Tropical Summer Wedding Cake

The vibrant colours of the exotic dahlia has an island vibe, and the stand up ruffles add a fun element to this tropical cake.

Image credit: Modern Tropical Wedding Cake

The vibrant colours of the exotic dahlia has an island vibe, and the stand up ruffles add a fun element to this tropical cake. 

You will need:

Edibles:

Equipment:

  • 12.5 x 12.5cm (5 x 5in) round x tall cake, covered in pale yellow fondant
  • 15 x 15cm (6 x 6in) round x tall cake, covered in pale yellow fondant
  • 18 x 12.5cm (7 x 5in) round x tall cake, covered in lime green fondant
  • gum paste 6 oz: 1/2 oz pale yellow, 3 oz green and 1 oz white
  • green coloured 50/50 fondant/gum paste mix 4 lbs or 64 oz total: 13 oz deep green, 25 oz medium lime green and 25 oz light chartreuse
  • white 50/50 fondant/gum paste mix 3 oz
  • colouring gels: leaf green, black, sunshine or golden yellow, pink or rose
  • petal dusts: yellow, saffron, sunset orange, poppy red and deep green
  • vegetable shortening or Trex
  • cornstarch
  • tylose powder (optional)
  • edible glue
  • corn syrup
  • 1/4 tsp yellow nonpareils or round sprinkles
  • cutting mat
  • small rolling pin
  • small shallow dish
  • needle nose wire cutters
  • 20, 24 and 28 gauge floral wire
  • yellow hammerhead floral stamen
  • floral tape
  • thin foam pad
  • Wilton three petal floral cutter (or any tear drop cutter approximately 2.5cm wide and 3.8cm long)
  • Wilton fern fondant and gum paste mould
  • small leaf cutter
  • 3.8cm (1.5in) wide circle cutter
  • various craft knives
  • various size brushes
  • scissors
  • ruler
  • teaspoons
  • FMM petal veiner
  • ball tool
  • Dresden tool
  • fondant strip cutter
  • 2 x wooden dowels (1/4in thick)
  • straight edged metal scraper or other straight item
  • wax paper
  • paper towels
  • aluminum foil

1

To make the exotic Dahlia, click here for the full tutorial.

2

For the frangipani leaves, draw and cut out two sets of two sizes of long, thin leaves on card, as shown in the picture.

3

Colour 85g gum paste to a medium green using leaf green with a touch of yellow. Roll out the gum paste to 0.15cm thick then use the templates to help cut out the leaf shapes.

4

Use a Dresden tool to score a line down the centre of each leaf; add a small diagonal vein detailing down each side as shown.

5

Make a former. Fold the foil to create an ‘M’ or fan shape; place the leaves in the middle of the former so they will dry with a slight fold then set aside to dry overnight.

6

Once dry, use a flat soft brush and dust with deep green petal dust starting from the centre and moving outward for a natural look.

7

To make the small blossoms, click here for the full tutorial.

8
For the ruffles: Colour 1.3kg (3 lbs) of 50/50 fondant/gum paste and mix with gel colour to make three shades of green. You will need 708g (25oz) of chartreuse (mostly golden yellow gel with some leaf green, approximately 4 to 1), 708g (25oz) of medium lime green (equal parts golden yellow and leaf green) and 368g (13oz) of deep green (mostly leaf green with some golden yellow, approximately 4 to 1, with a touch of black).
9

Create ruffling texture on the top edge of the strip using the large end of the ball tool; you will want to drag your ball tool about 1.9cm out, starting 0.6cm under the top edge and rolling or thinning the fondant/gum paste upward, using long strokes.

10

Move across the strip and ruffle from one end to the other; once you’ve ruffled the entire length of the strip, use a wheel cutter to cut just under the ruffled portion where the paste is still thick. This will create a strip that is approximately 2.5cm wide with thin ruffling on the top and a bottom that is still 0.6cm thick.

11

The bottom of the ruffled strip is thick which will allow it to stand upright or straight up from the cake.

