Painted Floral Swag Cake

Painted Floral swag cake

I made this painted floral swag cake with some of Marvelous Molds'™ new swag mold designs. The acanthus leaf cake topper was made with Silicone Plastique™ and a wood applique I purchased at Home Depot.

To recreate the floral swag cake, you will need the following:

  • Cornstarch
  • Pasta machine
  • Gum paste
  • 10' cake - six inches high (torted, filled, frosted and covered in white fondant)
  • 8" cake - four inches high (torted, filled, frosted and covered with mauve fondant) - I created the mauve color by using Wilton's rose gel food coloring and then adding a small amount of black fondant to tone down the bright pink color.
  • 6" cake - (torted, filled, frosted and covered in white fondant)
  • Airbrush machine
  • Silicone mat
  • Vodka
  • 3 large dowels
  • Gold luster dust
  • Pearl luster dust
  • Large paintbrush
  • Edible food colors in a variety of colors:
  • Wilton white
  • Several small paintbrushes in different sizes
  • Gold ribbon
  • Gem rose cutter
  • Royal icing
  • Piping bag fitted with coupler and small tip #2
  • 10 gum paste roses dusted in ------ and wired into a bouquet
  • Shortening
  • Wood glue
  • Pearl dragees
  • Piping gel
1. Cover the 14" board with shortening. Roll out white fondant and cover board, trimming the excess off of the edges. Center the 10-1/2" cake board on top to cut out the area of fondant where the next cake board will sit. (This will allow you to use wood glue to glue the two cake boards together). Allow the fondant to dry. preparing the cake board
2. Now use the 10-1/2" cake board to mark the 11" cake board. This is where the drapes will need to be trimmed so that the 11" cake board will be able to sit flat on top of the 10-1/2" cake board. The cut off point for the drapes will be different on the top than the bottom, so label the side you just marked "bottom" so you don't get mixed up. marking cake board

3. Either add gum paste to the fondant or tylose powder (which I did) so the drapes will dry and hold their shape. Soften some mauve colored fondant and flatten it out enough to fit through the pasta machine. Continue passing it through smaller settings until you get a strip that is about 1/16" thickness. (This was a number 4 setting on my KitchenAid pasta machine attachment).

4. Cut out a strip that will be wide enough to fit over your 3 dowels. (Mine are actually cut pieces of copper pipe). Dust both sides of the fondant rectangle with pearl luster dust using the large paintbrush. Lay the fondant across the 3 dowels.

making fondant drapes
5. Using the same brush you used to dust the fondant, gently brush downwards between the dowel rods as you inch them closer together. You'll ultimately want them to end up touching. forming fondant drape
6. Slide the dowels out and adjust your drape so the edges are tucking under. pink fondant drape
7. Prepare the edge of the 11" cake board with shortening to make the drape stick. The length of the drape needed to wrap around the edge of the board is just a little over 2 inches. I cut each fondant drape piece into 3 (this will vary according to the length of the fondant) and then began adhering them from the top of the board to the bottom. (It helps to elevate the cake board on top of something so you can wrap from the top to the bottom of the cake board more easily. I have it sitting on a cake pan). pink fondant drape on cake board
8. Continue this process all around the 11" cake board, adjust each swag to lay next to the one before without gaps. Periodically stop to trip the excess using a knife or exacto blade on the top and bottom of the board where you drew the line. trimming fondant drape
9. Here's how it will look when it's done. Before the fondant dries completely, place the drape covered board on top of the other boards to make sure they fit. Trim any excess fondant that is in the way. Now glue the 11" board to the 10-1/2" board. The side labeled "bottom" goes on the 14" board and should not be the side that is glued. fondant drape covered cake board

10. Make 6 tassel borders with the Grand Tassel Border mold using a mixture of fondant and gum paste or fondant with tylose powder added. These will be attached to the 10-1/2" cake board with piping gel. Roll the fondant to an even thickness, press it in the mold and use a rolling pin to make the cutting blades cut through the excess fondant, giving you a clean design.

You can see how beautiful the details of the Grand Tassel Border mold are. And, they're very tiny. Forget about trying to do this by hand.

fondant tassel border
10. Place mauve fondant in the pasta machine again to create a strip to attach around the edge of the 10-1/2" board. Attach it with shortening and use your knife to trim off the excess.  Next, we add the tassel border. It's actually easier to do if you flip the board upside down. One of the tassel borders will get cut in half. Make this end up in the back of the cake. Get the borders as close together as you can to the drape design without squishing the top of the tassels. add tassel border to cake board
11. While you are waiting for the tassel border to dry, paint the fondant on the 14" cake board using the gold luster with vodka. You can either brush it on or use the airbrush. Follow by spraying it with edible lacquer. gold cake board
11. When the tassel border is dry, paint it carefully using a mixture of gold luster and an oil such as lemon oil. Be very careful with the gold. It loves to go everywhere. Keep vodka handy to clean up any that ends up where you don't want it. (Notice how the details in the tassel border really pop with the gold added). gold tassel border
Tip: Here's an idea I got from the ladies at the nail salon. They do this with nail polish remover to clean up nail polish that gets on your fingers. Take a skewer and wrap a little piece of paper towel tightly around the point. Dip it in the vodka and then you have a tool that can get into places to clean up any edible paint that gets on the cake. fondant cleaner
12. Apply wood glue to the center of the 14" board and place the other, attached boards on top. Glue the gold ribbon around the bottom of the 14" board. You now have a completed cake base. completed cake base

Painted Tier of Painted Floral Swag Cake

painting cake13. I searched Google images for a picture of a floral spray with the flowers and colors I wanted in it. I finally settled for a bouquet and decided I would just modify the shape. Well, the printer didn't want to cooperate, but if yours does, you can print out the reverse of the image, trace it on parchment with edible ink and then rub it on to the cake. (You can use a picture in a book or magazine for your cake, if you prefer).

