Palm trees are a great way to make a beach, Amazon or island cake. Although palm tree decorations can be purchased, it is easy to create them out of fondant. Making the palm trees out of fondant gives the cake a designer look and is more appealing to the eye than having typical plastic cake decorations.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Floral wire
- Ice cream scoop
- Wire cutters
- Brown and green food colouring
- Rolling pin
- Leaf cookie cutter
- Sharp, thin knife
Unravel a long piece of floral wire. Wrap the floral wire loosely around the handle of the ice cream scoop. Using the scooper helps create a cylinder shape with the wire. You may wrap up to the scoop or go shorter. The length is dependent on how tall you want your tree. Use the wire cutters to cut the wire from the spool. Pull the wire off the handle, and widen the spiral a bit at the top.
Knead a small section of fondant about the size of a tennis ball with brown food colouring. Sprinkle cornstarch over the work surface and roll into a rectangle. The rectangle should be approximately 25 mm (1 inch) longer than your wire. This will give you enough extra to fold it in on both ends of the wire. It should also be long enough to wrap around the wire twice. Wrap the rectangle around the spiralled wire. Push it over the top and curve it around the edges. Use your finger to make it look rough like bark. You can also cut out brown smooth leaves with the cutter and layer them over the spiral to create bark.
Knead a second piece of fondant with green food colouring. Roll in out to the desired thinness of the palm leaves. Use the leaf cutter to make leaves. Create lines in the leaves with a sharp, thin knife. If you cannot find leaf cutters, make the leaf shape with the knife.
Use your finger to make an indentation at the top inner section of the tree trunk. Press the end of a leaf into this indentation and hold for a few seconds. Continue this process around the top of the trunk until all the leaves have been inserted. If the leaves do not stick, place your finger over the indentation for a few seconds. Your finger will melt that section of the fondant so that it becomes sticky and sugary. When you press the leaf on, it will cool and create a glue.
Insert the palm tree into a cake by firmly pressing it into the icing. If it doesn't want to stand up, mound up a bit of icing like a hill. Be sure that it is smooth around the trunk for a natural look.
Tips and warnings
- Practice making palm trees before creating your showcase design.
- For smaller trunks, wrap the wire around the handle of a wooden spoon.
- If you must leave your fondant pieces out overnight, wrap them individually in cling film.
- Keep fondant wrapped in cling film and stored in an airtight container to prevent drying.
- Fondant takes a long time to dry out; it should not dry out while your are working with it.
- Fondant is edible, but do not eat the fondant off of the wire, because it could cut your mouth.
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