Woodland Cake! ~A Blog Tutorial

Hi everyone! Today I’m making a sweet little cake, and it’s a perfect theme for anniversaries, wedding showers, and on a larger scale, even weddings! ;0) — It’s a woodland theme, and while I kept things simple, I bet that you could incorporate our cake stump into all sorts of fun designs.  It was all I could do not to make a little gnome or fairy- ha ;0)

I started with a two layer, 6 inch tier. I wanted to go with a birch tree stump so that I could keep it mostly white.  I frosted it with vanilla buttercream tinted with copper coloring on top.  Then, I followed with white buttercream around the sides.  Let the frosting around the sides extend slightly above the top edge.  (In the photo, I’m using my trusty bench scraper for quick smoothing.)

I then spun my cake on the turntable as I sliced of the excess icing around the top, holding my spatula nearly parallel to the top edge.

Since I used a crusting buttercream, I allowed the frosting to crust before then going back and smoothing here and there with my Viva brand paper towel.  (Viva brand has no impressions or quilting.)  You do not have to use a crusting buttercream though for this cake–as you can see, I did very little smoothing!  I wanted to keep it realistic ;0)

Next, I added lots of rings with my toothpick.

 

I used a heart shaped cookie cutter to create an impression on the front side of our stump.

Since I’m going for a carved look, I used a piping bag fitted with a tip 3 (and filled with buttercream tinted chocolate brown) to trace over the heart impression that I made.  I did something that I never do–I allowed the piping tip to scrape across the surface of the icing (ack!) — but, totally necessary for the look.  I had to stop and wipe off the piping tip every so often so that things wouldn’t get too messy.

Birch trees are white with thin grey/black markings.  I fitted my piping bag with a tip 2 and filled with grey/black buttercream (tinted with Americolor Black). Just as with the writing, I slightly buried my piping tip in the white icing as I piped.

I also used my toothpick and knife to make random impressions in the bark.

We’re looking pretty good at this point but we need some woodland accents…bring on the mushrooms and ferns! ;0)

Since I knew that I wanted some thin-stemmed mushrooms, I decided to cut away most but not all of my cardboard cake circle.  This is so that I could use a toothpick to punch holes here and there so that my mushroom (anchored with a toothpick) could fit into it.  If larger stand-up mushrooms are in your plan, use two stacked cake circles as your base so that you can have slightly longer anchors.

For my taller mushrooms, I formed the fondant stem around a toothpick. I left a little bit of the toothpick exposed on both ends.

For the top, I rolled my fondant into a ball and flattened it and formed into a mushroom shape.  Then, I pushed it on top of my stem.  (**If you are going to allow your mushroom tops to dry over several hours, create a tiny hole in the bottom so that you can piece the top and stem together easily later.)

I kneaded a little bit of tylose into my fondant (which was tinted with Americolor Copper coloring) so that it would firm up more quickly and be easier to work with.  If your fondant is too soft, you may need to allow it to dry for several hours.  Since mine was firmer, I was able to use it almost immediately.

 

For easy, ready in an instant mushrooms, go squatty style!  The stem is just a ball of fondant, flattened slightly on top and bottom.

For a realistic touch, we sprinkled them with cocoa powder (so easy and effective!)

Next, let’s move to the ferns.  I bought this Wilton fern mold on impulse a couple of months ago and was so excited to have an excuse to use it!  I dusted mine with a little cornstarch (and then wound up needing to brush just the slightest bit of shortening.)  It worked great.  I just rolled my fondant (with a little tylose kneaded into it) over the mold.  I rolled it very thin, until I could see the fern shape from the other side.  Then, I took a very sharp knife and holding it flush against the mold, I cut away the excess.  My fern color was a combination of leaf green coloring and a very small amount of brown coloring.

I applied the ferns to the cake immediately.  Then, I added further detail with a paint that I created on my artists palette with vodka mixed with a little leaf green, a little Americolor Electric Green, a little Americolor Chocolate Brown, and  a little Americolor White.

 

I added a few tiny red fondant ladybugs (head and dots colored with an Americolor Black pen).

That’s it!

Simple, but charming ;0) — I hope that you like it!

 

 

 

Thanks for stopping by the blog today~ come back again soon!

Category: Blog Tutorials, Buttercream Techniques

21 Comments

  1. Cakewhiz says: #1

    Oh how pretty!
    I bought those fondant molds too but i got the orange one… It has all those indian designs…

  2. Annissa says: #2

    This is really cute! I used the same heart idea for a Family Tree cake last weekend…wish I would have thought of the mushrooms & ladybugs. Missed opportunity. Sigh. Maybe I’ll have to find a way to upload the picture. I’m new here so haven’t figured that out yet.

  3. MsSherrieJ says: #3

    Love it!

  4. lulu50 says: #4

    Thanks for the blog/tutorial Melissa! ( : I actually just had a bride request a 3 tiered wedding cake exactly like this design. I was SO excited to see this!!

    Thanks again,
    Mary

  5. kelly says: #5

    Oh wow I love this! I will definitely give it a try. Thank you for the tutorial.

  6. paola says: #6

    great job…as always :-)))

  7. Wicked Goodies says: #7

    That’s super cute! I just discovered your blog. Love it!
    – Kristen from Wicked Goodies

  8. ForSweetsSake says: #8

    Really cute Melissa…thanks

  9. Maureen says: #9

    Once again Melissa, another great tutorial!!! You are so talented- LOVE My Cake School!!!!

  10. Anniejoe says: #10

    Can I just say YOU are my hero!!!! I just had a wedding cake request for a “rustic wood look” last weed AND they wanted buttercream!! I thought how am I ever gonna? Thanks Melissa your the best!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  11. Melissa Diamond says: #11

    Thanks so much everybody!! @Anniejoe & LuLu–so excited that you’ll be doing wedding cakes in this theme. That is perfect! Can’t wait to see them.

  12. Aliya Tudor says: #12

    Ya think this would be cute as a birthday cake for a nature lover? Maybe put her name in the heart instead of initials?

  13. BeBe says: #13

    Hi Aliya, yes, I think that’s a great idea!!

  14. internet vnpt says: #14

    That’s super cute! Thank you for the tutorial.

  15. tara bellomy says: #16

    What do you use for your crusting buttercream recipe?

  16. Lady J says: #17

    what a great tutorial! Thank you for being generous with your creativity and knowledge! I can’t wait to try this!

  17. Terri Fountain says: #18

    OH THANK YOU!! My niece was given as an engangment ring made of a tree knot that was carved to her ring finger. The young man was waiting for her actual ring to be finished. He couldn’t wait. As the diamond he glued on a watermelon seed. It is just beautiful! She ask me if I could do a tree bark cake and of course being so honored I said yes….oh you just made months of aggervation and torment ease my mind! It is just beautiful and I so wanted to use buttercream as it is becoming a lost art with cake decorating! Thank you so much.

  18. Melissa Diamond says: #19

    Thank you for your comments! –

    @Terri, I love that your niece’s temporary ring was made from a ring carved from a tree knot! What a great idea to do a tree bark cake. I hope that you have fun with this design!!

  19. hellocupcake says: #20

    This is such a cute cake. I’m going to make it for a co worker who loves mushrooms, and just eloped. Are the stubby mushrooms secured with frosting? Thanks :)

  20. Melissa Diamond says: #21

    Thanks! I’m glad that you are making it ;0) —

    To join the two pieces of the stubby mushrooms, I would have just used a little piping gel or sugar glue. Even just rubbing the top of the stem with a little water could do the trick. Good luck!

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