How to Decorate a Cake With a Sunflower
Cake decorating takes practice, but with the right tools and materials, you can learn how to create a cake with a sunflower design. For serious cake decorating, invest in a piping set with icing bags and several different tips. Professionals use metal tips and reusable bags, but you can get by with less expensive plastic tips and disposable bags. Start with a round layer cake frosted with white, chocolate or tinted buttercream; if you tint the frosting, go with a color that will contrast with the colors of the sunflower, such as light blue.
Divide the white buttercream frosting into two bowls. Mix green gel food coloring into one bowl of frosting until it turns bright green; mix yellow food coloring plus just a drop of red into the other bowl to achieve a bright orangey-yellow.
Attach the tips to the pastry bags as directed. Use a spatula to scoop the frosting into the bags; put green into the bag with one of the "V"-shaped leaf tips and yellow into the other. Scoop chocolate frosting into the bag with the star tip.
Practice making leaves and petals on a sheet of wax paper before decorating the cake. Hold the leaf tip at a 45-degree angle from the surface and gently squeeze the bag. As the icing comes out, pull the bag toward yourself slowly, then release the pressure on the bag and quickly pull away, making a point at the end.
Use the star-tipped bag of chocolate frosting to practice making stars, which will fill the center of the flower. Hold the bag straight up 1/4-inch over the wax paper and gently squeeze the bag. As soon as you see the icing come out, stop squeezing, then pull the bag straight up.
Place the cookie cutter or an inverted pint glass gently on the top of the cake to make a circle where you want the center of the sunflower to be. It can be off-center.
Pipe the green icing first, using the circle as a guide. Create a stem, which can extend down the side of the cake, and leaves.
Create the petals with the yellow frosting. The bases of the petals should meet the edge of the circle. Layer the petals to give it a full look.
Pipe stars around the edge of the circle with the chocolate frosting, then fill in the center with stars, covering the frosting base.
Press chocolate-covered sunflower seeds in a circle in the center of the flower, over some of the piped stars, or use the chocolate sunflower seeds to cover any gaps between the stars.
Things You Will Need
- Frosted round layer cake
- 4 cups white buttercream frosting
- Green gel food coloring
- Yellow gel food coloring
- Red gel food coloring
- 2 cups chocolate buttercream frosting
- 3 pastry bags
- 2 leaf tips
- 1 star tip
- Wax paper
- 4-inch round cookie cutter or pint glass
- Chocolate-covered sunflower seeds
- If you can't find chocolate-covered sunflower seeds, use brown candy-coated chocolate drops, or skip the candy altogether.