The holiday inspiration continues with our newest cake series, The 12 Cakes of Christmas! We’re celebrating twelve days of beautifully festive cakes, created especially to inspire you to holiday greatness! Twelve talented bakers were asked to create innovative and elegant cake designs appropriate for both Christmas parties and winter weddings. And along the way, we get an up close look at what inspires this talented group. It’s 12 bakers baking…. it’s The 12 Cakes of Christmas!
The tenth cake in our series comes to us from Jacki Fanto, owner of Blissfully Sweet in Sydney Australia. You probably remember Jacki from previous features on our site (like this incredible starry night cake or this ocean sunset cake). Jacki is back once again to amaze us with her creative style and artistic interpretation of a theme. It’s time to pack your bags and find your passports because Jacki is taking us on a fabulous Christmas trip down under. In a breathtaking ode to her homeland, Jacki brings the rich heritage of Australia to life in today’s cake. It’s absolutely phenomenal… and its The 10th Cake of Christmas!
Jacki builds upon the world around her to bring a touch of Australia to our cake series. And the result is nothing less than spectacular! Layers upon layers of delicate ruffles, each textured and patterned with remarkable detail. A sugar flower so grand you have to see it to believe it. Even the cake board is unlike any I’ve seen before. Prepare for take off because we’re headed to the land of magnificent cakes!
Jacki of Blissfully Sweet tells us more about her inspiration for this design:
“What Inspires me at Christmas?? I am mainly inspired by the amazing country I live in, as unlike the majority of the world, in Australia we have burning hot summers and Christmases spent cooling down with family and friends. So Australia was my inspiration, then came all the amazing things that sum it up – our indigenous heritage, our landscape and the amazing colours that it evokes as well as the elements and how they remind me of haute couture. How complex that simple first question ended up being! The trick would be now how to combine all the ideas and elements into a cohesive cake design that really spoke about what it meant.”
Jacki of Blissfully Sweet tells us about her technique:
“Time for designs – I wanted to use as many different techniques as I could, because this is meant to also be a challenge! For me there is no bigger challenge than sugar flowers. But there would be no call for pretty roses and peonies, I needed organic and native flowers and florals that are reminiscent of Christmas. The Waratah is a native Australian flower and is also the NSW (my state) State Floral Emblem. This flower is made up of many bud type petals that are densely packed into a cone shape and then are surrounded by long, large and smooth red leaves. I wanted this flower to be the feature but to also blend into the design. I lost count of the amount of petals this magnificent bloom took to create, but the majesty of the final product was well work the time!
The bottom triple stacked tier displayed my couture inspiration for this design. I wanted to achieve an organic ruffle in the design and when I saw the Miss Australia National Dress costume for the 2010 pageant, I wanted to create a sugar version of this design. The many ruffled layers were interpretations of the dress. The red bottom layer was textured with royal icing and then given a red lustre to give the look of textured material. The next layer was a black ruffle designed with many, many royal icing dots that gave the impression of Aboriginal painted material. The next layer had a watercolour of the earth colours of our summer. The next layer was a hand painted brown and black floral aboriginal painting design and then the top ruffle was a textured mustard colour. The entire ruffled layers came together to create a sugar couture Australian skirt for my cake!”
More from Jacki of Blissfully Sweet:
“My oversized warpath was perched on the top in front of two off-centered tiers that made up the top of the cake. One tier was covered with a ridged silver/copper fondant detail that was inspired by the corrugated iron roofs of old bush huts (this treatment was also used on the cake board) and the top tier had a earth toned lustre finish and then a simple Aboriginal pointillist painting was the only adornment. I originally wanted to have the entire top tier in this style of design, however when I was putting the top tier together (the final part), I did not think it needed to be so “busy” on top and so I left the pointillist painting to a minimum and I loved how it finished the cake off perfectly.”
Jacki of Blissfully Sweet continues:
“Cake done and now I needed the perfect location to tell the story. My amazing photographer showed me this old Blacksmiths hut and I fell in love with the location immediately. It was the perfect backdrop for the cake and for the inspiration. And true to a typical Aussie Bush Christmas, it seemed fitting that the photo shoot day was unbearably hot and really rang true to the story I was trying to tell.”
One final thought from Jacki of Blissfully Sweet:
“I do not think that the final result, could be construed as anything except Australia …… and Australia at Christmas! I hope you enjoyed my interpretation of an Australian Bush Christmas and I wish everyone from all corners of the globe a very merry Christmas and all of the fun and festivities that this wonderful season gives.”
Just one last quick reminder for all of the bakers out there…. did you know there is a Wild Card Spot open in our series!! The 12th Cake of Christmas is open and up for grabs! It’s a fun little competition open to any and all bakers who choose to submit a design. So to all of the talented bakers who read and follow along…. now’s your chance! Submit your merriest design to be considered. Your cake may become The 12 Cake of Christmas!! Email your photos or links to me at [email protected] by 12:00 pm EST Thursday!