How To Make a Barrel Semi-Naked Wedding Cake With Fresh Flower Corsages

How To Make a Barrel Semi-Naked Wedding Cake With Fresh Flower Corsages

 How To Make a Barrel Semi-Naked Wedding Cake With Fresh Flower Corsages

This How To Make a Barrel Semi-Naked Wedding Cake With Fresh Flower Corsages is a tutorial of how I made this semi-naked wedding cake with fresh flowers for my sister-in-law and her husband to be. This tutorial contains my Amazon affiliate links to show the products that I used.  If you like this tutorial please use the links to purchase the supplies. 

She wanted a cake with no fondant and without a lot of icing so the semi-naked wedding cake seemed the perfect choice. The cake needed to be able to feed at least 170 people. Also, even though is was a semi-naked cake it need to look elegant.  

The process of making a wedding cake can be a daunting task so it is important to divide it into pieces:

The first step is to determine a design for the cake.

We looked at a lot of semi-naked wedding cakes out on the web, until we both found a design we really liked.

This is the cake from The Pink Cake Box in the UK that inspired my cake design. I just loved the elegant look of the flower corsages on the cake and I really like the way they were placed on alternating sides. 

The cake needed to feed 170 people so I decided to go with a barrel cake design where each tier was made of 2 cakes consisting of 2 2 inch layers put on top of each other.  There was a lot of left over cake so I did not need to do a double barrel. 

Next determine the size of the cake and the recipes. 

The bride needed a cake to feed 170 people and she wanted a cake with a slight almond flavor and a strawberry filling.  I chose to use a Strawberry Buttercream and a thin layer of Strawberry conserve on top of the strawberry buttercream.  The recipe for the Strawberry conserve came from the Cake Bible.  I recommend an Italian Buttercream recipe. Although for this cake I used Mike McCarey’s buttercream recipe. I mixed some of the buttercream with the strawberry conserve to make the strawberry buttercream. This recipe combination will require the cake to be refrigerated.

After that make a schedule to determine when each part needs to be completed. Since this is a semi-naked cake, the cake will need to be baked and iced 2 days before the wedding or baked a few days before and each layer wrapped well and put in the freezer.  If frozen,  it should be baked and iced by the day before the wedding. Also you should ideally leave the layers for a few hours to a day to set after baking before building the tiers.

2. how to make the semi-naked cake

To make the cake layers, I found The Cake Bible by Rose Beranbaum to be a terrific resource. Near the back of the book, she goes over how to make a wedding cake. She strongly recommends to not go above a 12 inch layer as the bottom layer. Her standard cake is a 3 tier or 6 inch, 9 inch, and 12 inch.  I needed enough to feed 200 people so I went with a barrel cake that would double this.  

First I used her All American Downy Butter Cake with almond flavoring at 3/4 of the amount she said for vanilla with the last 1/4 being vanilla.  For 2 of the 12 inch layers, I used her full recipe and my Kitchenaid mixer barely held it.  For the last 2 12 inch layers, I halfed the recipe for 2 12 inch layers and mixed and baked each separately and it seemed to work better. Her recipe for the 6 inch and 9 inch layers as a single batch worked well. 

Also with her recipes, I did not need to add a core in the middle of the pan for the middle to cook. She adjusts the baking powder amount to allow for the larger pan size.  If for any reason, the layers are slightly  taller in the center, I take a paper towel and gently mash them down to be level when they first come out of the oven.

Next, I made homemade cake baking strips (my own version of Magistrips) by taking a piece of heavy duty foil a little larger than the circumference of the cake layer and putting folded over moistened paper towels in the middle.  The paper towels should be fairly moist, but not dripping wet. Next I folded the paper towels and the foil to be about 2 inches high since that was the height of my pans. These worked pretty well.  I also use Wilton Magistrips when they are the right size.  I find they work slightly better than my homemade

I drew the outline of the pan onto parchment paper using a graphite pencil, the cut the circle 1/8 inch just inside the graphite line to have a piece of parchment to match the size of the bottom of the pan.

I put crisco in the bottom, then put the parchment round on top of the thin layer of crisco. Then dusted with flour and shook out excess. Next I baked the each cake layer.

3. Building each tier

Since double barrel tiers are so tall. each half of the tier must be built separately, then put together. For each part of the double barrel tier. Place the bottom cake layer on a cake circle or a wooden 12 inch circle for the bottom tier. To keep the cake circle from showing, the pieces going inside the double barrel may need to be trimmed slightly.  Next to fill the cake, put a circle of buttercream icing around the outside edge of the cake layer to form a barrier so that the filling will not run out of the cake. Then put the strawberry buttercream inside it. Finally put on a very thin layer of the strawberry conserve. This should not be any taller the the outer circle of buttercream icing.  Next put on the second layer of cake. Finally I put a thin layer of buttercream icing on the top and sides of the tier.  I put on more than I needed and gently scraped off the excess with a plastic bench scraper to make it semi-naked. After that, build the second tier of the same size. The bottom tier was built on a 12 inch half inch plywood wooden circle, The other tiers bottoms were built on 2 cake circles glued together.

