Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Fall Leaves Cake with Buttercream 'Bark'

For this rustic wedding cake, a butterscotch buttercream icing was the highlight, which gave the cake a rougher bark-like appearance, and a delicious flavour. It rested on a cake plate and on a cut of a tree as the cake stand. The 250 cupcakes that matched the cake were also displayed on several different sizes of tree cuts that surrounded the cake.

To get the rustic appearance, I doubled the amount of icing sugar in my white buttercream icing recipe to cause it to come out of the decorator bag a little thicker and drier. And instead of vanilla, I added a little butterscotch sauce to it to add a sweet and delicious flavour. To get the rough texture, I used a fairly common decorator tip, Wilton #199 Open Star, but a Basket Weave tip may also accomplish the same effect.

What's inside?  The bottom tier highlighted a Butterscotch Buttercream icing, layered with milk chocolate chunks and moist chocolate cake. The top tier had Peanut Butter Buttercream and milk chocolate chunks.

The cupcakes came in three flavours: Butterscotch Buttercream, Peanut Butter Buttercream with Milk Chocolate Ganache, and Chocolate Buttercream.

Learnings and Tips:  I used fondant to make the leaves because I required 250 of them for the cupcakes and for the overall price of the cake display, expensive gumpaste (which dries hard) was not feasible.  Fondant leaves normally hold up very well, but in the unusually hot and humid early Fall weather, the fondant wilted significantly.

It would have been fine if the wedding location had been air-conditioned, but alas, it was not.  In future, I will recommend that leaves be made of gumpaste for cupcakes at a higher price, or smaller, mini leaves be used on the cupcakes if the weather may be humid.

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