I didn’t think they would work.
No, that’s not true… I was absolutely POSITIVE that they wouldn’t work.
And yet, somehow, I went ahead and bought three of them anyway, and based an entire wedding cake design on them. Yes. I threw caution to the wind and put all o’ my money on one lucky number… that I didn’t even believe in. I was desperate, and those beautiful designs on those ridiculous onlays were EXACTLY what I needed for this one particular cake.
Lattice onlay on the bottom tier.
Damask onlay on the middle tier.
Medium chevron onlay on the top tier.
I’ve repented for such nonsense, since. But, here’s the thing… God had mercy on my reckless soul… and those crazy onlays ACTUALLY WORKED!!
Now, I know that sounds ridiculous. Like I’ve gone and dove head first off of the deep end into a completely emptied pool… lined with concrete.
I mean, HOW could something that looks too ridiculously good to be true, ACTUALLY BE TRUE? I don’t know. I still haven’t figured it out. But it’s real. It’s REALLY real. The Marvelous Molds onlays really do work!
Medium chevron onlay on the bottom tier.
In my defense, I DID watch Chef Dominic’s (founder of Marvelous Molds and Make Your Own Molds) little video on exactly how to use the onlays… and he just made it look so SIMPLE. But I am no fool. (Quiet. No commenting on that.) I KNOW that something looking “simple” hardly ever really is.
Medium chevron onlay on the bottom tier.
and short fur impression mat used on the teddy bear.
And yet, when I went at those onlays for the very first time (practically SWEATING mind you, ’cause I was using them on my cousin’s wedding cake that I had a set amount of time to crank out without a minute extra to spare and if these onlays didn’t work I had, like, ZERO backup plans ready) carefully following Chef Dom’s instructions, they were an absolute DREAM COME TRUE. And they straight up, SAVED MY BEHIND.
I’ve been a believer from then on in.
And I bought more.
I used three of Marvelous Molds Lace Molds in this Lady of the Snow cake.
Heck, I bought a ton of Marvelous Molds OTHER products, as well. I own more of their molds, onlays and impression mats than I have time to count. And sometimes I get the small urge to actually frame them and hang them over my mantle.
THAT’S how much I love them. They are, FAR AND AWAY, my FAVORITE line of cake decorating products out there. They are, *gollum* My Precioussssss. (Only my Lord of the Rings groupie friends can truly understand the significance of that last statement.)
Medium chevron onlay used on the cake board!
Now, they have their issues, as do we all. Nothing is and ever will be completely perfect in every way… but the issues are small and nearly insignificant next to their benefits.
One issue I’ve found is that I’ve never been able to get them to end perfectly next to each other at the back of the cake. There’s always a bit of a gap left. But honestly, that’s no biggie. You can get creative and just add a set of edible buttons in between to fill in the gaps, like I did with my chevron onlay on my navy and peony wedding cake… or you can even just cut part of the last onlay’s design off while it’s in the onlay… enough so that what’s left will fit perfectly into the remaining gap on the cake. (Which I plan on videoing for you and showing you at some point since I never pressed the little red “record” button while trying to capture this for you during my last project. Grrr….)
A brooch mold used to bridge the gap between the first and last section of the chevron onlay.
Notice the gap in the damask tier. I’d plan better next time and come up with a solution for that… or just make that the back of the cake.
The only other small issue I’ve found is that the onlays are designed to stand, bottom to top, on a 4″ high cake. My cakes are always 5″ high. But that, again, is easily dealt with. I’ve added a ribbon border to the bottom of my cake after I’ve applied the onlay to the cake starting from the top (which you can easily do by flipping your fondant covered cake when you apply the onlay) and it’s worked perfectly. I’ve also just let the onlays end where they will (4″ high) with some blank space at the top of the tier… and it still looks lovely. So, not really a problem at all.
My point here is simple. They save time and they save extreme heartache while doing the job, beautifully. (Which leads to significantly less head bashing.)
I think you need to get yourself an onlay, an impression mat and at least one mold made by Marvelous Molds, and try them out. If you do, you also need to watch Chef Dominic’s video on how to use them properly… and if you follow his directions, when you’ve finished your cake, you may just fall down onto your knees, overcome with extreme joy and gratitude…
for Chef Dominic AND for me. (‘Cause I told you about them. And that’s gotta count for something, right? hee hee) Xx
Click HERE or to watch Chef Dominic’s video on how to properly use the Marvelous Molds Onlays!
Used a fondant ribbon to fill in the extra inch of blank cake.
Some tips while using the onlays:
- Mix in a little bit of tylose into the fondant you’ll be using for the onlays. It helps firm it up just a bit and keep it from sticking and gettin’ all wonky on you.
- Roll out your fondant very thin… and then run it through a pasta roller on a thin setting to get it all the same thickness. This helps tremendously with “cutting” out the design, but also with your design looking “matched” up on the cake.
- Shake some powdered sugar into the onlay (and then fold it and bounce it off of your counter top to remove any excess sugar) before each time that you put fondant into it. This further helps keep the design from sticking to the onlay.
- Don’t slop too much water onto the back of the fondant once you’re ready to apply it to the cake. Use just enough to help it stick.
- When applying, keep one hand firmly on the onlay while using your other hand to gently rub down on the back of the onlay and gently peel back the onlay just a tiny bit at a time to make sure the design is sticking and not pulling off.
- Line the onlay up as close as possible to the previous section of fondant you applied, when adding your new section.
- DEFINITELY have a backup plan of how you’ll join the design in the back in case it doesn’t match up perfectly.
And you can definitely use the onlays on buttercream as well, like I did here with the zebra stripes. You need to be a bit more careful, and chill the buttercream first, but it definitely does work!
Marvelous Molds Zebra Onlay, on a buttercream finish.
To view all Marvelous Molds Onlays, click HERE or on the banner below…
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