In celebration of spring, here are some cake ideas for your baking inspiration. These are all old photos from the vault of desserts that I made in bakeries as a pastry chef or product developer. Note: I can’t take credit for dreaming up all of these designs, but I give you my spin on each one, with some tips as to how they were decorated in case you want to try.
Bird’s Nest Cupcakes
The classic and easy bird’s nest cake decoration can be achieved by piping a circle of chocolate frosting out of grass tip then filling it with candies like Jordan almonds (above) or jelly beans. They are so fun and inviting with the bright pastel colors of the candy and glaze.
Above are some bird’s nest cupcakes with a more subtle look, using only the natural colors of chocolate glaze and chocolate frosting to set the scene. In the nest are speckled white candy-coated chocolate eggs for decoration.
In New England, it’s one of the first brave flowers that pokes its head out of the ground each spring. It’s also a very easy decoration to pipe onto a cake. Use a V-shaped decorating tip to pipe a circle of pointed leaves around the center. Then use a small round tip to pipe a hollow spiral tube in the middle.
Although the classic daffodil has yellow leaves and an orange center, it also grows in many shades and combinations of white, yellow, and orange. Here is a fancier version of a decorated daffodil cake:
The rounded daffodil petals above were piped through a small petal tip while the centers were piped in a spiral through a small round tip. The leaves were piped with a V-shaped decorating tip and the stems with a small round tip. These frosting daffodils were also garnished with a little cake “dirt.” Follow this link to read my explanation of how to make cake sand or cake dirt.
Pysanky or Faberge Egg Cakes
These cake versions of the pysanky or faberge egg were very popular at one bakery where I worked in Massachusetts. Every year, we borrowed the egg molds from a nearby bakery and then had a certain amount of time in which to produce hundreds of large and mini eggs. We enrobed the eggs in chocolate glaze then intricately decorated each one with a unique flower or geometric piping design. Above left is one of my cake designs decorated with piped white daisies and above right is one of my cake designs decorated with piped sunflowers.
Orange Creamsicle Chiffon Cupcakes
Something about the idea of orange creamsicle gets me excited for the warmer months because it’s mindful of popsicles, beach days, and ice cream trucks. These chiffon cupcakes were decorated with an orange and vanilla creamsicle frosting swirl that was piped using a large open star tip. I did not make the pretty flowers on top…those were a sugar decoration stocked by the bakery where I worked at the time. I’m not sure where they come from but you could certainly make flowers like that out of modeling chocolate if you wanted.
Triple Chocolate Cakes
Okay, these aren’t exactly spring cakes but I’m sharing them anyway because every season is an excuse to celebrate chocolate! The mousse centers of these sandwich cakes were piped with a large open star tip. The cakes were partially enrobed with dripping ganache and were topped with mini chocolate chips, a dollop of frosting, and a hand-piped chocolate garnish.
Strawberries & Cream Cakes
What better way to celebrate the spring harvest than with the cake version of the classic strawberry shortcake? Vanilla sponge cake soaks up the juices of macerated berries on a whipped cream cloud. The tops are glazed with a sweet sugar icing and garnished with whole strawberries dipped in preserves. These delicate cakes fell apart moments after this photo was taken though so this is one of those desserts that must be eaten right away.
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