How to Decorate a Snowflake-Inspired Cake
So it’s that time of year again. The snow has been falling and you’d rather warm up inside, so there’s no better opportunity to show off your cake decorating skills to all the family! I’ve made hundreds of Christmas cakes of all shapes and sizes, but I wanted to do something a little more contemporary this year. I decided that a frozen blue cake would be my theme. The airbrush is an amazing piece of kit as you can create so many effects with it. I wanted to create a swirling wind type effect with this project, with an all-important sparkle to finish! — Cassie Brown
I do hope you enjoy creating this and please do share your photos with us — I would love to see your creations!
Here’s a little tip for making your cake look larger and grander than it actually is. Put the cake on two cake boards instead of one. Go two sizes bigger than the cake and two sizes bigger than the last board to add that little something special to your cake, no matter how simple.
Materials You’ll Need:
- 8″ Pre-iced cake
- 10″ & 12″ Cake boards
- Non-toxic, edible hologram glitter
- Wilton royal icing in a piping bag with no. 2 nozzle
- Airbrush and compressor
- Blue airbrush food colour
- Double-sided sticky tape
- 250g Sugar paste/Wilton fondant
- Large rolling pin
- Cornflour in Wilton Dust-N-Store
- Wilton fondant smoother
- Wilton cake lifter
- Wilton nautical mould
- Modelling paste
- Cassie Brown sea holly cutter set
- Wilton measuring mat
Start by preparing the boards. I normally put a cross of double-sided sticky tape on the centre of the large board and then place the smaller board on top. Try to make sure it’s in the centre and then press firmly down. The boards will not slip now when icing! Wet your hand and gently rub over the top of the boards to make them slightly damp; this will help the icing stick to the board.
Dust the work surface with cornflour to stop the icing from sticking, then use a large rolling pin to roll out the fondant to a thickness of about 3mm. Gently roll the paste over the rolling pin and unroll over the two boards. Use the smoother on the top of the icing to create a smooth finish. Use a knife to trim the excess icing from around the board. Leave to dry for 24 hours and then carefully slide the cake lifter under the bottom of the cake, lift the cake, and place it in the centre of the boards.
Dust the Wilton rope mould with a little cornflour. Roll a sausage of paste and push it into the mould, then gently push the paste out of the mould. You will need about 4 lengths of this. Brush the back of the rope shape with a little water and then place it around the bottom of the cake. Repeat with the other pieces to make a neat finish — they will fit together really well.
Drop about 5 drops of blue airbrush colour into the colour well of the airbrush. Decide where you’d like the snowflake to be on the cake; I’ve chosen to put mine on the corner edge of the cake. Hold the airbrush about 4″ away from the cake and gently pull back the trigger to release the colour. Start at the centre of where you’re putting the snowflake and then move the airbrush to create faint lines coming from it.
Once you have created lines all over the cake coming from that central place, start to make the lines darker by holding the airbrush a little closer to the cake. I also made little wisps at the end of the lines to create a windswept look. You can go as dark as you wish with the colour; just remember to add layers rather than spraying too heavy to get the desired depth of colour.
Roll out the modelling paste to a thickness of about 2mm and then cut out 5 large sea hollies and 5 medium sea hollies using the metal cutters. I recommend cutting out a few extra just in case of breakages. Leave to dry overnight.
Place the shapes onto a piece of paper and brush with water using the waterbrush. Gently tip glitter over the shapes to make then beautifully glittery, then tip the excess glitter from the shapes and leave to dry on a spare piece of paper. Tip the excess glitter back into the pot by folding the paper in half so all the glitter runs into the channel and back into the pot.
Brush a little water onto the back of the large snowflake and then place the first one on the side of the cake pointing downwards. Place one either side of the first one, then place two on top. I like to leave a little space in the centre about 1cm wide.
Now it’s time to put little dots of diamonds around the cake. Using royal icing in a small piping bag, pipe two or three dots at a time coming from the centre of the snowflake. Make the dots a little larger at the centre and then gradually smaller further away from the snowflake. While the dots are still wet, dip a dry brush into the glitter and then gently push onto the royal icing. Excess glitter will fall, but we’ll tidy this up later. Create as many swirling glittery dots as you wish coming out of the centre of the snowflake, then fading out around the cake and on top.
I had the brainwave of clearing the excess glitter by using air from the airbrush. This worked wonderfully until I looked up and found myself and my workroom covered in floating glitter! But it did look nice. I would recommend using a dry flat brush to gently brush in between the glittery dots for a neat finish.
Back to the snowflake. Make 5 small balls of modelling paste about the size of a small pea. Pipe a small dot of royal icing in between the larger shapes but close to the centre, then attach the small balls. They look a little like snowballs! Press them in a little at the centre so the next layer will sit correctly. Pipe a small amount of royal icing onto each ball and then place the medium-sized shape onto each ball so they are all nearly touching in the centre. I like to finish the snowflake with a little ball of piped royal icing in the centre. Add a little glitter using the dry brush to finish.
A glittery and contemporary Christmas cake completed! And looking incredibly sparkly. — Cassie Brown
Share your thoughts, feelings, and deepest Christmas desires in the comment box below!