Cakes have evolved over the last decade or two and with it so has the crown of the cake: the cake topper.
My first wedding cake had a traditional bride and groom topper. It was something I bought although not cheaply! My first attempt to make one of these over a decade ago, left me with a not so slender bride model! The image of her will always remain in my mind with a cheeky smile on my face! This is the picture of my first ever wedding cake
It actually was a beautiful cake and the topper suited it well. And it being my first one, I was well happy with it!
A few wedding cakes later, the bride/groom transformed into bouquets of flowers! Flowers look great on traditional designs as well as more contemporary cakes as they help to soften the overall look.
Fresh or Sugar paste flowers?
Sugar paste flowers are an art form. They take many days to make. Hours of rolling, cutting, forming, sticking, drying to make a single bouquet. And that’s after the hours of research into colours and types of flowers and how to make them so that they look as real as possible. They are also incredibly delicate yet heavy. These factors add more difficulty to the cake making task and hence the cost to the client can increase. The benefits of spending this time and the subsequent cost to the client are that they look fabulous, make your clients cake extra special because they will know and appreciate the effort that’s been made to form these beauties especially for their cake on their big day. Sugar flowers also last for many years and so the bride can keep them as a keep sake. If the couple choose to freeze the top tier for say their first wedding anniversary, they can place the original sugar paste bouquet on top. What could be a nicer finishing touch 🙂
Fresh flowers are unbeatable! Although they may not add as much artistic flare to the cake, they are the real thing so you can’t go wrong! Thus far, I have had the bouquets made by professional florists. They can be very expensive! I usually do my research, print of an idea of what id like the bouquet to look like, coordinate with the florists on which flowers and the size of the bouquet. This will involve at least two trips to the florist, one being a pick up on what can be a very busy delivery day. Fresh flowers are only fresh the day they are cut but nothing can replicate natural flowers in beauty and fragrance. Make sure if you do use fresh flowers that they have as little contact with the cake itself and that they are safe to be used as decoration on food items.
Although I think flowers will remain the trend as a cake topper for a while yet, a new wave in popularity is the monogram topper. This is usually a motif made up of letters symbolic to the couple which is used to stamp their invitations and other wedding and personal items. This unique monogram can be made into a cake topper using edible or inedible materials. It adds elegance and edge to show stopping cake!
How we top our cakes is no longer something that comes second or as an end thought when we design cakes. In some situations the cake is designed around the topper for example, around brides favourite flower or a very modern monogram. The cake topper is often the most time consuming and expensive part of the cake but it also where most of the impact is. It is the crown to your cake!
I’ve always wanted to try making one of these because it looks stunning and seemed like fun to do. I’ve put this is the home baking section as this is by no means professional standard. It was me and my daughter having some fun on her last day of half term holidays. I didn’t even have piping bags at home and so used ziplock bags, small ones at that, with a small cut made in one corner. I actually ran out of icing sugar and it was a hot day so the buttercream was slightly soft but hey, we had fun, it still looked stunning and it tasted delicious.
The cake is a 7 inch round madeira vanilla cake (bean of course!), baked in two pans and sandwiched with fresh whipped double cream (150 ml whipped to stiff peaks)
For the buttercream:
1 1/2 cup butter
6 cups icing sugar
I used dusky pink paste colour by colorflair and caramel extract to flavour
I didn’t have this much icing sugar so I used 1 cup butter, and made do with the sugar I had but if I were to make again I would go with the above amounts.
A good YouTube vid by someone else who seems like she’s made hundreds!
I used three intensities of the dusky pink: dark, medium and light. I made a little more of the dark for the crumb coat and a little more of the light for the top of the cake. I would say split in the following way:
But you don’t have to be exact
I piped a row of dark pink rosettes along the bottom, then a row of medium and then the light and finished with piping rosettes on the top of the cake with the remaining light pink.
It was very very easy to do even though I didn’t have my usual items at hand. If you can pipe a swirl on a cupcake, definitely try this as your next challenge. It’s very forgiving to mistakes so beginners have a go!
For next time..
1) Use a slightly stiffer buttercream, or a different type of buttercream (swiss/Italian)
2) Try this in fresh cream instead of butter cream or perhaps the sides fresh cream rossettes and the top in buttercream rossettes or the other way around.