Happy December! I’m excited to share with you the first of what I hope is 2 or 3 holiday-themed cakes. But first, what do you think of my new header? Less Barbie, I hope. Then again, if you’re as perceptive as me then you probably already forgot what the last header looked like. The next cake I post will most likely be a birthday cake rather than Christmas one, but we’ll have to see. In the meantime, check this out!
I call this one my Candy Cane Love cake. Because of the hearts. And because my ability to come up with names is about as good as my ability to fix the white balance in my pictures. 😛
This cake consists of two 6-inch layers iced in American buttercream, candy cane hearts and lollies, a sparkly candy cane border, and lots of Christmas-red drip! Keep reading to learn how to make it.
The first step is to ice the cake in your white buttercream of choice. Click here for a list of my must-have cake decorating tools. I skipped the crumb coat this time and just laid it on thick.
Then I used my bench scraper to go around the edges and get it nice and smooth. Remember to heat the bench scraper under some running hot water if you want to smooth away any tiny imperfections.
Once you’re happy with the sides you can go ahead do you best to smooth out the top. I bring in my spatula like it’s an airplane and just swipe that lip of frosting toward the center of the cake.
Now you’ll need to prepare the white chocolate ganache, which is a 3:1 white chocolate to cream ratio. Here I used about 90 grams of chocolate to 30 grams of cream. Stir the two together then pop it in the microwave in 30 second increments until it is melted.
Wilton actually makes Christmas Red gel food color. It’s a super bright and cheery red, just perfect for the candy cane color (and practically nothing else :P)
Add it a bit at a time to your ganache until you get the desired shade you want. Remember to stir in a teaspoon of vegetable oil into the ganache first so that the chocolate won’t seize.
After letting it thicken back up for about 10-15 minutes, transfer it to a sandwich bag, snip the corner, and drip it around the edge of the cake. In this instance I was actually trying to make my drips reach the bottom of the cake, but for regular drip cakes you’ll need to maintain some control over the amount of pressure you apply to the bag.
The next step is to crush up some candy canes to place around the bottom and top of the cake. Optional: I added a bit of sparkle dust to make the candy pieces really shimmer.
Now use the palm of your hand to smoosh those pieces against the bottom of the cake. The pieces that don’t stick can easily be swept away.
And because I like doing things backwards as much as I love leaving drawers and cabinets open, I added the rest of the ganache to the top of the cake. You’ll ideally want to do this immediately after adding the drips, or else you’ll see a seam between the top of the cake and the drips.
Now for the decorations on top! All you have to do is place a couple candy canes on a baking sheet with some parchment paper and bake them in a 250 degree oven for about 5-6 minutes. They will puff up slightly.
Pinch the ends of the candy canes together so they stick, then add a toothpick that you can later stick into the cake. Allow the candy canes to cool completely again before handling them any further.
For the lollies you do the same thing, except after sticking in the toothpicks you give them a little smoosh with a glass on some parchment paper.
They sort of look like poker chips now. But it’s okay. It will all come together.
The next step is to place your hearts in the cake (I placed mine a little of center and then decided I hated the look and fixed it).
And now stick in the lollies and add some more of that crushed candy cane.
And finally, place a few more normal candy cane pieces.
If you want to, you can go ahead and pipe a little design on the side with a star tip and your leftover buttercream. I thought it was a great idea at first but later regretted it because it started to remind me too much of popcorn kernels on a big popcorn bucket.
Top view since I’m always top-viewing.
Anddddd one more straight on shot so you can see it in all its glory.
And there you have it! If you like this cake tutorial be sure to check out my others. And if you want to be notified each time I post a new tutorial you can either subscribe to this blog or follow me on any of my many social media accounts. Remember to tag me give any of my recipes or tutorials a try!
Until next time <3