Introduction: DIY Birch-style Wedding Cake

This is my entry for the DIY Wedding challenge so please vote for me, if you like this instructable :)

I'll show you step by step, how to make this elegant birch-style wedding cake.
also I give you advice for your time-management, so that you can do the cake stressless  :)

The cake is quite easy-worked with, the style forgives mistakes and they can be conceiled easily

you wont need that much special equipment for this cake the only thing are the food colourings, a piping bag and the leaf  plunger cutters.

Have fun!

Step 1: Materials Needed

3 Cakes in different diameters,baked after your favorite recipe (sponge cakes work great!!!) filled with wathever you desire.

marzipan
cocoa
sugarfondant or marshmallowfondant ( i only use the one made of marshmallows)
confectioners sugar
green food colouring (i worked with party green and christmas green from sugarflair)
brown and black food colouring ( i worked with liquorice and chestnut from sugarflair)
1 egg white
gum tragacanth ( optional but nice to have if the weather is moist and very warm!)


tools:
a sharp knife
scissors
ROSE LEAF PLUNGER CUTTER (very nice to have)
a rolling pin
pizza wheel
a tooth pick
baking paper
cling foil
10 drinking -straws
paint brush one fine and one broad
2 or 3 thin cake boards
evtl. vodka for thinning the food colourings
a hand mixer
piping bag with small round nozzle

Step 2: TIME MANAGEMENT

Time management advice, for a stressless weddingcake:
note: if you want to save time, just order the cakes in the size you'll need in your local bakery and only decorate them yourself.

1 week or at least 3 days before the wedding date:

modelling of the decoration, such as the birch bark, leafes, acorns and pine cones.

2 days before the wedding date:

baking the cakes (i'm not showing this step in this instructable, there are millions of recipes out there, just choose one :D)

1 day before the wedding date:

frost the cakes, assembling and decorating.

Step 3: Modeling Acorns and Pine Cones

take some marzipan (about the size of a lemon)
and colouring one-third of it brown, by roling it in cocoa
and the rest  green

the acorns:  (make about 15 in different sizes and shapes)

take the brown marzipan and roll small balls and cut them into half, shape them round and on one side slightely "concave" (see the pictures for the shape)

now take a small amount of the green marzipan and shape it inte a cone, join the cone and the brown part togehter and model it into a acorn shape.

take a knife and cut/ impress diagonal lines in the brown part (see pictures) and add diagonal lines in the other direction so that they cross each other.

shape a small stalk on the upside of the acorn and your done.
Tip: variate them by roling the green marzipan in some cocoa for a darker coulour

The Pine Cones:
take all leftover brown marzipan and shape them in cones of 1,5 or 2 inches length
add a toothpick and simply cut the cone with scissors as shown on the picture
after you'll tried it you'll see how it works and it will be great in no time.

store the acorns and pine cones in an air thight container and place it on a dark spot.

Step 4: Leafes


take all leftover green marzipan and place it on a sheet of baking paper,
cover it with cling foil and roll it very thin with your rolling pin.

take the leaf plunger cutter and cut the leafs out.

take the knife and lift the leafes off the baking paper and lay them on a plate - if you model them into different shapes they will look more natural.

to make them more nature- like, paint them with a mixture of the different green food colourings, you may add some vodka if the colours are too thick.

set them aside and let  dry.

Step 5: Birch Bark

take some fondant (i use marshmallow fondant) about the size of a lime

OPTIONAL: mix it with 1 tablespoon gum tragacanth - i recommend this if the weather is very hot or moist)

take your rolling pin and roll the fondant VERY thin

tear out different shapes (see the pictures) and set them a side to dry.

you may roll some of the edges, look at a birch tree for inspiration!

some of the pieces should have about the same height of your cake tiers.


Step 6: Covering the Cakes in Fondant


now it's one day before the wedding occures :)

you fill your cakes or pick them up at your local bakery,
and now i'll show you what to do next.

the cakes usually come on thin cake boards - if not place them on such.
trim the cake-boards round the cake with scissors (see the pictures).

Spread a lot confectioners sugar on your working space
Take your fondant and knead it untill it's not sticky anymore( if you work with marshmallowfondant give it a few seconds in the microwave until its soft enough to work with it.)

Take your rolling pin and roll it thin (approx 1,2 or 1,5 inch) and about the double size of your cake tier.
lift it up in between and make sure it doesn't stick on your working space!

when you're done with that, place your rolling pin on one side of your fondant sheet and wrap the fondant around it.

lift everything up and unwrap it over the cake. ( there are pictures of every step.)

press the fondant -cover slightly  on the edges of the cake.

trim around with the pizza wheel.

smooth the fondant with your confectioners sugar - dusted hands - small circular movements work great.

It's not that important to work absolutely accurate, you can cover all your mistakes with decoration or icing.

proceed until all cakes are covered.







Step 7: Stack Em Up!

now it's time for the stacking of the cake tiers!

i actually transported this cake 200miles without any damage. so this really workes!

Don't remove the cake-boards!!!

take the drinking straws and place them vertically in the cake as shown on the pictures.

just use the un-bended part of the straws.

Cut them in exact the same height as your cake is!!

black straws look quite nice, and are easy spotted.

Now place the next tier on your "straw-dowels"

voila!

Step 8: Birch Bark and Conceiling

Icing:

take an eggwhite and mix it with confectioners sugar until "icing-peaks" don't collapse ( see picture) I'm greatful for help with this sentence ;D

spread a small amount on your "bark-pieces" and place them on the cake.

take a spoon and spread some icing on one end of the bigger bark-pieces. (pictured)
smooth the icing directly with a moist paintbrush until it's even.

Do the same between the tiers of the cake.
every step is pictured.

you can also conceil small bumps by filling them with icing ans smoothing with a brush



Step 9: Piping Some Fern

colour the left over icing green.

fill into a piping bag with a small nozzle and pipe some fern and other green details on the cake.
i'm not very good with piping, so i smoothed the icing with a moist paintbrush, and it turned out great!

see the pictures for inspiration.

you may choose a different, darker green colour

Step 10: Painting the Birch Bark

take a closer look on your cake and decide witch side the front is.

impress a heart with a tooth pick.

dip the  fine paint brush into brown and black food colouring and paint out the line of the heart, add the initials of the bride and groom.

now thake a broad paint brush, dip it into brown and black food colouring and paint the edges of your bark-pieces,
take only very little colour - you may paint first on a piece of kitchen paper, to lighten it upp.

see the pictures for the direction for your brushstrokes and variate with the colours.

take a fine paintbrush and add small lines all over the cake sides. (see pictures)



Step 11: Decorate


now take the prepared decoration and secure them with left -over icing.


you're almost done :o)

Step 12: Add Cake Topper


add the cake topper - i made a quick and easy one,

you can find the instructable for that here: https://www.instructables.com/id/easy-fast-and-cheap-cake-topper/

decorate round the cake topper.


Step 13: Congratulations


Congratulations: you're done!


Comments

author
CatTrampoline (author)2011-07-22

Very nice job. Different, non-traditional but still classy & elegant.
When I made my wedding cake, I baked the cake part about a week ahead, glazed the layers to keep them from drying out, and froze them. Then it was easy to do the assembly & frosting the day before the wedding.

author
Mimikry (author)CatTrampoline2011-07-22

Thank you,
sounds very good too freeze them - then it's no stress at all - i'm gonna try this!

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