Saturday, June 5, 2010

Three-tiered Irish-themed 50th Birthday Cake

This is the most elaborate cake I have done since finishing culinary school--my first three-tiered cake. It was an Irish-themed birthday cake for my cousin's wife's surprise 50th birthday party. This was for a huge party with 100+ people.

Since my cousin was not exactly sure what he wanted. We talked about doing 2 sheet cakes or a tiered cake. We decided on a tiered cake and he wanted it to be elegant. His wife is irish and colors of the party were green and white. From this direction, I drew up my ideas and OK'd it with my cousin who was throwing the party. You can see on the sketch (below) that I labeled what each tier was going to be, what the various decorations were, etc. The idea was to top the cake with white roses in a bed of clover, then do some irish patterns and vine-style piping along the lower tiers with little happy birthday logo in a Celtic font. The cake was yellow and chocolate butter cake.


irish birthday cake sketch

I made all of the flowers and clovers out of gum paste using flower cutters and floral wire.

irish birthday cake flowers and clovers

The celtic writing was tricky because the happy birthday "circle" was fairly small. I piped most of the letters with royal icing onto parchment with a print out underneath and then attached them to the gumpaste circle in order to really nail the font style. I free-handed the ivy pattern on the tier as well using colored buttercream. The clovers were free piped onto the cake with green royal icing.

irish birthday cake celtic writing

Here's a look at the final product, on display at the birthday party. There were tiers of vanilla and chocolate. The cake was cut and handed out as a party favor for everyone and everyone gave it rave reviews.
irish birthday cake

LESSONS LEARNED:
1) Plan out everything you are going to do and don't bite off more than you can handle.
2) Make sure you have to space to refrigerate the cake. (We had a lot of take out that week, since I had to take out shelves in the refrigerator to fit the cake once it was stacked.)
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