Cake Finial - Royal Icing Or Candy Melts?

Decorating By EnjoyTheCake Updated 2 Aug 2008 , 6:15pm by GeminiRJ

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EnjoyTheCake Posted 22 Jul 2008 , 5:08am
post #1 of 15

Ok cakesters, I'm about to use an old pattern without any idea how the original was done. I want to make the attached image for a cake top. The scroll work should be warm green, the flowers will be orange and blue. The cake it is sitting on will be a 4" tall 12" round cake.

Should I make this out of Royal Icing or Candy Melts?


The side design will be piped in buttercream. Warm green for the scroll work with the flowers in orange and blue as implicated in the image.


14 replies
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7yyrt Posted 22 Jul 2008 , 5:43am
post #2 of 15

It looks like an old Wilton design. If so, it would originally have been for royal icing.
I'll leave it for those who have experience in toppers to give an opinion on which might be more sturdy. How much will you be filling in between the lines? In other words, how 'lacy' ?

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Cookie4 Posted 22 Jul 2008 , 5:59am
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I recognize the design from a pattern set that is very old from Wilton. I would lay some wax paper over the pattern and trace with royal icing but don't use a very small tip or it won't hold. After it dries very hard, remove carefully from the paper, turn it over and overpipe on the backside of the royal icing design to strengthen it. You might even want to sprinkle some glitter on the top side before it dries to give it some extra sparkle.

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miny Posted 22 Jul 2008 , 6:17am
post #4 of 15

I think is better to use RI because it will give you a cleaner look and it's easier to trace with. With candy melts usually you have to use the back part so you have to reverse the tracing. I don't know if I'm being clear. icon_redface.gif

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wendy1273 Posted 22 Jul 2008 , 6:31am
post #5 of 15

If I understand you want to stand this on top of the cake??
If that is what you want to do I would do it with gum paste on top of parchment paper and let it dry for a couple of days. If you are going to lay down on the cake I think that royal icing will be fine but you may have to go on top of it a couple of times.

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EnjoyTheCake Posted 22 Jul 2008 , 5:56pm
post #6 of 15

I hadn't thought about the gum paste. I could make a gum paste plaque and then just pipe the butter cream design on it. That way it would match exactly with the colors from the sides of the cake.

Miny - You were clear about the candy melts. I hadn't even thought about that.

If I did Royal Icing, I like the idea of piping it a second time on the back side. That gives it more of a 3d look as well doesn't it?

It is an old Wilton Pattern. I have no idea how the original design looked when it was finished as I don't have pictures of the cake or the book. I think it's from 1976 or 1979 Wilton Way of Cake Decorating, Volume Three from a cake called Blossom brocade.

I guess I should start now if I want to use either GP or RI so it has time to dry for Sunday.

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EnjoyTheCake Posted 2 Aug 2008 , 1:31am
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The End Result:

I opted to make a 12" 2 layer cake. The finial is done with double piped royal icing. I wrote down the color recipes so I could try and match the buttercream later. I think I did a good job. This is my first side piped cake and I hated it until I added the orange and blue flowers on the sides.

I set the finial on a few spots of royal icing so that if it started to break down because of the buttercream, the finial had time to stand tall and proud for a while.

Thank you for all your input. I'm happy with the end result. I used piping gel transfer for the words to make sure they were well done.


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DianeLM Posted 2 Aug 2008 , 1:42am
post #8 of 15

I'm late seeing this thread. The cake is beautiful! I'm so glad you opted to go with royal.

Even tho the cake is done, I still want to throw this out there... Candy melts may have been a bad idea simply because of the summer heat. Standing above the cake like that makes chocolate very vulnerable to heat and especially sunlight.

My very first groom's cake had chocolate scrolls sticking out. When I took it out of the car to carry it inside the venue, I watched in horror as each and every scroll literally vaporized! Luckily I brought enough extras in a cooler to replace them all!

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miny Posted 2 Aug 2008 , 5:37am
post #9 of 15

EnjoyTheCake your final result is beautiful I'm glad you went with RI and the colors are great, they really stand out, I'm doing as your name: "enjoying the cake!" icon_lol.gif

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wendy1273 Posted 2 Aug 2008 , 5:48am
post #10 of 15

Great job? It looks good.
I was afraid of royal icing and you prove me wrong.

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gabbenmom Posted 2 Aug 2008 , 6:13am
post #11 of 15

Wow! That looks great! I love have you have the scroll work standing up!! It turned out great!

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serenelui Posted 2 Aug 2008 , 10:10am
post #12 of 15

oh wow!! that looks gorgeous...

could i also ask what is piping gel transfer and how do you do it?

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EnjoyTheCake Posted 2 Aug 2008 , 4:59pm
post #13 of 15

Thank you all very much.

wendy1273 - I'm still afraid of royal icing. My recommendation is make extras. And if you are going to double pipe, so front and then back, make sure you remember this if you're doing a top finial on the ornament. My top nob on the finial is the only thing I'm not really happy with. Also make sure you give yourself plenty of time to let it dry.

serenelui- Piping Gel transfer is a technique used to put any image on your cake. I took the text and the detail i wanted for the top and printed it to size in mirror image. Then I placed waxed paper over the image cut to size also. It's important to cut it to size or you'll have way too much wax paper and more chance of messing up your piping gel. Then you take piping gel using tip 1 or 2 (or a very small hole cut in a disposable bag or you can use a squeeze bottle) and trace the image onto the wax paper. The next step is to carefully lift the wax paper off the image, flip it over and very carefully and gently place it on the cake so that the piping gel is now between the cake and the wax paper. Do not move it at this point as you will smear the piping gel. With a soft paint brush you gently brush over the piping gel to make sure it comes into contact with the cake. Then lift the wax paper straight up off the cake.

Some people say that you can get a couple of uses out of your transfer, but I haven't ever tried it more than one use at a time. What is left behind is a piping gel image that you can then use to make your pattern or text on the cake. It's used a lot for images, but I wanted the spacing perfectly even so I used tip 1 piping gel and tip 3 icing so that most of the gel was covered when I finished the letters.

If you have any other questions about piping gel transfer, please send me a PM and I'll do my best to clarify.

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7yyrt Posted 2 Aug 2008 , 5:02pm
post #14 of 15

Very, very nice! It looks like verdigris scroll work in the garden.

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GeminiRJ Posted 2 Aug 2008 , 6:15pm
post #15 of 15

I have done a number of extension pieces using CandyMelts. As long as they are kept cool, they work great. I pipe, flip when hard, re-pipe (usually with a #1 tip). I never have to worry about buttercream breaking down the pieces, as you sometimes do with royal. But with the summer heat, I would certainly worry about melting! Looks like royal was the best bet. Your cake looks beautiful!

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