Autumn Cake

This cake was my biggest challenge yet.  It was inspired by and made for a decorating competition hosted by The Daring Kitchen in October, 2009. I couldn’t resist the autumn theme, my very favorite time of year, and the grand prize trip to New York to attend the New York Cake Convention.

Here’s how the cake came together.

Cake size was limited to a single 9″ round cake.  This is part of the assembly process.

The leaves were made out of gum paste, weeks ahead of time. The first step was getting all of the colors right – three for each tree.

Over 300 leaves were used on the cake when all was said and done.

Once the leaves were formed, each one was hand painted with gel food coloring to give them a more realistic finish.

As with real autumn leaves, each one of these was a unique work of art beautiful in itself.

Next the tree trunks were cut and dried out of gum paste.  The biggest design challenge was achieving the 3-dimensional branches that gave trees a realistic shape.

Tree trunks were assembled using royal icing in a matching color. This part of the cake dried overnight to solidify.

Leaves were attached one by one using more  royal icing.

Smaller leaves were placed along the grass line to give the idea of leaves that had fallen to the ground without being too distracting from the trees.

Finally the design came together.

It was almost too difficult to cut into, but we all managed to enjoy eating this one quite a bit!

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