Circus Inspired Multicolored Drip Cake

Happy Saturday everyone! Do you have any big weekend plans? It’s 60ยบ here so I’m naturally wearing 3 layers of clothing and still freezing. Don’t hate ๐Ÿ˜›

Do you ever have something you want to say, but no one to say it to? If you do, feel free to tell me what it is in the comments. I will be your ear! In exchange for that though, you need to read my random thought of the hour:

Kylie Jenner, man. Why couldn’t huge lips and bushy eyebrows be in style when I was in school? I would have been the most desired chick there, hands down. I feel so cheated.

Thank you for that. Now onto the cake!

circus cake left view brick

This cake reminds me quite a bit of a circus tent. The colored stripes, vertical lines, peaks of frosting at the top with little candy accents. It’s pretty cute, right? I’d say the trickiest part is the drip, but believe me: Once you crack that drip everybody gonna trip just like a circus. That’s a little Britney Spears humor for you right there, and yes I know I’m trying too hard.  

circus cake right up close l

This cake requires no special tools, but you will need some cream and white chocolate to make the ganache and some candy to decorate with. I used Mini Chewy Swee-Tarts for my inspiration, but any candy will do. 


Let’s get to it!

This tutorial begins with a 2-layer, 6-inch cake that I already crumb coated. I’ve been debating on whether or not I should make a separate entry on how to level, stack, and ice a cake. Would anyone find that helpful? There are a million tutorials online already, but perhaps it would be nice to have a tutorial to point to so that I don’t feel bad about skipping that part. Let me know in the comments if that’s something you’d be interested in!

Anyway, after the crumb-coated cake has had time to chill in the refrigerator for 10 minutes or so, it’s time for the final coat. My method is to slab on a really thick coat and then use my bench scraper to smooth it out and remove any excess.

circus cake crumb coat

The great part about doing it that way is that smoothing it creates a lip of frosting at the top of the cake.

circus cake final coat

Then you can use your spatula to gently pull that lip toward the center.

circus cake outer lip

And then you’re left with a relatively flat and even top edge! I know it looks a bit uneven in this picture, but I’m sure it has something to do with the camera angle. The real purpose of this picture is to show you how smooth the sides are. This was achieved by getting the cake as smooth as possible and then holding my (metal) bench scraper under hot water to heat it up and going around the cake a couple more times. It’s like Photoshop in your hands, man!

circus cake all smooth

I popped the cake back in the fridge and got started on the decorations. Although this candy comes in a rainbow of colors I decided to only use the green, orange, and purple pieces. As you can see, this is reflected in my Americolor gel coloring choices: violet, leaf green, and orange. I also added the rest of my buttercream to a piping bag fitted with the 1M tip.

circus cake sweet tarts

On to the ganache! White chocolate ganache follows a 3:1 ratio by weight, so I used 120 g of white chocolate and 40 g of heavy cream. Stir to coat the chocolate and then microwave it in 30 second increments, stirring between each time (I actually think it only took me one 30 second pop in the microwave).

circus cake ganache

Since I knew I’d be coloring the ganache I took the precautionary step of stirring in a few drops of vegetable oil. This helps to prevent the chocolate in the ganache from seizing, since my colors are all water-based and chocolate hates water. If you happen to have powdered food coloring then you can certainly skip this step.

circus cake add oil

Once that was achieved I divided the ganache between three tiny bowls.  My aim was to try and match the color of the candy the best I could. I found that it’s best to start out with a tiny amount of color and build up from there. Rather than squirt the color directly into the bowls, I added a tiny bit to the tip of a spoon and stirred it in. Since I was coloring three bowls, I used three different spoons.

dying circus ganache

Here are the three colors once that step was complete. My violet looks very blue in photographs for some reason, but it actually did match the purple candies quite well.

circus colored ganache

Now for the fun part: the drip! I used a spoon here, but if you wish to be more precise with you drips then you can certainly transfer the colors to piping bags (or even sandwich bags) and cut a tiny hole to drip with.  I usually do some test drips before applying the ganache to the cake, but I skipped it this time. To elaborate, the ganache will thicken over time, and that thickness will affect how fast and how far the ganache drips down the cake. For example, staggered (uneven) drips require that you have some control over the ganache, so you’ll want it to thicken up for 10-15 minutes before doing a test drip on a vertical surface to ensure it’s not too runny.

circus cake adding colored drips

Since my ganache was freshly made, I found a little bit went a long way. Despite my best efforts to create a staggering drip effect, most of them reached the bottom of the cake. I ain’t even mad though. This is pretty.

circus cake working way around

After I made my way all around the cake, I decided to pipe some icing mounds on the top. To ensure that my mounds were evenly spaced from each other I piped them north, south, east, and west, then piped four more mounds between them.

piping nsew

Like so.

finishing the piping

Then I dotted the top of each mound with a candy, alternating the colors.

adding tarts on top

And spooned some of the remaining ganache in the center.

adding ganache to middle

To fill with even more candy. Because why not.

adding tarts to middle

Lastly, I transferred the cake to my cake stand and added a candy border. 

adding tarts to base                

And there you have it! Hopefully these tips will help you to create your own colorful drip cake. I love how easy and customizable it is. The candy does all of the work, but the drip makes you look like you spent hours on it!

circus top view 1

If you’re not a fan of fondant but really love the look of vertical stripes, this is a pretty decent alternative. You know I love me some stripes.  Just check out my other cakes. ๐Ÿ˜›


If you have any special cake requests feel free to give me a shout out here in the comments or on any of my several social media accounts. ๐Ÿ™‚ Just make sure you tag me so I see it! 

Until next time <3

Circus Themed Multicolored Drip Cake Tutorial
Article Name
Circus Themed Multicolored Drip Cake Tutorial
A free cake decorating tutorial demonstrating how to achieve colorful drips.

4 thoughts on “Circus Inspired Multicolored Drip Cake

    1. Great! I am going to try to get it done asap! I will also try to do a better job of revealing what cake recipe I used. ๐Ÿ˜›

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