Take your sweets to a whole new level this Chinese New Year and top your cupcakes with fondant lanterns. They look fancy, but are actually a cinch to make — you’ll be ready to celebrate in no time.
Fondant Lantern Cake Topper
What You Need
1. Shape the Lantern
Roll the red fondant into a ball, approximately 1″ big. Try to avoid any cracks or seams from forming in your fondant as you shape.
Dip your fingers in vegetable shortening and smooth out the top and bottom of the ball into a cone-like shape. Insert a lollipop stick halfway through the bottom of the lantern by gently twisting upward, then remove it.
2. Cut the Yellow Strips
Roll out yellow fondant with the rolling pin and 1/16″ guide rings. Use the rolling pastry cutter to trim several strips, approximately ⅛” wide.
Measure the strip to fit from the top of the lantern to the bottom and trim it to size. Do the same with five additional strips and stick them into place with edible glue, making sure they are spaced evenly around the lantern.
Pro Tip: When gluing the yellow strips, make sure you don’t cover the hole for the lollipop stick.
3. Add the Details
Roll out more yellow fondant with the rolling pin and ⅛” guide rings. Cut out a large circle with the wider end of your round piping tip, as well as a small circle with the opposite end.
Shape the larger yellow circle into a ball, then flatten out the bottom with your fingers. Maintain a round upper surface, creating a little dome for the top of the lantern. Set it aside to dry.
Roll the small yellow fondant circle into a ball, then roll it out on your work surface evenly. Shape it into an arc to create the handle. Glue it to the yellow dome and set both aside to dry.
4. Make It Shine
Mix a tiny bit of vodka with gold luster dust to create a paint. (Water can also be used in place of alcohol.) When the yellow fondant is sufficiently dry, carefully paint the stripes on the lantern, as well as the dome and handle. Set aside to dry.
Once the paint has dried, glue the dome and handle to the top of the lantern.
5. Make the Tassel
Roll out yellow fondant with the rolling pin and ⅛” guide rings. Once again, cut out a circle with the larger end of round decorating tip #7. Roll the yellow fondant circle into a ball, then into a sausage-like shape.
Use the precision knife to carefully cut thin strips ⅔ of the way from the top of the yellow fondant to create little tassels. Make sure to leave the remaining ⅓ intact. Paint with gold luster dust.
Roll out red fondant with the rolling pin and 1/16″ guide rings. Use the rolling pastry cutter to trim a thin strip and glue it over the top ⅓ portion of the tassels. Trim the excess with a precision knife.
6. Insert the Stick
Insert the lollipop stick through the pre-made hole underneath the lantern. Glue the tassels to the bottom, concealing the stick.
Pro Tip: If you don’t want the tassels to hang flat, use a few piping tips to hold them up as they dry.
Trim your lollipop sticks down to your desired length and stick it into your cake or cupcake.