I just drew a basic outline of the picture I wanted and began filling it in by painting the darkest areas first. I repeated flowers to the left and right to broaden the bouquet and turn it into a spray.

The darkest areas were painted with a mix of vodka and petal dust. Then over the dark areas, I painted with a mix of Wilton White and petal dust. The paint will behave more like a cross between acrylic and oil, allowing more time before drying and for colors to blend together with brush strokes. Note that I did have to allow some areas to dry and come back to them so I didn't create mud. For instance, when I returned to add a lighter color over a darker one when I wanted the light color to pop rather than blend, I had to allow the darker color to dry first. I did this with the purple flower you see in the center and the hydrangea on the left. The blending came into play on the rose petals to show how the edges appeared lighter and the part of the petals towards the center of the flower are darker. (I occasionally ended up dipping my paintbrush into my coffee by accident, but I wouldn't recommend that part).

Here is the finished painting:

floral painted cake

I don't own every petal dust color under the sun, so here's more or less how I attained the colors for each part of the painting.

The darkest purple is a mixture of marine blue and royal purple from CK Products. This color was used for the darkest part of the 2 left roses. Lighter shades were created by adding the Wilton White to complete the roses. The right side rose is Buttercup petal dust from CK with the darker areas in green formed with Moss Green, Red Plum from Sugar Art was used for the small pink flowers. The hydrangea uses the same colors as the pale yellow rose, with highlights in Wilton White. The foliage was created with a combination of the above marine blue plus Forest Green from CK. Other surrounding flowers all used darker and lighter shades of these colors.


14. Place the 10" tier cake on top of the cake base, adhering it with a mixture of fondant and gel to make it stick. You can now place dowels in the the bottom tier to support the 8" cake that will sit on top of it. painted cake on cake base

Middle, Mauve Tier with Floral Swags

15. Use either a 50/50 mixture of white fondant and gum paste or add tylose powder to the fondant. Mold 8 floral swags using the Floral Swag mold. Mold 7 tassels in the Tassel Drop Mold. Lay them on parchment paper and paint them using a mixture of lemon oil and gold luster. Then spray them with edible lacquer. The gold is much too messy to apply to all the nooks and crannies of these decorations when they are attached to the cake. gold floral swags and tassels
16. Alternate floral swags and tassels around the top of the cake. Adhere them to the cake with by brushing the backs with a small amount of gum glue or piping gel. gum paste floral swags
17. Normally, I would add the bottom border once the tier is on top of the tier below, but the gold is so messy, I didn't want to chance getting it on the white fondant below. So, I added the floral border (4 were molded) to the bottom of the mauve cake first, allowed it to dry and painted it with the gold, then sprayed it with edible lacquer. I did have a little bit of space in between the white cake and the border, but filled everything in later with royal icing, let it dry and then touched up with edible gold paint. Insert dowels into the 8" tier to support the 6" tier. Below, the tier is on top of the 10" cake tier. floral swag cake
mauve cake with gold swags and tassels

Top, Gold Tier

17. Airbrush the fondant gold using a mixture of vodka and gold dust. airburshing cake gold

18. Mold 6 more floral swags and attach them around the top of the cake sides. Mold 3 floral borders and attach to the base of the cake. These floral designs were brushed gently with the gold so the gold would only accent the details and leave the white showing through. Give them a light spray with edible lacquer.

19. Center the 6" tier on top of the 8" tier.

gold cake with floral swags

20. Make 6 mini gum paste roses. When dry, dust them with the purple petal dust.

21. Rub shortening on the pearl dragees and roll them in the pearl luster dust.

22. Using the pastry bag fitted with a coupler and tip #2, pipe a dot of royal icing at the top of the floral swags to glue a rose in the spot. Repeat on the tops of all the floral swags.

23. Use tip #67 to pipe a leaf on either side of the rose.

24. When the royal icing leaves are dry, paint them in gold luster with vodka. Brush over the edges of each rose with the gold.

mini gum paste roses
25. Attach the vase topper to the center of the top tier with royal icing. When the royal icing is dry, touch it up with the edible gold paint. romantic vase topper
26. Pipe large round beads around the base of the 10" tier using tip #6. Fix any points with a wet paintbrush. In between the beads and below them, pipe a small amount of royal icing with the #2 tip and attach the sugar pearls, shown below. royal icing dots

flowers painted on cake

27. Use the royal icing to touch up any spaces around the cake between borders or the cakes. When dry, touch up with the edible gold paint.
28. Place the bouquet of gum paste roses in the vase and adjust as needed. The wires can be held in place by sticking them to the top of the cake with a ball of fondant.

A big thank you goes out to Chef Vanessa Greeley of for contributing the Renshaw Fondant used to make this painted floral swag cake.

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