Hello Sugar Friends!

Hello everyone out there in the world of Cake Decorating. I am a self-taught Cake Decorator, I love working with fondant and creating 3D sculpted cakes and such but my favorite thing is creating sugar figurines and teaching others how to create sugar figurines in addition to all other aspects of cake decorating. I have been married for 19 yrs and we have 2 awesome teenage boys that teach us all there is to know about life.

I am so blessed by all the sweet people who I meet on a daily basis here on my blog as well as the internet in general, I am very grateful to have the opportunity to share my love of Cake Decorating with you all. I look forward to the emails I receive on a daily basis. I appreciate all of you, my sugar friends out there who share your stories, lives and love of cake decorating with me, thank you for making me the most blessed girl in the world.

 Learn cake decorating online at www.cakedecoratingwithdonna.com which was created for those who are interested in learning cake decorating and sugar sculpting online! This website offers  How-To Videos,  members have access to the forums, photo gallery, giveaways and videos as well as other great ideas  for those who have always wanted to take a cake decorating class but do not have access to local classes in their area or those who have taken classes but want to learn other advanced techniques in cake decorating.

I look forward to getting to know each and every one of you!


49 Responses to “Hello Sugar Friends!”

  1. Elizabeth Arangure August 31, 2013 at 6:30 am #

    Hello there.. I love baking cakes and decorating, however I’m having a hard time with the sculpting. Was wondering if you sell any gumpaste figurines? I’m looking for forrest animals like thw snow white ppl. Please let me knoe if you sell any?
    Thank you

  2. Shruti Thakur July 10, 2013 at 1:57 pm #

    Hi Dear Shruti this side. I just came across your blog and liked it very much. Actually I am planning to bake a fondant cake for my baby boy’s 2 month birthday. This is for the first time I would be using fondant. I have few doubts in my mind. Hope you will help me out.

    1. How long can i keep a fondant cake?
    2. What is difference between the usage of gumpaste and fondant while making figurine?
    3. If I want to eat my figurine how shall i preserve it? How thick and thin the fondant should be?
    4. If i just make the figurines or decoration purpose, what shall i be using?
    5. What do you use to give your cake a shiny and glossy look?

    Kindly revert back asap. I am from India, so just me ingredients accordingly, i would be highly thankful to you.

    TIA. :))))))))))

    • Shruti Thakur July 10, 2013 at 1:58 pm #


      • Shruti Thakur July 10, 2013 at 2:03 pm #

        Also Is tylose powder or cmc edible?

        • The Sugar Lane October 10, 2013 at 6:55 am #

          Yes tylose and cmc powder are fully edible and are both present in many of the foods we all eat on a daily basis!!

        • The Sugar Lane October 11, 2013 at 7:02 pm #

          YES, tylose/cmc powder is fully edible!

  3. Christine Ishler-Cilley February 25, 2013 at 6:51 am #

    I wanted to say that your website is wonderful it answered alot of questions that I had so thank you.On another note I wanted ask you about some penguin figures I made for a cake they were about 4 inches tall and made out of fondant.I sat them on the table as I went on to the next one and then i noticed they were slumping backwards and when I looked at the back of them it was like the were wrinkling like the outside dried but gravity was pulling it down and the backs had major wrinkles that were cracking and breaking apart the body, anyway I made more and still the same thing.I have looked everywhere for answers and just ended up in tears.Can you please tell me where I went wrong?? I see other people making animals out of fondant and they look great, how could mine not stay up. Thank you sooo much for taking the time to help me mabye now I can find answers and stop felling like a failure.

    Thanks again,

    • The Sugar Lane February 26, 2013 at 8:24 am #

      Hello There Christine,

      First let me thank you for your sweet comments I do appreciate them!!! Please don’t feel like a failure Christine we have all been there ourselves my friend…I know that many go crazy over my creations but if they only knew how horrible my figurines were in the beginning they had cracks, many fell apart, as well as the many times I would take a ball of gumpaste and throw it across the kitchen in frustration since I was unable to to get the paste smooth enough. So please know your not alone!!! I cannot begin to tell you how many hours I had to work in order to get to the point that I would even think about posting photos of my figurines. Everything that I share here on this blog all came from experience, I did not get any of this from a book or a class, I would sit for hours rolling out paste trying to make something that would look like a dog…it took me months to get a decent one to say the least!

