Hello all. I am planning to make a round cake iced with buttercream and decorated with 2d fondant (sugarpaste as we call it here in the UK) images on the side of the cake. I plan to pre-cut the images (a fire station and helicopter- cake is for my daughter who is mad about the show Fireman Sam) so that they are all ready and dry before I have even made the cake and all I have to do is place them on the sides of the cake.
My question is, since the cake is round and the images are going to dry hard and flat, is it best for me to make the images when the cake is already iced, wait a few minutes then place the images onto the cake while they are still a bit soft (but not so soft that they become misshapen while being handled) so that they follow the roundness of the cake? I'd like to make the images well in advance (party is not till the 16th of Feb!!) because I am making 2 cakes plus 24 cupcakes (all with fondant toppings), which I have managed to do for everything else except my own daughter's cake while I figure out what to do first.
I am using fondant/sugarpaste so that the images can be eaten.
My other question is, the top of the cake will be a small fireengine, made with small squares of cake covered in fondant and placed on a small cake board. I dont have any dowels (is that the right term) to stop the fire engine sinking into the bottom of the cake. Can I use lots of barbeque sticks instead? I'd rather not buy any more cake stuff as we're a bit broke at the moment.