How To Keep Vines On Cakes

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I've done a couple of wedding cakes recently that had vining flowers on them, and that design comes with its own issues.

First, if the cake is buttercream-covered, the vines will want to dig themselves into the icing.

Second, regardless of how the cake is covered, the vines will want to move around on the cake if you put them on the cake before you transport it.

Since most of my clients want buttercream and not fondant, I have to work with the limitations of that kind of icing. I've found that the best way to put any kind of vine-y gumpaste on a buttercream cake is to do it when the icing is hard, directly out of the fridge. You can usually place the vines on before the cake and get them arranged the way that you want before the icing softens up too much.

But if you put them in place when the cake is cold, that means that you have to transport it with the vines on, and they could move around. To prevent that I made some little "clips" from coffee stirrers.

Use a lighter and melt the coffee stirrer (it takes about 1 second, so be careful.) Hold it in place until it cools off in a "u" shape, then cut it so that the legs are about 1" long.

You can put these on the vine to hold them in place, and they're food-safe, so you don't have the issue of inserting wire into the cake. Place them around the vine to anchor it into place, usually at the base of an area where a flower is coming from the vine. That way you can bend a flower around the hook of the stirrer to hide it.

Kara Buntin owns A Cake To Remember LLC, custom wedding cakes in Richmond VA