Buttercream Hatbox Cake Tutorial

buttercream hatbox cake tutorial excerpted from Buttercream One-Tier Wonders, FW Media

In a departure from their towering multi-tiered buttercream extravaganzas, Valeri Valeriano and Christina Ong have turned their attention to one-tier beauties in their brand new book, Buttercream One-Tier Wonders.

Filled with simple, yet sensational designs (30 in total), the Queens of Buttercream draw inspiration from a range of themes from vintage chic to fine art, metallic effects to rustic landscapes, steampunk to Alice in Wonderland, in this their third buttercream art book to date.

And as a special treat for our readers this week, Valeri and Christina are sharing an extract from their book for the fabulous vintage hat box cake featured above. Enjoy!

To create this cake you will need:

  • 20cm (8in) round cake, 15cm (6in) high
  • 15cm (6in) round cake, 5cm (2in) high
  • 20cm (8in) round dummy cake, 2.5–4cm (1–1 1⁄2in) high
  • 20cm (8in) round thin cake board
  • 700–800g (1lb 9oz–1lb 12oz) light green buttercream, to cover the cake (Sugarflair Spruce Green)
  • 200–300g (7–101⁄2oz) light pink buttercream (Sugarflair Dusky Pink)
  • 200–300g (7–101⁄2oz) pink buttercream (Sugarflair Dusky Pink)
  • 200–300g (7–101⁄2oz) yellow buttercream (Sugarflair Melon plus a hint of Autumn Leaf)
  • 200–300g (7–101⁄2oz) light green buttercream (Sugarflair Gooseberry)
  • 200–300g (7–101⁄2oz) light yellow buttercream (Sugarflair Caramel)
  • Glue
  • Scraper
  • Serrated knife
  • Dowel
  • Sharpener
  • Ruler
  • Scissors
  • Wilton petal nozzle 103
  • Wilton petal nozzle 104
  • Wilton leaf nozzle 352
  • Piping bags
  • Tweezers
  • Pearl dragees (sugar balls)

Note: In this project a dummy cake is used for the lid to make it easier to assemble. However, you may use a real cake if you prefer.

1. Pre-pipe and freeze about 15 to 18 roses using the Wilton petal nozzle 104 and light pink, pink and yellow buttercream in a variety of sizes (See our Buttercream Flowers page here. “Piping Flowers” is covered in a separate full chapter in Buttercream One-Tier Wonders.)

Buttercream Hatbox Cake Tutorial with Buttercream Flowers 1

2. Prepare the thin cake board and dummy cake that will become the box lid. Poke a hole in the centre of the board for a dowel to go through, before sticking the dummy cake to the non-laminated side of the board.

Buttercream Hatbox Cake Tutorial with Buttercream Flowers Step 2

3. Stack your 20cm (8in) cakes (see Buttercream Basics), then add the 15cm (6in) cake centrally to the top of the stack. Then carve the top cake diagonally. The highest point should allow enough space for the height of the roses that you will add here shortly. We found this to be about 5cm (2in) for our cake.

Buttercream Hatbox Cake Tutorial with buttercream flowers steps 3 and 4

4. Insert a dowel down through the whole cake, measure and mark a point level with the highest point of the cake. Cut the dowel at your guide mark, pull it out and sharpen one end.

Buttercream Hatbox Cake Tutorial with Buttercream Flowers Steps 5 and 6

5. Place the dummy lid on the top of the cake to determine that it is the height you desire, then remove it. Crumb coat the cake and cover the lid and the cake sides with a smooth coat of light green buttercream. (This is covered in full in the “Buttercream Basics” chapter).

6. Use a ruler or scraper to mark four straight equally spaced lines vertically around the cake.

Buttercream Hatbox Cake Tutorial with Buttercream Flowers Steps 7 and 8

7. Using light cream buttercream and the Wilton petal nozzle 103 with the wide end touching the guide mark, pipe two back to back ruffles, side by side without a gap in between, following your vertical guides.

8. Pipe blobs of buttercream to attach the roses to, and to increase the angle of their position if necessary. Make sure that the roses will not exceed the height of the centre cake so they do not get squashed when the lid goes on.

Buttercream Hatbox Cake Tutorial with Buttercream Flowers Steps 9 and 10

9. Pipe a very thin layer of buttercream on the top of the cake, insert the dowel with the pointed end upwards then put the lid on. Press it carefully but firmly so the dowel skewers the dummy cake and it will not come off.

10. Pipe a beads border on the bottom edges of the cake lid and the top edge of the hat box in light green buttercream, using a piping bag with a small hole at the tip.

Buttercream Hatbox Cake Tutorial with Buttercream Flowers Steps 11 and 12

11. Pipe some leaves in light green between roses to cover the gaps using the Wilton leaf nozzle 352.

12. Continue the light cream ruffled lines up over the lid and then pipe a small ruffle flower where the ruffles intersect. Put some pearl dragees in the centre using tweezers to position them.

Buttercream Hatbox Cake tutorial by Valeri Valeriano and Christina Ong

Excerpted from Buttercream One-Tier Wonders Copyright © 2016 by Valeri Valeriano and Christina Ong and published by F+W Media, Inc. Used by permission of the publisher. All rights reserved. Photos courtesy of F&W Media International, Ltd.

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