How to make
You will need:
2 tier cake covered in Renshaw Celebration Ready to Roll icing » (I used 6” & 8” cakes)
Vodka or other clear alcohol or clear flavour extract
Galaxy gold eggs – available in store
It is a good idea to make all of your flowers and leaves in advance (at least 24 hours) in order to give them time to dry out and harden – they will be easier to handle when it comes to positioning them on your cake. You will need a piece of flat, soft sponge for forming the flowers and a large flat, firm piece of foam or polystyrene to lay all the elements on to dry. Large pieces of polystyrene from box packaging are brilliant for this!
Flowerpaste dries out very quickly when exposed to the air so only roll out a small amount at a time and keep the rest of the packet well wrapped up. Roll it out on a light dusting of icing sugar or cornflour to stop it sticking to your surface.
I used a combination of ready-made flowerpaste colours for this project – you can experiment with mixing 2 different colours together, for example I mixed leaf green and grass green flowerpaste together to get a third shade of green. Knead the 2 colours together in your hands, you can leave it slightly marbled in appearance or continue kneading until a solid colour is achieved.
You can also make your own flowerpaste by adding Gum-Tex to normal fondant icing – use as directed on the packaging.
Daisy Plunger Cutters
Roll out your desired colour of flowerpaste to approximately 2mm thin. Press the cutter down firmly to make a clean cut. Move the cutter (with flower still inside the cutter) over to the sponge and depress the plunger whilst pressing it into the sponge – this will encourage the petals of the flower to curl upwards. Leave the flowers to harden.
Blossom Plunger Cutters
Roll out your desired colour of icing thinly and press the cutter down firmly to make a clean cut. Depress the plunger to extract the flower onto the piece of sponge. Use the larger end of the ball tool to press the flower down into the sponge to encourage the petals to curl upwards. Leave to harden.
When your flowers are completely dry you can double them up or leave them as they are. Use the royal icing in a piping bag fitted with a round piping tip to pipe the centres of the flowers.
To make the leaves you can either use cutters and/or cut them freehand with a sharp knife. I used a combination of ivy and rose leaf plunger cutters and some general leaf shapes in different sizes. Use the veining tool to score in the veins if not using a plunger cutter. When you have cut each leaf leave some to dry flat and some twist, bend or shape with your fingers to give interest and movement to your finished cake.
Thinly roll out a small amount of flowerpaste and use the butterfly plunger cutters to cut out a few butterflies. Depress the plunger to imprint the detail on each butterfly. Gently bend each butterfly in the middle and leave on a flat surface with one wing propped up whilst it dries.
Decorating the Cake
In 2 clean containers put a tablespoon each of vodka. Add a tiny amount of sky blue food colouring in one container to tint it slightly. Use a brush to paint some clear vodka – sparingly – on the top tier of the cake and add some of the blue tinted vodka to the wet areas to make a watercolour effect.
Less is more here, don’t cover the entire cake, just enough to add some colour and depth.
Whilst the top tier is drying you can start to decorate the bottom tier. Use the royal icing in the piping bag to adhere the leaves and flowers to the cake. Start with the leaves and add clusters of different shapes, sizes and tones. Add in trailing ivy leaves. The foliage will be the background from which the flowers will stand off.
Fill in the spaces between the foliage with clusters of flowers.
Try to emulate nature by keeping groups of the same flowers together as they would naturally grow.
Completely cover the bottom cake and cake board with flowers and foliage and continue halfway up the top cake. Use leaf green food colour paste to colour a little royal icing and put it into a piping bag fitted with a leaf tip. I used 2 different sizes of leaf tip to give some variation. Pipe extra leaves in amongst the flowers and leaves where there are empty spaces.
It’s a good idea to practise piping the leaves on a board to get the hang of it – squeeze the bag gently to pipe the leaf, then pull away sharply to create the pointed tip of the leaf.
To decorate the top of the cake spread a circle of royal icing all over the top but not quite up the edge. Cover the icing with crumbled up moss biscuits and nestle a pile of golden chocolate eggs on top of the moss. Add a few leaves and flowers as desired and lastly affix your butterflies to the cake.