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How Does Your Garden Grow?

Updated May 12, 2017
How Does Your Garden Grow
How Does Your Garden Grow
This image courtesy of Corey Brinkmann

Editor's Note: Are you ready to take your cake decorating skills to the next level? Then you need the recipe and instructions for the design How Does Your Garden Grow? You'll use several types of skills and techniques to create this colorful and delicious floral arrangement that everyone will love. The next time you want to make something special for Mother's Day, a birthday, or even just because it's Friday, keep this design in mind! This recipe is ideal for those at the intermediate level. It also calls for royal icing, which is a basic white icing made with ingredients that can include egg whites and powdered sugar. You'll want to take a look at The Necessities from this cookbook for design templates, source materials, and other information, too.

Flowers on a cake are nothing new, but a cake shaped like a barrel of flowers is something you don’t see every day. This pretty cakelet combines things we always turn to for special occasions into a form that’s unexpected and exciting. This design is versatile and customizable. It even works beautifully as a get-well or sympathy gift. 

NOTES:
1. Batter yields enough cake for 4 cakelets
2. Fondant quantity listed is suitable to complete 1 cakelet

Kid FriendlyYes

OccasionBirthday, Casual Dinner Party, Family Get Together

Recipe CourseDessert

Taste and TextureSweet

Type of DishCake, Dessert

Ingredients

  • Tools
  • 6-cavity Wilton king-size muffin pan
  • The Necessities
  • Flower Pot template (see the PDF in The Necessities)
  • Small and medium flower cutters
  • Flower veiner tool
  •  
  • Ingredients
  • One 16-oz (455 g) box cake mix (any flavor) prepared, or batter for one 9-in (23-cm) cake
  • 1 recipe Vanilla Frosting or 1 container store-bought frosting
  • 8 oz (225 g) chocolate fondant or brown colored fondant (see Resources in The Necessities)
  • 1 lb (455 g) white fondant (see Resources in The Necessities)
  • Pink, blue, yellow, and green gel food colorings
  • Several pieces of uncooked spaghetti
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Instructions

Bake the Cake

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C). Spray each of the king-size muffin pan cavities to be used with a non-stick spray (you will need one muffin cake for one cakelet). Fill each of the king-sized muffin cavities being used three-quarters full with batter. Bake for 25 minutes, or until the top springs back when lightly pressed and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. 

  2. Allow the cake to cool for a few minutes in the pan. If the cake rose above the pan, use a serrated knife to cut away the top to make it level (set the knife across the top of the pan so you can use it as a guide). Run a knife around the edge to loosen the sides. Invert the cake out of the pan and place on a wire rack to finish cooling.  When completely cool, wrap in plastic wrap and freeze for at least two hours until cold and firm.

Prepare to Decorate

Divide 8 oz (225 g) of white fondant into quarters. Color each portion in the shades desired for the flowers and leaves. Wrap each color separately in plastic wrap until ready to use. 

Cover the Cake

  1. Place the king-sized muffin cake upside down on a square of parchment paper, so the narrow end of the cake is up. 

  2. Using a tapered angled spatula, apply a smooth crumb coat of Vanilla Frosting on the sides of the cake (but not the top). Use enough frosting so that the spatula doesn’t come into direct contact with the cake. This will keep you from dislodging too many crumbs. 

  3. Mix together 7 oz (200 g) of white fondant with 1 oz (28 g) chocolate or brown colored fondant. Dust a clean, dry work surface with cornstarch. Roll out the off-white fondant into a 4½-in (11.25-cm) by 11-in (28-cm) rectangle that’s ¼ in (6 mm) thick. Place the Flower Pot template on top and use a pastry wheel to cut out the shape, using the template as a guide. 

  4. Use an X-Acto knife to cut “staves” for what will become the half barrel flower container. Cut the ends at odd angles to give them character. Use the fondant marking tool to create the impression of wood grain. 

  5. Gently wrap the pieces around the cake so that the seams touch. Cut away any excess fondant around the bottom of the cake. 

  6. Roll out 3 oz (85 g) of chocolate or brown colored fondant into two strips 10 in (25.5 cm) long, 1 in (2.5 cm) wide, and ⅛ in (3 mm) thick. Using a little water, adhere the strips around the barrel, forming the hoops, with the seams in the back. Trim away the excess at the seam. Refrigerate for one hour.

Assemble

  1. Remove the cakelet from the refrigerator and place it right side up on a fresh piece of parchment paper. 

  2. Using a tapered angled spatula, apply a smooth crumb coat of Vanilla Frosting to the top of the cakelet.

  3. Roll out the green fondant until it is ⅛ in (3 mm) thick. Cut a circle roughly the same size as the opening of the barrel and lay it over the mouth, smoothing it down. Cut away any excess fondant with an X-Acto knife.

  4. Dust a clean, dry work surface with cornstarch. Roll out 1 oz (28 g) of white fondant into a 2-in (5-cm) ball. Flatten the bottom of the ball and use a little water to adhere it to the green circle.

Make and Adhere the Flowers

  1. Roll a gumball-sized piece of white fondant into a log. Dip an end of raw spaghetti in water and insert it into the log. Using a small flower cutter, cut out approximately twenty small flowers and adhere them to the fondant log in close formation. Make two or three of these, and insert them into the top of the cakelet.

  2. Using your hands, roll a gumball-sized piece of green fondant. Dip an end of raw spaghetti in water and insert it into the ball. Texture the ball with a toothpick. Make two or three of these, and insert them into the top of the cakelet.

  3. Roll out the lightest shade of fondant until it’s ⅛ in (3 mm) thick. Using the small flower cutter, cut out 15–20 flowers. 

  4. Brush the top of the cakelet with water. Arrange the flowers around the opening of the barrel. Using the flower veining tool, press the tip into each flower, attaching it to the surface.

  5. Repeat steps 4 and 5 using different shades of fondant and different sized flower cutters until the top of the cakelet is covered.

  6. Tip: Using randomly arranged flowers in a variety of sizes, colors, and shapes makes for a more natural-looking arrangement. 

Finishing Touches

Dress up your cakelet by adding green fondant leaves. You might also add a monogram plate to the front of the container, or pipe a dot of royal icing into the center of each blossom for added detail.

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