4. Build each double barrel tier – prepare each cake tier  piece for stacking 

The double barrel is composed of two tiers of the same size stacked together to form one tall 7 inch tier. Put straws into the bottom  part of each tier so that the other tier of the same size can be stacked on top. All of the straws should be the same height as each other and the same height as that part of the tier.  Since they are straws, they can be cut with scissors.  Next put the top piece of the tier on the bottom piece and make sure it is lined up all the way around the cake.   At this point, add additional buttercream to hide where the two pieces join and scrape off any excess. 

Next for the top part of each tier that will have the next smaller tier on top, mark the next tier size and place straw into the bottom tier inside the diameter of the next smaller tier.  All of the straws should be the same height as each other and the same height as the tier.  All of straws will be abut 3 1/2 to 4 inches tall since they only need to be as tall as 2 cake layers.

Finally once each double barrel tier is build it should stay refrigerated.  They will have to be completed the day before the event.

5. make the cake stand – this should be done at least a week before the cake is due

My husband’s dad helped me make a wooden 4 inch tall square that was 16 inch by 16 inches. The top was 3/4 inch plywood and the sides were 2 by 4 pieces.  I covered it in a layer of batting. Then covered it in a layer of satin for the cake to sit on.  It was strong enough to stand on and certainly strong enough to hold any cake.

6. prepare fresh flower corsages for the cake

The first thing to consider with fresh flowers is how to make sure they are safe for a cake. I asked the bride to get me a list of flowers ahead of time and looked up each one to make sure it was not harmful to humans. 

Also I needed a way to insert the flowers into the cake without the stems being in contact with the cake.  In order to do this I chose Wilton cake flower spikes

For the bouquet, each flower had to be wired separately and the leaf clusters were wired as well. First I inserted a wire through the base of the rose.  Next I cut gauge 26 wire at an angle to make it easier to pierce through the flower. Then I wrapped each stem with floral tape. 

If you just try and use the flowers from the florist as they are, the stems will be too long to fit into the wilton holders and they will not bend the way you want them to go.  On wire, the wire will bend so you can position the flowers for a better presentation.


wire cutters

flower cutters

water spray bottle

airtight container for flowers 

PME clear glaze


 floral tape – I preferred light green

wire of various sizes – mostly 26 gauge 


I found this video by Flowerschool.com on how to make flower corsages to very helpful. I was new to flower corsages so it took me about 3 and 1/2 hours to make these corsages. First I had to wire and wrap about 20 flowers and about 10 leaf clusters so it took me a while.  Also I did this the night before the wedding since it was a morning wedding.

How To Make a Barrel Semi-Naked Wedding Cake With Fresh Flower Corsages

How To Make a Barrel Semi-Naked Wedding Cake With Fresh Flower Corsages

How To Make a Barrel Semi-Naked Wedding Cake With Fresh Flower Corsages

Once I completed each bouquet I sprayed it with a mist of water all over and put it into a air tight container and placed it in the refrigerator.  You can place multiple bouquets in the same container, just make sure not to crush the flowers.  

(Note:you must use an airtight container or the food gases in the refrigerator may wilt the flowers.)

Assembling the Cake at the venue.

Look at the venue and figure out exactly where the cake will be placed.   Next make room for all three tiers inside the venue.  First place the cake stand on the cake table.  After that place the bottom tier onto the cake stand.  Next place each tier on top of the previous and make sure it is centered.  I used large Wilton cake lifters to move each tier into place. In order to fully secure it, I drove a wooden dowel through all 3 tiers and slightly into the bottom wooden cake board.  Next I cut the dowel to the height of the cake and put a bit of buttercream to hide it.



Next I took a piping bag with buttercream icing and piped around the gaps where each tier joins.  The buttercream should be remixed the day of the event so that it will not be a different color from the rest of the buttercream on the cake. I smoothed it with a gloved finger and small spatula.

Next once I got to the venue, before putting the flowers on the cake, I needed a barrier between the cake and flowers to protect against pesticides on the flowers.  After that I took the bouquets outside and sprayed the back of them with  PME edible spray glaze and let it dry for about 5 minutes. Then I put the flowers into the Wilton cake flower spikes. The flower spikes go straight down into the cake so it is nice to have to wire to be able to bend the flowers the face the direction that you need. I put the flower spikes into each tier the night before so I could get an idea of what each flower corsage needed to look like. Also they were there when I added the flowers on the day of the wedding.