      I am soo sorry that you had such a tough time with your Penguins. The problem is that you used Fondant….I know there are many who would say that they have used Fondant to create a figurine and it turned out just fine however I have had the same issue happen to me just like you experienced with your Penguins. The problem with using Fondant is that as it dries it begins to slump downward and this causes the cracking and falling apart. Fondant is just too soft for this application without the tylose or cmc powder. The only Fondant that I have been able to use for making figurines is the Wilton brand since it seems to be a stronger type of Fondant which is not too soft either.

      What you need to do is add a product called Tylose Powder, or CMC Powder to your Fondant, this will strengthen and firm up the Fondant allowing you to create figurines that will hold up. The tylose or cmc powder will also help the paste to dry much faster too. Adding the powder to the Fondant this way is known as a quick form of gumpaste. I use a ready-made brand of gumpaste by Satin Ice since it is very durable for sculpting figures that must stand up or ones that I know will need alot of strength. Ready-made gumpaste dries pretty quick, although for those who have never worked with a ready made gumpaste, it can take some getting used to because it dries very fast, therefore you have to work much faster than you would with just fondant and it takes some practice to be able to roll out a ball shape without cracks in the paste.

      Here is a link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MIc4YC8i6Pc to a video I did that will guide you in adding tylose or cmc powder to fondant.

      I hope this info helps, I am sure you will be well on your way to making awesome figurines.

      • Christine Ishler-Cilley February 27, 2013 at 4:53 am #

        Thank you so much for the advice and the video link.It is so nice to come across a knowledgeable person who doesn’t mind sharing their experience and expertise with someone else.I use satin ice fondant and next time I will take your advice and add the powder.Once I get better (and faster) I think I will try the gumpaste as well.Again Thank you so much!! Hopefully one day my creations will look as beautiful as yours.

  4. Mun Yee Lai November 17, 2012 at 6:48 am #

    Dear Donna,

    Wow! your creations are so inspiring. Thanks for posting your list of favorite tools.

    I have this problem with the sculpting tool set (a Chef Duff one I’ve purchased from Michael’s craft store) especially the ball/round tip ones. They all have a line running through the middle thus it is not 100% smooth. Therefore I can only hold it at a certain angle. I have a single round tip tool (Wilton brand) which I got from a class I attended & it was also the same. I was wondering if the Wilton set you have is such with the ball tips? Or are the metal ones the only way to go? Can you help with some advice? Appreciate it greatly 🙂

    • The Sugar Lane February 26, 2013 at 8:28 am #

      Hello to you Mun Yee Lai

      I too have some of those ball tools that have a line in the middle of the ball, I am not sure what they were thinking when they created these ball tools because to be honest they are worthless.
      I have a Wilton set that does not have a line in the center of the ball, however I will say that the metal ball tools are the best I love them the most and
      use them most of the time.

      All my best to you my friend!!

  5. melanie majeskey November 5, 2012 at 4:45 am #


    I have been asked to make 100 cupcakes for a friend of a friend. Half red velvet and half sour skittles. How much should I charge for this in your opinion and also how much will i need to frost them all?

    • The Sugar Lane November 12, 2012 at 7:07 am #

      Hello Melanie M.

      Wow that is quite an order there my friend!! If I were to charge for this order I would charge per cupcake and that is usually $1.75 t0 $2.00 a cupcake in my area though. To be honest I do not know just how much frosting you would need to do these cupcakes. good luck to you!!

  6. pwang22 September 23, 2012 at 2:00 pm #

    I’ve nominated you for an Inspiring Blog Award – Congratulations!


  7. carol July 25, 2012 at 5:39 pm #

    how much tylo powder do you add to sugar paste

    • The Sugar Lane July 25, 2012 at 5:49 pm #

      Carol….Just add 1-3 Tsp of Tylo to 1 lb of fondant!

  8. Elaine Myers January 21, 2012 at 8:39 pm #

    Hi I found your site today and love it. I have made cakes for my own 2 girls and friends and family and have just started to sell a few. I have also just started a cake decorating course. I would love to see links to UK sellers where I can buy tools from. Also I post photos of cakes i’ve made on my fb page but other than making cakes just for the sake of it how do i show people what else I can do or am willing to do.

  9. Christina Bickel December 7, 2011 at 5:23 am #

    I have just begun teaching myself how to decorate. I seem to learn fast. I made my first fondant cake and topped it with fondant roses and leaves with stems streaming down the sides. My family was so impressed. So I wanted to learn more. Since then I have made a 3 tier cake for my daughters birthday. And taught myself some piping techniques. Was able to advance to making roses on the nail. I can make my own fondant. And even was able to make pulled and blown sugar. Even got it to blow into a ball. Does it seem to anyone else like its hard to teach yourself. I want so much to make those perfect beautiful cakes but sometimes feel like I will never get there. Still trying, just seems like a slow process.

