I do NOT own a cricut cake machine. I got my expression years ago with SCAL and do not intend to buy anything else for years to come. So, I don't explore much with fondant plus cricut. However, that doesn't mean you can't use the regular cricut for cakes. I recently learned a new technique called chocolate wrapping. There is an excellent tutorial here: Julia Usher Stenciled Chocolate Cake Wraps
She uses a beautiful stencil for her cake. I was inspired to try this because she made it look so easy. And actually, it wasn't so bad! And you can make your own stencils! Give this technique a try...everyone will be so impressed! This is particularly good for those of you who don't know how to pipe.
I needed to make a cake for a friend from church whose husband was finishing his internship at a physical therapy clinic. She wanted the logo for the company on the cake that said thank you. Besides that, she gave me free reign. I thought having the logo on the top with "Thank You" would look tacky. Enter new technique.
I loved the way it turned out. That being said, I could have used better white chocolate, but I used what I had on hand. I used Hershey's special dark chocolate chips for the rest of the chocolate wrap, and it was delicious! I also used a new mousse recipe I found online (mousse recipe here) for the middle and italian meringue buttercream for the frosting (delicious recipe here and tutorial here). The chocolate cake recipe is a doctored cake mix (found here). Cherry pie filling went on top. I love black forest cakes. Particularly with some type of dark chocolate ganache or the chocolate wrap here. It is decadent and fancy - perfect for parties where you want to impress.
So, how did I use the cricut? I created a .svg with the logo repeated on acetate for the length I needed and another stencil for the Thank You!. Then I cut more acetate the exact size I wanted for the height with a little extra to go around, per Julia's instructions. I layered the acetate stencil over the acetate base and applied melted white chocolate. After it hardened in the fridge, I added my dark chocolate over the white and put in the fridge until not liquid, but still flexible. Then I wrapped the cake with the acetate and put back in the fridge to harden completely overnight. The next day, I took off the acetate and cut off the excess chocolate in the back. And here's the result!
I bought my acetate online at Amazon.com. You can find the kind I bought here. I know it's not food acetate, but I'm not selling my cakes and I just washed it to make sure it was ok. I also use the acetate for other things (boxes really), so I had this on hand. I might look into food acetate if I do this technique enough...and some great stencils.
Hope you give this a try! I'm so glad I did.