With snowflakes just beginning to fall in much of the country, it is hard to turn our thoughts to spring. But amidst the busy winter holiday season, it can never hurt to get a jump on ideas for cake displays for the spring holidays. Mardi Gras, the unofficial start to the spring holidays, is just 10 days after Valentine's Day this year. This treasure chest cake is an ideal symbol of the excess of Fat Tuesday, the last day before the sacrifices of the Lenten season begin. At the end of the Lenten season is Easter, and this lily design can usher in the first gentle breezes of spring.
For the treasure chest, ice a rectangular cake (a pound cake is the perfect size) with gold icing. Coat the top with green for the velvet lining the interior of the chest.
To create the chest's lid, cut a piece of cardboard; fold it so it will hang over the top of the chest and fit under the cake a bit for support. Apply a thin coat of gold icing to the cardboard.
Gently slide the end of the cardboard under the cake. You may need to use a thin spatula to lift the cake. Apply icing to the side of the cardboard to adhere it to the cake and fold over the top.
Fit a bag with tip No. 14, and stripe it with yellow and gold icing. Pipe a border around the top and bottom of the chest.
Use the same tip to pipe a fleur de lis on the front of the chest, and add piped scrolls to each side of the fleur de lis.
Pipe similar details on the back of the chest to match the front, and decorate the top of the chest's lid with other piped details.
Add treasure to the chest in the form of Mardi Gras beads and chocolate coins. The chest can stand alone as a cake, or you can place it on top of a quarter sheet cake for more servings.
Airbrush the top of the cake and the bottom border purple. Use star tip No. 18 to pipe the purple top border and white bottom border and side swags. Overpipe the swags with purple using a cut paper tube. Pipe an appropriate message with a cut paper tube.
For the lily cake, base ice a 10-in. round cake with white, and airbrush blue around the bottom border. Place the image of the lily, available from suppliers, in the center of the cake.
Fit a bag with tip No. 18, and stripe it with blue and white icing. Pipe a bottom scallop border and a top swirled shell border. Pipe one shell to the right, followed by one to the left. Continue alternating around the cake.
Use a cut paper tube and green icing to pipe six narrow “v”-shaped stems to form the base of piped flowers around the side of the cake.
With flower tip 74 (star side down, leaf side up), pipe several white petals at the top of each stem, and add a yellow dot of icing in the center.
Use a “v”-cut paper tube to add leaves to the bottom of the flower stems. Use flower tip No. 74 to add the white ribbon scallops between each flower on the side of the cake.
Finish the design by piping an appropriate message with a cut paper tube. This message was first piped in white, and then overpiped with yellow.