The bottom two tiers of the cake are actually cake dummies; the top tier is chocolate cake/chocolate buttercream. The dragon and phoenix are hand sculpted from gum paste and then painted with edible gold paint. The dragon head alone was over 5 hours of work. The accompanying 225 cupcakes were for the guests and are topped with fondant rounds stamped with the “double happiness” Chinese symbol.
See a video of the finished product here: http://youtu.be/zoYifdpowTI