Sunday, March 18, 2012

How to make a Pastel Rainbow Ruffle Cake


Wow, the pictures of that Pastel Rainbow Ruffle Cake that I posted last week were pretty popular. I had something else planned for today's post but I have pushed it back to show how I made the cake seeings as y'all asked so nicely.

Now some of you are going to be disappointed as although the cake was frosted and filled with delicious Buttercream frosting, the actual ruffles are fondant.


I know some of you do not like fondant at all.

Me - I don't mind a bit of it and I kinda like it on cookies, I use Bakels brand which tastes quite nice, before I started using Bakels I was with the not a fondant fan club as well, so I get where some of you are coming from. Some of the fondant brands taste really awful.


If you really hate fondant and you are not so great with piping, check out my post on this pink rainbow ombre cake for Real People HERE. You could cover your rainbow cake in this way following the instructions for the buttercream layers and using pretty pastel colors instead of all pink for a totally achievable rainbow cake. It is way easier to make and you don't need a lot of equipment.


For the rest of you the steps I followed to make the cake follow and as always ....this is just the way I did it, if you are a decorator and you have a different way of doing any of the steps that is fine, you can follow your regular steps.

Pastel Rainbow Ruffle Cake instructions

To make this cake you will need 5 cakes in rainbow colors
Buttercream (or ganache)
Fondant*
Pink, purple, blue, green and yellow gel food color (I used Wilton, although for the purple fondant I used Americolor)
Large rolling pin
cornflour (corn starch)
Small Rolling Pin
Large knife for trimming the cake
Small sharp knife
Cake smoothers X 2
Frilling tool - if you do not have a frilling tool a toothpick can be used for a similar result
Not stick flower molding mat
Small brush and water
*Fondant dries out really quickly - keep it in an airtight container or ziplock bag in between use and work really quickly. 


Make the cakes.....The recipe I used to make the cakes is the Quick and Easy Vanilla Cake from page 9 of my book Sweets on a Stick. I mixed up a couple of batches, divided it into 5 and colored each batch using Wilton gel food colors. You only need a small amount of these gel colors for the cake to be a pretty vibrant pastel color. Start with 1/4 tsp and add more if your cake batter batch is large until you have your desired color.



Make sure you grease, flour and line the tins to make removing the cake easier. I only had 2 tins the size I wanted so I cooked a couple of cakes wiped the baking pans clean, regreased and floured, lined and popped the new batch of cake batter in.


Pop the baked cakes onto a wire rack to cool.

I trimmed the top and bottom off each layer to make the cake flat and remove the thin brownish crust. If your not taking photo's I would only worry about trimming the top to make each layer even. I started with yellow as the base. I took a cake board and popped a little of the buttercream in the center to secure the cake and then I stacked the cakes up with Italian Meringue Butter cream in between each layer.

In between each layer I popped the cake into the fridge to chill to make sure the whole thing didn't slide off the plate.

The Italian Meringue Buttercream recipe I used was from the Whimsical Bakehouse cookbook.

Once the final layer was in place and chilled I spread buttercream around the edges and made the cake as smooth as possible. Well as smooth as possible without going overboard remember there will be lots of ruffles covering this cake. Chill the cake again until the buttercream is firm.


At this stage I got a piece of paper and marked on it where each layer ended/started.

Now you need to cover the cake with the fondant underlayer for the ruffles to stick on - I just used plain white for around the side. Measure around the cake with a piece of string to work out how long your fondant will need to be and then measure the height.

You will need to roll out a piece of fondant that you can cut into a rectangle the size that you have measured.

Roll out the fondant on a workbench dusted with a little cornflour, turn and lift the fondant often to make sure it does not stick and try and roll out in a rectangular (ish) shape.

Once the fondant is big enough trim along the top to get a straight line. Take the cake out of the fridge and lay it sideways onto the fondant so that you can wrap the fondant around the cake. Where the fondant joins at the back you can wrap one layer over the other and then using a sharp knife cut down in a straight line. Lift up the fondant and remove any excess underneath and smooth the cut line together with your finger. Don't get too uptight about it, it's all going to be covered with ruffles.

Pop the cake upright and use the sharp knife to trim off the fondant from around the bottom of the cake, and use fondant smoothers to make sure that the cake is smooth.

Color some of the fondant pink and roll out until very thin and using the cake tin that you used to bake the cakes in press down to cut out a round the approximate size of the cake. Place it on top of the cake and use the fondant smoothers to make the top as smooth as you can. I used the smoothers in a kinda T shape around the top edges to make a moderately sharpe edge.

Take that piece of paper from before where you marked the colors and using a knife make a little indent so you will know where each color ends/starts.

Now time to start making the ruffles.

Color your fondant by kneading a small amount of the gel food color into the fondant. You should not need a large amount of colored fondant for each color, about the size of your fist should do if you are making a smallish cake, obviously more if you are making a large cake.**Remember fondant dries our really quickly so keep it in an airtight container or zip lock bag while you are not using it.


To Make the fondant ruffles dust the workbench with cornflour (cornstarch), take a piece of fondant about 1 1/2 tsp and shape it into a rectangle, using the small rolling pink roll in out into a long strip. As you roll you may need to press the sides in carefully with the sides/heels of you hands to stop it from getting too wide. (or if you find that is not working you can always use a sharp knife to trim it back to size) Keep rolling until the strip is quite thin. I like to pick the strip up after each roll to ensure it is not sticking to the bench and when necessary dust underneath again.


When you have rolled out as thing as you can on the workbench, pick up the strip of fondant and place onto a nonstick foam (the type you use for making fondant flowers) and using the middle section of the frilling tool roll back and forth (like using a rolling pin) to make the strip even thinner, you will probably get it to double in length.


Then use the pointed edge of the frilling tool rolling back and forth along one edge of the strip a little more to make it a little ruffly.

Attach this strip of fondant to your cake starting at the top. Brush on a very small amount of water to the cake along the top and press the fondant strip onto the cake. I tried to gather the strip to make it appear more ruffly (see picture). When you have finished attaching one strip make another and attach it to the cake starting where the last strip finished. Go back and press the lumpy bottoms of the ruffles down as you finish attaching each strip.


Continue making pink strips of fondant and attaching them to the cake cone working your way down the cake until you reach the indent that indicated you should start with the next color and follow the instructions this time making violet ruffles. Follow this process for all the remaining colors until the cake is completely covered with ruffles.


As you work your way down, some of the ruffles may fall down and look floppy, I usually brush a tiny amount of water around the middle section and press the ruffle up so it is upright, but this look is not about perfection so some floppy areas will work just fine.

At the very bottom I rolled out a strip of yellow around 1/3 the width of the regular strips and without ruffling it adhered it around the bottom to cover any of the uneven ruffle bottoms.




Phew all done, now you can relax and have a piece of cake: )



Linda Vandermeer is a blogger, baker, maker and author of the cookbook ' Sweets on a Stick': More than 150 kid friendly recipes for cakes, candies, cookies and pies on the go!. Published in the US the book is available at most online book stores:




Or here at fishpond (Aus/NZ)

Sweets on a Stick: More Than 150 Kid-Friendly Recipes for Cakes, Candies, Cookies, and Pies on the Go!

Sweets on a Stick also available at the Bleeding Heart Brisbane: contact details info@bleedingheart.com.au

53 comments:

  1. I guessed it was fondant for the ruffles, and I guessed it would take quite some doing, but what a spectacular result! You are amazing.

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  2. Wow! Thank you for the tutorial. It looks really pretty!

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  3. Amazing, I really liked the cake which you made for Sophies 5th birthday, now I am torn between the two. Which one to make for Ellas 6th birthday? Decisions, decisions!!

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  4. My heart skipped a beat! This is stunning. I just love pastels....you are such an amazing talent, really!!!

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  5. You are so creative! the combination color is so lovely.

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  6. Gorgeous! Going to try to make this for my daughter's dance recital in June - i'll post pics if it doesn't end up in trash.. ha! :o thanks for the tutorial!

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  7. This is so pretty! I love how the colors of ruffles match the layers!

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  8. This cake is beautiful! What a wonderful idea for Easter. Thank you for sharing. My daughter and I learned how to do the ruffles from a fondant course we took last year. This is great!

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  9. I really LOVE the look of this cake.
    What Im wondering is this:
    Will the fondant ruffles stick if I just frosted the cake with buttercream and not put a layer fondant over the cake? I think I could handle the fondant ruffles, but I dont know how well I would do with covering a whole cake with fondant....not to mention, Im not really crazy about the taste. What do you think?
    Ansa

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  10. Ooooh its fondant! I thought it might have been buttercream. I adore this cake! Its so great

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  11. Such a gorgeous cake!! The colours you've have used are so pretty. I don't mind fondant covered cakes as long as the buttercream underneath is super yummy and I have no doubts yours is!

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  12. Linda, you're going to laugh when you see one of my upcoming cookie stories. There are some similarities to this cake (but of course quite different) but it just goes to show we think quite similarly when it comes to design :)

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  13. Id be terrified to flip a cake on its side to cover with fondant lol I would like to try this but I think ill just cover it in pink fondant standing upright... :S

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  14. A fantastic tutorial Linda. I just adore the ruffle technique and had wondered it if needed the fondant base - now I know! I have a special occasion cake coming up for one of my best friend's birthdays and I had thought about doing a purple ombre cake. I think I'm now inspired to do it in ruffles.

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  15. Amazing tutorial for this gorgeous festive cake. Thanks!

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  16. Linda, I saw your rainbow cake on pinterest. I'd like to show it in my wedding blog as a Spring wedding cake idea. May I have your permission to add the picture and mention a link back to your site? Thank you! Sherry Inscoe - Site administrator for http://darlingjillvideos.com/wedding-resources

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  17. This is a brilliant cake, and it's given me a great idea for my daughter's wedding cake...she wants watercolor/ombre colors...this has set me on the right path! Thank you!

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  18. Just gorgeous!! thanks for sharing :)

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  19. You're amazing, Linda! This cake is a showstopper!

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  20. Wow! Stunning cake! I wanted to let you know that I featured you in this round up at: http://printabelle.com/?p=1709 If you would like a featured button, I have one here on my About page: http://printabelle.com/?page_id=724
    Thanks!

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  21. Your cake is gorgeous and it took me back 58yrs to the birthday cake my mother made me it was 6 Victoria sponge cakes every one a different colour filled with raspberry jam & cream in between each cake. No frosting, dont know if it was invented then lol, just sprinkled with icing sugar and 6 candles on top. Love yours <3<3<3.
    Margaret Lee Adelaide South Australia

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  22. Thank you very much for making this. A very beautiful way of making a cake. Thank you for all the inspiration, I am going to make a cake for a brithday over easter so I will try to make this.

    Happy Easter to y'all

    Annette :)

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  23. My 21 year old daughter is just getting interested in cake decorating, which I've done for many years. We didn't take the time to do the cake with colors as you did, but just had fun playing with the ruffle idea. We used butter cream for the ruffles instead of fondant. It turned out very nice, perhaps the ruffles were not quite as wide as yours, but the end result was awesome. Thanks for the idea.

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  24. This is such a pretty cake!! Thanks for the tutorial : )

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  25. Wow i love it!!! Thanks for tutorial.
    I am a foodie too. http://leascooking.blogspot.com/

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  26. I wonder if you can use a stiff buttercream icing for the ruffles rather than the fondant and use a wide angled tip for application...

    Beautiful job!

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    1. Hi Maria yes you can and I did another tutorial here with the tip number and some tutorial pics. http://bubbleandsweet.blogspot.com.au/2012/05/how-to-make-ruffled-buttercream-rainbow.html

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  27. Beautiful! Is it flower paste or fondant? Did you add gum trag etc 2 it2make it stronger? X

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    1. Hi it is just regular fondant - I used Australian Bakels fondant.

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  28. Hey Linda, I'm definitely going to try and make this cake, its gorgeous! One question though, what size cakes did you make? they look smaller than the standard 9in cake pans I have.

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    1. Hi Ginny - the rainbow ruffle is a 6" but you could just make it bigger. I only had a couple of people coming around so it would have been a waste to make bigger. The other pink one in the post - pink ombre buttercream for real people I think was around a 8". I just change the sizes to suit the number of people. The 6" is also the size I use for the Christmas ruffle cake I make as well.

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  29. Such a pretty cake, done with just the right colours! Going to book mark this one.:)

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  30. Hi, what a beautiful cake! And thank you so much for the helpful tutorial! I have a question: how did the cake work without any supports?

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  31. I will definitely be trying to make one of these. What an amazing looking cake - and to be able to say you made it yourself will be thrilling.

    Thanks for the easy to follow instructions.

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  32. wow. it's really a good contribution to us guys not good at cakes, you know i did some cakes before but the taste it's not good, then i quit, so if you have
    interesting, you can load to catier pendents

    visit my new make up, give me your advice, Thanks!

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  33. Thank u for showing how to. .love it :)

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  34. This cake is simply beautiful! And what a great tutorial! I have to include this in my Easter sweets roundup next month for sure.

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  35. I think this is one of the most beautiful cakes I've seen. I am so determined to make this!!! :) Thank you so much for sharing!!

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  36. Could you please tell me how much fondant I will need to make this cake?

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  37. Wow what an amazingly beautiful cake!! I make my own fondant and it tastes great. It is so easy and cost so much less than purchasing ready made fondant. Love your ideas...

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  38. Hi! Linda mam, Thanks for your tips against How to make a Pastel Rainbow Ruffle Cake! I found it very helpful and will apply to my homemade cake :). Regards from TNT

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  39. Absolutely beautiful cake. I just found your blog and it is great! I love your thorough instructions on how to put together this cake. Well done and best of luck to you with your blog. :)

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  40. How long does this take to decorate? I have made the cake and was wondering how long the process of putting the ruffles on takes.

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  41. I was wondering if the ruffles can be made out of anything else beside fondant.

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    1. Hi Sheila, check out this one I made with buttercream http://bubbleandsweet.blogspot.com.au/2012/05/how-to-make-ruffled-buttercream-rainbow.html

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    2. Hey is there any way u can resend the link it wouldn't let me click on it. I would love to look at it

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    3. Sheila if the link is not working do a google (or other) search for Bubble and Sweet buttercream ruffle cake :)

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