Have a go at this stunning vintage inspired wedding cake By Lisa Elliott of Lisa Jayne Cakes! For more information about Lisa and her cakes, visit her Facebook page here!
Lisa is based in the North West of the UK where she lives with her husband and two young sons. She started baking three and a half years ago so that she could make her eldest son’s christening cake She found she had a knack for baking and decorating, and it soon became a passion that has taken over all of her spare time. She particularly enjoys children’s cakes; having a large circle of friends with children the same age as her own, she is always kept busy! She is inspired by almost everything she comes across, seeing how it could be achieved in cake, from artwork to fashion, to children’s TV. Everything she sees starts her thinking about a new cake design. Lisa learnt how to make a topsy-turvy whimsical cake at a cake class with Marina Sousa at Cake Camp UK. This is her take on the technique.
- 10”, 7” and 4” round cakes
- 10”, 7” and 4” 2mm round thin cake cards
- Food safe skewers
- 14” round cake drum
- 2kg cream or white sugarpaste
- 1kg flower paste
- Sugarflair gel colours: Dusky Pink, Baby Pink, Rose)
- CMC or Tylose
- Light gold lustre dust
- 4mm pearl dragees
- Cameo mould (Alphabet Moulds)
- Button mould
- Classic Pearl Border Mould (Marvellous Molds)
- Rose mould (Karen Davies)
- Circle and scalloped circle cutters, various sizes
- 5 petal rose cutter, various sizes
- Ribbon cutter
- Bulb cone tool
- Sharp knife/scalpel
- Craft mat
- Rolling pin
- Edible glue
- Royal icing (I used Renshaw ready made)
- Ribbon for the board
- 3” polystyrene separator tube
- Double sided tape
Difficulty Rating: 1 out of 4
Place your cakes on the 2mm cake cards, use some ganache or buttercream to secure to the board. Cover your cakes with ivory sugarpaste and set aside. Cover your board with ivory sugarpaste. Finish it with a ribbon, I have used dusky pink here and have secured with double sided tape.
Prepare your flower paste: I have used a mix of 50/50 sugarpaste and flower paste mix, both white, make sure to mix them well. If you do not have flower paste, you can use sugarpaste and add Tylose or CMC. TIP: add a level teaspoon per 250g of sugarpaste, make sure it’s thoroughly kneaded in.
For this cake, I have chosen a theme of pinks. Split the sugarpaste/flower paste mix into six equal portions. Colour one portion ivory to match the base cake covering. The remaining five, you want a dark dusky pink, a lighter dusky pink, one rose pink, one lighter rose pink and one baby pink. Colour them well and wrap tightly in cling film and then in a freezer bag.
To make the puffed roses, take one of your pinks and roll out to about 1-2mm thick. I used an embossing mat here but this is optional.
Using different rose cutters.
Cut one of each size in this colour.
Using a small circle cutter, cut the central piece out of the rose.
You will be left with individual petals.
Take each individual petal and fold the inside edge where you removed the circle. Fold like an S and squeeze together so you have a pleat.
Using edible glue, stick the five pleated petals together and put them in a flower former or egg carton to dry. You can tidy up the middle with dragees.
Repeat this process to make various sizes in different shades of pink. These will be used as filler flowers between the tiers so make five or six of each in different sizes and shades.
Using a ribbon cutter (or just cut with a knife if you don’t have a ribbon cutter), cut a ribbon about an inch in diameter.
Wet one length of the strip and fold the top down, smooth along the bottom where the water/glue is.
Be careful to not flatten the top, you want the top fold to have a puffy effect.
Fold over one end at right angles; this will form the middle bud.
Roll the ribbon around in a circle in your fingers, gently pinching the ribbon underneath. You can add more dimension to it by pleating/ruffling it as you go along to give a more ruffled look.
The end result will have waste underneath, just chop this off and leave the rose to dry on a former. Repeat this process using ivory and shades of pink. Use different width and length ribbons to create a variety of sizes.
For the rolled rose, roll out a long sausage of flower paste. Using your finger or a ball tool, indent finger prints along one edge, leaving the top edge thicker.
Using your finger or a ball tool, indent finger prints along one edge, leaving the top edge thicker. Fold one end over at a 45 degree angle again and use as your bud.
Ensuring that the thinner side is pointing upwards, roll this around the bud in your fingers. Don’t pleat/fold this one as you go along so that you get more of a uniform rolled look (rather than the puffy look like the previous rose).
For the next flower, you will need to cut a number of different sized scalloped circles using different shades of pinks and 4mm thick sugarpaste. Once you have cut them out, either keep in a sealed bag or under a layer of cling film so they don’t dry out.
Using your cone bulb tool, rest the bulb half over the edge of the circle and in the middle of one of the scalloped edges. Gently rock it back and forth using your two fore fingers.
Once you have a nice frill, move to the next scallop and work your way around the whole circle.
Repeat this process using different sized circle cutters and shades of pinks. Using edible glue, layer the smaller circles on top of the larger ones (up to three layers) to make these frilly flowers.
Using your cameo mould, make a number of different sized and coloured cameos, these will be the centres of your flowers. If you struggle to get your cameo out of the mould, put it in the freezer for a few minutes and it will just pop right out.
