I love everything vintage and shabby chic! I've been asked to make a cake for a friend - who loves the retro, floral look too. I thought I could incorporate this vintage, floral theme in a cake and would like to put a bunting effect around the bottom tier. Is there any help you can give me on creating edible bunting, particularly with a vintage/floral pattern?
(Rhian, 6 May 2013)
Vintage is all the rage at the moment, perfect for spring or summer events where you can use lovely pastel shades and floral or lacy effects. To make the bunting itself (before considering the patterns) you have a choice of edible icing sheets, fondant or modelling/flower (or gum) paste. Use whatever you think works best for you, if you're not sure check out our guides here. Cut lots of triangular shapes and allow to dry before decorating.
How to achieve the vintage, floral look
For the floral and vintage patterns, it depends on where your skills lie. Many cake decorators are naturally 'arty' - so here is the chance to paint a floral fabric effect directly onto your bunting using edible inks. Choose a favourite fabric (Cath Kidston and Emma Bridgwater prints are perfect) and simply copy it. If you're not confident doing this, try:
Stencils (doilys are great)
Ready made sheets (available to buy) and apply to your icing
Send images of your chosen vintage patterns - polka dots, lacy effects, gingham and paisley to be printed onto edible paper
Use embossers or cutters to create a vintage lace effect.
What do other cake bakers do?
Don't just take our word for it! We have lots of fabulous contributions from our cakebaker facebookers - here's what they say:
You can use chocolate transfer sheets on fondant. Plenty of floral patterns, use the heat from hair dryer to melt onto fondant. Leave to dry and use cutters to cut out.
I just use flower paste then with a bit of gin and edible powders, paint with fine paintbrush a pretty vintage design, but depends how confident you are with painting!
You can make it out of 50/50 - mix 50% sugarpaste with 50% flower paste. Roll it out then use an impression mat. Cut out little triangles. You can then dust the triangles different colours. Looks really cute.
Peel & Munch does whole sheets of vintage type edible images which you can then cut out your shapes and use. I made some bunting for my latest cake and used edible images and just cut out the pennant shape and stuck on to a line of fondant with edible glue.
Use a star cutter and chop off the points. You could use an embosser or hand paint a design? I've made a couple of christening cakes recently with bunting around.
I made flag bunting twisting two colours together to make the rope and attaching small triangle shapes flags along it on a vintage cake I made. I also made fondant buttons as the pinned sections.
I bought floral design rice paper off eBay then backed it into white florist paste and cut the triangles out that way for the bunting . Time consuming but well worth the result.
I know you can buy some rice paper cake bunting that looks lovely! Polka dots also look great.
Gum paste triangles, shape them and let them dry and then use an edible pen to colour a pattern on them. Icing sheets are much easier and quicker though!
I got a custom designed A4 sheet made from by online shop - all I did was send them my design. You could search images for vintage patterns, get them printed and then cut out little triangles. This is what I'm doing for my sister's cake in August.
Wilton do a lovely silicon mould with bunting, have used it many times and lovely every time. Lakeland have them too.
Print on icing sheets and cut out or cut tiny blossoms and stick on. Layer stripes and cut into triangles.
I did bunting for my sisters wedding two weeks ago - I used printed icing sheets in various floral, polka dot designs. I cut them into triangles and applied them with liquid glucose.
The Craft Company, Squires Kitchen and many other cake decoration supplies sell sugar sheets now in loads of different designs that you can cut out as you wish. Or paint patterns on paste, or get some edible photos printed in whatever fabric design you want - just scan it on the computer.
Use flower paste if you want your triangles to be quite solid.