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Decorating a Birch Tree Wedding Cake

Updated July 20, 2017

A birch tree wedding cake fits a winter or fall themed wedding well. There are a few different methods of making a birch tree wedding cake depending on the style of the wedding and the size of the cake. White chocolate curls can be used to mimic the look of a birch tree forest. This contemporary style is best for smaller wedding cakes. Birch tree bark painted on buttercream icing creates a more traditional look and can be used on any size cake.

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  1. Make enough round room temperature cakes to feed the number of people you will be serving. Place the cakes in the freezer for about an hour to chill the outside surface. Place the cakes on a plate or cake turntable.

  2. Fill a large pastry bag with white buttercream icing. The pastry bag should have no tip on it.

  3. Cover the outside of the cake in the buttercream icing by placing the pastry bag tip about 1/4 inch away from the cake and squeeze out icing as you turn the cake around to cover the outside of the cake on all sides and the top. It does not need to be pretty, just covered in icing.

  4. Smooth the icing over the top of the cake with the offset spatula. Hold the spatula level over the top of the cake and turn the cake to smooth any holes between the piped icing.

  5. Hold the spatula at a 90 degree angle on the side of the cake and smooth the holes in the piped icing around the cake's sides.

  6. Fill the spray bottle with room temperature water and turn the nozzle on the finest mist.

  7. Spray the cake with a light mist of water all over and smooth over the top and sides again until the cakes are smooth and without lumps or bubbles. Spray again if the icing starts to come off as you smooth it.

  8. Dip the tip of the paintbrush into the brown gel food colouring and wipe off any excess on the side of the container.

  9. Hold the brush horizontally and make 1 to 2-inch horizontal brown marks around the cake in the white buttercream icing. Space the marks evenly. These marks should mimic the brown cracked marks on a birch tree.

  10. Add silk birch leaves randomly spaced around the sides of the cake. Top the cake with white birch-like twigs.

  11. Buy or make white chocolate curls. To make them, press a vegetable peeler onto a block of white chocolate and pull the vegetable peeler across the chocolate to peel off chocolate curls. Lay the white chocolate curls on a sheet pan.

  12. Dip the tip of the paintbrush into the brown gel food colouring and wipe off any excess.

  13. Make small horizontal brown marks randomly up and down the white chocolate curls. These marks should mimic the brown cracked marks unique to a birch tree. The curls should resemble the peeling bark that often occurs on birch trees.

  14. Allow the food colouring to dry for 30 minutes or until it's dry to the touch.

  15. Stick the chocolate curls in the icing around the cake so that they are standing up. Stack the curls to reach the top of the cake. Make the heights of the curls uneven around the top of the cake to mimic the look of a birch forest with trees at varying heights.

  16. Tip

    Artificial nests, twigs, birch leaves, autumn coloured leaves and feathers make good decor and toppers for a birch tree wedding cake. If the cake is multi-tiered, measure and cut wooden dowel rods the height of the individual tier. Stick the dowel rods in all lower level cakes vertically below the location where the next tier will sit on top of it. This will support the weight of the top tiers. Look at a picture of a birch tree as you decorate to make the cake look more like a birch tree.

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Things You'll Need

  • Cake turn table
  • Buttercream icing
  • Pastry bag
  • Offset metal spatula
  • Spray bottle
  • Fan paintbrush
  • Brown gel food colouring
  • White chocolate
  • Vegetable peeler
  • Sheet pan

About the Author

Sarah Davis has been a culinologist since 1998. She has worked in the offices and labs of Burger King, Tyson Foods and Cargill developing and writing recipes. She currently owns WISH Events in Atlanta. She and her husband also buy homes to rejuvenate and resell. Davis holds degrees from Johnson and Wales University in culinary arts and the University of Georgia in food science.

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