Select the right support for the succulents: a sturdy cake and workable buttercreme-style icing. “Baking or using a premade high-ratio cake is the best option for these kinds of decorations because you get a sweeter, moister cake,” says Joseph Boschetto, a technical sales representative at Dawn Foods. For the icing, choose one that tastes delicious and is flexible enough to create edible works of art.
The tools are just as important as the ingredients. To create unique succulents every time, use varying types and sizes of cake tips, such as rose, leaf and star tips. Have a lot of flower nails and parchment paper on hand to go from creation to presentation.
Cakes topped with buttercreme succulents usually stand out because they feature colors not often seen on sweet treats: maroons, deep greens and gray-greens. Test color combos before getting started. Customize your palette by mixing two colors—like red with a little chocolate for maroon, and green and chocolate for a woodland green—into a single piping bag, Boschetto suggests.
Dab a small amount of buttercreme onto a flower nail and cover it with a parchment square. For a leaf succulent, add a drop of buttercreme to the center of the square and pull your leaf tip away. Continue this motion around the center of the leaf, keeping pressure steady. For a cactus, dab a tall mound of buttercreme in the center. Move up the tower of buttercreme with steady pressure until you reach the top. Use a different buttercreme color to add dots for the needles. Refrigerate succulents for at least 10 minutes.
Carefully remove the succulents from the parchment and place them onto your cake. Fill empty spaces between the decorations by piping mini succulents directly onto the cake.
Want more tips? Watch our video on creating buttercreme succulents at DawnFoods.com/ButtercremeSucculents