In advance: Make fantasy flowers using royal icing. On waxed paper squares, make 54 star flower frames using tip 3, first piping five 1/2 in. long lines in a star formation, then piping five 1/4 in. long lines in between. On waxed paper, using thinned royal icing and tip 3, pipe fifty-four 3/4 in. diameter dots and five hundred forty 1/4 in. diameter dots for flower petals. Make extras of all to allow for breakage and let dry.
Assemble flowers: Using tip 2 and royal icing, attach one large dot to each star center. Attach 10 small dots to the ends of star lines; let dry. Remove flowers from waxed paper and reinforce backs using tip 2; let dry. Attach 16 flowers to lollipop sticks, using royal icing and tip 3. Set remaining flowers aside.
Mix 2 teaspoons of Gum-Tex into 24 oz. rolled fondant. Roll fondant 1/8 in. thick and cut three each of panels A and B using patterns. Let dry on cornstarch-dusted surface. Ice panels with thinned royal icing. Immediately comb with large-tooth edge of decorating comb. Trim excess icing from edges and let dry.
Prepare cake base using double-thick foam core or plywood: Using 15 in. hexagon pan as pattern, mark 2 3/4 in. larger than pan on all sides. Cut out boards, tape together and wrap with foil. Cover with rolled fondant (about 80 oz.); smooth with Easy-Glide Smoother.
Prepare 2-layer 9 in. and 12 in. cakes (4 in. high) and 15 in. cake (5 in. high) for
Push-In Pillar and
Stacked Construction. Prepare for rolled fondant and cover (use 36 oz. for 9 in., 48 oz. for 12 in. and 96 oz. for 15 in.); smooth with Easy-Glide Smoother. Dowel rod 15 in. cake and position on prepared base.
Decorate 15 in. cake. Pipe a tip 5 line of royal icing 2 in. from bottom. Alternately attach panels A and B to cake sides. Roll out 48 oz. of fondant 1/4 in. thick. Using pattern, cut out 6 swags and attach to cake with damp brush, positioning swag peaks at corners, 1/2 in. from top of cake. Using buttercream, outline scallop on bottom edge of swags with tip 5. Add tip 5 beads at swag seams. Pipe tip 1 black dots.
Mark top of 12 in. cake with separator plate for positioning of pillars. Attach 9 in. cake to 10 in. plate. Stack 12 and 15 in. cakes. Decorate 9 and 12 in. cakes: Imprint vine from press set on sides and tops. Outline with tip 5 in buttercream. Add tip 1 black dots. Pipe tip 7 bead bottom borders.
Attach fantasy flowers. On 15 in. cake, use a lollipop stick to make holes in cake top for placement of flowers at corners and at center of each side. Insert flowers on sticks. Using royal icing, attach remaining flowers in sets of three, in swag formation on cake sides, between flowers on sticks.
At reception: Insert pillars in 12 in. cake; assemble cakes. Position topper.
*Note: The top tier is often saved for the first anniversary. The number of servings given does not include the top tier.
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