Introduction: Stained Glass Cake
This is one of my all time favorite cake designs! It's very customizable so it really works for any occasion. It's kind of like a giant coloring book for cake decorators!
This tutorial is going to focus a little more on the decorating than the actual construction of the cake, but I will still give you my tips and tricks on stacking and covering cakes. Let's get started!
Step 1: Supplies
Two 10" round cakes
Two 8" round cakes
Two 6" round cakes (or your chosen cake sizes)
6 cups buttercream
5 lbs fondant (I used satin ice, but any brand will work, or even homemade)
Pastry wheel/fondant cutter
Food colors in whatever color scheme you are going with for your flowers
Vodka (for mixing paints)
Black food writer
Paint brushes (regular paint brushes are fine but just make sure you designate them for food only)
#1 or #2 tip
Hollow plastic dowels
1 wooden dowel
14" sturdy round cake board
10", 8", 6" round cake boards
For this cake an airbrush is completely optional, I just used it to add a little bit of shine, but if you don't have one it will still turn out just as great
Step 2: Reference Pictures and Sketch
For all of my cakes I like to start with some reference photos to pull inspiration from as well as a sketch of my design.
For this cake I wanted to keep it simple with roses, tulips, peonies, and anemones, but you can use any flowers, in any combination, the possibilities are endless. For my background color I decided I wanted to do a blue and yellow ombré because my flowers were pinks and purples.
Step 3: Assembling the Cakes
I decided not to go too in depth on assembling the cakes because I know everyone has their own methods, and there isn't any one way to assemble cakes.
I always start by leveling off the tops of my cakes so I can have the most even surface to work with. When I'm covering cakes in fondant I usually just use a thin layer of frosting to prevent air bubbles. I roll my fondant out to about 1/8" thickness and use the rolling pin to help me get it on the cake. Next I take a fondant smoother and slowly work my way around the cake until it's smooth all the way around.
For support I use cardboard under each cake and hollow plastic dowels, such as a Wilton brand. I usually use four per cake layer, and one sharpened wooden dowel through the whole cake once it's assembled. The last step before moving on is to take some white royal icing and pipe a pearl boarder around each layer. This step is optional but I think it just helps to make the cake come together and look a little more finished.
Step 4: Drawing the Flowers
Now comes the fun part! I used an edible marker, americolor to be exact, but you could also use black food color and a thin paint brush if you'd prefer. There really is no right or wrong way to do this which is what makes it so fun, but I just started with the bottom tier and worked my way up drawing the flowers first and adding the stems and leafs after.
Step 5: Painting the Flowers and Background
This is where it starts to feel like a giant coloring book. To make the paints I use a mix of food coloring and vodka, I also use white food color to lighten the colors.
You'll want to start with the flowers, I just started with one color for each flower and then lightened it as I went so I had several different shades. The background took a little trail and error, but if your doing a solid color background it's a little easier. I basically just decided what shade of blue I wanted to start with and what shade of yellow I wanted to end with and then painted in sections adding a little white each time and eventually adding some yellow to transition it seamlessly. If it doesn't look perfect of your colors don't blend together perfectly it's okay because once you add the lines for the glass it will look a lot better.
Step 6: Outline the Flowers and Glass
The last step to this cake is taking black royal icing and outlining all the flowers with a #1 or #2 tip. This is a pretty long process so just remember to take your time and it will look amazing. In between the flowers you'll want to add lines and random shapes for the stained glass effect and once everything is outlined you are done!
I really hope you liked this tutorial or found it helpful in one way or another. Enjoy!