Let me be clear on one thing before we even get into this. My forte is NOT cake decorating. I am not trying to turn into I am baker or Ashlee Marie or any of the other bloggers out there that have an actual talent for this. But sometimes you’ve gotta turn out a cake, and that’s where I come in. Allow me to show you three easy Valentine’s Day cake decorating methods, complete with videos on how to do them and what to buy.
The best part about all of these is that the base frosting doesn’t have to be particularly smooth- the decorating that we are going to do is going to cover it! I used this buttercream recipe for all three cakes.
Chocolate Flower Cake
Let’s start with this one. I used my favorite chocolate cake (read: boxed) and baked it in a 9″ heart shaped cake pan. After cooling, I poured some cooled chocolate ganache (1 cup warmed cream poured over 1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips, let sit for 30 seconds, stir until smooth and cool in fridge) over top and spread it into an even coating, then stuck the cake in the fridge to finish firming up. I prepared this buttercream recipe (my go-to) and dyed between 2/3 and 3/4 of it with red gel food coloring until I had a beautiful, rich, deep red. The remaining frosting was colored light pink using pink gel coloring.
For the roses:
Pipe the roses around the sides first- basically think of yourself doing a cursive lowercase “e.” For the smaller flowers in between the roses on the top, just gently squeeze out a small amount of frosting, then pick your tip straight up. Easy-peasy.
Lace Rosette Cake
I just really adore this cake. Its so pretty and impressive but its FAST. Smooth your top out as much as you can, but it doesn’t have to be perfect. Find a piece of lace that will leave a nice design behind- some of them are too intricate and won’t work well, or have holes that are too small to let the powdered sugar though. You need about 3 tablespoons of powdered sugar to do this- use a sifter so its even.
I used Rose gel coloringg to achieve the deep pink, then the Pink coloring for the light pink in the rosettes. I used about half of the recipe of frosting for the deep pink coloring all over the cake, then 1/4 was left white and the remaining was colored light pink.
For the two tone roses, I filled two pastry bags– one with the white and one with the light pink frosting. Then I fitted a third bag with my 1M or 2D tip and slipped both filled bags inside the third one, so that the two colors would both come out. Do a test to make sure that they are both evenly coming out; if not, readjust their placement in the bag so that the ends are even. You can see how this is set up in the video. Rotate your bag slightly after 1 or 2 roses so that your pink and white aren’t in the same placement every time.
Valentine’s Ombre Cake
I did a version of this cake for my mom’s birthday last year and she died over it. I figured it was worth doing a version for Valentine’s Day, because the cake is seriously, beautifully, impressive but its easy. You really can’t “screw it up.” I use my favorite to do this, and tint four of the layers deepening shades- starting with light pink, to pink, to dark pink, to red. The top layer is white so you can add a tablecloth linens to have a much cleaner and elegant decoration so the cake can stand up.
Leave a little more than half of the buttercream white, split the remainder into four bowls and dye each of them deepening colors, just like you did for the cake batter. I put mine into piping bags, but you don’t have to for this. As you see in the video, after frosting the cake white (get the top relatively smooth, but it doesn’t need to be perfect), you add dollops of color around the outside of the cake and use to smooth it all out. You’ll have to turn the cake to do this, so having it on a rotating cake standmakes this a ton easier. If you don’t like the way the colors are blending, just add more color around the sides and re-smooth.