A friend of mine was hosting a Mardi Gras themed birthday party and I offered to make a themed cake for the party. This would be the first themed cake I ever made. I really had no idea where to begin other than I wanted a chocolate cake, masks, and to have purple, green, and gold as the main theme colours.


Boxed Cake Goodness

Although I prefer to make my cakes from scratch, I was a full-time university student, with several side jobs so I just didn’t have the time. I really wanted to use the time I did have to decorate the cake. My favourite chocolate boxed cake is Duncan Hines Triple Chocolate. It is moist and delicious and it is still my go-to boxed cake!



After baking the cake as per the directions on the box, I lathered it in a chocolate icing, and then topped with sugar confetti and stars that colour matched the Mardi Gras theme.




Fondant Mardi Gras Masks

This cake was my first time working with fondant which was a bit intimidating. I planned to use the fondant to make the Mardi Gras themed masquerade masks and thankfully, it turned out to be pretty painless. In retrospect, gum paste could be an easy alternative to fondant.

Tools Needed

Icing Sugar
Rolling pin
Piping gel in desired colours
Printed template of a mask (optional)
Plastic Mask (optional)

How to Make the Masks
  1. If you’re not comfortable with free-hand cutting, find a mask template online and print it out. Cut the mask to shape and set aside.
  2. Dust your work surface with icing sugar and knead the fondant to soften it.
  3. Take your rolling pin and smooth it out until it is about 3/8 inch (1 cm) thick.
  4. Lay your template overtop and using a sharp knife, cut around the template. Leave a bit of extra space around the template. I did not use a template so mine are not perfectly symmetrical.
  5. To shape the mask, lay your mask over a plain plastic mask and mold the nose and angle of the fondant mask to match the plastic one. If you do not have a plain plastic mask you can get creative by patiently molding it with your fingers and then using rolled up paper towel wrapped in plastic wrap, or aluminum foil to lay the shaped mask over as it dries.
  6. Allow the mask to harden overnight.
Decorating the Masks
  1. I used pre made piping gel that I bought from Walmart, but Wilton has a great clear piping gel that you can dye to whatever colour you want.
  2. Decorate as you wish
  3. The trick to this part of the process was to put the finished decorated masks into the oven with just the oven light on. They need to be left in the oven for several hours so the heat from the oven light can harden the piping gel. This is essential so you don’t have to worry about it smearing or getting wrecked.

Because Everything Doesn’t Always End Up Perfect

Sometimes fondant can be frustrating to work with because it can crumble and break.

My mask below luckily did not break, but it was not smooth like the other one. I didn’t have time to remake the mask so I did a full painting of it with the pipe gel and it became hardly noticeable.


The Final Cake

To add some flair to the cake I added pipe cleaners with feathers glued to the top. When inserting the pipe cleaners into the cake I covered the ends with plastic wrap. Pipe cleaners are fun to work with because they are fuzzy and bendable into any shape or design you want.