Elegant Branches Cake
by Jenna Crawford
Elegant Branches Cake
This cake I was going for a very understated yet beautiful cake. The friend it was for said she wanted it to be simplified, but clean. (I think my cake terms are rubbing off on her)
I wanted to try a different approach to a pink which is what she wanted. I wanted something more in the mauve range, but I did not have nay airbrush colors that would work, so this cake has about 4 layers of thin color to get the prefect shade that I wanted.
All three layers are a non-alcoholic pink champagne cake with a raspberry cheesecake mousse filling and and outer layer of vanilla buttercream. I try and use an outer layer of vanilla buttercream on all my cakes because it is easier to get a sharper line with the fondant.
You just ice the layers in buttercream, then use either a tall metal spatula or a "crumb cleaner" (tall plastic piece with a pointed end) to take off excess icing, and get the sharp corners. Then I refrigerate the cake overnight, and cover it with thinly rolled homemade marshmallow fondant the next day.
Since I was going to simplify the decorating on the cake, I wanted the cake itself to have a unique design, so I went with a two layer 8 inch tier on the bottom, a one layer 7 inch tier for the middle, and a two layer 6 inch
tier for the top. Each layer has plastic tube supports holding up the tier above it. Each tier sits on it's own waxed cardboard base, so the cake is very sturdy but put together with very inexpensive materials.
For the design of the cake I made one large light pink rose out of gumpaste, and two smaller ones to accent the top tier.(I also added a third small one from the extra flowers I had made to hide a small crack in the fondant- flowers can be very helpful when hiding small flaws!). While those were drying, I former the branches out of more gumpaste tinted brown, and I also hand painted a darker brown to give them a subtle, more realistic dimension.
Each tier got a border of rolled brown fondant to match the branches on top. The branches on the bottom were hand painted to flow along the base of the cake. I added a few white blossom flowers because I thought it would help the mauve of the cake pop a little more, and make the cake a little more feminine.
The branches and the flowers on the top of the cake were held in place with some royal icing since the pieces were a little heavy. You can also add toothpicks into the base of the branches before they dry, and them just stick the toothpick into the cake for a more solid hold. Happy caking!