Make this 3-D design pop by elevating an edible design on a 6-in. round cake and placing sugar decorations on dabs of icing.
Place sugar balloons on the front of this crown cake to emulate jewels.
A simple, plastic mask forms the basis for this Mardi Gras design. Enhance the mask with beads and gold fronds
Boost your autumn and winter decorated cake sales by promoting your decorated cakes as centerpieces for autumn dinner parties and New Year's and Mardi Gras festivities. Try designs, such as pumpkins and crowns, to attract customers' attention.
To make a curved pumpkin cake, stack two torte cakes with the bottoms together. Use icing to fill in the center seam created by the two cakes. With a wide icer or large rose tip, pipe rows of orange icing around the cake. To create the pumpkin's creases, make a cardboard template by cutting out an inverted 'v.' Dip the template in water and bend it slightly as you glide it up the side of the cake, making the creases. Bending the template helps create a realistic pumpkin shape.
Place a cupcake upside down on top of the cake to create the stem. Ice the cupcake with brown icing using star tip No. 14. Leave the pumpkin plain or pipe an appropriate message for your customers' centerpiece.
Add color with autumn leaves
If you do not have torte pans, you can create the pumpkin using two 6-in. and two 8-in. round cake layers. Place one 6-in. layer beneath two 8-in. layers and the other 6-in. cake layer on top of the 8-in. layers. Trim the edges slightly to produce the pumpkin shape.
Autumn leaves also make a lovely cake design for a fall birthday or other parties. Add a bit of gold to white icing, and base ice an 8-in. cake. Or, airbrush gold onto white icing. Airbrush brown in the center and around the bottom border of the cake. Use a cut paper tube to pipe brown branches around the bottom border of the cake, and pipe a circle of tan branches on top of the cake.
Add a brown shell top border with star tip No. 16. Place colorful sugar leaves, acorns and oranges along the branches on the top and side of the cake. Add more color by piping red and green apples among the leaves. Pipe an appropriate message using a fine-cut paper tube.
Another ideal opportunity for you to add to your decorated cake sales is New Year's Eve, one of the biggest party nights of the year. One festive cake includes 3-D glasses and an edible design. Base ice a 6-in. round cake with black icing, and place the cake on a white, baseicedquarter-sheet cake. Airbrush yellow and black swirls on the top and sides of the sheet cake.
Add a New Year's Eve edible design to the round cake. Then, pipe one or two bursts of fireworks with icing. Use a fine-cut paper tube and icing that coordinates with the colors in the edible design. As you pipe the fireworks, allow some of the icing to trail down the side of the cake. Add sugar decorations, such as top hats, champagne bottles, hourglasses and clocks.
To help make the design pop when viewed through the 3-D glasses, elevate the sugar decorations on dabs of icing. Pipe a simple white band border using star tip No. 30 and a black line top border with tip No. 4. Place the glasses on the corner of the sheet cake or attach them to the cake box.
Decorated cakes are king
After New Year's, another big event is Mardi Gras. Although king cakes are the traditional fare for Mardi Gras celebrations, add to your customers' festivities with a crown cake. Stack two 6-in. cake rounds on top of each other. Use star tip No. 30 to pipe a circle of white icing around the top of the cake. Ice the entire cake with purple icing. The rim of icing allows the purple icing to dip slightly in the middle.
Then, coat the entire cake with a very thin layer of purple piping gel. This gives the crown a velvety sheen. With tip No. 4, pipe gold scrollwork around the base of the crown. Add more scrollwork up the front of the crown. Place sugar balloons among the scrollwork to emulate jewels. Pipe a white base on the crown using star tip No. 30. Add a few black dots along the white base to create an ermine ruff. Pipe an appropriate message-on top of the crown, or let the crown speak for itself as a centerpiece.
Masks are another popular decoration and adornment during Mardi Gras, and this cake uses a plastic mask as the basis of the design. Base ice a quarter-sheet cake with white icing. Lightly airbrush the top and sides of the cake purple. Place a mask in one corner of the cake. I chose to adorn the mask with gold fronds, but you also can add icing details directly on the mask.
Pipe outlines of the letters forming the words Mardi Gras, using the traditional colors of purple, gold and green. Fill each of the letters with a different design, such as dots, swirls or lines. Trail gold, purple and green beads down the sides of the mask. On the sides of the cake, pipe gold 'C's using plain round tip No. 6. With star tip No. 18, add a purple shell top border and a green bottom border.
Try some of these designs to help increase your fall and winter decorated cake sales. Set up cake displays to remind customers that decorated cakes make ideal centerpieces.