Red & Black Star Cake
This cake is sure to create the wow factor at any celebration or birthday party. A combination of feathers, wire and stars makes a fantastic cake topper and creates height, making your cake stand out as a centrepiece to be proud of. To make the cake less feminine, you could leave off the feathers and add more stars and curled wire.
Cover your cake in sugarpaste and leave to dry for several hours. This makes it easier to work with and won’t mark when you add the cake topper and ribbon round the sides.
Making the stars
Begin by making the stars on wires for the cake topper as they need some time to set hard before they can be used. You can buy wire from any good cake decorating supply shop or online. Cut the wires to different lengths so that your stars aren’t all the same height. Colour up some gumpaste in red and black using gel or paste food colours. Wrap up any gumpaste that you aren’t working with immediately in clingfilm to prevent it from drying out.
Roll out the first colour gumpaste to a thickness of about 2 mm then cut out some stars with a medium sized star cutter. Gumpaste is generally lighter than sugarpaste, which won’t weigh the stars down, but you could get away with using sugarpaste if you need to.
Take a wire, dip the end in some edible glue then push it into the bottom of the star, making sure the wire doesn’t poke through the surface. Repeat with the other stars and the other colour gumpaste, then leave the stars to harden for a couple of hours.
Next make some curled wire and some feathers on wire. To curl the wire, wrap it around the handle of a thin paintbrush or pencil. Do some tight curls and some looser ones. Wrap wire around the bottom of some feathers, checking they are secured properly.
It is generally not a good idea to start sticking wire into a cake that you intend to eat so it is best to create something else to stick them into. Take a ball of sugarpaste and mould it into a smooth mound, moisten with a little cooled boiled water and sprinkle with edible glitter. Fix to the centre of your cake with edible glue and leave to harden for an hour.
Making the rope effect centerpiece
Meanwhile, mix up some sugarpaste in red and black, using gel or paste food colours to match the stars. Sometimes it is best to buy ready mixed black sugarpaste as it can take a lot of effort and food colouring to turn it black! Roll out a long, thin sausage shape from each of the two colours then twist them together, being careful not to over twist and break them. Brush a little cooled boiled water or edible glue around the edge of the support mound and position the twisted colours around it. Trim the ends to match up and make sure the join is at the back.
Arrange the stars, feathers and curled wire into the mound, making sure there is variation in height and that the colours are spaced out. You can bend the wires as you go to make sure there are different angles.
Finally tie a co-ordinating ribbon around the centre of the cake with a big bow. Trim the ribbon ends to make them look neat and tidy.