Crystallized Flowers Cake
Buttercream baskets brim with crystallized flowers, including pansies, roses, lavender, cornflowers, and violets. Sugaring flowers gives them a sparkling appearance; if you want guests to be able to nibble on these lovely decorations, be sure to acquire them from a reputable supplier. If you wish to make them yourself, check the edibility of each variety of flower. This cake should be assembled at the reception site, as it is quite tall and may tip over in transit.
- Servings: 180
Photography: Dana Gallagher
Source: Martha Stewart Weddings, Spring 2002
- 1 each 6-inch- and 9-inch-diameter by- 2 3/4-inch-high round cake layers, each set on corresponding-size 3/16-inch-thick foam board, trimmed, split, and filled to a 3-inch height
- 4 twelve-inch-diameter-by-2-inch high round cake layers, 2 layers set on corresponding-size 3/16-inch thick foam boards
- Swiss Meringue Buttercream
- 15 3 1/8-inch-long 1/4-inch-diameter wooden dowels
- 15 4 1/8-inch-long 1/4-inch-diameter wooden dowels
- 1 each 14-inch, 12-inch, and 8-inch cardboard round
- 1 fifteen-inch-diameter cake stand, or 15-inch-diameter cake board covered with thinned royal icing
- 1 twenty-inch-long 1/4-inch-diameter wooden dowel, if needed
- Crystallized flowers
Prepare tiers: Thinly coat all layers with buttercream to seal in crumbs. Place in refrigerator to set. Insert four 3 1/8-inch-long dowels into one of the 6-inch layers in a square 1 inch from the edge; center and place remaining 6-inch layer on top. Thinly coat entire new tier; refrigerate to set. Insert six 3 1/8-inch long dowels into one of the 9-inch layers in a circle 2 inches from the edge; center and place remaining 9-inch layer on top. Thinly coat entire new tier; refrigerate to set. On each foam-board-supported 12-inch-high layer, place one of the remaining 12-inch layers; fill so tier is 4 inches high. Insert nine 4 1/8-inch dowels into one 4-inch-high layer: six in a circle 3 inches from the edge, and three in a 3-inch circle within. Place remaining 4-inch-high layer on top. Thinly coat entire new tier; refrigerate to set.
Pipe basket weave pattern: Remove one tier at a time, and coat with another thin layer of buttercream, making sure the tops have a perfectly smooth coating; return to refrigerator to set. Place 12-inch tier on a 14-inch cardboard round. Fit a 14-inch pastry bag with an Ateco number 895 basket weave tip; fill halfway with buttercream. Pipe basket weave with serrated side of tip facing up on vertical lines and down on horizontal lines. Beginning at back of tier, completely cover sides. Fit a 12-inch pastry bag with an Ateco number 16 star tip; fill halfway with buttercream. At top edge where basket weave ends, pipe a rope border; return to refrigerator. Place 9-inch-tier on a 12-inch cardboard round, and repeat. Place 6-inch tier on an 8 inch cardboard round, and repeat.
Stack tiers: Place 12-inch tier on cake stand. Insert remaining six 4 1/8-inch dowels in a circle 3 inches from edge; carefully center and place 9-inch tier on top. Insert remaining five 3 1/8-inch dowels in a circle 2 1/2 inches from the edge; center and place 6-inch tier on top. If necessary, secure cake by inserting the 20-inch dowel down the center of cake.
Decorate top of tiers and the cake stand with crystallized flowers, arranging some to trail down the sides of tiers.