How to decorate cakes with fresh fruit

Written by susan lundman
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How to decorate cakes with fresh fruit
Each piece of this sheet cake has its own fruit design. (decorating the fruit cakes image by starush from Fotolia.com)

Fresh fruit adds bright colour and a healthy touch to any cake. Once you apply any kind of icing, your creativity is your only limit in deciding which fruits to use and what kind of design to make. Sometimes a more structured design works best; to create an American flag on the Fourth of July for instance, use rows of strawberries for the stripes and blueberries for the stars. Other times, you may want concentric circles of different coloured fruits like kiwi, pineapple, oranges and peach slices. Or, you may want an artful assortment of sugared fruits.

Skill level:
Easy

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Things you need

  • Fruit
  • Knife
  • Paper towels
  • Superfine sugar
  • Powdered egg whites
  • Small, natural-bristled paint brush
  • 2 bowls
  • Cooling rack, waxed paper or parchment paper

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Wash the fruit and dry with paper towels. After drying, set the fruit aside to dry even more thoroughly for one hour or so.

  2. 2

    Sift the sugar to remove all lumps and place it in a wide-mouthed bowl.

  3. 3

    Sprinkle powdered egg white into a bowl of warm water and let it sit for three to four minutes. This method allows the powder to dissolve more slowly and eliminates clumping.

  4. 4

    Stir the powdered egg white mixture to ensure that it is completely dissolved. Remove any clumps by squeezing them with your fingers.

  5. 5

    Paint each piece of fruit or piece of fruit with a thin layer of egg whites. Hold the fruit over the bowl to catch drips.

  6. 6

    Holding the fruit over a bowl of sugar, sprinkle it completely on all sides. Leaving a bit of stem on the fruit will allow you to hold it by the stem. You can either leave the stem on when placing the fruit on the cake or cut it off after the sugar has dried.

  7. 7

    Place the fruit on a cooling rack or on a piece of waxed paper or parchment paper to dry completely.

  8. 8

    Place a grouping of fruits in the centre of the cake. Basic design principles call for odd numbered groups, such as one, three or five.

  9. 9

    Place additional fruit around the outer edge of the cake and at the rim of the cake on the cake plate.

    How to decorate cakes with fresh fruit
    This elaborate decorating job will wow your family or guests. (fruit cake image by Viacheslav Anyakin from Fotolia.com)

Tips and warnings

  • Let your cake cool completely before frosting.
  • Use either cut fruit or entire fruits like grapes or berries.
  • Add bright green mint leaves for an additional touch of colour.
  • Instead of sugared fruit, you can use plain fruit or brush on a glaze of sugar syrup or melted jelly after you have placed the fruit on the cake.
  • Cut fruits do not last as long as whole fruits or berries. Make the sugared fruits the same day as the cake for best results.

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