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Cake design artist Paola Levy teaches her fondant technique for making edible tree bark that can be used for a tree stump cake, log cake, rustic wedding cake, or tons of other projects!
For nature lovers, the rustic wedding theme is trendy. Edible bark, newspaper rolls and sugar flowers are the decorator’s delight for these events.
Here’s a super simple method to make a tree stump cake that won’t take all day and will spark the creativity of any cake artist:
- Choose your fondant – Store bought or homemade will work just fine. For the perfect fondant recipe, check out Paola’s DIY Fondant course (And for a limited time get a free cake leveler). The color of the fondant you use depends on the type of tree you want. Oak could be medium brown, birch could be a light beige. (Use a few drops of darker and lighter brown gel color for variations in the bark. For best results, start with a lighter base color. Then enhance later with edible paint or an airbrush color) .
- Roll the fondant at least ¼” thick for 3″ wide wood planks. Don’t overwork and lose those “natural” variations.
- Let it rest! Take a breather and let the fondant sit uncovered for about 30 minutes, to make a skin. Letting it sit too long will make it too stiff to create indentations for a natural wood look.
- Roll it again – After the rest period, roll the fondant again, just enough to form cracks in the skin to create a wooden structure.
- Create grooves – Use a pointed (but not sharp!) modeling tool to accentuate the grooves in the leather and carve indentations in a random style, like in tree bark.
- Don’t forget the edges – Indent the edges in alignment with the grooves for a realistic and finished look.
- Paint it – Airbrush makes everything better! Just a light mist works perfectly to keep the color variations visible. Another option is to hand paint the fondant with edible paint. (Be sure to do this step last, after you have assembled the cake and decorations).
Keep in mind:
Cut the fondant into small rectangles for vertical “boards” before creating the grooves, or keep a long rectangle for a log loaf. You can also roll up the boards to make little logs for a campfire cake topper.
The appearance of wood is a very forgiving structure, as any breaks or cracks can be disguised as natural features.
Buttercream makes the perfect glue to adhere the fondant crust to any cake, whether it’s the bottom tier of a fabulous bare cake, or standing alone as a tree stump with a whimsical top.
What cool projects are you making with this super fun and simple technique? Let us know in the comments section!