Recently it was my friends Rose and Edward’s birthday, and as always I baked a cake for them! Rose and I are studying down in Dunedin, but Eddie is in Wellington so unfortunately he missed out on the cake!
I had seen succulent cakes and cactus cupcakes all over the internet and desperately wanted to make one, so this was the perfect excuse! I watched loads and loads of Youtube tutorials and scrolled for hours down Instagram for inspiration, and finally got an idea of what I wanted to do.
The Youtube channel Cake Style had the best tutorial for the succulent cake, and how to pipe each little plant as well as ideas for colour an other decorations on the cake.
This is their succulent cake:
The video was so handy and in depth for showing how to pipe different varieties of succulents too!!
My next big source of inspiration was the Instagram account Ivenoven
All of their cakes are very detailed and perfect, but the colours and hues that they use are absolutely gorgeous! I could scroll down their account all day…
Rose is allergic to eggs, so for the cake I used Chelsea Winter’s Crazy Italian Chocolate cake which is vegan or both egg and dairy free! It was the perfect cake for this as it’s so moist and can be sliced into layers!
I baked two lots of the recipe in two 15×7.5cm round deep cake tins. I brought a set of these tins and they’re awesome for making tall cakes that can then be layered!
While the cakes cooled I made up some chocolate ganache, which I used to fill and ice the cake! Perfect chocolate ganache is so easy to make, you just use a 2:1 ratio of chocolate to cream.
I cut the tops of both cakes so they were flat, and then cut both cakes in half so I had 4 layers all together. I put the ganache in between each layer of cake, and then completely covered the cake too. With some of the leftover ganache I created a drip effect around the top of the cake simply using a piping bag with a round tip, and then covered the top of the cake in oreo crumb which was the ‘soil’ for the plants!
I had some silver luster dust, which is so awesome for adding an extra sparkle to a cake! You can mix it with clear alcohol (I used vodka) and create a ‘paint’ which is so easy to use! The alcohol quickly evaporates, leaving the silver pigment. I made up some silver paint and splattered it all around the cake.
Then Marie and I got onto making some buttercream succulents! I made up a big batch of buttercream, and split it out between several bowls. We coloured each bowl different colours, with a mix of greens, purples, blues, oranges and yellows. We used loads of different piping tips to create different varieties of plants, using all the different colours. We chucked them in the freezer to set, while we cleaned up the kitchen, which was a complete mess by this stage!
Then we got onto placing the little plants all over the cake! This part was super fun as the cake which had been an idea and a goal was suddenly taking shape and coming together.
For the garden on top of the cake we used the succulents we made earlier, but also piped some little light green cacti straight on to the cake. We added little white spikes for detail too! I also got some blackberry bon-bons and pink nuggets from a confectionary store in town to use as rocks on the cake.
And here is the finished cake!
I’m so so happy at how it turned out and super proud of Marie and I for pulling it off! Rose loved it which was the most important thing, and it tasted amazing too.
I’m thinking about doing cakes to order, like for friends and people I know around Dunedin, so If you want a cake, get in contact with me! And watch this space…