Ribbon Rose Cake

A cascade of 60 piped meringue flowers tumbles down a stack of rectangular tiers for the Ribbon Rose Cake; each tier is edged in a pristine border. Each rose on this cake is piped with a single, continuous squeeze onto a flower nail and baked before being affixed to the cake with royal icing.

  • Yield: Serves 190

Photography: Lisa Hubbard

Source: Martha Stewart Weddings, Winter 2002

Ingredients

  • 1 recipe Royal Icing Egg-Free Royal Icing
  • One 20-inch-square-by-1-inch thick cake board
  • One 7-foot length of 1-inch-wide pale-pink satin ribbon
  • One each 4-, 8-, and 14-inch-square by 2 1/2-inch-high cake tiers, trimmed, split, and filled to a 3-inch height, each set on corresponding-size 3/16-inch-thick foam-board square
  • One each 6- and 12-inch-square by 1 1/2- inch-high cake tiers, trimmed, split, and filled to a 2-inch height, each set on corresponding-size 3/16-inch foam-board square
  • Cornstarch for dusting
  • 18 pounds rolled fondant
  • Twenty-six 3 1/8-inch-long 1/4-inch-diameter wooden dowels
  • Fourteen 2 1/8-inch-long 1/4-inch-diameter wooden dowels
  • 2 to 3 recipes Swiss Meringue Ribbon Roses
  • Fondant amounts: 4-inch tier, 1 1/2 pounds; 6-inch tier, 2 1/2 pounds; 8-inch tier, 3 1/2 pounds; 12-inch tier, 4 pounds; 14-inch tier, 6 1/2 pounds.

Directions

  1. Prepare cake board: Make royal icing; place one third in an airtight container, and set aside. Thin remaining icing, stirring in water 1 teaspoon at a time, until icing is thin enough that a ribbon falling back into bowl melts into surface of icing in 5 to 7 seconds. Coat the board by pouring a 2-inch-wide band of icing around the edge. Using a small offset spatula, spread icing to meet edge of board, then smooth it toward the center, covering 4 inches around edge (rest of board will be covered by bottom tier). Set the coated cake board aside to dry overnight. Hot glue ribbon around sides of cake board.

  2. Prepare tiers: Coat each tier with a thin layer of frosting to seal in crumbs. Transfer tiers to a refrigerator to chill.

  3. Cover tiers: On a clean work surface lightly dusted with cornstarch, roll enough of the fondant to cover the respective tiers (see fondant amounts, above). The fondant should be rolled into a large disk about 1/8-inch-thick. Working quickly, lift the fondant, center it over tier, and gently lay it on cake. Starting from the center, smooth it onto the cake with your hands. Neatly trim excess fondant from bottom edges using a pizza wheel. (Excess may be rerolled as long as it is free of crumbs, filling, or icing.) Repeat for all tiers.

  4. Stack tiers: Smear 1 tablespoon of the reserved royal icing in the center of the cake board. Place the 14-inch tier, centered, on the board. Insert twelve 3 1/8- inch dowels in a square 3 inches from the edges. Insert six 3 1/8-inch dowels to form a square within the square. Smear 1 tablespoon royal icing in the center of the tier, and position the 12-inch tier slightly off center, toward the back left corner of the cake. Insert ten 2 1/8-inch dowels in a square 3 inches from the edges. Smear 1 tablespoon royal icing in the center of the tier, and position the 8-inch tier slightly off center, toward the back left corner of the cake. Insert eight 3 1/8-inch dowels in a square 2 inches from edges. Smear 1 tablespoon royal icing in the center of the tier, and position the 6 inch tier slightly off center, toward the back left corner of the cake. Insert four 2 1/8-inch dowels in a square 1 1/2 inches from the edge. Smear 1 tablespoon royal icing. Place the 4-inch tier slightly off center, toward the back left corner of the cake.

  5. Decorate tiers: Stir the remaining royal icing. Fit a pastry bag with a coupler and a round tip (Ateco #6), and fill with the royal icing. Pipe a pearl border around the bottom edge of each tier. Using a dab of the royal icing as glue, attach the meringue ribbon roses in a cascading pattern down the cake. Change the tip on the pastry bag to a leaf tip (Ateco #68), and then pipe leaves around the cascading roses.

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