Sugar Swans and Seashell Carriage


Learn how to make a sugar centrepiece (or topper) of four swans pulling a seashell carriage.

In this tutorial, Serdar will teach you how to make a sugar centerpiece which can be placed on the side of a high cake or on top of a flat cake. This piece can be a key element of a marine or a beach themed cake.

It is a wedding tradition where couples arrive to their destinations in all sorts of interesting and romantic carriages. If we use our imagination we can think of many combinations of carriages and animals pulling the carriages. Serdar’s idea in this tutorial is to have a vessel for the carriage, that is completely made from seashells and coral, which is then pulled by 4 swans over the water.

Some of the things that Serdar will show you is how to create natural looking swans, how to give the swans wings a more “full” appearance and how to use a starch bed to achieve any 3D form with pastillage. Of course, like most of Serdar’s tutorials, he will show you how to make these sugar elements without the use of molds or expensive tools. Although it isn’t covered in this tutorial, you can also create sugar bride and groom figurines to sit inside the carriage.

Join Serdar today and create your own beautiful swan lake centrepiece.

Downloadable Course Material

If you would like to approximately match the size of the artwork in the tutorial, print the downloadable files at 100% size. If you require your artwork to be smaller or larger, just adjust the print size accordingly.
Sugar Swans and Seashell Carriage Course Material
This PDF document contains blueprints for the topper, guides to create all the sugar parts and a template for the base.

Tools, Materials, Recipes & Ingredients
The Starch Bed
Making the Large Seashells
Making the Small Seshells
Making the Swan Bodies
Making the Short Wings
Making the Long Wings
Making the Swan Beaks
Assembling the Swans
Assembling the Seashell Carriage
Making the Base
Finishing the Seashell Carriage
Pearl Coating the Seashell Carriage
Attaching the Swans & Carriage to the Base
Making Some Pearls
Connecting the Swans to the Carriage
Final Touches
Total Duration

While not everything on this list is absolutely required, these are the things used in this tutorial video. Of course you are welcome to find alternative ways of doing things and we would love to hear if you've discovered an easier method or better tool to achieve good results. Please note that some items may be listed as sets, and it is usually recommended to have full sets, it may not be neccessary. In most cases, only one item from a set is actually used in the tutorial. Please watch the tutorial before purchasing any items to make sure you are not buying anything you don't need.
Tools & Materials
Rolling Pins Shop Online
Preferably with no scratches or dents.
Set of Knives Shop Online
Craft Knife Shop Online
Round Cutter Set Shop Online

For resting the shells while assembling.

Starch Bed
At least 5cm deep
Large Soft Brush

For dusting off starch.


For loosening the starch.

Airbrush Set Shop Online
Oil Cooking Spray Shop Online
Colour should be as light as possible to prevent discolouration in the fondant or pastillage.
Powder Shaker Shop Online
Preferably with small holes.
Cold Spray Shop Online
Small Brush in Water
Ensure that brush bristles are not loose.
Large Tweezers
Modelling Tools Shop Online
Ball Tip
Minimum of 8 pieces recommended.
Gnocchi Roller
Set of Scissors Shop Online
Only one needed
Set of Brushes Shop Online
Small Tip Brush
Atomizer Bottle
Filled with Pearl Dust
Cellophane Shop Online
Pearl Bead Ribbon Shop Online
Corrugated Cardboard
For placing parts to dry.
Great for placing sugar items to dry. Easy to move around.
Recipes & Ingredients

About 100g in total. A bit of orange (for beaks) and the rest white (for pearls).

White Chocolate Wikipedia

For gluing.

Chocolate is a typically sweet, usually brown, food preparation of Theobroma cacao seeds, roasted and ground, often flavored, as with vanilla. It is made in the form of a liquid, paste, or in a block or used as a flavoring ingredient in other sweet foods.
Edible Pearl Dust

For use with the atomozer to be sprayed.

Edible Food Colours

Brown, Blue, Yellow, Black, Pink. Dilute with water.


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Member's Projects

Here's what some of our members have created after watching this tutorial.

20151003_125009Sugar Swans and Seashell Carriage by VivianIMG_20160124_090228IMG_20160124_091043_editimageSwan and carriage cake