Today I'm going to share with you how to create beautiful (deceptively simple and gorgeous) cakes and cookies for a Paris Party. Last year's Café de Paris 11th birthday party was one of our best ever. It was fabulously gorgeous AND fun. I'm going to deliver the final installment on how to recreate this party by sharing with you how to make the Rosette Birthday Cake, the Eiffel Tower cupcakes and the gorgeous Café de Paris Cookies.
This is a post for beginners. If that sounds like you - this how-to post is for you. If I can do it, so can you (with the right equipment).
Pulling off these creations is totally doable by amateurs like me, as you will see. No need to spend gazillions on professionally-created delicacies in order to pull off a pin-worthy scrumptious party. Invest the moolah you'd otherwise spend in getting a few cake decorating essentials for yourself, that you can use again and again, year after year.
I am far from an expert cake decorator. My hand shakes and my rosettes are a bit wobbly, but the overall effect was amazing when it all came together. Read on, dear amateur cake maker - you can do this!
Pink Rosette Birthday CakeFirst up let's create the birthday cake.
Our Paris Party cake looked gorgeous and impressed the birthday girl, guests and parents alike, in spite of my amateur rosettes (let's not pretend they are perfect - it's obvious they're not! I am far better at piping them now - that's what practise does for ya. But back in July when I created this party, I was just a beginner getting to grips with my new gear from Kiwicakes).
What You'll Need to Pipe Rosettes:
- Wilton 1M "Open" tip nozzle
- Large Coupler for attaching tip to piping bag
- Large Disposable Piping Bags
- Mix up a double batch of basic vanilla cake mix (super easy no-fail recipe here) and bake in two tins, lined with baking paper, for a two layer cake
- Mix up a double (or TRIPLE just to be safe) batch of buttercream
BUTTERCREAM ICING (single batch)
Whizz together until creamy and smooth:
- 100g butter (or 50g Crisco + 50g Butter for whiter icing that holds its shape)
- 1 cup icing sugar (confectioners sugar)
- 1 tablespoon milk
- 1/4 teaspoon flavour extract: e.g. vanilla, clear vanilla essence or rose extract
- a tiny dot of pink food colouring - add more little by little, until the desired colour is achieved
Assemble the two layers of the cake on a cake stand, cutting off any lumpy bits or overhangs. then apply buttercream to the cake as shown below - firstly between the layers, then slathered all over the cake and smoothed down as good as you can get it with a spatula....
Once you have put the cake together and covered it with buttercream you are ready for the fun part - piping the rosettes. If you've never done this before you might want to practise piping them onto baking paper before you pipe them onto the cake.
Fill your piping bag with buttercream, with the open tip attached. Begin in the centre of the rosette and then swirl outwards and around until you have a rosette. Scrape the buttercream back into the piping bag and keep practising until you have mastered the technique.
Once you think you are ready, be brave and start piping rosettes onto the cake. Begin with the central rosette on top, and then pipe more rosettes around the central one as shown below, until the top is complete...
Keep piping rosettes around the sides until the cake is covered. If you make a mistake, don't stress! Just carefully scrape off the buttercream and try again. Eventually you will have something that looks like this (or even better, cos mine are pretty wobbly - but nobody even noticed. they all just went "WOW")...
I topped my cake with an Eiffel tower I found on Ali Express (with free shipping) and elegant black twisted candles from PopRoc Parties...
Pretty stunning, right? Wobbly rosettes and all. Voila! Tres simple non?
Next up, the Eiffel Tower Cupcakes.
What You'll Need to Make Eiffel Tower Cupcake Toppers
Eiffel Tower CupcakesI learnt how to use the fondant mold to create edible cupcake toppers (like the Eiffel Tower) at our introduction to cupcake decorating at Kiwicakes last year. It might look complicated but it's really not. In fact, if you've ever played with playdough, it's no more complicated than that. And just like with playdough, if you mess it up, you can scrunch up your "dough" and start over.
What You'll Need to Make Eiffel Tower Cupcake Toppers
- Black fondant
- "I Love Paris" Silicone mould with Eiffel Tower
- Tylo hardening powder (optional)
- Cornflour (cornstarch)
- knife with a non-serated edge
- Baking paper
You can make the Eiffel tower toppers ahead of time, so they harden. To harden them more quickly, work a little Tylo powder into a small lump of fondant before you begin. If you do this, you'll need to work quickly as Tylo speeds up the hardening process.
- Dust the inside of your Eiffel Tower silicone mold with a little bit of cornflour (cornstarch) and then shake it out (this stops the fondant sticking).
- Break off a small lump of black fondant and press it into the mold, with the excess overlapping the edges. Use a straight-edge knife to slice away the excess as shown.
- Carefully bend the silicone mold until the Eiffel tower pops out. If it breaks or sticks on your first go, don't worry. Try again. When your Eiffel Tower pops out as it should, carefully lay it out on a sheet of baking paper to harden. Once hardened, pop into an airtight container until you need them.
- Bake a batch of basic vanilla cupcakes and allow to cool. Once cooled, wrap your "naked" cupcakes in something like these gorgeous laser-cut wrappers from Ali Express and then pipe a sweet buttercream rosette on top of each cupcake.
- Take out the Eiffel tower cupcake toppers you prepared earlier...
- Pop one on each cupcake... and Voila! Eiffel tower cupcakes.
Café de Paris CookiesLast but not least we are ready to create our Café de Paris Cookies. I had originally planned to pipe each guest's name on a cookie and use these as edible place cards. I quickly realised that was way beyond my skills as a novice cookie decorator! Then I came up with the idea of stamping each cookie simply, with "Café de Paris" - so much quicker and just as effective, in my opinion.
What You'll Need to Make Café de Paris Cookies
- White fondant
- Letterpress interchangeable cookie cutter plunger set (or similiar) and/OR
- Flourish Rectangle Cookie cutter (optional)
- Rolling pin
- Baking paper
As I said, I had been planning to pipe names onto each cookie, so I had bought the Flourish Rectangle Cookie cutter from Pop Roc Parties when I spotted it on sale. (It's now part of their hire collection).
Then a friend of mine gave me her old Letterpress interchangeable cookie cutter plunger set and I put the two together and magic happened. For those of you who have the Letterpress set, or something similar, using the scalloped rectangle cutter would work brilliantly. And you could even stamp each guest's name on individually if you can be bothered....
Firstly make a batch of basic sugar cookies. Roll out the dough and cut them out with the flourish (or scalloped) rectangle cookie cutter. Allow to cool.
- Roll out the white fondant on a sheet of baking paper (to prevent sticking) and cut out a fondant rectangle flourish (or scalloped rectangle) for each cookie. (Note: if you are using the scalloped rectangle from the letterpress set, you will be able to stamp your "Cafe de paris" lettering at the same time).
- Brush a little bit of water onto the back of each fondant rectangle and gently apply to the cookies.
- Load the letters into the letterpress stamper, to spell out "Cafe de Paris". Make sure you allow for a mirrored image! You might want to test it out first.
- Position stamper carefully over the cookie and press down, leaving the words imprinted on your cookie.
Voila! C'est finis!
MORE PARIS PARTY POSTS: