Sunday, June 3, 2012

High Heel Shoe Cupcakes - high maintenance decorating

Once upon a time I was moderately fashionable, well as fashionable as you could get in Brisbane with regular shopping trips to Melbourne.

Oh the shoes that I had........

But now my shoes are made for walking, and running after toddlers and not having to worry about as I traipse through puddles with my 3 year old to get the other kids from school pick up.I never used to do puddles, but now I am reliving the joy of jumping in them.

I think I am a more balanced person overall now, but sadly my knowledge of what passes as fabulous footwear these days is limited to what I have seen recently on pintrest.

Originally I made up a batch of these to tie in with the fashion inspired dress cake and cookies for Naomi V Photography for the fun fashionista 10 year party styled by Putting on a Party.

a couple of people saw the photo's on facebook and asked if I could post a tutorial which is what I am doing.

These high heel shoes toppers are made of fondant using a JEMS cutter set I picked up. The place I bought mine from no longer carries them but I did spy some on Amazon so have a look here or google them, they are the mini ones that are 3" long..

Or in Australia here on Fishpond
Plastic Cutter Set, 8pc, Lady's Miniature Shoe 

 Although I am showing you using the cutter set as that is how I made the shoes if you want you could make your own by just drawing up some templates on cardboard, hand cutting with a knife and hand rolling the heel.

Normally I don't mind hand cutting myself, but these shoes are fiddly. I did not love making them, these shoes are high maintenance decoration. Although I only had to make 13 cupcakes, I did sets of shoes for each cupcake so that was 26 shoes, which by the way are pretty easy to break if you don't handle them right, so in reality a few more than 26.

For the fashion party I made cupcakes with a plain fondant top to sit the shoes on, which is pretty much just a cupcake covered with a tiny amount of butter cream and a round of fondant pressed on the top. The plain fondant covered cupcake is a nice looking base for the shoes. But I prefer the taste of butter cream topped cupcakes so I thought I might try out so see how they worked.

Yup, they worked ok although I think it's a struggle to get a pair of shoes to sit on the butter cream swirl and look as neat as the fondant. But in truth I could live with that, really who is going to eat 2 fondant shoes after a whole cupcake plus WAHOO it halves the number of shoes you need to make.

High Heel Shoe Cupcake Topper Tutorial
If you like you can use a little tylose powder kneaded into the fondant to make it a bit stronger (like gumpaste), or I guess buy gumpaste :) Tylose powder can also be used to make the edible glue. I used Bakels white fondant and Satin Ice black and red. All other colors were the Bakels tinted with gel food color.

Ingredients and equipment
*optional tylose powder
Gel food color in your color of choice.
rolling pin
cornflour (corn starch)
Jems mini High Heel shoe cutter (3 inch)
toothpick or tool with pointed end
edible glue and brush
edible decorations for shoe

This is what you get in the JEMS cutter set

Color the fondant by adding drops of gel food color and kneading until well distributed. You may like to add a little tylose powder to the fondant to make it a bit stronger and easier to work with at this stage. I didn't but my shoes were pretty easy to break.

Make the heels. Roll a small ball of fondant and then shape into a cone.

Place the cone of fondant into one of the JEMS heel formers.

Press the other heel former carefully onto the first one so that the sides meet evenly. Excess fondant will squeeze out the sides, bottom and top, remove the excess with a knife and smooth the top of the heel where it will meet the sole.

If you can manage it a nice touch can be to add a touch of black to the base of the heel to look a little more realistic.

Carefully remove the heel formers taking care not to change the shape of the fondant heel. Place onto a piece of parchment paper with the large flat top of the heel facing downwards until required. If needed use a tool or your finger to smooth any join ridges that the heel former has heft on the heel.

Dust a workbench with cornflour (corn starch) and roll out fondant a couple of mm thick (1/16"). Holding the handle of the sole cutter, press the cutter into the fondant and cut out a sole.

OK decide if you want that impression to be on the top or the bottom - I didn't like the look of it on the top so it's the bottom of my sole although I have seen a number of pictures where it is the top. Your choice :)

Also if you would like a double sole so you can have for example a red base, just cut out 2 soles, brush some edible glue onto one and press them together.

Brush some glue onto the top of a heel and press the heel onto the sole as shown in picture example. Place a foam shoe former under the sole to help shape the shoe.

Roll out more fondant and cut out the shoe upper using the JEMS cutter. Attach a small amount of edible glue to the outer sides of the shape and using a toothpick or fondant tool press the shape onto the front of the sole, attaching one side, allowing the middle to arch up and then attaching the other side to the sole, as shown in the picture.

This process is quite fiddly and you may need some practice, plus you may knock the back heel section over and need to pick it up a number of times. Trust me it will get easier with practice.

You can cut out another of the shoe upper shapes to make a heel, using glue along the long length of the shape at attach it to the sole just above the heel. I did this with some of the shoes, although I also ended up making my own template for a back which was not so high.

There is also a strap cutter which comes with the set which can be used to make an ankle strap.

Once you are happy with the shoe shape add decorations to the shoe by making small ribbons, flowers, ruffles or 'brooches'. You can even hand paint on designs using food gel watered down with a  little rose spirits.

Other decorative touches can include adding sanding sugar or spraying luster spray.

I used the chocolate cupcake recipe from my book Sweets on a stick to make the cupcake bases for the pictures. It is actually a one bowl kid friendly recipe for 24 mini cupcakes, but in a pinch it can work for 10 regular cupcakes.

 Sweets on a Stick is available through most online book stores it is a US release aimed at getting kids involved in the kitchen. Here are the links to Amazon and Fishpond.

Or here at fishpond (Aus/NZ)

Sweets on a Stick: More Than 150 Kid-Friendly Recipes for Cakes, Candies, Cookies, and Pies on the Go!


  1. Linda. I know I say it over and over, but you never fail to amaze me with your talent. Especially as I attempted some cupcakes today and they ended up in the bin before I even considered icing them. I blame the oven.

  2. I am speechless. Those are the cutest things ever!!! You are amazing.

  3. Wow, I'm floored! These are amazing!

  4. Such beautiful work, I really love your blog!


  5. Those cutters are a great idea! I tried making a pump shoe a la Carrie's Louboutin's from the SATC 2 movie and they were not great. Shoes are SO hard to do aren't they! Love all of the styles that you made though :)

  6. Excellent information provide for us.....................
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  7. quite a work of art if you ask me!! How tedious I know but the end result is exquisite!

  8. Oh my goodness, that's a lot of work for each topper! But they turned out darling.

  9. So perfect for folks who love high heeled shoes, like my 20 year old daughter.

  10. Hi Linda,

    Thanks for your step by step guide for high heals shoes upgrading :).

  11. Again thanks for sharing so informative post?