At least 2 weeks in advance, make floral sprays: Using prepared gum paste, plus cutters and instructions in Stepsaving Set, make the following flowers on 22 or 24 gauge wires: 37 buds and 30 small-bloom roses using small rose cutter, 48 small-bloom roses and 20 full-bloom roses using large rose cutter. Let dry. Make approximately 170 gum paste rose leaves on 26 gauge wires, let dry on flower formers dusted with cornstarch.
When completely dry, assemble sprays as follows: For 8 in. top cake, use 5 small-bloom roses (2 small cutter, 3 large cutter), 2 buds and 10 leaves. For 12 in. cake, join two sprays, each with 10 small-bloom roses (5 each size cutter), 3 full-bloom roses, 6 buds and 20 leaves. For 16 in. cake, assemble two sprays separately, one with 11 small-bloom roses (3 small cutter, 8 large cutter), 5 full-bloom roses, 3 buds and 30 leaves; the second with 6 small-bloom roses (3 each size cutter), 3 full-bloom roses, 2 buds and 18 leaves. For six side sprays on base 8 in. cakes, use 6 small-bloom roses (2 small cutter, 4 large cutter), 1 full-bloom rose, 3 buds and 12 leaves. Set aside.
To prepare base board for cake, position seven 8 in. cake circles on board. Place one circle in center and six around center circle, leaving approximately 1/2 in. between cakes. Mark pattern for board 11/2 in. wider than cake circles. Cut board and wrap with Fanci-Foil, securing edges with tape. Secure ribbon to edge of board.
Prepare 2-layer cakes- seven 8 in., one 12 in. and one 16 in.- for
stacked and push-in pillar construction. Prepare for rolled fondant,
cover with fondant and smooth. Position 8 x 4 in. round craft circle on center of foil-covered base board (secure with icing) for support and position six 8 in. cakes around it. Use a 16 in. cake circle to mark area where 16 in. cake will rest in center. Remove board and dowel rod cakes in areas where needed. Pipe tip 363 shell bottom borders in buttercream on all tiers.
Roll out and cut fondant pieces for drapes: Cut 12 x 10 in. pieces for 8 in. cakes, 16 x 10 in. piece for 12 in. cake, 22 x 10 in. piece for 16 in. cake. (For easier handling, larger pieces can be made in two sections, and then joined.) Gently fold pieces and gather at each end. Brush back of drapes with water and attach to cakes.
At reception, assemble cakes, arrange sprays in flower spikes. Insert flower spikes and position ornament.
Warning: Always place a separator plate on the cake before you position any figurine or ornament. This protects both the cake and your keepsake. For extra stability, secure your figurine to the plate with double-stick craft tape.
*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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