Sunday, May 20, 2012

Garden Cake Tutorial

This is one of those desserts that is sure to dazzle people.
The cute colorful marzipan vegetables against the black Oreo cookie dirt simply delight the eye.

This cake is fantastic for a summer garden party or darling as a Peter Rabbit cake for Easter.  You can scale this cake to any size you wish and be as basic or decadent as you desire with the decorations. Here's a large version of  a garden cake I made for my daughters 5th Birthday.

Please don't be intimidated with this cake. If you can work with Play-Doh you can make these little vegetables, and you have my tutorial to help you every step of  the way, so let's go to Garden Cake School 101!

Garden Cake 101
Bake any cake you wish and allow cake to cool.  A carrot cake with cream cheese icing is especially fun for this cake, but I'm using a yellow cake today with custard filling and whipped icing.

Cut 9"X13" cake in half and stack with your favorite filling between the two layers.

Just look at that extra filling! YUM. I almost ate it myself but took pitty on one of my little helpers.
Frost cake

Pipe a decorative trim if you wish.

Add pre-made fence pickets to cake. I rolled out white fondant icing on parchment paper and used a ruler and a knife to cute my pickets.  I let them sit out for a couple of days to dry hard, but you could pipe them out of royal icing, or even bake them out of sugar cookie dough. The cake is still adorable without the pickets, so feel free to skip this step all together.

I tucked my pickets into the icing bottom trim and stick against fresh moist icing.

Remove icing from Oreo cookies and crush the cookies in a food processor to the consistency of dirt. CAREFULLY and neatly spoon Oreo cookie dirt on top of the cake.  You don't want to get any black dirt on the sides or piped edges of your cake.

Using a #133 tip (great for making grass or hair), pipe grass around the top and bottom of cake. (Optional)

Pipe decorative vines growing up the fence and embellish your cake with royal icing pansies and bugs found at Fancy Flours. (Optional)

I piped a few leaves on the vines.

Using a fork, sow your garden rows.  I like to do a grid, with my rows changing direction in each grid.

Apply your marzipan vegetables to your garden. (See vegetable tutorial below)  I like to group my vegetables in each grid, but you can arrange them any way you wish.

We added a sugar butterfly fluttering over the garden. Click here to see my post with sugared butterflies.

Stand back and look at your amazing creation.
*It was a humid rainy day when I made this cake so my pickets started to get a little wobbly/soft. I piped little dollops of frosting behind eat picket to keep them standing straight. You would not need to do this if using royal icing or sugar cookies.

Boxed up and ready to go to my daughter's teacher for Teacher Appreciation week.

Marzipan Vegetable Tutorial

These little vegetables are so fun to make. There really is no wrong way to do these. Working with marzipan is much like working with Play-Doh, only a little stickier. I found that keeping my hands slightly damp helped keep the marzipan from sticking to my skin. I also found that washing my hands with each color change with super helpful. I used gel food coloring to tint my marzipan. Remember marzipan is made from almonds, so if you have someone with a nut allergy, try making your veggies with fondant icing.

I used one tube of marzipan for the size cake I'm making today. If you are going to do a larger cake, then you will need two tubes of marzipan.

Purple Cabbage or Lettuce
Tint some marzipan with your food coloring but don't blend the color all of the way. Use purple for cabbage and light green for lettuce. You want some white spots left to make the leaves look lifelike.

Roll some marzipan in a small ball.

Pinch little pieces of marzipan between your fingers to shape petals

Apply petals in a circular pattern around your ball until you get your desired size cabbage.

Tint some marzipan orange.

Roll with one finger to make a carrot shape.

Using a toothpick or a blunt knife, score lines around your carrot.

Poke a whole in the top of your carrot and add a little green marzipan leaf.

Tint marzipan golden yellow and roll into shape of an ear of corn.

Using a knife mark you ear of corn with a grid pattern to make kernels.

Pinch small amount of green marzipan to make two leaves and apply one to each side of your ear of corn.

Tomato & Pumpkins
Tint some marzipan red and roll into a tiny ball. (Use orange for a pumpkin and make your ball larger)

Puncture a little hole on top and make 5 little lines. (Score the lines from top to bottom if making a pumpkin).

Roll little squiggle stems out of green marzipan and push them into the top of your tomato.

Roll an oval out of red marzipan.

Roll out a flat circle of green marzipan and wrap it around your red oval ball.

Cut your watermelon in half and add black seeds with a black food color marker (found at most art and craft or cake decorating stores).

Peas & Frogs
See my marzipan cookie tutorial to learn how to make cute little peas and frogs! The peas photographed here are cookie dough. You'll be using marzipan candy and making the peas a smaller scale for a garden cake.

Your creativity is the limit with other fruits and veggies you can make. I like to make my veggies the night before I decorate the cake. Then I store them in an air tight container until I am ready to use them. It's a great project to work on while watching a movie or favorite show. 


~The Lemonista

Tip Junkie handmade projects


  1. Amazing as always Erin!! Love it :)

  2. Seriously the cutest cake!! Great job!

  3. Just too beautiful and good instructions.

  4. Love.this tutorial,am going to try it next week for my dad's birthday,thanks! Meabh