Pastry School: Christmas or Thanksgiving Wreath Cake
Holle's pastry school
This is another installment in my online pastry schools. Today’s dessert will be a beautiful wreath cake that serves as both a dessert and as a decoration. This can be used at Thanksgiving or at Christmas, depending on the colors you use for the icing.
To make the cake, you’ll need a ring pan. A plain bundt pan or tube pan will work, but it won’t be nearly as pretty or as wreath-like. Another option is to make a standard layer cake, frost it with white icing, and make a wreath directly on top of the icing, as is pictured below this article.
You’ll also need a decorating tip and a pastry bag. If you don’t have these, you can buy tubes of colored icing at most any grocery store that come with different tips for decorating cakes and cookies. The only problem with this is that you won’t be able to flavor the icing, but you’ll still get the same look.
For a Christmas cake, you can use any flavor of cake or cake mix, along with any flavor of white icing. You’re going to tint the icing green with a few drops of food coloring.
For my Christmas wreath cake, I’ve always used a chocolate cake. I frosted it with vanilla icing that I tinted green and flavored with peppermint flavoring. The resulting cake tasted much like a thin mint or a Peppermint Pattie.
When the cake is done and cooled, remove it from the ring pan. Remove any crumbs with a pastry brush. Then using a leaf tip, cover the entire cake with green icing leaves. If you’re tinting your own icing, you might want to use two different shades of green to give more depth.
Practice making leaves on waxed paper before you begin placing them on the cake. I make leaves by pressing the bag or the tube hard at first, to form kind of a base, and as I near the tip of the leaf, I gradually release the pressure. A quick turn of the wrist will give the leaf a sharp tip. You’ll be able to master this with a little practice.
Once you’ve applied all the leaves, add a red bow. You can do this with a flat decorator tip, or you can make a bow from a strawberry Fruit Roll-up. For the final touches on your Christmas wreath cake, add small red candies for holly berries. Red M & Ms work, but the smaller Sixlets candies are more in proportion to the size of the wreath. Instead of candies, you can use red icing and a round decorating tip to make the berries.
For a Thanksgiving wreath cake, I like to use a spice cake. I then ice it with cream cheese frosting that I tint in several shades, including light brown, orange, rust, and yellow.
These cakes are fun, delicious, and really pretty. They make a great centerpiece for your holiday table when placed on a cake stand. They’re also great to serve at parties.
To read more about my online cooking classes, my online pastry school, and culinary arts, click the links below!
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