Instructions for Making this Palm Tree Cake:
- Place a 10" cake layer on the 10" cake board. Evenly spread a layer of frosting over the top of the first 10" cake layer; center the second 10" cake layer on top. (I use an angled spatula for easy spreading). Spread a very thin layer of frosting over the sides of the cake to secure crumbs.
- Use a ruler to measure about halfway up the side of the cake and make a dot in the frosting with a toothpick. Do this all the way around the cake. Use a strand of dental floss to "connect the dots" in a straight line. .
- Frost the bottom half of the sides of the cake white. Tint some buttercream with the leaf green coloring and frost the rest of the cake green. Try to make the white and green frosting colors "meet" without blending them, but don't stress too much over it because the line will be covered by ribbon later. To give the frosting a smooth, finished look, lay a VIVA paper towel over the frosting. Use your hand to gently smooth all areas of the cake, ironing out any lumps and bumps. Repeat entire process with the 8" and 6" cakes.
- Tint some of the buttercream brown using the brown icing coloring. The color will darken as it sits, but if you'd like a richer color you may add a bit of cocoa powder. Spoon the frosting into a decorating bag fitted with a #5 tip. Use freehand to pipe the outlines of zebra and giraffe prints on the cake, then go back and fill in the outlines with more frosting. Just a hint: I piped my zebra prints much too close together...I think it would look better with more white space between the stripes. Use a paper towel to gently smooth the piped areas.
- Insert dowel rods into the 10" and 8" inch cakes. For instructions on using dowel rods, click here.
- Measure ribbon to fit around the circumference of each cake, adding about an inch to allow it to overlap. Add about a 1/2" piece of double-sided tape to the very end of the back of the ribbon (this will be what holds the ribbon in place on the cake). If you'd like to pipe names on the ribbons, melt a small portion of white chocolate and spoon into a decorating bag fitted with a #3 tip. Pipe the names on the center of the ribbons and let harden. Wrap the ribbons around each cake so that the ends meet in the back, trying your best to keep it level all the way around. Use the double-sided tape to adhere it in the back.
- Center the 8" cake on top of the 10" cake. Center the 6" cake on top of the 8" cake.
- Create a border around the bottom of the cakes by piping dots with brown buttercream.
- Making the Palm Tree Cake Topper: Find a picture of palm trees that you'd like to use and print it out. (I used this picture). Place the picture on a baking sheet and place a piece of wax paper over top of it. Okay, here's where it gets a little tricky. You are going to "paint" the palm trees with melted chocolate, but you're going to paint "backwards". In other words, you're going to add the details first, and then color in the background. In a small bowl, melt about 1/4 cup white chocolate or white candy melts in the microwave. Tint it with just a tiny amount of green icing coloring to create a very light green. Use one of the thin paintbrushes to trace the vines of the palm trees. In a small bowl, melt a small amount of white chocolate. Tint brown, and use another paint brush to paint the coconuts. Let set until no longer wet. Reheat the green icing to melt it. Add more icing coloring to create a richer green, then proceed with painting the leaves of the trees. In another small bowl, melt a tiny bit of white chocolate and tint it black. Use the brown and black to create the animal print, reheating the brown, if necessary. Let set until dry. In another bowl, melt another small amount of white chocolate. Tint ivory. Use this to paint the trunks of the trees. Let set for about 5-10 minutes or until no longer wet. Put the baking sheet in the fridge and allow the chocolate to harden well, about 15-20 minutes.
- Draw a rectangular shape large enough to cover the palm trees on a piece of paper. Place the shape underneath the wax paper that has the palm tree chocolates on it. Melt the white chocolate and spoon over the trees, staying within the lines of the rectangle and covering the trees completely. Gently lay three lollipop sticks evenly on the bottom of the circle so that the bottom halves stick out (these ends will be inserted into the cake). Cover with more chocolate to secure. Refrigerate until set (at least an hour).
- Carefully peel wax paper from topper and turn over. Melt a small amount of white chocolate and tint it pink. Spoon into a decorating bag fitted with a #3 tip. Draw a jagged pink border around the edges of the rectangle. Refrigerate until set. Center the topper on the top tier of the cake just before serving.
- Sit back, admire your palm tree cake, and get ready for the compliments to come pouring in!
Note from the party girl: If the topper for this palm tree cake is too intimidating for you, that's okay! You can still have a great looking cake. Plastic palm trees from the craft store would look good as a topper...just be sure to wash them well before putting them on the cake.
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