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sugar flowers

5th August 2016 // 0 Comments

Pearl Studded Peony and Rose Wedding Cake!

Floral and pearl wedding cake by Juniper Cakery

Here’s a gorgeous wedding cake we created for the lovely Jen and Harry’s big day at Wrea Head Hall just outside of Scarborough! We pretty much have been counting down the days until we got to make this beauty that was inspired by this floral crown cake we made. It had so many things we absolutely love… lots of sugar flowers, subtle texture (those hand-piped pearls) and one amazing colour palette too (soft dusky pastels with shimmering silver and clean white)! Plus it really reminds us of the beautiful floral embellishments that run through the current Ralph & Russo collection.

Peony and rose wedding cake by Juniper Cakery

Pearl Studded Peony and Rose Wedding Cake!

The base of the cake was surrounded with a crown of sugar flowers (all of which we create ourselves) including our signature open peonies, silver brunia berries, rounded eucalyptus leaves, large bloom white roses, cupped ranunculus flowers and silver dusted fern leaves! Adding florals around the base of a cake helps give an illusion of weightlessness which we love as cake (especially wedding tiers) is always heavy. Our studio space sure looked like a florist had gone crazy once every flower was done and ready to put in place.

For the inquisitive readers out there here’s a quick guide to how we ‘built’ the cake / floral crown. Building the floral ‘separator’ involved stacking the tiers on top of a sturdy polystyrene cake dummy that sits at around 2 inches high and up to 2 inches smaller in circumference than the bottom tier of cake. Once everything is secured in place with dowel rods etc it’s time for the magic to begin! For this design the larger flowers were nestled in at intervals in a repeat ‘pattern’ before lots of the lovely fillers (berries, buds, leaves, smaller blooms) are then added. It’s illegal and just plain unsafe to insert florist wires and florist tape into a cake (due to possible nickel content of the wire and also the latex in floristry tape that some people can find themselves allergic to) so everything needs to be pushed carefully into the cake dummy / separator using decorator’s pliers.

Sugar peony flowers by Juniper Cakery

Sugar peony and rose wedding cake design by Juniper Cakery

The pretty florals and foliage on this cake also isn’t just there to look nice! The large bloom white roses represent the bride’s Yorkshire roots whilst the delicate silver dusted fern leaves peeking from underneath (and behind) the florals is the national symbol of New Zealand where the groom hails from. We love when cakes involve personal touches such as these as every wedding cake should be utterly unique for and to every couple! Plus, being nerds, we always love to try out new floral arrangements and ideas.

We also started counting every single bud, berry, pistil, leaf and petal (both wired and non-wired) out of curiosity (and did we mention that we’re nerds right?). We, unfortunately, lost count at around the 550 mark, but we estimate the final count to be at around the 620 mark. There were lots of wired elements in the floral work of this cake too which is great when it comes to re-arranging elements. Sometimes you need certain petals to fan outwards or even cup the stamens or pistils more. Also, when it comes to wiring flowers you always end up with a sort of ‘fluffiness’ to the look of them.

Peony and rose wedding cake with pearls by Juniper Cakery

Underneath those crisp white fondant iced tiers are… a Madagascan Vanilla flavour filled with our whipped and super silky Madagascan vanilla bean infused buttercream, Sicilian Lemon with our lemon curd and Sicilian lemon oil flavoured buttercream, and our ever popular Raspberry Chambord flavour with fruity Chambord liqueur infused preserve and pink raspberry buttercream!

Pretty peony and rose wedding cake by Juniper Cakery

Gorgeous pink peony and rose wedding cake by Juniper Cakery

The entire cake was then finished with lots and lots of hand-piped royal icing pearls that then scattered more sparsely towards the bottom of the cake. Once these were dry they were then painted individually with pearlescent edible paint that we mix up to add a little shimmer. We’re huge fans of texture being added to designs from piped pearls to fondant frills so this was a great way to make the white tiers stand out a little more.

