Gum paste, marzipan and fondant are the modeling clays of cake making, and if you're good at shaping clay and dough, you can work wonders with them. With time and care, you can create anything from realistic flowers to whimsical 3-D characters from film and fiction. You can even use these sculptures to make completely unique wedding cake toppers.
It's not just about sculpting your paste or fondant to the right shape. Elaborate color shading techniques are helping cake pros push the envelope with sculpted decorations. But you don't have to be over-the-top to be effective. A few marzipan figures or flowers can transform a basic cake into one that's adorable or memorable.