(NOTE:  spray PME edible spray glaze at the venue just before putting onto cake – if you spray it the night before, you will see a white powder on the flowers left by the spray.)

Once the flowers were added the cake was complete.

You may also enjoy  Pop Culture Wedding Cake Ideas and more Between the Pages creations.

I also made this Elegant wedding cake with rose flower corsages and the Millennium Falcon.

Movie Marquee Cake Tutorial

Movie Marquee Cake

Movie Marquee Cake

This Movie Marquee Cake Tutorial tells how I made this Movie Marquee Cake to celebrate the 70th birthday of someone who loves moves and attends hundreds of movie openings a year.    The customer requested a semi-naked cake with very little icing. I created a Movie cake topper to highlight the birthday person’s love of movies and cinema.   This tutorial contains my Amazon affiliate links to show the products that I used.  If you like this tutorial please use the links to purchase the supplies.

To Make the cake topper:

I found a shape I liked on the internet. Next I cut out the shape 2 times from foam board – One for the front and one for the back.  I glued jumbo skewers between the 2 foam board pieces to create the sign. Thirdly, I taped all of the edges together so the fondant would not go in between the 2 pieces. Fourthly,  I covered the sign in piping gel so the fondant would stick to the foam board.  

Fifthly, I rolled out fondant for the back of the sign and attached it.  Sixthly, I rolled out fondant for the front and sides of the sign and attached it using piping gel.

Seventhly, I cut out Tappit letters for the white part of the sign and placed them on using piping gel. Because I used Tappit letter cutters for the sign, their size dictated the size of the writing inside the white of the sign.

 Eightly, I cut out the red fondant top part of the sign and attached it using piping gel.  Ninethly, I cut out the workdCinema using Wilton letter cutters and rolled them to make them larger and the size I needed.

I also cut out circles using the patterned side of the Wilton circle cutters above.  In addition I used a star cutter on top of the circles to make the pattern above Cinema. Next I used an extruder to make the yellow border on the top and bottom of the sign.

To Make the Cake:

I used a 16 inch by 4 inch by 4 inch loaf pan to bake a carrot cake.  I made a cake board from foam board that exactly fit the cake and covered it in press and seal wrap. Next I cut the carrot cake into 3 separate layers and placed white chocolate ganache raisin filling between the layers. I placed a very thin coating of  white chocolate ganache icing on the top and sides to make it semi-naked cake.  

To Make the Cake Board:

I cut out a wooden piece of plywood into a 18 inch by 7 inch rectangle. Next I anchored the cake to the center using royal icing and  made and placed burgandy fondant bricks/ wood planks all around the cake.  I attached the bricks using piping gel. 

I used the Wilton Texture mould for cobblestone and wood planks to make the bricks.

To attach the sign to the cake:

I placed 3 straws over the Movie Marquee sign dowels and placed the straws into the cake. I needed to make sure the straws lined up exactly with the dowels.  Next I cut the straws off level with the top of the cake. I cut the dowels to a height about 1/4 inch off the cake.  I placed the dowels inside the straws so that I could add and remove the sign without getting cake all over the dowels. My straws where almost the same size as the dowels.  If the straws were slightly bigger, I would have put some fondant inside the straws to give a dowels a more snug fit.

For more cake and cookies birthday ideas, take a look at Between The Pages Creations.

Graduation Cookies Tutorial

Red Blue Purple Graduation Cookies

This graduation cookies tutorial tells how I made these 3 sets of graduation cookies that I made for graduates this year. I’ve also included some affiliate links of products I used to make these.

Steps for Making Graduation Cookies

Plan cookie design

The first step to making these cookies was to plan what they would look like. When I started planning these cookies, I looked at many different graduation cookie designs.  It took a while to find designs that I really liked. I decided to make diplomas and graduation cap cookies. First, I decided the graduation cap and the bow would be the same color. Next the rolled up diploma would be represented by a white swirl created with royal icing.  In addition, the design feature that I really liked was a multicolored tassel.   I saw graduation cookies by NY Cookies by Victoria.   and really liked the way she did multicolored tassels so I made these on my cookies.  

Purchase cookie cutters

The second step is to purchase cookie cutters or manually cut out the cookie shapes desired. I already had hat and diploma cookie cutters and I used them.  Here’s a link to the hat cookie cutter.  


Make Cookies and Flood Cookies with Royal Icing

Next, I made vanilla cookies using Lila Loa’s recipe. I let them sit on paper towels over night to let any excess butter go onto the paper towels and not bleed through the royal icing later.  This happens more with dark colors like reds and is more likely to happen the thinner the flood icing. Next I flooded the cookies with royal icing.  I used a 15 to 20 second icing for the flood icing and a stiffer consistency to outline the shape first. I used strained reconstituted powdered egg white to thin the icing to flood consistency instead of just water.  

