A floral cake can be flamboyant or quite restrained. The stylized reliefs on this stacked cake are sculpted from marzipan, using traditional German cookie forms called springerle molds; the central medallion depicts a bride and groom emerging from a sunflower. Piped-icing borders artfully hide the seams between panels.
- Servings: 220
Photography: Lisa Hubbard
Source: Martha Stewart Weddings, Spring 2002
- Two 10-inch-diameter round cake layers, each set on corresponding size 3/16-inch-thick foam board, trimmed, split, and filled to a 3-inch height
- Cornstarch for rolling
- 15 pounds rolled fondant
- Twenty-four 3 1/8-inch-long 1/4-inch-diameter wooden dowels
- 1 recipe Royal Icing
- One each 6- and 14-inch-diameter round tiers, each set on corresponding size 3/16-inch-thick foam board round, trimmed, split, and filled to a 4-inch height
- One each 8- and 12-inch-diameter round tiers, each set on corresponding size 3/16-inch-thick foam board round, trimmed, split, and filled to a 3- inch height
- One 20-inch diameter cake stand or board
- Ten 4 1/8-inch-long 1/4-inch-diameter wooden dowels
- 1 1/2 recipes Marzipan
Build 10-inch tier: Thinly coat top of one filled layer with desired frosting; refrigerate to set. On a clean work surface lightly dusted with cornstarch, roll enough fondant to form a 10-inch disk about 1/8 inch thick (see fondant amounts, above); trim edge with pizza wheel. Place on frosted layer; smooth it onto cake with your hands. Insert six 3 1/8-inch-long dowels in a circle 2 inches from edge. Smear a tablespoon of royal icing on top; center and place remaining 10-inch layer on top to form a 6 1/4-inch-high tier. Thinly coat entire tier with desired frosting; refrigerate to set.
Cover tiers: Thinly coat remaining cake tiers with desired frosting; refrigerate to set. On a clean work surface lightly dusted with cornstarch, roll enough fondant to cover the respective tiers (see fondant amounts, above; work with one tier at a time) into a large disk about 1/8-inch-thick. Working quickly, lift fondant, center it over tier, and gently lay it on cake. Starting from the center, smooth it onto cake with your hands. Trim excess fondant from bottom edge using a pizza wheel. (Excess may be rerolled if it is free of crumbs, filling, or frosting.) Repeat, covering all tiers, including stacked 10-inch tier. Covered tiers do not need to be refrigerated unless filling must be chilled.
Stack tiers: Smear a tablespoon of royal icing on center of cake stand. Center and place 14-inch tier on top. Insert six 4 1/8-inch dowels in a circle 2 1/2 inches from the edge, and four 4 1/8-inch dowels within the circle. Smear a tablespoon of icing on center of tier; center and place 12-inch tier on top. Insert eight 3 1/8-inch dowels in a circle 2 1/2 inches from the edge. Smear a tablespoon of icing on center of tier; center and place stacked 10-inch tier on top. Insert six 3 1/8-inch dowels in a circle 2 1/2 inches from the edge. Smear a tablespoon of icing on center of tier; center and place 8-inch tier on top. Insert remaining four 3 1/8-inch dowels in a 3-inch square. Smear a teaspoon of icing on center of tier; center and place smallest tier on top.
Make marzipan panels for bottom and top tiers with a Four Blooms springerle mold. Start with a piece of marzipan large enough to fill one of the blossoms in the mold and hang over the actual design. Lightly dust mold and work surface with cornstarch, and roll out marzipan into a 1-inch-thick rectangle; place on one of the blossoms. Using a small rolling pin, gently but firmly roll over marzipan a few times to fully imprint. Turn mold over, and gently coax out the marzipan. If there are any flaws, knead the marzipan again and remold. When you have a perfect imprint, using the small rolling pin, gently roll out the edges, and cut the marzipan into panels 2 1/2 to 2 3/4 inches wide and 4 inches high with a pizza wheel or sharp knife. Immediately brush back of panel lightly with water, and attach it to side of bottom tier beginning at the back. Continue, using different blossoms, until sides of bottom and top tiers have been covered. Before marzipan dries, smooth hard edges on tops of panels with your dry finger.
Make marzipan oval for stacked 10-inch center tier using a Bridal Pair in a Rose mold. Using the process in step 4, create a flawless imprint. Cut marzipan into an oval 6 inches high and 4 3/4 inches wide. Brush back of panel lightly with water; center and attach it to front side of tier. Before marzipan dries, smooth over hard, cut edge with your dry finger.
Finish tiers: Fit a 12-inch pastry bag with a coupler and Ateco #4 round tip; fill halfway with icing. Pipe a pearl border between each rectangular marzipan panel and around oval panel. Switch to Ateco #6 round tip; pipe a pearl border above and below each panel, and around the bottoms of each unadorned tier.