Cake toppers literally "top off" a celebratory confection by adding an element of charm, emphasising the theme of the cake or event, or even providing a fun, eye-catching decoration. Cake toppers are typically used on tiered cakes, and must be carefully selected and properly positioned and secured to ensure they don't topple and ruin the rest of the cake design. Build an impressive-looking cake by employing a few simple cake topper tricks.
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Choose an Appropriate Cake Topper
In selecting a cake topper, take into consideration the size, weight and shape of the topper in relation to the height and width of the uppermost cake tier. A cake topper that is heavy, unevenly balanced or is larger than the top tier of the cake will be difficult to use and visually unappealing. Select lightweight toppers, preferably of hollow plastic, and make sure the topper is in proportion to the rest of the cake prior to securing it.
Build a False Top for Your Cake
Add extra strength to the top tier of your cake by covering the uppermost layer with a piece of lightweight plastic or cardboard that's concealed with frosting or fondant. This will give you a flat, strong surface to build your topper on. Remove the false top prior to cutting and serving the cake.
Use Topper Tiers to Offset Weight
Use plastic "risers" to add height and distribute the weight of cake toppers evenly. These can be purchased at arts and crafts stores, or you can use the plastic stands that come inside pizza boxes to keep cheese from sticking to the lid. Other items that can be used as topper tiers and add a visual element to the cake design include plastic champagne glasses, lightweight transparent acrylic boxes filled with flowers, and for children's or baby shower cakes, plastic building blocks.
Use Dowel Rods to Secure Layers
A secret of professional cake decorators is the use of dowel rods or bamboo skewers to secure various parts of a cake to reinforce the cake tiers and provide strength and stability for cake toppers. As you build your tiers, secure skewers or dowel rods evenly around the diameter and through the centre of each layer, from the top down. Offset the placement of the skewers between layers to provide extra strength.
Add Height and Flair
Make even a small and simple cake topper look extra impressive by adding height through placement of lightweight decorations, including upright metallic streamer sprays, silk foliage (flowers and greenery), and curled ribbons cascades.
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