Coral Cake with Cascading Teal Flowers

It’s been a while since I’ve posted a cake tutorial! The reason is because my previous two cakes have been made out of fondant, and well, fondant and I don’t go together too well. Naw’m sayin’? I had one somewhat disastrous fondant cake and then one that actually came out pretty decent. I plan to post about them both, of course, but in the meantime I made this one and…

Me right now. I just find it so fricken pretty aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!

So yes, I chose to write about this one first. Sue me! 😉

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Another thing: This cake was pretty much a last minute request, so I was in a bit of a rush to complete it and may have skipped right over documenting how I made the bow. Luckily, I gave detailed instructions on how to make a bow in my previous wallpaper cake! So feel free to give that a looksy. The only difference is I added a bit of (optional) sparkle to the bow when finished:

 coral-cake-bow-view-1

These flowers were also a bit of a PITA to document. SUPER difficult. Next time I’m going to experiment with making video clips instead of trying to take pictures. Knowing me that should go swimmingly. 😉 

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The first step is stack your cakes on top of a cake board and apply your crumb coat. If you’re wondering how I achieved this light coral color, it is a 2:1 ratio of Americolor’s Deep Pink and Lemon Yellow. Feel free to adjust this ratio until you reach your perfect shade. Also important to note, you should probably reserve about a cup of white buttercream prior to coloring it this shade (you’ll need it for the sides/flowers). If I had a nickel for every time I forgot to reserve some buttercream….*shakes fist at sky.*

coral cake crumb coat

Once you make it all the way around the cake go ahead and spread some on the top too.

coral cake crumb coat top

Now using a bench scraper or something else with a straight edge, hold it completely level to your turntable and use your other hand to turn the table and scrape off all of the excess buttercream, including on the top. When finished, pop the cake in the refrigerator for about 10 minutes so that it can firm up. In the meantime, place a damp paper towel over your bowl of buttercream so it doesn’t develop a crust.

smooth out crumb coat

Have you noticed that my reflection isn’t in my mixing bowl in any of these pictures? Makes me wonder if I’m a vampire…

Moving on, once your cake is chilled it is time for the top coat! So you’re basically doing the same thing here—just adding buttercream all around the sides and top.

coral cake applying final coat

And once again, you can use a bench scraper to work your way around the cake. If you plan to add some white, like I do in the next step, then there is really no need to try to make it perfect at this point. 

smoothing out the final coat

Now you can glob on some white buttercream! I of course added globs all around the cake, but for some reason determined that you only deserve to see one spot. This is a free tutorial, okay? You get what you pay for.

coral cake adding white

After scraping the cake again you can use a smaller spatula to bring that ridge of frosting on the top toward the center. The tops of cakes are seriously the bane of my existence. I can never get them to look smooth no matter how much I play with them.This is probably why I like drip cakes so much 😛

smoothing out white

One thing that helps is to run your bench scraper under some really hot tap water, give it a shake, then slowly run it over your cake one more time. It smooths out those little ridges and bubbles and just makes it look so much more ethereal. Once you do this you can throw the cake back in the fridge again while you make your ganache!

coral cake smoothed

White chocolate ganache follows a 3:1 ratio by weight. To cover the top of a 6-inch cake you will need approximately 120 g of white chocolate and 40 g of heavy cream. Place both in a bowl and stir to coat the chocolate.

making ganache

Now microwave it in 30 second increments, stirring each time until the chocolate is melted. It should be pretty runny, though it will thicken upon standing. Sometimes I like to add a few drops of vegetable or coconut oil to add a little shine and/or thin it out a little if it seems too thick to drip.

smooth ganache

The drips should set pretty fast since your cake has been chilling in the fridge this whole time. You can see here that I added the ganache to a piping bag with a small round tip, but this is literally the first time I’ve ever done that. You can add drips just as easily with a spoon as long as you’re careful. Most of the time I will make my own piping bag out of parchment paper, so keep an eye out for that future New Baker Hack.

coral-cake-adding-drips

Once you make it all the way around the outside

Round the outside

Round the outside 

Then you can go ahead and fill in the middle! The beautiful thing about ganache is that it will mostly even itself out with little guiding by your spatula. But once again, remember to pop the cake back in the fridge when you finish.

coral cake top ganache

So now it’s time to take some more of that leftover buttercream and dye it teal. I used Americolor’s gel food color in—you guessed it—teal. But you can probably get by just mixing some green and blue together. Afterward, throw it all into a disposable piping bag with a 104 (rose) tip.

teal buttercream

You’ll need to cut out some tiny squares made from parchment or wax paper. Oh, and find a flower nail. I’ve mentioned this in a previous blog post, but if you don’t have one then one of those flat-faced meat thermometers works just as well. Secure one of those paper squares to the top using a bit of icing, then pipe your first petal. Hold the tip at a 45º angle and touch the fat part to the paper. Then you simply squeeze and twist. It is worth practicing a few times, for sure. Or, you know, I could just make a damn video.

teal petal

Once you get the hang of it do it three more times. It will sort of resemble a hydrangea. Do as many of these as you can muster and place each square of paper on a baking sheet.

four petal teal flower

Now for the little flowers. I’m still laughing about these. They are pretty bad. I’m pretty sure that the tip I was using, a 59s, only works for right-handed people. At least, that’s the conclusion I’ve come to. 😛 Looking back I wish I would have used a regular ole small round tip, but it’s okay. The great thing about ugly flowers is that they still look beautiful when you group them together. So go ahead and make a bunch of these, then if you have any white buttercream left over you can add it to your teal and make a bunch more lighter flowers too. When you’re all flowered out just pop the baking sheets in the freezer for a few minutes so that the flowers firm up and release easily from the paper.

mini teal flowers

And then it is time to start placing them! Choose the front of the cake wisely. I chose this view because I can see quite a bit of white and I loved how the drips were all varying heights. It’s also a good idea to visualize what you want the cake to look like before you start, because these bishes thaw fast and they just don’t have time for any of your “thinking.” The smaller flowers are the worst. Seriously, pack your hands in some dry ice before starting.

(Don’t do that.)

coral cake placing the flowers

At this point I remembered that I needed to transfer the cake to its final cake board, which I did. Then I placed all of my dark flowers and added edible gold beads in the center of each one. Then I went ahead and added the lighter flowers and did the same thing, trying to give the illusion that they are cascading down the side of the cake. Looking back I would have loved to add a few more flowers to fill in some of those spaces. 

coral cake lighter flowers

But there you have it! I’m really loving this color combination. Like, I want to drape my whole house in it. The teal really pops and looks so amazing against the coral/salmon.

coral cake side view

I think the offset bow was a good choice too. It adds some balance to everything happening on the right side of the cake, and it’s easier to make than it looks! Overall, I’d say she’s a keeper.

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Until next time <3

Summary

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