Wednesday, 22 April 2020

Fondant Black Cats for a pre-coronial sleepover birthday party

Joni Mitchell was right when she said "You don't know what you've got 'till it's gone".  I am finally posting about Sylvia's pre-coronial birthday party, held back when we didn't know how isolated life could be.  Now we are in lockdown, I look back with nostalgia to when we took for granted that we could hold a sleepover party, sit close together exchanging presents, take group selfies, share a meal with friends, take party bags to share among all her class at school, and visit extended family for a birthday cake.  We didn't know how special that was at the the time.  Perhaps that is why I can't bear to throw out the fondant black cats we made for the sleepover party.

Sylvia chose to make the fondant black cats.  She loves her youtube tutorials and found this one by Zoes Fancy Cakes on How to make a black cat topper.  Which is why we made the cupcakes in front of a video on the ipad, constantly rewinding to check how to do it yet again.  (As an aside I am old-school and much prefer to scan text which is so much quicker than listening to the managers giving updates on videos or school teachers giving instruction on video, or even watching cat topper instructions on video.)
Despite my dislike of videos, this one did really help a heap in making our black cats.  I took a few process photos but my hands were too sticky and I had to concentrate too hard to take lots.  So I recommend the video instructions.  In a nutshell, we had to:
  • roll a column of black fondant, slightly conical,
  • mark the legs at the front with a knife or tool,
  • attach 4 blobs to be paws,
  • make claw marks on these four paw blobs,
  • stick a toothpick into the neck,
  • roll a slightly diamond shaped blob
  • press blob onto skewer to make a head, 
  • push in eye sockets,
  • shape and attach ears,
  • place a large flat black disk on front of face under the eye sockets,
  • put a small black blob on top of disk to be the nose,
  • make holes with a skewer on rest of disk, 
  • mark whiskers,
  • roll flat green discs for eyes,
  • use a black edible pen to draw black circle on eyes.
  • stick eyes onto face where eye sockets are,
  • make a tail,
  • stick tail at the back

Place each cat on top of a cupcake if you wish but with hindsight I think they were rather big for cupcakes.  But they still delighted the kids!
Maybe not our easiest project ever!  But Sylvia is 11 so we were both able to make them.  And the little cats were so cute.  A few tips:
  • Don't argue at the supermarket about buying out of date fondant as the checkout chick will just go by the rules instead of recognising that sugar never goes off and that no one actually likes eating fondant! 
  • We used a little icing sugar for the fondant but tried to minimise use of it to avoid lots of white streaks on the black.
  • Our fondant was not quite as smooth as the video but it was close enough for jazz.
  • We could not find green fondant for the eyes so we bought yellow fondant and drew on it with a green edible marker and then kneaded in the green colour.
  • We used a black edible marker to make the black pupils on the eyes rather than doing the eyes on the video.
  • We used water to stick bits of fondant together.
  • We still have the fondant cats so I recommend making them ahead of time.
  • They are a bit big for cupcake toppers and too much sugar to eat so totally useless except for entertainment and wow factor (and keeping on the kitchen bench to admire).
  • Getting the tails attached is a pain.  They fall off if you try and pick up the cats. 
  • Black cats are really hard to photograph!

The fondant cats were made in the morning before the party.  There was much to do before the 5 guests arrived at 4.  By then we had set up the lounge with folding beds.  The sofa bed was taken out later and one guest left at 8.  Another couple of kids left during the night.  So it was an interesting slumber party. I spent quite a bit of it in my room but it took quite some time for them to settle.

One of Sylvia's friends came over early to help with organising.  They were so cute when they made a green version of Sylvia's favourite punch.

We were excited to find this packet of mash ups with a mixture of Twisties, Doritos and Cheetos.  For some reason, Sylvia loves Cheetos but I am more old fashioned and love Twisties.

We tried to give some healthier snacks as well.  Vegies and hummus were offered while the girls waited for takeaway pizza for tea.

Sylvia chose some snacks to put out for later when they were watching a film.  Yes, too much and plenty leftover!

She worked on the party bags with her dad.  There were party bags for the guests.

And more lollies in the party bags to take into school for her class.

I didn't take photos of her presents but there were a lot of cats and colour in her presents.  The above coaster is pretty cute.

And here is the black cat who inspired the fondant cats, our Shadow!  He hid during the party as much as he could but the kids loves it when he showed his face.

Not long after this party, Sylvia had a sleepover on a Friday night followed by another friend's sleepover party on a Saturday night.  That was the last hurrah before lockdown made it forbidden for friends to play together.  It will be a fine day when the kids are back together.

On the stereo:
Parachutes: Coldplay


  1. Aaaawwww and Awesome! I love your fondant black cats with gorgeous eyes.I first thought wow that is a lot of fondant cats to make, but then read on and learned it was for a party. I want to be Sylvia's friend if this is the kind of thing she gets up ie craft tutorials, but i think i may be too old - so i will settle for being an aunty. So good to see Shadow - the real cat too!

  2. The fondant black cats are the cutest! As are the party bags. What a lovely themed party. Shadow looks pretty chuffed to be the star of the party along with the birthday girl.

  3. I'm most impressed by the cats not being eaten. I hate the flavor of fondue which is often too much a part of a decorated layer cake. Your cats are incredible.

    Yes, how sad that everything in our lives is so alienating now, everyone separated. I was really feeling sorry for young people and kids like yours, but my granddaughters told me (on a video chat of course) that they were doing just fine! I was more worried about them and vice-versa.

    be well... mae at

  4. I'm SO impressed with your cat making skills - those are so skillfully done! I'm glad Sylvia did get her birthday with real live people before the world fell apart. Fingers crossed by her next one, we'll all be out with people again!

  5. The cupcakes are beautiful! You are very skillful making such toppings, it's hard work. I really hope that we all can soon have some gatherings again, but it's not looking good. You really appreciate the things when they are gone...

    Have a nice weekend!


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