12

Cut each strip to 19cm to 20cm in length so they can be applied diagonally to the bottom tier as in this design.

13

Apply water or edible glue to the front and back of each strip, along the bottom edge. Stand up and adhere five strips of the same colour together, starting with chartreuse. Use a ruler to line up the bunch; trim off bottom of strips at an angle as they would line up on the cake and let set for five minutes to make sure they hold together when you move them to the cake.

14

Apply some water or edible glue to the surface of the 17.7cm (7in) tier, in a diagonal wide strip.

15

Turn over the bunched group of strips, brush the bottom with water or edible glue and attach to cake where you applied the diagonal strip of water and hold in place until set. Be sure to press the bottom of the ruffle bunch so it is flat against the cake; use a knife blade or ruler to hold under the ruffles while they set to ensure they stay straight and don’t droop.

16

Next, make five ruffle strips from the medium lime green fondant/ gum paste mix and attach with water or edible glue, one at a time to the cake. Start by brushing the surface where the strip will go, as well as the bottom and back side of the strip with water/edible glue.

17

Add each new strip on top of the ruffled strips that have already been attached the cake so they can support the weight of the new ones. Trim the strips at the top edge with scissors or a craft knife.

18

Turn over the bunched group of strips, brush the bottom with water or edible glue and attach to cake where you applied the diagonal strip of water and hold in place until set. Be sure to press the bottom of the ruffle bunch so it is flat against the cake; use a knife blade or ruler to hold under the ruffles while they set to ensure they stay straight and don’t droop.

19

Continue adding ruffled strips in a coloured pattern until the entire tier is covered with diagonal Standing Ruffles. Use five chartreuse, five medium lime then two deep green ruffles and repeat, for my pattern but you can use any kind of pattern you want.

20

Roll chartreuse fondant/gum paste mix to 0.07cm thick. Cut a strip that is 2.5cm wide, ruffle one end of the strip using a similar method as when making the Standup Ruffles.

21

Add it to the top edge of the 17.7cm (7in) tier to cover and clean up the top end of the Standup Ruffles.

22

Roll out white 50/50 fondant/gum paste mix to 0.07cm thick. Use a multi-wheel strip cutter as pictured, to create 0.6cm pinstripes. Alternatively you can use a plastic strip cutter such as those made by FMM, JEM or PME.

23

Line up your strips on wax paper to dry; use a straight edged scraper or metal ruler to help make strips perfectly straight. Trim some to 14cm and some to 16.5cm. Let strips dry for fifteen minutes or until they can hold their straight line when shifted.

24

Once they are dried enough to apply, flip over and add water or edible glue to the back of a strip.

25

Pick up and hold the strips just by the very top so that they hang straight down; when lined up straight, attach each strip to the side of the cake with the bottom just sitting against the top of the tier underneath. Use straight edge of a metal scraper to line pinstripes perfectly on your cake; attach each strip and line up against those already there ensuring the strips are all evenly spaced.

26

Trim off the top of the strips using scissors or a craft knife.

27

Make two small balls from same coloured gum paste to attach the frangipani leaves to your cake; position the leaves as desired, sitting them on top of the tier underneath and hold until set. Once set, attach your exotic Dahlia and Frangipani flowers. Use a straw or flower pick before inserting the dahlia; add the Frangipani flowers using some fresh fondant or gum paste as glue.

28

Make a small fern from green gum paste using the Wilton Fern fondant and gum paste mould and attach to cake. 57 Colour some 50/50 fondant/ gum paste mix to a light pink; make a small thick strip of paste as shown, with your hands. Press and thin out the top edge against the thumb and forefinger and roll the strip to create a small rolled rose. You will need six roses for this design; add them in bunches.

29

Colour some 50/50 fondant/ gum paste mix to a light pink; make a small thick strip of paste as shown, with your hands. Press and thin out the top edge against the thumb and forefinger and roll the strip to create a small rolled rose. You will need six roses for this design; add them in bunches of three as shown.

 

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