We know we say this about every cake we finish, but this one was particularly hard to see go. Once we’d finished the entire design we admit that we had to keep peeking in at it sat there in it’s box ready to leave us. It was just too pretty! Off it went to the beautiful Wrea Head Hall for one rather glamorous wedding! Congratulations Jen and Harry!

14th March 2016 // 0 Comments

Our Golden Magnolia Cupcake Tutorial via Craftsy.com!

Magnolia flower cupcake tutorial by Juniper Cakery

If glam and gorgeous is your thing then maybe this striking little cupcake will do it for you? We created this little beauty as part of an easy to follow magnolia cupcake tutorial for the wonderful Craftsy.com blog recently. It looks super fancy and probably a little scary, but we’ve simplified all elements of this cupcake design down to one less-than-scary-yet-challenging-in-a-good-way guide! You can head on over to Craftsy to read our tutorial here.

Magnolia cupcake tutorial by Juniper Cakery

Golden magnolia cupcake tutorial!

A lot of people automatically use giant roses when it comes to cake and cupcake decorating, but there are so many amazing flowers out there that you can re-create in sugar form. Magnolias are definitely one of our firm favourites to create. They’re so elegant, unusual and quite glamorous too… we think so anyway. They’re also fairly large blooms which work wonderfully on cake designs. This time, however, we thought a single large (yet scaled down for obvious reasons) magnolia flower perched onto a cupcake would look incredible.

For a touch of extra luxury we hand painted the magnolia centre with 24k gold as well as added some stylised fondant leaves tucked underneath. Design-wise we thought it would be best to stop and keep the whole cupcake simple. Just a 2 colour palette, a single well made sugar flower, a plain white fondant surface on top of the cupcake and a little moulding work. Less is more as they say.

Golden magnolia cupcake tutorial by Juniper Cakery

Gold magnolia cupcake by Juniper Cakery

11th March 2016 // 0 Comments

Floral Damask Cake!

Damask tulip and peony cake by Juniper Cakery

We’re often incredibly busy. So busy, in fact, that sometimes we can’t keep up with the amount of photographs we have to edit or tiers we have to write about on a weekly basis. There are some cakes that seem like they don’t make the blog, but it’s not because we don’t like them… oh no definitely not. We’re just so run off our feet finishing one order only to hit the ground running the next morning to start planning another. Every so often, however, it’s just not the right time for a cake to make its debut (seriously, some people will order a beach themed birthday cake in the middle of December) so we need to wait a little to reveal it. To go back to our first ‘excuse’ this oh so pretty sugar flower damask cake is one of the many cakes that we neglected to devote a blog post to. Tusk tusk.

Hand painted with a wonderfully shimmery pearlescent lustre this cake was then treat to a subtle royal icing damask print. We absolutely love this look. Simple yet elegant. Balance is always important in design and especially so when it comes to beautiful cakes. The main requests for this pretty single tier was for a damask pattern, bright sugar tulips and a bow. For a small cake that sounds like a little much, but to make everything work together we kept the actual cake minimal in colour as the damask print would obviously add a lot of texture. Plus, paired with florals and a bow it could have ended up being quite a cluttered design. Adding too many colours or even fondant mouldings would just over complicate things so white on white seemed the way to go.

Damask floral cake with bow by Juniper Cakery

Pretty tulip and peony flower damask cake!

Every single one of our sugar flowers are crafted by hand. For this petite cake we created a bouquet of bright golden yellow ruffle tulips, a vibrant pink peony, tiny white hydrangeas and a sprig of crisp white freesias! These sugar flowers were then placed into the centre of the cake before more blooms were added around the back and arranged.

A simple silk bow was adding to the base in a more unusual grey/taupe colour. We love to try out more quirky colour combinations where we can so que us both with handfuls of ribbon in various colours. The soft, almost lavender, grey of the ribbon keeps the cake itself fairly neutral so that the real focus can stay on those bright sugar flowers!

Floral damask cake by Juniper Cakery

10th March 2015 // 11 Comments

Peony Ruffle Wedding Cake with Gold Sequins!

