A snowflake theme always makes for an elegant winter wedding. And it really sets that winter mood, even if you're in Georgia and it's 72 degrees!
Our bride wanted really delicate snowflakes, so I wound up piping almost all of them. I used some octagon and hexagon cutters to make the tiniest impression on the buttercream. I then used a #1 tip to freehand pipe a snowflake using the cutters shape to make sure that the final snowflake kept a (mostly) symmetrical shape. I printed a page of snowflake clipart to use as inspiration.
I did make a dozen or so gumpaste snowflakes on wire that I added at the church's fellowship hall, and they did add a nice touch of dimension to the cake.
In one week we will be celebrating Christmas. I hope you all have a very happy holiday.
Have you tried stenciling on cakes? What about on buttercream cakes? Now, I'm talking about real-butter buttercream that firms up in the fridge. I will sometimes put the cake in the freezer for a few minutes, but not too long or it will get condensation and that's a whole other problem.
I have tried different systems for "attaching" the stencil, but they all seem to make bigger mark than if I just hold them gently with one had and apply some icing with the other. Once you've got a little icing on, it pretty much holds the stencil in place. Just be prepared to do some "clean up" with paint brush for bleed overs and such. If you have a lot to stencil, you may need to put it back in the cooler in between. Also, plan to wash and dry your stencil each time. I think stenciling is pretty and uniform looking and is relatively quick. This stencil came from Designer Stencils.
There was a cake by Jim Smeal that my bride found this stencil/pattern on and fell in love. I wish they let me recreate all the patterns he used because I'm really over my buttercream diamond patterns! The couple was very into Disney and this has a kind of glass carriage / tiara feel to it. They also had me add several "hidden Mickey's" all over the cake and that was pretty fun. The bride wanted a big border on the two blue tiers and since they were assorted size dots, it too ended up looking like a bunch of Mickey heads. The couple also had a sweet Lenox China Minnie and Mickey topper that we added at the reception. It was a little "cream" and I like the look of the white cake not mixed with a cream topper. I SO wanted to put some flowers on this cake but it is pretty as is. I'm just really just proud that I got to make a colored wedding cake this week! Go daring brides, GO!
There are times that I'd like to tell you exactly what I think of a cake
but I don't because I'm afraid the bride may read it and get her
feelings hurt. You never know who is reading these blogs! :) In my
experience your final cake design is usually a combination of the brides
taste and your style as a decorator. Sometimes it's just someone
else's design with some minor changes. That's the case here. I
really like the original design, don't get me wrong. I wish I knew who did it because they deserve some major credit. What I don't like about this cake
is the cream color and stark white contrasting flowers. It was much prettier in
the original design where it was all white.
The base icing is the way
my main icing comes out naturally. My "house" buttercream is a French
buttercream and is made with whole eggs and butter that color the icing
this light yellow color. When I first started making cakes, I thought I
just had to deal with the color and most brides were fine with it
because they did not want a Crisco icing. I've learned in the past few
years to add a few drops of violet and it cancels out a lot of the
yellow cast. Don't ask me how, it's just magic! I then add some white
food coloring to the outer coats of icing. It gives the cakes a much
whiter finish. I really dislike the yellow color now so maybe that's
why I wasn't super happy with the final cake.
The design itself is super easy. I used a basic five petal gumpaste
cutter to mark the flower outline all over the cake. If I freehand
something like this, I start with one size and when I get back around
the cake it's totally different. I used a #3 tip a piped the flowers a
couple at a time since the cake was cold. You don't want them firming
up before you have a chance to take the brush to it. You just take your
brush and pull it inward. Easy squeezy! Of course the anemone flowers
could have been easier, but I made it harder. I made all the pieces
ahead of time, but didn't put two layers of petals together until the
night before the event. They would not fit because they dried in
different shapes. Luckily, I just had to recut the back set of petals.
I also tried something with embroidery thread for the middles of the
flowers but they looked like a fuzzy mess, so I went a different route. You should make your gumpaste flowers on the Monday before the wedding or
earlier. You need to paint them way early to because you often break a
few and they can get ruined with a bad paint job and you have to start
over. Plan for the worst and hope for the best! When it's all done and I
look back at a cake that I wish would have been different, I remember
that the bride was happy and that was the ultimate goal.