I was fortunate to take a class from an outstanding teacher, Kathleen Lange, confectionarychalet.com. The first 7 photos in the tutorial are from her class and are used with her permission. (I apologize that the top of the cornucopia is smooshed in the photo, the cake was taken before I could take a photo of the cake with the top corrected.)
Step 1--cover sugar cone with buttercream
a) Use tip #21 and cover about 1" high on both sides, b) then go back and forth on top of cone.
Step 2--finish front edges with border
Use a swirling motion to create border. Put some inside the opening of the cone.
Step 3--create items in corncucopia opening
Swirl a large area with tip #21 to create a base, then begin adding flowers or buttercream fruit. These are two mums. (More on mums later)
Step 4--add more items in opening
Begin adding mums, grapes, leaves, vines, etc. Using bi-color frosting helps create authentic leaf and flower colors.
Step 5--Add grapes, vines, leaves
Keep adding mums, grapes, leaves, etc. until you reach the desired fullness of your cornucopia
You can also use tip 352 to make the mums with pointed petals. I also use tip 352 for the leaves.
Bi-color icing: Bag Striping Effects, Brush Striping OR Spatula Striping
You can also use the seriouscakes frosting plug method. Watch this video (frosting plug starts at minute 1:35):
Grapes: Use tip 5 or 7 depending on the size you want your grapes. Use this method to get round "balls":
Leaves: Tip 352
Vines: Use tip 3 for stems, and tip 1 for curlicues
BerryGood--That's the fun part! It's NOT that hard. I was very new to cake decorating when I took this class and these techniques were just a quick demonstration. Get a practice surface (like a cookie sheet) and copy each of the photos. (You can always scrape off your different colors of buttercream later, mix them together and make chocolate buttercream by adding some cocoa.)
Please try it! I was so excited when I did my cake at home I telephoned my teacher and told her my cake looked just like hers. It was a big moment.
When you break down the individual components, cornucopia, mums, leaves, stems and curlicues, grapes, bi-color frosting, each is fairly easy. The hardest part would be the mums. If you can't get those, try any other buttercream flower in autumn colors that you CAN do.
You CAN make your own awesome cake. If you have any questions, just send me a PM and I'll walk you thru each step.
bradloton and kidcaker~~If you have ANY questions at all, send me a private message and we can exchange phone numbers and/or regular email addresses. (I'm not getting email notifications of replies to threads, so otherwise I might miss it.)
It was this thread from Christina that gave me the idea to make my cornucopia last year during Christmas. Thanks again for the inspiration, Christina! I tweaked the idea and made only the horn entirely from cake.