Having the opportunity to make creative and unusual cake designs is one of the best parts of decorating cakes. It's simple for almost anyone to frost a cake with buttercream and sprinkle on a few jimmies or a simple border, and the cake will still taste good. However, cake decorating is truly an art form, and if you're interested in taking your cakes to the next level, there are plenty of designs and ideas out there to satisfy your creativity. Cakes can be catered to personality or occasion, so try thinking outside of the box next time you have the chance to create a special cake for someone.
Planning Your Design
An important part of pulling off an unusual cake design is planning it properly. It's tempting to get carried away with a great idea and start work on it immediately, but your cake is more likely to look and taste great if you take some time at the beginning to plan out what you want.
- Draw a diagram of what you hope your finished cake will look like.
- Make a list of supplies and ingredients. Think about assembling each layer or portion of the cake, and what you will need for each part.
- Give some thought to troubleshooting. If you're making the cake for a special occasion and some part of it doesn't work, do you have a backup plan in place?
- If you're pressed for time, consider making the cake in stages, assembling it in advance, and decorating it just before serving.
Topsy-turvy cakes, sometimes known as Mad Hatter's cakes, are cakes with multiple tiers, made to look lopsided. These cakes are usually decorated with wild colors or unique designs and are coated in fondant. In a sense, these cakes are an optical illusion, because the layers appear to be stacked directly on top of one another, but in reality they stand level and are cut at sharp angles. For couples who are seeking a unique wedding-cake design, a topsy-turvy cake can be a good choice because of its multiple layers and ornate presentation. These cakes are suited very well to special occasions.
A sculpture cake is designed to look like something other than a cake. They are similar to novelty cakes, but a novelty cake may look more traditional and have added-on figurines or other decorations that make it unique. Sculpture cakes can be designed and executed to look like almost anything, but they're very difficult to make well. Since so many sculpture cakes and novelty cakes contain large amounts of traditional fondant or supplies such as edible glitter or gum paste, these cakes aren't often as tasty as simpler cakes due to the comparatively dull or overly sweet natures of those ingredients. In terms of presentation, however, almost nothing can top a sculpture cake.
More Unusual Cake Designs
Some cake designs are made unique by the way they are decorated or the colors they use. A traditional round cake decorated with bright buttercream frosting and adorned with glitter or fondant will stand out even though the design is straightforward and the cake isn't very difficult to make. Even frosting piped in an unusual way or used differently from the norm can make a difference in creating a cake that catches attention. Unusual cakes don't have to be show-stoppers; they can be crafted by bakers and decorators of all ability levels and shared with everyone.