    • The Sugar Lane December 22, 2011 at 7:18 pm #

      Christina it can be a slow process at times learning the aspects of cake decorating but it sure sounds like you have really taken off, you will get there just try differnt things every chance you get and before you know it everyone will be asking for your cakes and such. I wish you the best in the future!!

    • Annette September 2, 2012 at 6:24 am #

      Hi I’m so happy to have found ur web site and for u to share it wonderful skills. I’m just a novice at cake making and decorating my one problem is Im not very creative but I’m getting there practicing on friends and family cakes. I live in the uk and ur conversion chart was very helpful. One day I do want to be able to make money from them

  10. hauwa ibrahim December 4, 2011 at 6:12 am #

    hi am new in this field i will like to learn more on cake decoration or rather sugar cravating. keep up the good work bye .

  11. Rhonda Kable July 28, 2011 at 9:29 am #

    Hi Donna, firstly let me say that you are amazing! Your work is inspired and your willingness to share your talent and knowlegde is truly remarkable, thank you!!!

    I have only just recently ventured into cake decorating and am already hooked and have found your website and blog to be invaluable 🙂 Speaking of …. I was just reading through your list of equipment and was wondering if you would need both the sugar paste gun and the clay extruder??? If an aspiring decorator (dare I say that lol) was only to purhase one, which would you recommend??

    Thanks for your time and for sharing!!!
    Ronnie xxxx

    • The Sugar Lane August 29, 2011 at 5:23 pm #

      Ronnie what a sweety your are, thanks so much for your kind words……I am soo grateful for the opportunity to be able to help when I can, to be quite honest I do not know it all but I always try my best to help when I can! To answer your question, no you do not need both. Both are included for the differnt budgets people have to work within. I have them both and must say that I LOVE the green clay extruder it is the best and easy on the hands…I use it all the time for my figurines. Good luck in your cake ventures my friend!!

  12. April Huston March 31, 2011 at 6:11 pm #

    I just found your website today and absolutely love it! I am in the middle of starting my own business and this is extremely helpful.

  13. Maria Mendoz November 5, 2010 at 10:52 pm #

    Hello I just joined your site and I would like to know how to buy the tutoriala on the gumpaste figurine. I tried to go to your http://www.gumpastefigurine.com but I won’t let me in. Hope you can help me. God bless.

    • The Sugar Lane November 9, 2010 at 4:00 am #

      Maria, first let me welcome you to my site, as far as accessing where I sell my dvds…the website is being updated and will be finished very soon, I will email you just as soon as it is up and running again. Sorry for the inconvience!!!


  14. jeannette namarahu September 14, 2010 at 6:50 pm #

    I love the way you answer the questions they submit to you.
    I am doing a tent for a camping theme and I intend to use the mix with Tylose for glue. Is it hard enough to keep the two pieces together?

    Thank you so much,

    • The Sugar Lane September 14, 2010 at 6:59 pm #

      Hello Jeanette!!!!

      The Tylose Glue should work well for your tent….Most importantly make sure that you allow at least
      24 hrs for things to setup properly. I wish you the best my friend!!

      Your very welcome!

  15. sandy July 28, 2010 at 1:33 am #

    How do I add the luster dust to the fondant?

    Do you have any opinions about the fondant you make at home with marshmellows?

    • The Sugar Lane September 1, 2010 at 5:52 pm #

      To add luster dust to fondant just use a small brush to color whatever you want to color in
      or you can mix the luster dust with acohol such as Vodka and paint it on the fondant that way.
      The alcohol will evaporate into the air and leave the luster dust on the fondant and will have
      a very nice look.

      Marshmallow fondant is great to get started with in the beginning and taste very good opposed to some others that are on the market. After
      doing much work with fondant I now purchase the Satin Ice brand of fondant to use on my cakes and the taste is pretty good. It is just too hard to
      make my own all the time!

  16. Jen April 20, 2010 at 2:55 pm #

    Thank you so much for all your helpful information. I’m a stay at home mom with my one year old. I just started making cakes this year and seem to get a great reaction every time. I’m thinking of doing it on the side. I have my second “non- family” oder from a friend of my sister. Your helpful hints on pricing is going to help me a lot.


