My niece requested a cake with a dancer on top and told me her decorations were going to be pink and zebra stripes. Her party was last weekend, the same weekend as my friend's bridal shower and my mother-in-law's birthday. I didn't have a lot of time so I decided to try decorating with plain old fabric ribbon. I looked online and found tips on how to do so. Everything I read suggested either backing the ribbon with tape or ironing on wax paper to prevent the ribbon from becoming greasy or discolored from the icing. The other tip was to measure the ribbon around the cake pan so you would have the perfect length that just barely overlaps.
I made a three layer chocolate cake and leveled two of the cakes for stacking purposes. After frosting them with pink buttercream, I wrapped the zebra ribbon around the edges as a border. I was worried I was going to made dents in the icing while applying the ribbon, but it went on surprisingly smoothly.
I would have preferred to make a dancer out of gum paste but I waited until the last minute and knew it wouldn't harden in time. (Plus, I'm not especially talented at molding gum paste yet.) I drew an outline of a a ballerina on a 1/2 inch thick foam board, cut it out with a utility knife, and colored it black with black food coloring. I used the foam board so that I could insert toothpicks in both the dancer and the cake so she would stand freely. The dancer was much larger than I like, but I found that the smaller the dancer was, the harder it was to cut out. Here is the final product:
The cake was cute on display and the birthday girl was happy. I obviously removed the ribbons and topper before cutting it. My next requests are a cake with a realistic pony in May and a wedding cake in June. Eeeeekk!