I’ve been a little too excited about my baking lately, and I think I’ve been telling my friends about my baking adventures nonstop. Luckily, I mentioned my desire to practice new decorating techniques to a friend who has a 6-month dating anniversary (dateaversarry? I’ve always wanted a word to exist that separates this from a marriage anniversary) coming up, and she asked me to make a little cake for her.
The design was left mostly up to me (this seems to be a bit of a pattern with my latest cakes!), so I decided on a pleated ruffle design. I’ve seen this done before and I absolutely love the look. In my eyes, it’s a feminine and sophisticated design.
Starting with the cake, I decided to alternate layers of a black devil’s food cake (for her, the chocolate lover) with vanilla (for him, the vanilla fan). A perfect meld of both their favourites (plus, it makes for a neat striped look inside the cake).
I went with a vanilla buttercream to compliment both cake flavours (also, unlike a chocolate buttercream, there’s room to play with the colour here). The request was for romantic colors (red and pink), so I decided on a pink ruffle. I considered a two-toned ruffle (pink with red at the tip), but since this was my first time trying a ruffle design on a cake I thought I’d keep it simple.
The ruffles are formed using a leaf tip, which has an elongated teardrop shape (one narrow end, one slightly wider end). By placing the wider end against the cake and drawing stripes diagonally upward, the narrow end pulls slightly off of the cake and produces a thin, delicate ruffle. The hardest part here is maintaining the same diagonal line all around the cake!
To hide the imperfection in the middle of the cake, where all of the ruffles come together, I piped out a large buttercream rose using the same leaf tip. This adds a nice centerpiece to the cake, while covering up any little problems with how the ruffles come together on top. This rose was piped in red, and to tie in the red with the rest of the cake, I added rosebuds around the bottom border of the cake.
With this detail in place, I decided the cake was complete – too many additional pieces on this cake would take away from the lovely ruffles, and I wanted them to shine. This is a simple, elegant cake that’s perfectly sized for a couple to share.