We get excited about all of the cakes we get asked to create, but every so often there’s a cake that comes along that we just can’t get enough off. This wonderfully decadent peony ruffle wedding cake is one of those cakes. It incorporates nature (and lots of lovely green sugar leaves), glistening gold painted edible sequins, textured ruffles and a bit of a carefree feel too!

Gold sequin and pink ruffle peony wedding cake by Juniper Cakery

For this cake the couple weren’t too sure of what they wanted. They knew they’d like a bright and glamorous look with gold sequins to match their venue’s golden table runners and had spotted the trend of gold painted sequin cakes bursting out of the pages of Pinterest. In terms of wedding theme they had opted for a minimal white and gold look with pale floral centerpieces filled with water and gold confetti to tie everything together.

At the consultation we took note of their colour palette and made a few quick sketches and suggestions before a few final details were settled upon fairly quickly. They decided upon a four tiered circle cake with gold sequins and a pale blush pink and white sugar floral bouquet on top. With these ideas in mind we sketched more ideas afterwards and sent them to the couple who quickly picked out the peony ruffled cake with toppled gold sequins and simple yet large open peony arrangement!

Pretty peony wedding cake by Juniper Cakery

To make the wired open peonies we began with gum paste pistils with a full arrangement of dusted medium sized stamens before creating a total of 60 ruffled sugar petals (20 petals per flower) that would surround the centres. For peony leaves we like to create several long slender pieces that get grouped into threes and taped together before they then are attached to the base of the flower so that the natural greens poke out from underneath each bloom.

Peony Ruffle Wedding Cake florals by Juniper Cakery

Our design for the floral cake topper focused on a lovely crescent formation. It helps that there is two of us as this part involves a lot of holding bundles of sugar flowers in position and standing back a good few metres to judge if it’ll work or not. One of our favourite things to do when arranging sugar flowers on a cake is to extend the bouquet out a little further using leaves, blossoms or berries. This helps create a sense of drama and also makes the end design look a little gravity defying!

Luxurious pink and gold peony wedding cake by Juniper Cakery

Simple white frosted berries with moss green and terracotta dusted sugar blackberry leaves were added to incorporate a little interest as well as to extend the arrangement and fill in some gaps.

Creating and utilising gum paste or modelling paste berries is one of our most favourite design elements to include on our cakes. We absolutely love nature; so much so that we named our bakery after our favourite berry. Krystle, in fact, was considering studying Forestry at university before heading off into the wilderness of Canada to live in a log cabin surrounded by herbs, mushrooms and moose.

Gilded sequin wedding cake with sugar peonies by Juniper Cakery

Lovely sweet peony wedding cake by Juniper Cakery

To balance out the bottom half of the cake with the voluminous florals we created a wonderfully carefree toppled gold sequin effect that revealed a traditional white wedding cake tier before the tier below bursts into pretty blush pink fondant ruffles! Adding edible frills to a cake not only incorporates wonderful texture, but helps make the design look fuller and grander. It’s perfect for small and large cakes too.

Pretty peony wedding cake by Juniper Cakery

What a delight this wedding cake was for us to design and create! We do admit that we wish it was still in our studio so we could still admire it.  

3rd June 2013 // 1 Comments

Cherry Blossom Entwined Birdcage Cake with The Happy Egg Co.

It’s time for our fifth cake, recipe & cake decorating tutorial in partnership with The Happy Egg Co.! This month we took inspiration from the soft and beautiful cherry blossoms that flourished not too long ago. Unfortunately, those flowers never last for long but at least you can enjoy edible blossoms in cake form! As well as picking out cherry blossoms for the design we also looked at fun and summery cherry laced flavours! We soon scaled our recipe ideas down to a simple cherry cola and pistachio cake. Why not have a look at our design and development blog post to see our ideas and research.

Cherry Blossom Birdcage Cake

As well as this month’s flavour we thought we’d show you how to create an elegant and simple birdcage cake. These are definitely on trend at the moment due to the summer months, but also with wedding season upon us they’re popping up everywhere! The romantic colour scheme is perfect for afternoon teas, spring and summer birthdays, engagement parties and weddings.

