This stacked design offers the monochromatic, elegant appearance many modern brides are seeking. Decorators can easily add touches of color, and the design elements work on any size or shape tier.
Many brides are opting for elegant sophistication in their wedding cakes. The color palette tends to be subtle and the design simple. This does not mean wedding cakes are boring, quite the opposite. While the ornate and colorful cakes of the past may be passé, the simpler cakes of today are often the centerpiece of the reception and showcase the artistic talents of the decorator. This simple and elegant stacked design, made from buttercream but with the smooth appearance of fondant, works for both round and square tiers, and can be easily modified to add color as the bride desires.1. To create the smooth appearance of fondant using buttercream icing, base ice a 14-in round cake. Then, smooth the icing with a plastic spatula.
2. Next, use a small piece of acetate band to round the top edge of the cake.
3. Then, smooth the sides again with the plastic spatula.
4. Finally, use the acetate strip to smooth the icing around the top border from the sides of the cake onto the top.
5. Stack a 10-in. round on top of the bottom tier, and ice using the same method. Then, stack a 6-in. round, and ice. Use a wide fan paintbrush to paint pearl luster dust around the top of each tier. (Use lemon extract to liquefy the luster dust, leaving it thicker than normal, so it doesn't run down the sides of the cake.) Use long sweeping motions to make it look like a ribbon. You also can use an airbrush to spray on the luster dust.
6. Use tip No. 4 to pipe white curlicues around the ribbon band of each tier. After piping the first row, pipe additional rows above it with the swirls spaced between the ones in the row below. Use the same tip and motion to decorate the cake board, as well. Then, with tip No. 10, pipe dot borders at the base of each tier.
7. Cut two strips of rolled white fondant about 1 1/2 ins. wide and long enough to extend down the side of the cake. Attach the fondant at the center of the top tier and drape it down the cake. Place the second ribbon opposite the first. Trim the ends at the edge of the board.
8. Place another two ribbons of fondant across from each other. Trim the ends into an inverted “v,” and cut the ribbons shorter to drape and rest on top of the middle tier.
9. For the bow on top of the cake, make 10 loops of fondant, and paint them with pearl luster dust. Allow them to dry. Attach the bottom row of five loops to the top of the cake using buttercream or white chocolate.
10. Place a second row of four loops spaced between the bottom row's loops. Finish the bow by placing a loop in the center.
11. Decorate the bow and top tier of the cake with gumpaste flowers. Use tip No. 5 to pipe pink centers in the flowers. Add shimmer by sprinkling edible glitter over the entire cake.
Jory Roberts has been decorating cakes for more than 20 years. She is currently the decorator for Nielsen's Bakery in Homewood, Ill., where she has been employed for the last five years. She started her career at Walt's Food Centers as a dishwasher in the in-store bakery before she began decorating. Roberts is mostly self-taught, and while she specializes in buttercream piping, she is adding more fondant design elements to her cakes.