I want to make a cake with flames coming off the top...but I'm not sure how to do this. Do any of you have suggestions of how to do it?
I don't want it just on the sides but actually coming out of the cake (more 3d).
You can look at my cakes, the first one is the dragon cake with flames on the sides and standing up on top. The ones on top are made out of gumpaste, just roll it out to desired thickness (I freehanded the flames shape). When dry and hard the next day I "painted" it with cookie icing tinted. HTH.
The most realistic flames IMO, though they work best at smaller sizes, are made of hard candy -- you can cook your own, but the easy method is to crush some red, orange and yellow sour balls or Jolly Ranchers and put them in the oven on a foil-covered cookie sheet. They melt, and you can "marble" the colors with a skewer while they're still hot and liquid, if you want. Once all the candy is melted, take it out of the oven and let it cool; it hardens. After it's hard you peel off the foil and break the candy into sort of triangular shapes which you can then stick into the top of your cake.
The orange tiered explosion cake in my photos has some of this stuff sticking off the top. I wanted bigger pieces for that cake but they kept breaking too much. I've used the same technique for a candy "camp fire" to go with a tent cake, and that worked beautifully.
If you need your flames to be larger and you don't mind if they're not translucent, you can use fondant/gumpaste, or candy melts. Support it with lollipop sticks or something similar, just as you would for any other standing decoration.
If smaller/shorter flames are o.k. they can be made w/piped b'cream
Use the biggest leaf tip you have and just pipe pull up shells/leaves. If your b'cream is on the stiff side and you pull up your hand while squeezing you can get flames that will stand up about 2 - maybe 3" tall.
Fill your piping bag spatula-striped w/orange, yellow and red icing.