Cherry Blossom Birdcage Cake

We added further detail by creating a quilted cake board studded with edible sugar pearls that also found themselves nestled into the cage-work of the cake.

Cherry Blossom Birdcage Cake

Cherry Blossom Birdcage Cake

Cake recipe

To create this cake (including the dome layer and 4 circle layers) you will need the following…

7-8 free range eggs by The Happy Egg Co. depending on egg size
453g self raising flour
453g caster sugar
453g butter
6 inch circle cake pan
6 inch ball pan

Cream your butter in a mixer then add the caster sugar. Add in the flour along with half of the happy eggs for around one minute. Once half of the happy eggs are combined add the remaining and mix for about 5 minutes.

Pour into a greased circle cake pan until 2/3 full and place on the top shelf of a pre-heated oven at Gas Mark 3/325F/170C. Bake for around 30 minutes. Repeat this step four times for each circle layer.

For the dome layer pour the remaining batter into one half of your ball pan and bake for 35-45 minutes in an over pre-heated to Gas Mark 3/325F/170C.

Cherry, cola & pistachio buttercream recipe

For the buttercream you will need…

500g butter (don’t use margarine as the water content is higher and not suitable for buttercream)
500g – 600g icing sugar (choose your own consistency and taste)
Cherry essence
Cola flavouring
Pistachio essence
Pink gel paste food colouring
Brown gel paste food colouring
Green gel paste food colouring

Add half of the of butter diced into pieces. Cream the butter in a mixer. Then gradually add icing sugar and the remaining butter (cut into cubes). Once the buttercream is of a smooth consistency separate into three and flavour / colour to taste.

How to assemble your cakes into a birdcage shape!

Cherry Blossom Birdcage Cake

To create a birdcage shape you need to put together a bullet shaped cake using from four to six layers of circle cake (around 3-4cm in height). You then simply create the dome section by using a ball cake pan. For a cake like this which consists of a fair few layers of cake we’d recommend the use of a a good plastic dowling / dowel rod through the centre for stability.

How to make fondant cherry blossoms!

Now let’s show you how to make your own edible cherry blossom flowers from a ball of modelling paste. This is a fun way to create these blossoms without specific petal cutters and it means that you can make them any size you like; from tiny blossoms to extra large flowers!

How to make fondant cherry blossoms

You will need…

Coloured flower / modelling paste
Lustre Dust
Scissors
Cone modelling tool
Tapered star modelling tool (with five points)
Paintbrush
Non-edible flower stamens

Cherry Blossom Birdcage Cake

Step one: Form your modelling paste into a cone shape with a ball shape at one end.

Step two: Using the tapered star tool press a star into the rounded end of your modelling paste cone. This marks where your petals need to be shaped from.

Cherry Blossom Birdcage Cake

Step three: Using some scissors cut into your paste using the points of the ‘star’ as markers.

Step four: Flatten and press the petals out using your fingers. Now you should begin to see your blossom form!

How to make fondant cherry blossoms

Step five: Using the cone tool press lightly into the petals to ruffle them.

Step six: Now pinch the ends of your blossom’s petals to add shape.

How to make fondant cherry blossoms

Step seven: Cut some stamens to around 1.5cm in length and push them into the centre of your flower.

Step eight: Now add some shimmer and extra colour to your blossom by dusting on some lustre dust with your paintbrush.

Now you should have a gorgeous cherry blossom perfect for sitting on top of your own homemade birdcage cake! Try creating them in white, ivory or different tones of pink to suit your colour scheme. To secure them in place upon your finished birdcage melt down some white chocolate and hold for a few seconds. Chocolate dries quickly and is a great way for holding heavier objects in place on a cake.

Cherry Blossom Birdcage Cake

We hope you’ve enjoyed this recipe and tutorial on how to create an elegant birdcage cake combined with some fun summer inspired flavours.

 

 


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