I was lucky enough to be asked to make the cake to celebrate the 90th birthday of my friend’s grandmother. When the G-Star was asked what cake she would like for her birthday, the answer was for the same as the wedding cake. The decoration had to be different so instead of piping roses on the outside as I did for the wedding cake, I used two techniques I had been wanting to use on this scale for a while – ombre and the petal technique. The result is this Peach Ombre Petal Cake… red velvet of course.
The inside was the same as the wedding cake, being a red velvet cake layered with a raspberry version of the creamy vanilla frosting. I also actually used more raspberries in the filling than usual which was a good move as M said that it cut through the sweetness which meant you could eat more cake!
Obviously I used swiss meringue buttercream for the outside and I tinted it using Americolor Peach gel food colouring. Using this cake as inspiration, I was also aiming for seven petals up the side. I made one and a half batches of SMB which ended up being waaaaaaay too much, and I could have gotten away with just one batch as the leftovers are in my freezer awaiting another use. As I was aiming for seven petals with four different colours, and I am pedantic, I weighed the SMB and divided it by seven. Then I multipled by the number of petals I wanted for each colour (being, from darkest to lightest, 2 – 3 – 1 – 1) and split the SMB accordingly.
Then I tinted the SMB with the peach food colouring until I was happy with each shade. To test out the combination, I placed a small amount of each shade on a plate in the order and ratio they would appear on the cake to ensure I was happy with them.
The SMB was then loaded into the piping bags fitted with a #12 tip.
Once again, my obsessive nature came out to figure out a way to make sure that all of the petals would be even. So I channelled MacGyver and using a ruler, toothpicks and some sticky tape I measure the height of the cake and then placed tooth picks at even intervals so I would have seven stripes.
I then held the contraption against the crumb coat of the cake and turned it whilst gently pressing it in to draw the lines. The same was done for the top and this helped ensure that when the petals were made, they would curve around the top of the cake correctly.
Now onto how to actually make the petals. It is really simple, but very time consuming (it took me over four hours to pipe this 12″ x 4″ cake but that was with a start over and dealing with the SMB that had started to split – which you can read about how to fix in my SMB post).
Starting with the side, pipe a vertical series of dots up the side of the cake and then take a small offset spatula and gently press it a little way into the dot to give a crisp petal edge. Then drag the spatula to create the petal. You will then pipe your next series of dots so they overlap with the previous, and then continue this around the cake.
If you are using multiple colours for your petals, it is important to clean your spatula between each one otherwise you could end up with the darker colour on the light icing or vice versa and it won’t look as good.
For the top I started doing this in wedge shaped sections, but in the end I found it easier to do each coloured ring. Drawing the lines on top of the cake helped dramatically as it helped me curve the petals around the cake rather than dragging them straight.
You will also start on the outside with the same colour that was at the top of your side so they join (otherwise it might look a little funny with the darker colour).
Once you have piped all the way around the sides, and all over the top, to finish you just pipe the dots as normal, but do not drag them. Try to smooth them a little bit if necessary, but this will be the back of the cake so it will be hidden. If you can make them into petals without damaging the first one, by all means do so.
Another tip from the super coach, when you are starting the top, make sure you start it from the same place as you did the side so that all of your finishing dots/petals line up together. It wasn’t until I piped a bunch of petals already that I realised this.
When I dropped the cake off, a little bit of bling was added which looked fantastic.