I have been wanting do this design for quite some time. I had the perfect opportunity when I hosted a small party celebrating life as a girl! It would also be a great design for a wedding or baby shower.
Your favorite white cake recipe
5 small bowls
6 inch cake pans
6 inch cardboard cake circle
1 batch of buttercream (a batch to me is a recipe based on 2 lbs of powdered sugar)
1 lb of white fondant (this is probably a bit more than you need but better safe than sorry)
Pink food coloring – I used the Wilton Rose color because it’s more of a hot pink than a baby pink
Pasta roller – optional but extremely helpful
Ball Tool – used for making gumpaste flowers
Thin piece of foam – used for making gumpaste flowers
Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees. Prepare cake batter following the instructions. Evenly portion out the batter into the 5 bowls. Set one bowl aside. To the first bowl add a very small amount of the rose food coloring. Be very careful. My first attempt ended up being the brightest layer. A little coloring goes a long way. Gradually add a bit more coloring to each additional bowl until you have graduated colors across the 5 bowls. If you need to lighten a color, add some of the base batter to that color, just be sure you always have enough base color for the last layer of cake.
Prepare pans with pan grease or grease and flour your pans. Since I only have two 6 inch round cake pans, I could only bake 2 colors at a time. Pour each color into a separate pan and bake until a toothpick comes out clean. Remember that you’re making 5 layers out of a recipe that is generally going to make 2 layers of cake. This means the layers will be thin and cook quicker than usual. These layers took 15-20 minutes each to bake. Cool the cakes as usual. Once the layers are cool, you want to level them so they’re approximately the same height.
Place a small amount of buttercream on a 6 inch cake board and place the brightest layer face done. Add a thin layer of buttercream on top of that layer and then place the next brightest layer on top of that. Repeat this from brightest to lightest until all 5 layers are stacked. Next time I would also trim the bottom of each layer to remove that slight brown coloring between them. Frost the cake as you normally would. You want the sides to be reasonably straight but the cake doesn’t have to be super smooth since it will be covered in fondant. The top is buttercream only, so after the buttercream crusts, I placed a Viva paper towel on top and smoothed with a fondant smooth. You can smooth over the paper towel with your hand if you don’t have a fondant smoother.
Once the cake is frosted, you can begin making your fondant strips. Measure the circumferencerete of your cake so you know how long to make each strip. For a 6 inch cake, my strips are a little over 19 inches long. Take white fondant and portion it out into small amounts. I wasn’t very exact with this. I took a chunk of white fondant, rolled it out so that I could run it through my pasta roller. I used the pasta attachment for my KitchenAid and I ran the strips through to number 4 . This is p thin. Using the ball tool from the Wilton flower kit and a thin piece of foam, I ruffled the edges of each strip. Because I was using straight fondant and rolling the strip so thin, the fondant strips were very flimsy. I found it worked better if I let them set up for a bit. So I would make and ruffle 3 strips at a time before attaching them to the cake. For each strip, add a tiny bit of Rose food coloring and ran it through the pasta roller. You want the color progression on the outside to mimic that on the inside of the cake.
To attach a ruffle, dust it lightly with cornstarch and then gently roll it up. This keeps it from stretching as you apply it to the side of the cake. For the first ruffle, I applied a thin bead of buttercream just below the top edge of the cake. Choose the back of the cake, and gently press the beginning of the ruffle into the buttercream. Slowly unroll the ruffle, pressing gently to adhere to the buttercream. Once you make it all the way around, you may need to trim the end. Kitchen shears are great for this. For the next ruffle, roll it up and then take a paint brush (used for caking only) and paint a small amount of water along the bottom edge of the strip currently attached to the cake. Again starting at the back, gently unroll the ruffle, pressing it to the base of the previous fondant ruffle. You want your ruffles pretty close together so I made sure the new ruffle was just barely below the first ruffle. It will seem too close, until you frill it back. To frill the ruffle back, gently run the small end of the ball tool between the two ruffles, gently forcing the top of the new ruffle outward. Keep applying ruffles using an increasing amount of pink color in the fondant. When you apply the final ruffle, you may need to use a pizza cutter to clean up the bottom edge. Just run it flush along the bottom edge. After all of the ruffles are applied, your cake is ready for a topper. This cake is so light and airy, I wanted a topper that would compliment the feel, so I decided on a Whimsical Peony. Whimsical meaning my knock-off version:) It is definitely not a realistic peony but it has a similar look and feel. Keep an eye out for an upcoming tutorial on How to Make a Whimsical Peony.