A rustic Winter Cardinal Cake featuring red cardinals, white pinecones, red berries, white bow, and a red and white tree bark stump. This cake is the perfect combination of whimsy and holiday for the season. Looking at this cake makes me feel like I’m walking in a snowing forest with beautiful red birds, berries, and the ground covered in snow-covered pinecones.
After covering the cake with white vanilla fondant I rolled out measured sections of red fondant and laid white dried torn fondant pieces over the red panels. I then used a roller over the white pieces to create the overall cracked bark look.
I also used additional smaller bark pieces to get a multi-layered look on the tree stump. I’m sure there are different ways to achieve this look but this was my process.
Since this was a Christmas Cake I wanted to do the tree bark white and red not brown. Things do not always need to be a literal representation. Think outside the box. A red and white tree is much more interesting and fitting for the holidays.
Fondant Cake Toppers
Most fondant cake toppers can be made prior to cake making day. This allows the fondant figures time to set and dry especially if your fondant figures need to be a shape that won’t just happen without drying time. Fondant or gum paste bows and flowers are perfect examples. If you want that puffy gap in the bow foam can be used to achieve this look. Insert the foam in the bow and let it sit for a few hours before application.
Flowers or pinecones are molded with toothpicks or skewers (if needed) and set to dry. The red cardinals were also made ahead of time. All this pre-sculpted prep helps cake decorating go much faster. For more examples of pre-made fondant cake toppers check out this detailed 2 Tiered Star Wars Cake.
The advantage of resting fondant cake toppers or decorations on the cake board is the board supports the weight. When you have the heavy fondant figures on the cake top the weight has to be supported underneath by alternative means such as cardboard liners, straws, dowels, skewers, toothpicks, etc.