A large lump of PINK fondant sat on my bench top waiting to be rolled – pink looks very foreign in our house. This tiered birdie cake is for my friends little girl who is turning one. Making a tiered cake is a fair bit more involved than a single layer so here is a walk-through of what you’ll need to do:
1. Things to get for Tiered Birdie Cake:
fondant and gel colours
ingredients for gnache, simple syrup and cakes (recipes are further down in this post)
cake tins – can be hired
lazy susan or a cake decorators turn table
long serrated knife to cut cake layers
palette knife to spread gnache
fondant smoother – essential piece of equipment should be at cake decorating shops
icing sugar / cornflour to put on bench when rolling fondant
cake pop sticks for the birdies legs
Up to three weeks ahead:
* Buy fondant
* Make fondant decorations (you can add xanthum gum to fondant to help it set hard when making decorations if you are doing it at the last minute). I used cake pop sticks for the birdies legs, note how they are much longer than needed so that they can push into the cake. If you are new to fondant read fondant basics.
Early The Day before:
make gnache to cover the cake (scroll down for recipes)
make fillings for between layers
make simple syrup (scroll down for recipes)
make the cakes (scroll down for recipes)
The Evening BeforeCut your cakes into equal layers. Place your on cake boards, lightly squirt with simple syrup (you will not need all of it, store the rest for later). The simple syrup helps keep the cake really moist. Fill between the layers and cover cakes with ganache.
Tip to get your ganache sides straight try using a clean right angled ruler. Place one side flat on the lazy susan and the other against the side of the cake board and spin the lazy susan around.
Loosely drape in glad wrap and leave on the bench overnight or at least for an hour to firm up. If you put it in the fridge it will firm up faster but when you cover it in fondant it will sweat making it harder to smooth.
Late the night before or on the morning of the party
Cover both cakes in fondant and smooth. Now this is usually relatively simple but I was using a different brand of fondant to normal and really struggled to get it from bench to cake without it tearing. If you have never used fondant before – see this post for a review of 8 types of fondant.
Once the base layer is covered insert 5 dowels into the cake and mark where they are at the top of the cake. Remove and cut them all to the shortest length (this ensures your second tier is straight). Reinsert into the cake.
Place the second layer on top of the first using the clean palette knife to help you.
Around the base of each layer you may like to add some contrasting fondant – either a long strip as is shown here on the base layer or a long rolled piece as used on the top layer. Alternatively you could use a ribbon. This hides any imperfections in the fondant around the base of your cake.
Then add the rest of your decorations and you are done.
White chocolate ganache recipe:
1125g (39.68 ounces) white chocolate chopped
375g (13.23 ounces) cream
Heat cream to boiling and then pour over the chocolate. Leave to sit for a minute and then stir. If the chocolate is not completely melted you can microwave for 10 second bursts until it is smooth. Set aside to cool completely. Just before using beat using electric mixers. Once whipped this makes 9 cups of frosting.
Raspberry Ganache Recipe
300g (10.58 ounces) frozen raspberries
300g (10.58 ounces) cream
1125g (39.68 ounces) White chocolate chopped
Place chopped chocolate in a bowl.
Heat raspberries and cream until raspberries have fallen apart.
Push through a sieve so that you do not have any seeds.
Put the strained cream mixture back in the saucepan and reheat. Boil and allow some of the liquid to evaporate away.
Measure 375ml of hot cream mixture and pour over the chocolate. Allow to sit for a minute and then stir until smooth. If the chocolate is not completely melted you can microwave for 10 second bursts until it is smooth. Set aside to cool completely. Just before using beat using electric mixers. Once whipped this makes 9 cups of frosting.
Simple syrup recipe
100g (3.53 ounces) sugar
Optional – 1 tablespoon of liquor / vanilla
Heat sugar and water stirring until sugar is dissolved. Continue to heat until makes a syrup (approx 220 degrees F). Remove from heat, allow to cool completely and put into squeezy bottle.
Vanilla Cake Recipe
1 1/2 cup (360g (12.7 ounces)) sugar
2 tablespoons vanilla
1 cup (250g (8.82 ounces)) oil or margarine
1 cup (250g (8.82 ounces)) milk
2 tsp vinegar
2 1/2 cups (380g (13.4 ounces)) flour
3 tsp baking powder
Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. Place all the ingredients in a bowl and mix with an electric mixer until smooth and lighter in colour – approx 4 minutes on high. Pour into cake tin and bake in moderate oven until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.
How much fondant will you need to cover your cake?
round cakes: 6″ – 500g (17.64 ounces), 7″ – 500g (17.64 ounces), 8″ – 750g (26.46 ounces), 9″ – 1kg (2.2 pounds), 10″ – 1.25kg (2.76 pounds), 11″ – 1.5kg (3.31 pounds), 12″ – 1.75kg (3.86 pounds)
square cakes: 6″ – 500g (17.64 ounces), 7″ – 750g (26.46 ounces), 8″ – 1kg (2.2 pounds), 9″ – 1.25kg (2.76 pounds), 10″ – 1.5kg (3.31 pounds), 11″ – 1.75kg (3.86 pounds), 12″ – 2kg (4.41 pounds)
How much frosting will you need to cover your cake? The amount of frosting needed can vary greatly depending on how thick a layer you want and how much you need to smooth out your cakes imperfections. I would always rather make more and freeze the leftovers than be scrapping for bits of icing to smooth out a cake so these amounts are generous.
6″ – 3 cups, 7″ – 3 1/2 cups, 8″ – 4 cups, 9″ – 4 1/2 cups, 10″ – 5 cups, 12″ – 5 1/2 cups , 14″ – 7 1/2cups, 16″ – 9 cups
Inspiration for this cake came from images provided by the family and a beautiful cake designer emmas cakes