Our contributor, Erica OBrien, is back for the next post in our Trending series. Join Erica as she goes from inspiration on Pinterest to cake concept and then the final cake design.
I wanted to celebrate the new year with something a little unconventional. Rather than create a winter-inspired cake like one might expect, I decided to embrace Marsala, the Pantone Color of the Year.
Truth be told, I’m sometimes a little baffled by Pantone’s annual Color of the Year selections, and don’t necessarily agree with their choices. The colors might work great for couture fashion, but for cake? Not so much. The challenge with this cake was to create a design that still felt light, romantic, girly, and wedding-appropriate with a color that reads a bit heavy. I knew that I wanted to incorporate the marsala as an accent color only, for fear that an entire cake covered in marsala-colored fondant would visually weigh the cake down. I considered an ivory fondant for the base, but wanted to stay away from the warmer fall tones and keep the cake looking fresh and clean, and ultimately went with a crisp, white fondant.
For the gold ribbon, we painted on gold luster mixed with vodka. To achieve the fine line, rather than use a paint brush, we sharpened a ¼” wooden dowel and used the pointed end much like a pen, dipping it in the gold mixture and essentially writing on the cake with it. This was the first time I used this method (mostly out of desperation, since none of the paint brushes I had were fine enough and those that were fine enough were fraying), and thought it successful. Expect to see more about this technique soon.
The marsala fondant was a mix of just two pre-mixed colors: Satin Ice red fondant and Satin Ice black fondant. We created a template for the bows, and then cut them, shaped them, and allowed them to dry. To give the bows a bit of movement, we brushed them with two coats of confectioners glaze. The finished sheen creates a deeper, more interesting color not seen with matte fondant. To attach the bows, we applied a small dab of fresh marsala-colored fondant with piping gel to the back of each bow and then adhered them to the cake with more piping gel.
I look forward to seeing all the creative ways cake artists and brides incorporate marsala into their cakes this year.
Next, catch my Chocolate Painted Cake.
I think you’ll also enjoy my Chalkboard & Paper Flowers Cake.
And don’t miss my Pastel Geometric Cake!
Have you seen my Edible Garland Cake?
Now, hop over to my Golden Pineapple Cake!