Cake toppers are a fantastic way to brighten up any cake, but can you apply one on a cake frosted with buttercream?
It depends entirely on the type of cake topper you’re using, but it should be totally fine to put a cake topper on a buttercream-frosted cake. It can make some toppers, particularly fondant toppers, a little soft, but there are ways to avoid that happening.
Read on to learn more about cake toppers, and how they fare when placed atop a buttercream-frosted cake.
A Little Bit Of Buttercream
There are few things as delectable as buttercream, at least where desserts and cakes are concerned. It’s a delicious but fattening combination of fats, such as oil and butter, and powdered sugar.
Once you’ve combined your elements, you simply mix and whisk to your desired consistency, and voilá – buttercream. It can then be piped onto a cake, or, alternatively, it can be slathered over all sides rather haphazardly; it’s delicious either way.
In many cases, the buttercream will be flavored using… Well, flavorings. It will take just a few drops of your desired flavoring, and potentially coloring, and within no time at all, you’ll have a buttercream mixture that tastes like lemon or chocolate, for example.
Ultimately, buttercream is a versatile creation, and it can be used to decorate, fill, or coat the cake itself. For example, a cake maker might make a classic sponge cake, fill the inside of the two layers with buttercream, and dust the top with icing sugar – perfection.
It’s an easy substance to work with, as buttercream will stay fresh for up to two weeks, once mixed. Reportedly, it’s the high sugar content that preserves the buttercream, meaning a cake slathered in buttercream will stay fresh in the refrigerator for a good while.
Buttercream allows a cakemaker to get fairly creative, particularly where wedding cakes are involved. If they’re an expert piper, they can flesh out an attractive design that lines the sides of the cake, such as swirls, or complex patterns.
Alternatively, they can use a palette knife to coat the cake in buttercream, before cutting in a classic ‘grooved’ design – a timeless example. Or, if the bride and groom prefer, the cakemaker can use a light frosting of buttercream to create a more rustic style.
Let’s Talk About Toppers
Toppers come in many shapes, sizes, and materials, ranging from simple plastic cut-outs, to elaborate handmade designs. They can be created from wood, metal, fondant, marzipan, or even flowers, and they’re really only limited by the imagination of the cakemaker.
These days, it’s considerably easy to make an attractive topper, with many cakemakers resorting to edible printing methods. In this practice, they quite simply print out an edible layer of icing that has a custom image inked right onto the top of it.
They can then layer this icing on top of a cake, or they can print out an assortment of smaller toppers to use on cupcakes, for example. However, it’s thought that the moisture in buttercream can soften these types of toppers, ultimately disintegrating them a little.
This isn’t a problem if you’re topping the cake and then eating it within a few hours, but if the cake is left to sit for a while, it will degrade the topper. This is also the same for toppers crafted from fondant, particularly the traditional bride and groom examples.
However, some toppers will be totally impervious to the effects of buttercream, particularly those that aren’t made from edible materials. There are plenty of cake toppers that are little more than a cut-out made from plastic, metal, or wood.
For example, you might have the words ‘Happy Birthday’ written out on a piece of acrylic that simply stabs into the cake and stands there. It’s simple, effective, and more importantly, it won’t be damaged by a bit of buttercream.
In many cases, a wedding cake will be decorated with real flowers, which can also be impacted by buttercream. As a rule of thumb, fresh flowers should be applied to a cake as late as possible, as they will wilt within just a few hours.
If you want a floral design but don’t want to run the risk of using real flowers, you can actually create buttercream flowers that serve the purpose just as well. And, the added bonus is – they’re totally edible!
It’s totally up to you, and your cakemaker’s abilities.