Driftwood Wedding Cake

Natalie Porter adds fabulous driftwood style to clean lines for a fresh take on an old favourite theme for summer.

Image credit: Nautical wedding cake

Natalie Porter adds fabulous driftwood style to clean lines for a fresh take on an old favourite theme for summer.

You will need:



  • 25, 20, 15, 10cm (10, 8, 6, 4in) cakes
  • 1250g sugarpaste darkest teal icing for 25cm (10in) cake
  • 900g sugarpaste mid-blue for 20cm (8in) cake
  • 850g sugarpaste lightest blue for 15cm and 10cm (6 and 4in) cakes
  • 450g modelling paste or 50/50 mix flower paste and sugarpaste
  • 350g flower paste
  • 500g dark grey sugarpaste
  • petal dusts in white/grey/black and blues, navy and greens
  • white pearl lustre petal dust and a little vodka
  • royal icing with no.1 piping tip
  • rolling pin
  • ball tool
  • Dresden tool
  • ribbed Cel stick
  • calyx and mini-star cutters
  • sponge drying pad
  • petal dusts in white/grey/black and blues, navy and greens
  • white pearl lustre petal dust and a little vodka
  • royal icing with no.1 piping tip


Ice the cakes with the sugarpaste and stack them. The top two tiers need to be very pale blue/teal/grey. I made all the colours used with Sugar flair navy, teal and a hint of black. Ice the board with leftover paste, coloured darker than the base tier.


To make the ruffles: Use the modelling or 50/50 mix to make five shades of teal, approximately 90g of each. The darkest shade should match the board.


Work from the top down. Roll out the palest paste and cut wave shapes, approximately 4cm (1.5in) tall. Use a plastic document wallet to keep them from drying out.


Use the ball tool to soften the top edge of the waves, then roll over it with the ribbed Cel stick. Use the ball tool again to re-soften the edge and give shape.


Stick the waves to the cake using water. Overlap the ends of each piece and give some thought to where overlaps will happen in terms of the overall design.


Complete in rows going down the cake, using a darker colour for each new row.


When doing the bottom row, be sure to line the bottom of the waves up with the board so there is no gap.


For the wood: Colour 200g of flower paste a very pale blue/grey. Roll it as thin as you possibly can in panels the same height as your cakes. Put to one side and leave to dry for ten to fifteen minutes.


Roll out some of the dark grey sugarpaste, again in panels around the same size as the height of your cakes. Roll it thicker than normal and use water to stick a panel of flower paste to it. 


Take you rolling pin and with some force roll over the top of the flower paste. As the bottom layer is stretched, the partially dry flower paste on top will be forced to crack and split. If needs be you can help it along with some gentle pulling by hand.


Cut the rolled out wood pieces into planks. Use the Dresden tool to mark a rough woodgrain pattern on the plank. Vary the pressure so that sometimes you leave only an impression and other times split the flower paste.


Use a knife to flick up some of the edges of the flower paste, like peeling paint.


Cut a rough and uneven top edge for the planks. Use the Dresden or ball tool to crush the edge so it looks rough and weathered.


Use a little grey/black petal dust with a large brush to accentuate some of the grain patterning and start building depth.


Use pale grey or white and apply opposite to the direction of the grain. This will catch all the vertical cracks and add to the look of depth and texture. Also add a very light coating of pearl lustre if you wish to add further depth.


Use water to stick the panels all the way around the second tier. Vary the height a little to give a natural look. Use panels of varying heights to form the shapes on the third and fourth tiers.


To finish the ruffles: Colour the remainder of the modelling paste or 50/50 mix to be paler than the first row of ruffles. Make and attach a final row to the bottom of the second tier, on top of the wood panels.


For the grass: Colour 100g of the flower paste a dark teal colour. Roll it out and cut grass shapes.


Use blue and green dusts to give colour variation. Do this before it dries completely. You can use a ruler to hold a number of pieces in place while you dust them, then cut off the bottoms which aren't dusted.


Use a little water to stick them onto the third tier, on top of the wood panels.


Add them to build up layers and depth, think 3D.


For the flowers: Colour the reminder of the flower paste pale blue. Use the calyx and star cutters to cut a range of sizes.


Use the ball tool to soften the shapes and make them curl inwards.


Transfer the flowers onto the sponge and press the centre with the small end of the ball tool, so they dry almost closed.


Dust the centre of the flowers with a little blue dust.


Use a small blob of sugarpaste to form clusters of flowers and attach them with royal icing.


Form a cluster of flowers on the top tier, again using sugarpaste and royal icing to attach them. Also attach a couple of small grass pieces. Pipe tiny dots in the centre of each flower.


To finish: Put a teaspoon or two of caster sugar in a small pot, along with a little black petal dust. Shake it vigorously to produce grey sugar.


Scatter this around and within the flowers on the third and top tier. Use a little royal icing within the flowers on the top tier so that the sugar will stick.


Mix a little pearl lustre with vodka to form a paint. Apply a little of this to the top edge of each ruffle.


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