Salute summer with festive cakes
Offer unique designs to help boost your summer decorated cake sales. From carnations for Mother's Day to stars for patriotic parties, use these ideas for your customers' summer festivities.
by Shirley Ryan Rose,
Decorating Ideas editor
Use small, fine scissors to trim the edges of the carnation petals, giving them a realistic, ragged edge.
Tie ribbons onto fine, wrapped wire, and push the wire into the cake to create the ties of the apron.
Create this suitcase cake using 1/4 sheet cake and round the corners. Use a chocolate donut for the handle.
Use wrapped candy sticks with marshmallows on the end as drumsticks for this patriotic drum design.
Trim the edges of a round cake to form a pentagon. Use triangles cut from a sheet cake to create the star tips.
Memorial Day at the end of May is the unofficial beginning of summer. It often ushers in the season of outdoor picnics, backyard barbecues, patriotic parties and vacations. May also is the month for Mother's Day. These events create demand for decorated cakes, so try some decorating ideas to boost your summer cake sales.
For Mother's Day, offer a classic carnation design. Pipe the carnations directly on an 8-in. round cake. Fit an icing bag with rose tip No. 104, and stripe it with dark pink, light pink and white icing. With the narrow end of the tip up, pipe the carnation petal, from left to right, using a jerky motion to create ruffled edges. Each petal should be three-fourths of a circle.
The bottom layer of the carnation is one large petal. The second layer consists of three petals. Drop the tip down slightly from the top of the first petal, and pipe a petal to the left of the first petal, one to the right and one in the middle. The top layer is made up of five petals. Begin at the far left to pipe the first petal, move to the far right, then move to the inner left and inner right, and pipe the fifth petal in the center.
To create a realistic green icing for the leaves and stems, I add a bit of blue color to the icing. Pipe a bulbous base at the bottom of each flower, and add thin, stiff leaves around the flowers. As a final touch to the flowers, use sharp, fine scissors to clip the edges of the petals. This gives the petals a ragged edge, much like real carnations.
Traditional Mother's Day design
Another fun design for Mother's Day is the apron cake made from a 9-in. heart layer. Cut a 2-in. curved wedge from the bottom, pointed end of the heart layer. Place the wedge into the curved, top portion of the heart, creating the apron's scalloped edge. Or, create the apron using any size round cake if more servings are needed. With a round layer, cut a scallop shaped wedge out of the side of the cake to create the waist of the apron. Create the bottom scalloped edge by cutting wedges from the opposite cake edge.
Base ice the cake with white icing, and add pleats to the apron by creating ripples in the icing with a spatula. Airbrush the cake pink. Cut a small pocket out of cardboard, and curve it with your hands. Ice the cardboard, and place the pocket on the cake. Stripe an icing bag with shades of pink icing, and pipe ruffles around the edge of the apron using rose tip No. 104. Use drop flower tip No. 92 to pipe small, blue flowers on the apron. Use ribbon for the apron ties. Tie one end of each ribbon to fine, wrapped wire and push the wire into the cake to keep it in place. Use a cut paper tube to pipe an appropriate greeting.
A cake for traveling customers
The summer season also means vacation time for many people. The suitcase cake is perfect for any type of bon voyage party. Place a 1/4-sheet
cake close to the long edge of a cake board, leaving room at the top for the suitcase handle. Round the corners of the cake, and ice the cake with dark tan icing to give the appearance of leather. Or, you can airbrush white icing to appear like leather.
Pipe a deeper shade of brown on the corners of the cake to create the protective edges of the suitcase. Cut a chocolate donut in half, and place one half at the top of the cake to create the suitcase handle. Pipe fun destination stickers on the suitcase to add color to the design. Border the cake with a slightly rolled edge using plain tip No. 4.
Beginning with Memorial Day and continuing through the Fourth of July and Labor Day, summer is full of parties with patriotic themes. The Uncle Sam hat is ideal for your customers' summer parties. Create the hat by stacking four, 6-in. round layers. Steady the cake by placing each layer on cakeboards cut to the size of the cake, and peg the layers together.
Ice the sides of the cake with white icing. Use red icing to ice the top of the cake. Divide the cake evenly to create stripes down the sides of the cake. Use rose tip No. 125 to pipe red stripes. Smooth the icing with a damp spatula. Or, you can airbrush red stripes. Leave the white stripes as they are, or use star tip No. 18 to fill them in. Use rose tip No. 125 and blue icing to ice the cake board around the hat, creating a brim. To create a nice shade of blue, add some purple color to dark blue icing. Finish the design by adding small sugar stars and flags.
Another fun patriotic design is a drum cake. Ice an 8-in. round with white icing, and place a patriotic edible design on top of the cake. Use rose tip No. 125 to pipe a wide red band around the top edge of the cake and a blue band around the bottom edge of the cake. Create the laces of the drum by using plain tip No. 4 to pipe yellow "X"s on the side of the cake. Place candy buttons in the center of each "X." Place large marshmallows on the ends of two wrapped candy sticks. Position the candy sticks on the top of the cake for drumsticks.
The star cake makes a wonderful centerpiece for almost any party. Use any size round cake, and trim the edges to create a pentagon. From a sheet cake, cut five acute triangles. The base of the triangles should be the same length as the sides of the pentagon. Use icing to attach the triangles to the pentagon cake, forming a star. Base ice the cake with white icing. Use red or blue icing to pipe the borders. Place a patriotic edible design on top of the cake, and use sugar stars for accents.
Try some of these designs in your bakery for upcoming summer festivities. Display sample cakes to remind customers that decorated cakes make ideal desserts for summer parties.