Even beginners can make an on-trend succulent cake with this super easy tutorial by Charlotte White from Restoration Cake. She uses flower cutters to create the beautiful shapes and textures.
Trend Alert: Succulent Cake
Trend alert! Succulents are very in right now, and these cupcake toppers are the perfect edible greenery. Try out the super easy tutorial.
Brought to you by Restoration Cake
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You will need
For the cake
- 15cm (6in) chocolate cake
- chocolate buttercream
- 100g (3½oz) sugarpaste coloured using Fern Green paste colour (Squires Kitchen)
- 100g (3½oz) sugarpaste coloured using Leaf Green paste colour (Squires Kitchen)
- cacao nibs
- edible glue/water
- 20cm (8in) cake drum
- double-sided tape
- 15mm gold satin ribbon
- non-stick rolling pin
- 5-petal rose cutters by Cake Lace: 10cm (4in), 8cm (3¼in) and 6cm (2½in)
- set of 3 calyx cutters: small, medium and large
- foam mat
- dresden tool
- ball tool
- scalpel/craft knife
Place the cake on the cake drum and cover both the cake and drum with the chocolate buttercream. Run a length of double-sided tape around the edge of the cake drum before you cover it, so that you can simply pull away any buttercream from the edge when you are ready to ribbon the cake. I have run my palette knife around the side of the cake to straighten the sides, but have not straightened the top edges to preserve the texture of the top.
Start by colouring up 2 shades of pale green sugarpaste. I chose Fern Green and Leaf Green by Squires Kitchen.
Roll out the lighter of your green sugarpastes to around 5mm (¼in) thickness. This is much thicker than we would usually roll for sugar flowers, but the leaves of succulents are very thick and we need to mimic this.
Create the rose petals
Cut out 6 shapes using the 5-petal rose cutters – you will need 2 large, 2 medium and 2 small to create 1 succulent.
Lay each shape on a foam mat and run a dresden tool from the base of each petal to its tip. This will create a groove along each petal of the succulent.
Gently pinch the tip of each petal to give it a little point.
Place the petals
Press one of the large shapes in place on the cake. Pressing on its centre will secure it to the buttercream and create a little movement.
Assemble the succulent
Lay the second large shape on top of the first, securing with a little edible glue or water. The petals of each shape that you place should rest between the petals of the shape below, almost like a star. Repeat this with the 2 medium shapes, then the 2 smallest shapes.
Once all of the petals are in place, press down in the centre of the top shape with a ball tool. The petals will move up around the tool and give the finished succulent some movement.
Create and apply the centre
To create a centre for the succulent, roll a pea-sized ball of the same coloured sugarpaste and cut halfway through its centre with a scalpel. Pinch the bottom of the ball to make a heart shape.
Push the heart shaped centre into the succulent, securing with a little edible glue.
Succulents can be even easier; you do not have to vein the centre line of each petal and you do not have to pinch the tips to a point. The easiest succulent is made using the method above, but omitting steps 5 and 6. You are welcome!
Create the succulent petals
Calyx cutters can be used to make smaller, spiky plants. To make these, cut 3 large, 2 medium and 2 small calyx from a set of cutters that so often come in threes.
Mark the petals with a dresden tool from base to tip. There is no need to pinch the tips as they are already pointed.
Build and apply the succulents
Build the spiky succulents on top of the cake in the same way as before – largest on the bottom, building up to the smallest, securing with edible glue.
Press a ball tool in the centre of the plant to bring it to life.
Secure the succulents
Drop a small ball of sugarpaste into the centre of the plant, on top of a dab of edible glue, then press down on this with the smaller end of your ball tool to secure and indent.
Add the remainder
Continue adding succulent plants around the top of the cake until you are happy with the design. I have provided sufficient sugarpaste in this tutorial to half-cover the top of the cake – you should double up on the quantities if you want to completely cover the top with plants.
Add extra texture with cacao nibs sprinkled between the plants and around the bottom of the cake.
Remove the protective layer from the double-sided tape and run a 15mm gold satin ribbon around the edge of the cake drum for a professional finish.