  17. Stacey August 30, 2009 at 9:03 pm #

    Hi I have been asking around and no one seems to give me an answer because when I make gum paste for anything how long can you hold it for like for an example if I hold people or animals after making it put in fridge or freeze? nad how long can you keep it in storage for?

    • The Sugar Lane August 31, 2009 at 2:30 am #

      As far as figurines that are made from gumpaste or fondant they can be made up several months in advance without any issues.

      One thing that is of most importance is that you should NEVER put your creations in the fridge or freezer this can cause condensation to form on your gumpaste creations and in turn will make them soft and gooey causing them to fall apart.

      To store your gumpaste creations put them in a container with a lid/box and then just store them in a cool dry place… I put mine in a container and then up on a closet shelf. I have gumpaste people and animals that I have had for over a year and they are just as perfect as the day that I created them!

      I have many of my gumpaste creations that are on display in a curio cabinet they are just as great as the day they were created. When I make gumpaste creations for an order I just put then in a box with a lid and then I put them on a shelf until I need them for a cake or an order!

  18. Kari June 26, 2009 at 4:03 pm #

    I too am wondering if you sell your figurines. I have been searching my area and can not find anyone specializing in this art. I am looking for a circus theme (lion, tiger, elephant, seal and monkey) for my daughter’s 1st birthday. Any chance you sell and ship your work?? I’d love to hear from you! Your work is beautiful!

  19. krysta June 3, 2009 at 4:17 pm #

    hi hi!! im looking for helpful ideas on making stargazer lilies for a wedding cake. that is due this saturday!!! im really creative and am fairly good at anything to do with artsy stuff. i have never made a lily from gum paste. any tips? i dont have the time or money to go buy supplies… so im limited. lol help. =D

  20. KrisBelucci June 1, 2009 at 11:49 pm #

    Hi, cool post. I have been wondering about this topic,so thanks for writing.

  21. Sandra de Ceras February 18, 2009 at 8:30 pm #

    where can I purchase your videos

  22. netty December 15, 2008 at 7:36 pm #

    Thank you soo much for all the help you have given me.
    You are brilliant, Thankyou again.x

  23. The Sugar Lane November 18, 2008 at 5:40 am #

    I want to thank you ALL for your kind comments about my site, my creations and such I really do appreciate it sooo much. You are all the reason I do this site. Whether you realize it or not you inspire me daily to keep doing what I am doing and to do it better each day. I am so grateful for having the opportunity to share all that I have learned with you regularly. I wish you all my best and with each creation you make just know I am right there in your corner rooting you on saying woohooo you go!!! I know that you will all get better and better with each project you tackle. Keep moving forward and do not get discouraged when you run into problems along the way just keep trying and you will succeed!!!

    All my best

  24. Roha November 1, 2008 at 2:24 am #

    I’m from Malaysia..Just click yr website..I’m in love with what y’re doing..y’re cute topper..i’m a new buddy in bakery, just try what ever i can in baking especially CUPCAKES..just loves cuppies…
    Wish me luck ya…


  25. Rosie October 6, 2008 at 3:42 am #

    I am making my Granddaughter cake of Snow white and the 7 drawfs do you make. If so please contact me I am interested in buying a set.


  26. Tania Gibeault October 1, 2008 at 1:51 am #

    I think your the best teacher online. It has inspired me to go buy gumpaste etc. that day. Where can I purchase a stainless steel tool to soften edges. I can only find the plastic. Thanks so much for sharing your knowledge. Cheers!

  27. elaine philyaw August 27, 2008 at 1:51 pm #

    A virtual classroom would be awsome! Count me in on this exciting venture!

  28. The Sugar Lane August 19, 2008 at 10:17 pm #

    My classes are going to be via video and they will be on my new website that is in the process of being developed. As soon as everything is up and running it will be posted on my front page.

  29. Patricia Stamps July 22, 2008 at 4:56 pm #

    I love your figurines and would love to learn how to make them. When are your classes?? I am very interested.

    Patricia Stamps

  30. C Jowers July 13, 2008 at 8:30 pm #

    I love your whole blog, you are a great inspiration to all of us beginners. That being said, I have a question for you. Have you ever shipped a cake? If yes, how did you ensure they received it in one piece, as neither UPS or FedEx can promise the box wont tip over? I am just stumped and thought you may know. Thanks, Cheryl

  31. bibomedia.com March 6, 2008 at 5:30 am #


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