ACD+ Laura Dodimead’s Stenciling Tutorial

In our Modeling Marvels issue, Award-winning sugar artist, Laura Dodimead shows our readers how to create a gorgeous Arabian Dancer figurine cake topper. We share her equally gorgeous tutorial for creating an exotic stenciling effect. To learn about Laura, visit her website Life in Sugar.

You will need:

  • 1x 4” round cake 4” high filled and butter creamed and covered with white fondant
  • 1x 6” round cake 5” high filled & butter creamed and covered with white fondant
  • An 8-inch cake drum, covered with white fondant and allowed to set.
  • 3-inch separator covered with white fondant and allowed to set.
  • Airbrush
  • Rolkem Colors in peach, violet, cerise, rose
  • Black Airbrush Color
  • Gold Leaf
  • Vodka
  • Pain Brush No 02
  • Paint Brush number 04
  • Squires Kitchen white sugar paste
  • 3 ” plastic separator
  • Edible Glue
  • Rolling Pin
  • Craft Knife
  • Pins
  • Stencil
  • Craft Knife

Airbrushing the cakes

1: Pour 3 tablespoons of vodka into 4 bowls

2: Color each bowl with the 4 different Rolkem colors and mix with a paintbrush to ensure the dust is fully dissolved.

3: Begin with the lightest color, peach, and fill the airbrush cup half way. Place the cake onto a turntable Stand 6” away from the surface of the 4” cake and begin to spray from the top of the cake to the center continually spinning the turntable to get an even coverage.

4: Rinse out the airbrush fully then fill with the cerise colored liquid, spray from the center of the 4” cake to the base. Carefully place the 4 “cake to one side and set the 6” cake on to the turntable and continue to spray from the top down to the center of the cake.

5: Rinse the airbrush cup out and finally fill it with the violet colored liquid and begin to spray from the center of the cake down to the base. Spray a couple of extra layers of violet at the base to give it a strong tone.

6: Use the violet to airbrush the drum so it is a solid color.

7: finally fill the airbrush cup with the rose-colored liquid and spray the entire column.


1: take a paisley patterned stencil design and wrap around both cake so that the pattern sits centrally and secure with a sterilized pin.

2: fill the cleaned airbrush with black airbrush color and begin to spray on to the stencil over and over to ensure a good strength of color. Ensure you are parallel to the surface at all times to avoid the stencil color bleeding.


Laura notes: Re-wrap the stencil if the stencil doesn’t reach all the way around the cake

3: repeat the process with the 4” cake but this time layer the color fewer times so the color coming through is more of a grey than a black.

Staking the cakes

1: once the airbrush colors are dry, we can begin to stack the cake. mix up a little royal icing and place a little in the center of the drum and place the 6” cake on top.

Laura notes: place the column in the center of the bottom tier to make a mark on where to place the dowels for support.

3: insert 3 dowels in the central space made by the column and trim off so they are level with the top of the bottom tier.

4: spread a little royal icing on top of the dowels and stick the column on top

5: spread some more royal icing on the top of the column and gently sit the top tier centrally on top of the column and allow to dry.

Hanging gold shapes

1: roll out some white sugar florist paste

2: use a 7mm & 10mm circle cutter and a small 13mm teardrop cutter to cut out lots of shapes

3: lay them out vertically from smallest circle to teardrop and thread some gold cotton from the bottom center of the teardrop to the top center of the smallest circle

4: leave extra thread free at the top them repeat with all the other shapes

5: mix some gold food color dust with vodka to make a paint and paint the front, back, and sides and allow to dry

6: tie a double not just above the smallest circle and trim off the ends

7: attach each droplet with a sterilized pin into the drum of the 4” cake just to span across the front


Finishing Touches:

1: lay pieces of gold leaf over the drum and smooth the back of the transfer sheet with a brush to secure.

2: repeat this process with the edge of both tiers.

3: glue the small gold sugar discs around the bottom edge of the column, the top edge of the top tier and the bottom edge of the bottom tier.

4: wrap a gold ribbon around the drum and secure at the back with a pin.

Learn how to create the stunning figurine in our Modeling Marvels issue: Out Now!!

Laura Dodimead is an award-winning sugar artist and teacher based in the UK. Laura is the owner of Life in Sugar, an online learning resource where cake enthusiasts can sign up for live classes and access online learning tools.


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