(Please forgive some of the photo quality. Not working in my own kitchen presented some lighting challenges, so some photos are a little - uck!)
For the quilled flowers and ribbons:
Gum paste (16 oz. pouch of Wilton brand is what I used and had plenty left over.)
Fondant ribbon cutter (or a pizza or pastry cutter)
Ruler or measuring tape
Clear vanilla or vodka
For the cakes:
Two 10" x 2" round cake layers
Two 8" x 2" round cake layers
Two 6" x 2" round cake layers
Triple batch of my Rich Vanilla Icing
Food-safe dowel rods
Cardboard cake circles (one each 10", 8" & 6")
*Note: I used cake mix as a base for these cakes because I was away from home, and needed to simplify things as much as possible. Click the link to see how I Make Cake Mix Taste Homemade.
Make the Flowers in Advance
Each of my flowers had six petals. I made eight flowers, and used about a total of a softball-sized amount of yellow gum paste, which I colored with gel-based coloring. And about a golf-ball sized piece of brown gum paste for the centers.
Dust a cutting surface, like parchment paper or a rolling,at, with powdered sugar. Roll the gum paste long and thin, and as thin as you can manage, ideally paper thin, since that's what we want it to look like. (I worked with a golf-ball-sized piece each time I rolled.)
I cut three strips at a time because I used a ribbon cutter. I recommend no more than three or four at a time, or the strips will get dried out while you work on the others.
Set aside to dry. Again, make six petals for each flower.
The center is rolled just like you did with the petals... But when you uncoil it a little, keep the shape a circle. The large centers were about the diameter of a quarter, the medium ones were closer to a nickel.
Set aside to dry. You can't move the pieces too much before they dry or they will get misshapen. After about 3-5 hours, they will dry enough to move, but I recommend waiting until you are completely sure they are set before you try to move them too much.
I rolled some of the yellow gum paste very thin, and cut a small circle out using a cutter. (It was about the same size as the flower center that I made.) I painted that with clear vanilla and arranged the petals on top of it.
There was always some open space in between the centers of the petals, so I used about a pea-sized piece of the gum paste, and rolled it into a ball in my hands, then gently pressed it into the open space, and painted the top with more clear vanilla before adding the center on top of that to make it stick.
Bake, Frost & Assemble the Cake
I was very negligent in taking photos of the cake steps. I apologize.
I leveled each cake, and filled between the two same-size layers with vanilla icing.
I then iced each two-layer cake, and added the dowel rods, and stacked the cakes.
Below are the links for each of the other steps:
How to Make a Cake Mix Taste Homemade
- Using Bake Even Strips
- How to Level Cakes for Layering
Rich Vanilla Buttercream Icing Recipe (I made three batches.)
How to Cover a Cake with Icing (not crumbs)
How To Assemble a Cake for Stacking
Prepare the Gum Paste Monogram and Ribbons
For the monogram, I cut the ribbons as I did for the flowers, about 1/4" wide. I shaped them into letters and rolled up the ends. I made the monogram with at least one overnight to set.
A simple approximation for how long to make them is 3.25 x cake diameter. So, for the 6" cake, I made the ribbon 19.5" long; for the 8" cake, 26" long; for the 10" cake, 32.5" long. They were all 1" wide.
Assemble the Cake
If I'd have had a few spares, I would have been fine, but I just had to use the monogram on its own, and I think it turned out fine.
Tree Stump Groom's Cake. Love it!
Click the Links Below to See:
How to Stack a Tiered Cake
More of my Cake Decorating Ideas and Tips
More Fondant and Gum Paste Ideas