In advance: Decorate horses. Slightly thin royal icing; paint mane, tail and hooves. Let dry. Make cowboys.
Tint fondant as follows: 24 oz. yellow, 3 oz. green, 2 oz. black, 2 oz. dark blue, 7 oz. dark brown, 7 oz. light brown, 1 oz. copper. Roll 3/4 in. ball heads; roll out colors 1/8 in. thick and cut 1 x 3/4 in. rectangle shirts; let dry and add dots with FoodWriters. Cut small slits for arms. Roll 3/8 x 4 in. logs for pants. For boots, roll out fondant 1/4 in. thick; cut 3/4 x 1/2 in. strip. Cut slit for heel and shape for pointed toe. For hat brims, make a 1 in. flat circle; for top, shape a 1/2 in. ball into an oval. Indent top and attach to brim with damp brush. Curl brim edges slightly. Cut a 1/8 x 2 in. strip for hat band and attach. For hair, cut 1/2 x 1/8 in. wide triangles; attach to head. Draw facial features with FoodWriters. For hands, flatten a 1/4 in. ball; cut slits for fingers. Attach all pieces to horses with Piping Gel. Reserve remaining fondant colors.
Tint 84 oz. fondant blue. Prepare 2-layer round cake for
Push-In Pillar Construction.
Prepare cake for fondant by icing lightly with buttercream. Cover cake with blue fondant; smooth with Easy-Glide Smoother. Position on foil-wrapped cake board, cut to fit. Cover peak of carousel canopy with blue fondant. Roll out remaining blue fondant 1/8 in. thick; cut a 4 x 36 in. strip. Cover inner edge of canopy rim, then bring remainder of strip over rim to cover outside. Trim off excess and smooth. Tint portion of fondant medium blue. Roll out 1/8 in. thick and cut 1/4 x 5 in. strips; attach to divide canopy sections. Roll out green and brown fondant 1/8 in. thick for cake trims. Using knife, and patterns cut 8 cactus; also cut hill sections in light and dark brown. Attach to cake sides with damp brush. For rope bottom border, roll two 39 x 1/8 in. diameter logs; twist together and attach with damp brush. Repeat for rope trim on canopy, using 32 x 1/8 in. diameter logs to make rope for each rim section. Attach with damp brush, curving ends down. Make
a 5 x 1/8 in. diameter lasso to meet ends and attach. For knots, make a 1/8 in. diameter flattened ball and attach. Cover finial with yellow fondant, attaching with damp brush.
At party: Assemble cake following carousel package directions.
*Combine Lemon Yellow with Golden Yellow for yellow shown. Combine brown with a small amount of Christmas Red and Black for light and dark brown shown.
Fondant ropes are an easy way to add dimension and color to a project. The twisted texture of the rope is outstanding for a cake border, garlands or shaped into candies like candy canes and lollipops. Can be used with the natural twisting look or smoothed out; it can have a tailored look or be fun and casual.
One of the simplest techniques for decorating with fondant is to create cut-outs. Fondant shapes can be applied to lay at on the surface of a treat or dried so that they hold their shape when used as a topper.