Place your cameo in the middle of the layered flower and glue with edible glue. To give it more shape, place in either a flower shaper or as I have done, using foil, you can create your own flower formers. I have given some of the flowers a more vintage look by adding dragees around the cameo, secured with edible glue. Make sure to leave to dry overnight (at least) or you risk losing some of your dragees!
For a slightly different effect, use the same method with the bulb cone tool, however, instead of using the scalloped circle cutter, use a plain circle cutter. You can either layer on different shades of pink or stick to the same pink but different sized circles.
To try and keep the variety, you can use dragees of different sizes in the centre of the flowers as well as cameos, or leave some of them plain.
For the pleated flowers, cut a circle from sugarpaste about 2mm thick.
Cut a circle out of the middle.
Starting from the top, fold the middle of the circle over into a pleat.
Move the circle round in your fingers and continue to pleat.
Continue until the whole circle is pleated.
Now place a cameo in the middle to cover the gap where the pleats meet. Again, repeat this process with different sized circles and shades of pink so that you have a good selection for your cascade.
At this point, using your button mould, make a number of different shaped and sized buttons and leave to one side to dry.
Do this with the rose mould too (I’ve used the two smaller of the roses on the mould). These will be used to define the cascade later.
For the ribbons, roll out your cream/ivory sugarpaste mix 2-3mm thick. Using your ribbon cutter (or knife), cut a number of different sizes and lengths of ribbon. Use half of the ribbons to fold over to make a loop. Leave to dry standing on their side to keep the shape. The remaining ribbons should be left to dry with slight folds/curves so that they look like they have movement i.e. blowing in the wind.
For the smaller twists, cut the ribbons to be about 1-2cm in width, then wrap them around a dowel or a thick straw. Leave to harden for about 10 minutes and then gently pull off the dowel/straw. Leave to dry overnight. Once you have made all of your flowers, ribbons and cameos, set to one side and work on the structure of the cake, starting with the separators.
Using your 3” polystryrene separator tube, you will make the supports for between the tiers to make the cake appear topsy-turvy without cutting the cake itself. If you wish for the cakes to be slanted at more of an angle, when you cut these separators, you need to have more of in incline i.e. keep one side taller.
The best way of judging this is to start off with a steeper slope (keep the tall end about 2” and the small end just under 1”), place this on your bottom tier and test how it looks by placing your middle tier on top - be careful when working this out with real cakes.
You can then cut the taller side lower down if you’d like less of an angle. I ended up with a tall end just over 1” and the short end about 1cm.
Once you are happy with the angle, put to one side whilst you cut the second separator.
Do the same again for the top tier separator, cut it to size, position on your cake to see how it sits and adjust the angle as needed. Make sure your separator is facing the opposite way to the bottom separator (otherwise both tiers will slant the same way).
Once you are happy with the angles of the separators and how you will place the tiers on the cake, you need to stack it and secure the tiers. As you can see, the cakes are placed so that the bottom tier has no slant, the middle tier slants to the right and the top tier to the left, this gives the topsy-turvy effect. TIP: Please note that I have used cake dummies so have not used dowels here. If you are using real cake, you must dowel. Just remember that you only have a small diameter separator between the cakes so the dowels will need to be close together and central.
Using royal icing, secure the separator to the bottom tier, then secure the middle tier to the separator using royal icing. Insert a food safe skewer through the middle of the top tier and using a heavy rolling pin (or anything heavy), gently bang it down to get it through the cake card and into the bottom tier. Keep it going until it reaches the cake drum. I have added a second skewer here, as this was a cake dummy and I haven’t used dowels, however, if you are using real cake with dowels, the one skewer should suffice.
Once you have reached the drum, using sharp wire cutters or craft cutters, chop the top of the skewers off to be flush with the cake.
Repeat the same process with the top tier, first securing the separator to the two tiers using royal icing. Use one skewer to go through the top tier and into the middle tier, you can gently stop hammering it in once it reaches the cake card on the middle tier.
Now you have a blank canvas for all of your flowers, that will now have dried and firmed up.
Using your white sugarpaste/flower paste mix, fill your bead mould. As with the cameo mould, if needed, place in the freezer for a few minutes to release it. Make sure to flatten your sugarpaste and cut off any excess before releasing.
Using your gold lustre, dust the beads lightly so that they have a slight antique gold shine but are still predominently white. Repeat the proess until you have enough beads to go around the base of the bottom tier.
Glue them on using water. TIP: For this design, I have chosen a cascade of vintage fabric effect flowers in pinks. You can use your imagination with this topsy-turvy design and come up with any number of ideas! It’s worth noting that too much on the cake will take away from the topsy-turvy effect.
To decorate, start by adding the ribbons and the twists to the gaps between the tiers to give the cake some added movement. Secure these with royal icing. Use the rolled roses to fill the gaps between the tiers. Position your flowers in a cascade down the cake however you feel comfortable with, but try to keep a defined cascade in mind when you are placing the flowers. I have kept the ribbons and twists the same colour as the base cake so as not to distract, and I have kept the flowers in various shades of pink. To ensure you have a smooth line on your cascade, try to fill the gaps with buttons and brooches.