Spring has sprung, and decorators’ minds are turning to flowers. Flowers of all types make beautiful cake decorations. One of my favorites is the orchid, and this design is perfect for birthdays, Mother’s Day or any special occasion. The orchid is a 3-2-1 flower with three elongated petals, then two ruffled petals and one tube petal. All of the decorations on this cake are piped using a No. 104 tip or a cut paper tube.
Orchids are not the only beautiful flower, and if you want to learn how to pipe other flowers or want to brush up on flower piping techniques, visit http://www.bakery-net.com.
1. Airbrush purple around the top and bottom borders of an 8-in. round. Use a cut paper tube and green icing to pipe some line vines. Then, cut a paper tube into a ‘v’, and add a few thicker leaves.
2. For the orchid, stripe a bag with dark purple so the dark icing aligns with the narrow end of the No. 104 tip. Then, add a layer of lighter, lavender icing, and top it with white.
3. Pipe three buds of icing in a triangle pattern over the bed of ferns. These buds function as the “lifter” to hold up the orchid’s petals.
4. In the center of the bud triangle, begin the petals. Pipe over the bud, up to a point, then back to the center all in one slightly ruffling stroke. Pipe three elongated petals. Then, pipe two additional “lifter” buds.
5. On top of the two “lifter” buds, pipe the ruffled petals. Begin in the center, pipe upwards with a heavy ruffling motion, curve over and work your way back to the center.
6. Fold a lightweight piece of cardboard in half, and cut it into a tongue shape. Cut the end of a 2 1/2 in. plastic straw at an angle.
7. Dip the tongue in icing and insert it into the straw, bending the top of the tongue back slightly. Ice the back of the cardboard because it will be visible.
8. Pipe the large, ruffled tube petal. This petal may be piped as an open or closed petal. Start at the base, and work your way up, over and back down.
9. Clip the edges of the petal with very sharp scissors. Then, use the scissors to carefully insert the straw into the cake at the center of flower. Grasp the straw firmly with the scissors, but be careful not to cut through the plastic.
10. Insert a cut paper tube into the tube petal, and pipe a small yellow tongue. With a fine brush, paint strips and dots of dark gel color inside the tube petal. You also may want to paint a few veins in the two ruffled petals. Or, delicately airbrush a little color in the petals.
11. Use a cut paper tube to pipe your greeting in purple icing using ruffled, delicate writing.
12. Use the same tube of icing used to pipe the orchid to pipe the borders and side decorations. For the top border, roll the tip a bit to start the motion and continue into an ‘s’ curve. Finish the stroke down the edge of the cake. Begin the next stroke about in the middle of the previous one.
13. Along the bottom, use a back and forth motion to create the ruffled bottom border. Then, pipe scallops on the side. Use a cut paper tube to create an inner top border that follows the outer one.