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Upper Echelon Cake

Instructions:

Step 1

At least 3 days in advance: Make swags. Combine 12 oz. fondant with 2 teaspoons of Gum-Tex. Roll out 1/16 in. thick. Mark pattern with toothpick and cut 96 swags. Make extras to allow for breakage and let dry on cornstarch-dusted board.

Step 2

Also: Make puddle dots. Pipe 36 dots, 1/2 in. diameter, using thinned royal icing in cut disposable bag. Two days in advance: Add spikes to swags. Turn over dry swags and pipe a tip 5 pull-out spike on each swag, 3/4 in. high, using royal icing. Let dry.

Step 3

Bake three 1-layer 12 x 18 in. cakes 2 in. high; position one 12 x 18 in. cake on foil-wrapped plywood or foamcore board. Cut a second 12 x 18 in. cake into two 18 x 6 in. halves. Position one half cake against 12 x 18 in. cake on board for an 18 in. square, icing the seamed area together. Repeat for top 18 in. layer so that seams are perpendicular to each other.

Step 4

Also bake 2-layer 6, 10 and 14 in. cakes and position on same-size separator plates. Ice cakes smooth in buttercream. Prepare cakes for Separator Plate and Pillar Construction. Mark sections every 2 in. across and every 1/2 in. down with toothpick. In royal icing, pipe tip 2 drop strings, 1 in. deep, in each 2 in. section. Pipe 5 additional drop strings, 1 in. deep, beginning at each 1/2 in. mark. Add tip 2 dot at each drop string point.

Step 5

At reception: Assemble cakes. Place 18 in. cake on 16 x 16 x 4 in. craft block to create a space under cake.

Step 6

Attach swags to bottom of all cakes, inserting spikes into bottom edge of cake and securing with royal icing. Pipe 3 tip 2 drop strings on swags. Add tip 2 dot at drop string points.

Step 7

Attach puddle dots between swags on 18 in. cake to cover board. Position flowers beneath 18 in. cake. Position topper.