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Sunday, April 22, 2012

Leaves and Vines

I recently decorated a cake for a shower that I thought you might like to see the step-by-step progression of. The thing that really held it together, in my opinion, was the foundation of leaves and vines under the flowers, which were piped in advance out of royal icing. The "bouquet" included daisies, primroses, sweet peas, roses, violets, and roses with a striped edge.
 The cake itself was a large oval cake covered in chocolate buttercream and a layer of white basketweave icing with a shell border.
 Normally, one of the first things you want to do to a cake after you get it out of the pan is level it; take off the dome or crown so it has a flat top. In this case, I left the dome on the top cake so the flowers would have a nice mound in the center to give them some height. I piped curlicue vines (using Wilton's Ready to Use Decorator Icing) all over the top with a round #3 tip (the size of tip will be determined by the size of your flowers; in this case, they're pretty substantial blooms). I started in the center with that backwards "S" that's lying horizontally, and radiated outward with curlicues in all directions, almost all the way to the edge. Leave some space, because you'll need somewhere to pipe the…
 …leaves. Again, the size of the leaf tip depends on the size of the flowers. I anchored the leaves to the vines, and piped them in all directions. I'm going to write a whole separate tutorial about piping leaves soon. You'd think there'd be nothing to piping leaves, but there's definitely a trick or two involved to making them presentable. You already know my secret for mixing the perfect green.
 Finally, I placed the flowers on the cake. So they'd be suitably random, I placed them by type, making sure no two of the same variety were next to each other.

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