I made this three-tier cake for an older couple celebrating their wedding anniversary. When they placed their order with me, the wife was initially very undecided about what she wanted. She browsed our design book for nearly half an hour, going back and forth between different cakes. Finally she looked up and saw our display cake, which I had made. She gasped and said, “That’s perfect!”

The design this was based off of was only black and white. Since her colors were red and white, we simply replaced the black with red to come to this design. All three tiers are chocolate (both her and her husband are chocolate lovers), with vanilla butter cream filling and vanilla butter cream icing. All decorations are in butter cream- no fondant was used. The bottom tier is two 12-inch round cakes, the middle tier is two 10-inch round cakes, and the top tier is two 6-inch round cakes.

For each tier, I used a large cupcake tip to pipe butter cream between the layers, then used a quick ice tip to fully cover the outside of the stacked cakes. I then used a spatula to smooth the icing as best as I could, top first then sides. Finally I used a plastic icing scraper to fully smooth the icing.

*Decorating trick: If you can’t/don’t want to use fondant, you can achieve a nearly-as-smooth finish with butter cream. After the icing dries slightly (not hardened, but no longer tacky), you can use a VERY soft paper towel (Viva is wonderful) with a fondant smoother to finish it.*

After stacking the tiers, I piped the Cornelli lace-style decorations on the top and bottom tiers using a #3 tip. I then piped the lace ruffling around the middle tier using a large leaf tip in white, then a #5 tip in red for the center accent. Next I piped a bead border on all three tiers using a #10 tip in red. Finally I made 7 white butter cream roses for the top tier, and added red leaves to the bouquet.

As a finishing touch, the entire cake is sprayed with pearlescent airbrush to give it a shimmer.

Here’s how I made the butter cream rose:

 

And here’s how I made the lace: