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Cost
$ $ $ $ $
Difficulty
• • • • •
Time
40 mins

Cake Craft Made Easy
This delightful celebration cake is decorated with pinwheels made using edible icing sheets and flower paste. You can use pre-printed icing sheets, or choose any pattern you like and have it printed onto an icing sheet with edible ink cartridges. If you have time, make some extra pinwheels to add on top of cookies or cupcakes to complement the cake centrepiece. 

Posted by FW Media Published See FW Media's 77 projects » © 2019 Fiona Pearce / David & Charles · Reproduced with permission.
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  • How to bake a decorative cake. Pinwheel Fun - Step 1
    Step 1

    Preparing the cake

    Trim the crust off the cake with a serrated knife. Place the square cake card on top of the cake and cut around the card, being careful to hold your knife straight and not at an angle.

  • How to bake a decorative cake. Pinwheel Fun - Step 2
    Step 2

    Repeat to cut out 3 squares of cake. If the squares are not even in height, gently pull a cake leveller through each one to make them uniform. 

  • How to bake a decorative cake. Pinwheel Fun - Step 3
    Step 3

    Use a spatula or palette knife to spread the buttercream evenly onto the first layer of cake. Try not to add too much, otherwise it will ooze out of the side of the cake. Add the next layer of cake on top and spread with buttercream as before, then top with the final layer of cake. 

  • How to bake a decorative cake. Pinwheel Fun - Step 4
    Step 4

     The next stage is to ‘crumb coat’ the cake to hold the crumbs of cake in place. Spread buttercream over the sides and top of the cake with the spatula. It is easiest to add more buttercream than you need to start with and then scrape off any excess once it has been applied evenly to the whole cake. Aim to spread the buttercream over the cake so that it is thin enough for the crumbs to show through.

  • Step 5

    Place the cake in the fridge until the crumb coat has set (usually about 1 hour). This will make the cake firm so that it is easier to apply the sugarpaste covering.

  • How to bake a decorative cake. Pinwheel Fun - Step 6
    Step 6

    Once the crumb coat has set, knead the pale yellow sugarpaste well until it is soft and pliable. Using a large non-stick rolling pin, roll out the sugarpaste in a rough square shape on a non-stick board until it is approximately 5mm (3∕16in) thick. Lift the sugarpaste off the board with the rolling pin and lay it gently over the cake. 

  • Step 7

    Use your hands to smooth the sugarpaste over the top and down the corners of the cake. Try to work as quickly as possible to make sure that the sugarpaste doesn’t tear on the edges or corners of the cake. 

  • How to bake a decorative cake. Pinwheel Fun - Step 8
    Step 8

    Next, use your hands to smooth the sugarpaste over the sides of the cake. As the sugarpaste is smoothed down the sides, you may find that it starts to form pleats towards the base of the cake. If so, gently lift the sugarpaste away from the side of the cake and smooth it down so that it lays flat against the cake. Don’t smooth over the top of pleats, otherwise it will leave creases in your sugarpaste.

  • Step 9

    Trim off any excess sugarpaste from around the base of the cake with a small sharp knife.

  • Step 10

    Use a smoother – preferably 2 if you have them – to polish the top and sides of the cake. This will help press out any air bubbles that may be trapped under the sugarpaste and will give your cake a nice smooth finish. 

  • Step 11

    Attach the cake to the centre of the cake board with royal icing.

  • Step 12

    Trim the base of the cake with ribbon, making sure that it is flush with the cake board, and secure it in place with double-sided tape.

  • How to bake a decorative cake. Pinwheel Fun - Step 13
    Step 13

    Place the cake onto a turntable, if you have one, to make it easier to turn the cake as you are piping. Pipe evenly spaced dots of royal icing onto each side and the top of the cake. You can pipe as many dots as you like.

  • How to bake a decorative cake. Pinwheel Fun - Step 14
    Step 14

    Pinwheels

    Use the 5cm (2in) square cutter to cut out 6 squares and the 4.5cm (1¾in) square cutter to cut out 3 squares from the edible icing sheet – the sheet is often quite rigid, so you will have to press firmly to ensure a clean cut.

    Tip
    If your piped dots have pointy peaks, you can use a damp paintbrush to push them into a rounded shape.

  • Step 15

    Turn the squares pattern-side down onto a board and add a little bit of cooled boiled water to the back of them with a fine paintbrush.

  • How to bake a decorative cake. Pinwheel Fun - Step 16
    Step 16

    Using a non-stick rolling pin, roll out the 3 different-coloured flower pastes thinly on a non-stick board and then place the edible icing squares, pattern-side up, on top of the flower paste. Rub your fingers gently over the squares to ensure that they stick firmly to the flower paste underneath. Use the square metal cutters to cut out the flower paste so that it is the same size as the edible icing squares.

  • How to bake a decorative cake. Pinwheel Fun - Step 17
    Step 17

    Using scissors, cut diagonally from each corner of the square to 1cm (½in) from the centre, to create 4 segments. 

  • How to bake a decorative cake. Pinwheel Fun - Step 18
    Step 18

    Place the square pattern-side down onto a board. Starting at the top right-hand corner, work clockwise around the square folding one corner of each segment towards the centre.

  • How to bake a decorative cake. Pinwheel Fun - Step 19
    Step 19

    If the flower paste is a bit dry, you can use some edible glue to hold the sections of the pinwheel in place. 

    Tip
    I have used three different colours of flower paste for the pinwheels, but you can use as many or as few as you wish.

  • How to bake a decorative cake. Pinwheel Fun - Step 20
    Step 20

    To create little buttons for the centre of each pinwheel, press a small ball of white flower paste into a button silicone mould,

  • How to bake a decorative cake. Pinwheel Fun - Step 21
    Step 21

    then flex the mould to remove the button.

  • How to bake a decorative cake. Pinwheel Fun - Step 22
    Step 22

     Attach the buttons to the centre of each pinwheel using royal icing.

  • Step 23

    Decorating the cake

    Use royal icing to attach 2 large and 1 small pinwheel up the front face of the cake. Attach a large pinwheel to the centre of the 3 remaining sides of the cake. 

  • How to bake a decorative cake. Pinwheel Fun - Step 24
    Step 24

    Insert the florist wire into the base of the remaining pinwheels. If the wire is quite thin, you may need to double it over so that it is strong enough to support the weight of the pinwheel.

  • How to bake a decorative cake. Pinwheel Fun - Step 25
    Step 25

    Insert the wired pinwheels into a posy pick and press them into the centre of the top of the cake. 

    Warning!
    Any pinwheels that contain wire should not be eaten.
    Tip
    Make some extra pinwheels and attach them to cookies or cupcakes with royal icing to complement the cake.

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