I am so excited about this cake! For my first purse, I was really happy with how this turned out. It was also my first attempt at carving cake. (I must be watching too much Ace of Cakes or something.) But I added the "before" picture to prove that it is actually cake in that handbag! I stacked white cake 5 layers high and "glued" the layers together with icing. Then I carved the top a little to look more purse-like, and covered the whole cake with frosting. Then it was on to fondant. I tinted my fondant in light tan and dark brown, then rolled out the brown fondant on a piece of fake leather I bought at the fabric store. This gave my bag a real leather-looking surface. I cut pieces of "leathered" fondant and attached them to the cake. I finished the edges with rolled "piping" and made the tan leather details. The handles were the only part of the cake that were not entirely edible; I made them by wrapping fondant around pipe cleaner (for more stability). The zipper was a piece of fondant I pressed onto an actual zipper (ha! I thought that was ingenious!), then I brushed the "metal" details with gold highlighting dust. The purse was loosely based on an actual handbag that I found a picture of on the internet. I free-hand painted the Louis Vuitton logo and designs on the brown leather with gold luster dust. The "purse" sat on a bigger "present"cake below, which I covered in white fondant and "quilted" to give it some texture. Then I added a big fondant bow painted with gold luster dust and a fondant tag that had "40" (for the 40th birthday party) to finish it off. The present cake was alternating layers of chocolate chocolate chip cake and coconut cream cake, with coconut cream filling. (I was dying to eat this one...my two favorite flavors together! But alas, it went out the door without a fork mark...)
I was so excited to have my friend Maria pick up the cake (she gave me that "free reign" to "design something" that only friends can give!) She was blown away when she got to my house. And from the text she sent my that night, it sounds like the rest of the party was also blown away. Awesome! I have a feeling this won't be my last purse cake!