Bas relief is a fabulous technique for cake decorating that has been brought to the fore by the innovative cake designs of US designer, Maggie Austin. Bas relief is a term borrowed from the art of sculpture and refers a pattern that is raised up from the surface of a piece of art.
Two fine examples of Maggie’s bas relief work are featured above and below, created using her own custom bas relief moulds. But to create your own bas relief cake designs, any mould can be used the back of which is flat and can be adhered d to the surface of your cake with royal icing.
Bas relief as used in cake decorating creates a wonderful illusion of the design having been”carved” from the cake surface and is especially effective when the same colour is used in both the background and the bas relief pattern, with a beautiful example below from Ms. B’s Cakery, Hong Kong.
While the designers featured above have been inspired by nature in their choice of bas relief designs, Canada’s Nadia & Co. Art & Pastry feature baroque style motifs in their ornate wedding cake creation below.
A close-up of one of Maggie Austin’s signature bas relief designs below.
Below, the dogwood rose cake design from the Maggie Austin Cake collection in close-up:
..and in even closer detail.
The Artful Caker, Sydney has also incorporated vines and autumn berries in there bas relief decorated cake below.
T Bakes, Portugal have created marvellously intricate bas relief detailing in one of their outstanding designs below.
Further extravagant and luxurious bas relief cake detailing from the sugar art of Maggie Austin.
Blossombelle Cakes, Melbourne have created this magnificent ivory vintage design below using floral bas relief detailing.
Swiss cake artist, Panel7124 on Cake Central, has created a beautiful bridal design below with bas relief roses and floral details, with a beautifully textured central tier.
Berries and acorns feature in the autumnal inspired design below left by Nadia & Co. topped with a unique, floral cake topper. To the right, Australia’s Blissfully Sweet Cakes have put their own unique stamp on antique bas relief styling by adopting a pastel pink colour palette for an elegant, feminine design.
Oak leaves, acorns and the last flowers of summer feature in the stunning Maggie Austin bas relief design below (Emma Willetts Photography).
The Little Cake Patch have created a superbly elegant bas relief wedding cake design below with classical flourishes, a beautifully textured extended base tier and a statement sugar flower topper.
A woodland setting provides the perfect backdrop for the trio of ornate nature-inspired bas relief designs below from the Wild Orchid Baking Co.
A close-up of a wonderful design from Viva La Tarta incorporating moulded bird figures, perfect for a spring wedding cake.
While bas relief decorating looks beautiful in a single colour, Lemon Tree Cakes, London demonstrate in their fabulous “Four Seasons” wedding cake below that adding colour to the raised pattern can also create a terrific effect.
Below, Sweetums Designer Cakes have created a beautiful floral design in “high relief”, a slightly more raised projection from the surface compared with “bas relief,” for a magnificent multi-dimensional effect.
Advertisement: To learn more about the art of bas relief cake decorating, check out Maggie Austin’s latest Craftsy class, Decorating in Three Dimensions which also covers elevated sugar flower arranging and handpainted stained glass effects on fondant.
Join the Cake Geek Magazine Facebook Page for more on cake design trends and updates.
Readers might also be interested in the following features:
- Textured Effects: White Woodgrain
- Elevated Sugar Flowers/Climbing Sugar Flower Arrangements
- A Compendium of Sugar Flower Tutorials
- Sugar Foliage & Tutorials
- Sugar Succulents & Tutorials
- Midsummer Night’s Dream Wedding Cakes
- Botanical Style Wedding Cakes
- Woodland Wedding Cakes
- Chalkboard Cakes
- Black Iced Cakes
- Autumn Cakes for the Fall Season
- Autumn Wedding Cakes
- Birch Tree Wedding Cakes & Woodgrain Effects
- Spring Wedding Cakes
- Floral Lace Wedding Cakes
- Cube Cake Designs
- Wedding Cakes in Watercolours
- Tumbling, Trailing Sugar Flowers
Coming Up Next: Flower Fairy Cakes