This modern white wedding cake by Marie McGrath from Marie’s Bakehouse features on-trend cascading greenery for an elegant finish.
Camelia - Style Flower Wedding Cake
You will need
For the cake
• 15cm (6in), 20cm (8in), 25cm (10in) round cakes, filled, covered and stacked
• white flower paste
• ProGel gooseberry
• edible tints dusts in apple green and spring green
• royal icing
• white vegetable fat
• edible glue
• cornflour or icing sugar for dusting
• cake drum board
• white floristry tape
• 20 gauge white wire
• leaf cutter
• leaf veiner
• cake steamer or kettle
• 4cm (1½in) diameter polystyrene ball
• rolling pin
• cocktail stick
• round cutter 8cm (3¼in) in diameter
• petal cutter (camelia style or similar raindrop shaped with a large curve)
• foam pad
• petal veiner
• ball tool
• half sphere silicone trays or apple trays
• mug with clingfilm stretched over the top
• white ribbon
Preparing the cake
1. Fill, crumb coat and cover and stack the 15cm (6in), 20cm (8in) and 25cm (10in) round cakes.
2. Cover the drum board.
3. Trim the board and the bottom of each cake with ribbon, securing at the back with a small blob of royal icing.
Making the leaves
4. Colour a small amount of flower paste in gooseberry. Knead in some white vegetable fat to keep it pliable. If the paste feels like it is drying out at any point while you are working, knead more white vegetable fat into the paste.
5. Roll the paste out to about 1mm in thickness. Cut out several leaves. If the leaf looks a little on the thick side, thin the edges by rolling a ball tool gently over the very edge of the paste. Vein one side of the leaf, this will be the front.
6. Cut the wire into different lengths, I usually cut each full length of wire into three. They don’t have to be even lengths, different sizes will make it look more natural.
7. Roll a small ball of the green flowerpaste in your hand. Roll it into a sausage and thread it onto the end of a wire with a small amount of edible glue. Roll it between your finger and thumb, removing the excess paste until only a small amount is left covering the wire. Stick this covered part of the wire to the back of a leaf. Continue until you have made 30-35 leaves.
8. Use the floristry tape to tape groups of three wires together. Leave to dry for at least a few hours, overnight is better.
9. Tape groups of wires together to make longer groups of leaves. You should have about four long strands of leaves when you have finished.
10. Mix together a small amount of the two green dust colours and paint the dust onto the wires to cover up all the white. Hold the wires and leaves in the steam of a kettle or a cake steamer. Leave to dry again. Once dry, stick two lots of strands of leaves to the top of the bottom tier with royal icing, and two to the top of the middle tier. Where you have any florist tape showing, cut out and cover these with fresh leaves, made as previously, without wiring them.
Making the Camila Flower
11. Push a cocktail stick into the, polystyrene ball.
12. Roll out the white flower paste to thickness of about 1mm. Cut out an 8cm (3¼in) diameter circle and stick this over the ball. Smooth the paste down the sides of the ball with your hands. Don’t worry if it doesn’t cover the whole ball, the petals will cover it later.
13 Start with the petals for the outer layers as they have to set before they can be added. Cut out several petals with the petal cutter. Thin out the edge of the petals on a foam pad with a celpin or the end of a small rolling pin. Press each petal into the petal veiner. Place the petal in the well of a sphere mould, or an apple tray which you have dusted with cornflour, and leave to dry until the petal starts to feel leathery – not fully dry.
I used four outer layers of petals with six to seven petals in each layer.
14. For the first layer, make five petals, in the same way you made the previous ones. Brush the surface of each petal with a little edible glue and stick them over the flower centre, overlapping each one, and leaving a small area in the middle uncovered.
15. Make another six petals in the same way and add another layer of petals, cupping them around the previous layer, leaving a little gap and opening up the flower.
16. Once the drying petals are starting to feel a bit leathery (drying out but still pliable), add another layer of petals around the centre, opening the petals out a little more. Dry this centre upside down on a foam pad for 30 minutes.
17. Then add further layers of petals. You may need to use folded pieces of kitchen paper in between the layers to keep them in the place you would like them to be.
18. Dust the clingfilm in the mug with cornflour or icing sugar and set the flower inside to dry. Support the petals with folded/rolled up pieces of kitchen roll to stop them opening up too much. Leave to dry overnight.
19. Remove the cocktail stick from the base of the flower (or keep it in if you want to push it into the cake in a flower pick for extra support). Use royal icing to stick the flower in place on top of the leaves at the bottom of the top tier.
20. Finish the board with matching ribbon.