So lovely Sydney sent me a message. She’d seen an image on Pinterest of a stained glass cake I’d made while training with Queen of Hearts Couture Cakes 100 years ago and wondered if I could replicate the design of a glass lampshade her father had made when she was little.
Here are the sketches I drew for them. The design was fairly straightforward; not too much detail, which is good, because this type of finish is achieved by working with piping gel on a soft buttercream background and the gel has to be coaxed about very carefully.
The biggest challenge with working on a buttercream base is that, even when it has crusted, it remains soft under the crust and it’s really easy to gouge. Also, with a smooth cake, there can be no bumps or bands of piping between the tiers because there’s no piped detail to conceal them.
I find transferring a tracing of a design onto a cake, using a piped outline traced on parchment and then pressed onto the cake, quite stressful. If the paper slips you get an ugly blurred line that will be impossible to cover up. Also, once the icing has crusted to a stage where you can work on it, the piped image won’t adhere to it at all. So I just go for it freehand, describing the outline tentatively in gel and then filling it in in stages. It looks shocking at this stage, really ugly, but once you start piping the black outlines itn comes together really quickly.
There you go. If you can recreate stained glass with buttercream the sky’s the limit really.