Baking Trends: The Understated Cake
‘Understated’ cakes are very much on-trend at the moment. What do they entail? Not all that much, to be frank! Of course, we mere cake observers enjoy experiencing extravagance. We love to stare in wonderment at towering cake structures with amazing sugar details. But from time-to-time, there’s nothing quite so powerful than a rather plain cake — with a twist.
There are many trends in the baking world. Most of them are very out-there, but there is one less-so that’s caught our attention. The ‘understated’ cake is flat iced white with just a few adornments. These cakes are predominantly plain but will have a huge burst of colour or a jaw-dropping sugar design to capture attention. It’s the thing to be making right now!
One design to turn a boring plain cake into an attention-grabbing ‘understated’ cake is the simple rainbow. When this powerful burst of colour contrasts against a simple white background, the effect is truly mesmerising. I mean, just look at the strong impact it has.
This cake was designed by Cassie Brown. She drew her inspiration from her love of music, hence the spiralling music notes following the rainbow down the cake.
“I love music and the emotions of it; it can lift you up on a dull day. I did a little research on music cakes and noticed that they were all black and white. Although there are some amazing music cakes out there, I wanted to add a splash of colour to mine.”
“As I was staring out the window, a little robin came along. There was my inspiration!”
To create the robin, Cassie simply pushed some Wilton Gum Paste into a bird mould. The treble clef on top required a combination of moulds: the Wilton Nautical Mould and the Wedding Jewellery Mould. She created a rope and brooch and joined the two together.
Then we have the most important part of this colourful design: the rainbow. To create the awesome sweeping effect, Cassie airbrushed her colours onto the cake.
“Put 2 drops of yellow airbrush colour into the colour well of the airbrush and gently pull the trigger back to start releasing colour. Move the airbrush around and up onto the top of the cake in a swirl-like movement. This sets the scene for the other colours to follow.”
“Repeat this using yellow, orange, red, green, and then blue. Make sure you start off with quite a thin line where the bird’s beak will be going, then thicker to the top of the cake.”
Our second ‘understated’ find is Cassie’s popular minimalist succulent cake. The crazy thing about this cake is that it’s predominantly white — but it has a real impact. Because the backdrop is all white, the sugarcraft succulent adornments stand out more than they ordinarily would. Those elements are show-stopping and oh boy, are they impactful!
“Succulents are definitely in at the moment. I think it’s the fresh, clean look of them with no fuss or frills. I’d assumed that they would be difficult to create in sugar because they’re very chunky; I normally roll my paste out thin to make flowers. I’ve honestly surprised myself! Sugarcraft succulents are easier to create than you’d think –- if you use the right tools.”
The simplicity of Cassie‘s design is breathtakingly effective — and completely doable at home!
“I’ve had lots of fun with these succulents. My favourite tools for this project are the Wilton Small and Medium Flower Shaping Bowls. I don’t create many flowers that aren’t on wires, so I didn’t think about using these shaping bowls before. I thought that they were only for non-wired flowers, but I love the shape of them and they’re made from really strong plastic.”
But the key to these succulents’ success is the natural shades of green Cassie coloured them.
“Dust the succulents using a dusting brush and food-safe colour dusts. Dust a light blue or eucalyptus colour over the largest and smallest succulents, then gently dust the edges with an aubergine colour. For the potted succulent, dust with a holly ivy green hue.”
You could say that the sugar ropes in between the tiers really tie the whole thing together!