this project can be found on Amazon.com (commission earned for sales)
- Mini Basketball Cheeseburgers - February 15, 2023
- Snowman Popcorn Bucket - December 24, 2022
- Peanut Butter Popcorn - December 20, 2022
how can I known how to design beautiful cakes
I cannot believe how real this looks! I don't think I had an autograph dog but it looks like it's never too late, I could make myself one! )
Thanks, Kim. I thought autograph dogs were so cool when I was a kid. I'm sorry you missed out on that experience:)
This is so awesome! I have quite a while before we'll be having a graduation party, but I will absolutely be keeping this in mind when we do! Thanks so much for sharing!
Thanks! I do hope you have fun making your own autograph dogs for your future graduates.
That is such a wonderful and cute idea! So clever. Now, if I only knew a graduate... 🙂
The cutest thing ever!
I really couldn't believe that this was not a stuffed dog. You've amazingly recreated this autograph cutie and brought back memories of the one I had one in elementary school..6th grade I think! What a fun class with making all those adorable fondant figures. The little boy is my favorite along with the dog!
I'm happy this project brought back memories for you! It was really fun to make and I loved the class at Wilton. If you ever get a chance, I highly recommend taking classes at their school.