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alternatives to icing

I love working with sugarpaste. You can create so many exciting effects with different colours, textures and shapes, but I understand that not everyone likes the taste of it. A lot of people are also looking for something a little less formal and a bit different.

One option is to have your cake covered with just buttercream, which is normally used as the foundation for rolled icing. There is so much you can do with buttercream, by using different colours, flavours and textures, that you can create really detailed or really clean and simple cake styles. I used a textured “spatula” effect for the Blue Cyclops baby shower cake, in a zingy lemon flavour. This was a great contrast to the brightly coloured sugarpaste cyclops cake sitting on top

blue cyclops baby shower cake

Another option is to have your cake covered with piped buttercream. The rose pattern, as seen on a lot of wedding cupcakes, is particularly popular. Here I used blush pink vanilla buttercream to create a delicate christening cake for a little girl

pink roses buttercream christening cake

This technique is also great for wedding cakes. I love the way this soft vanilla rose pattern contrasts with the striking lipstick pink sugar rose corsage.

rose corsage buttercream wedding cake

I work with chocolate a lot for my cake pops, which are little bundles of cakey truffle on a stick, dipped in Belgian chocolate. Here, I have used white chocolate coloured in various blue shades or left natural, which coordinate beautifully with the blue-lilac ribbon.

blue-lilac wedding cake pops

However, I don’t tend to work with chocolate as a wedding cake covering, but am always really excited to work on a new design so that the happy couple get exactly what they are looking for. A few months ago, I was approached by a couple who were getting married at The Monastery, which is an amazing historiucal building in Gorton, Manchester. They wanted chocolate and lots of it, something quirky and not traditional, but simple and bringing in their white roses flower theme. They had also seen a picture of a wedding cake in a magazine that they thought would work really well. We therefore created this double chocolate delight, which consisted of a chocolate and raspberry cake with milk chocolate cigarillos around teh edge of each tier, white chocolate shavings in between and was tied with a honey gold ribbon. Their florist then created this beautiful rose display for the topper. I scattered white rose petals at the bottom and when the cake was brought out to display, the table was also covered in scattered rose petals. It looked stunning. The smell of chocolate was unbelievable, everyone’s stomachs were rumbling by the time it was all finished!

double chocolate wedding cake

I hope you enjoyed this blog post. There are so many different ways to decorate a cake, you don’t have to have icing if you don’t want to, and by incorporating fresha nd sugar flowers in different ways, the sky really is the limit!

Beth x

14/07/2011 - 9:04 am

Claire - Best. Cake. Ever!

20/09/2011 - 8:47 am

cakesbybeth - Thank you Claire, you always have the lovliest things to say 🙂 x

20/08/2012 - 11:29 am

Leena - Your cakes are amazing! I particularly love you “blue-lilac wedding cake pops”. Im thinking of giving these out as christening favours inside on of these christening boxes filled with little treats.