After this, the cookies need to dry for several hours. I used a dehydrator for about 10 minutes, then put the cookies in front of a fan. Do not leave cookies in a dehydrator too long or the butter may start to bleed through the icing and discolor the cookies.  I highly recommend a fan to speed drying time so cookies do not develop cracks or bubbles in the icing  from drying too slowly.

Add decorations to cookies

The third step is to use colored royal icing to make the bow and tassel.  Again, I used a thicker consistency to outline the bow and flood icing to fill in.  The red bow was made using only thicker icing since it was a little thinner than the other colors.  I used a Wilton and a PME 2.0 decorating tip to make the outlines and a PME 1.5 decorating tip to make the white scroll on each diploma.



Purple Blue Red Graduation cookies


Purple and Gold Graduation Cookies

Purple Graduation Hat Cookies


Firstly, I made purple graduation hats with purple and gold tassels and diploma cookies with purple ribbons. These were made for someone who graduated from Dekalb School of the Arts in Atlanta.

Blue and White Graduation Cookies

Blue Graduation Hat and Diploma Cookies

 Secondly, I made blue graduation cap cookies with blue and white tassels.  In addition, the diploma cookies were white with a blue ribbon and white royal icing to show the diploma rolled up. The graduation cap cookies were blue with a blue and white string and tassel.  I made these cookies for twins who were graduation from Howard High School in Maryland.

Blue Graduation Hat Cookies

Red and White Hats and Diploma Cookies

Red Graduation Hat Cookies

Thirdly, I made this set of red and white cookies for someone who is graduating Stanford’s middle school online program and moving into their High School Program.  These are red graduation cap cookies with red and white tassels. I flooded the cookies with white royal icing then painted them with red powder with a small amount of vodka to make it liquid.

Red Graduation Hat Cookies


In addition, He is also a baseball player so I made one of the cookies to look like a baseball. The baseball cookie was based on a design by Cute Little Cookie. I used a red edible marker to draw the baseball lines.

Packaging the Cookies

Once the cookies are decorated, let them sit overnight to make sure all cookies are dry.

I packaged them with these clear bags. They are self sealing and the cookies show through nicely.

Purple & Gold Graduation Cookie Set

The purple and gold graduation cookie set packaged.

The purple cookies are being hand delivered so  they are on a plastic tray with a white doily. A sheet of plastic wrap is on top to keep them in place.


Red & White Graduation Cookie Set

The red and white graduation cookie set packaged.

The blue and white cookie set packaged.

Boxing the Cookies

Shipping Graduation Cookies

In order to prepare for shipping. I used a medium flat rate priority mail box. Firstly, I placed bubble wrap in the bottom. Next, I put in a piece of tissue paper. Then I wrapped each cookie in a hand-made sleeve of bubble wrap to further protect each cookie so they are not damaged in shipping.  Next, I used black and gold confetti stuffed below, above, between the cookies where needed to fill in any extra space.  

Once all the cookies are in the box, I closed the tissue paper. Then I put in the graduation card. I placed extra bubble wrap on top to make sure the cookies do not move in shipping.

Other Graduation Cake and Cookie Ideas

In addition, here’s some more graduation cookies and cakes you might also like:

Harry Potter Doctoral Defense Cookies with Hogwarts Defense Against the Dark Arts professors

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Graduation Cookies

Muppet Science Graduation Cake with Beaker and Bunsen on the front of the Muppet Biology book

Pink & White Rapunzel Cake

Pink and White Rapunzel Cake

Pink & White Rapunzel Cake

This pink & white Rapunzel cake is a two tier cake decorated with a fondant drawing of Rapunzel and Pascal and fondant lanterns that spell out the birthday name and a yellow sun with the number 5 for the birthday age.

I made this Pink and White Rapunzel Cake for Icing Smiles for a 5 year old girl’s birthday party. I love doing cakes for Icing Smiles for medically fragile children and their families.  This girl was a Rapunzel fan and wanted a pink and white cake of her favorite Disney Princess.

Fondant Rapunzel

Fondant Rapunzel Drawing

I started by drawing Rapunzel onto a piece of fondant. She was inspired by a Disney limited edition drawing by Tim Rogerson called Flowers in Her Hair.  Next I painted her with edible paint dusts. I painted using a dry paint method and a meat baster to blow off excess dust.  Multiple layers of paint dust was applied to give different shades of a color. In addition, Pascal was drawn onto a separate piece of fondant that was painted. Then it was attached to Rapunzel.  It is very helpful to have something like the Camera Lucida app to project the desired image onto the fondant.

Next, I cut out lantern shapes using cookie cutters and used tappits to cut out the letters of the birthday name and the number 5. I hand cut the yellow sun for the front of the cake.


Make and color cakes

I made 9 inch and 4 inch barrel cakes and covered them in fondant. First, I covered the top of the cake. Then wrapped the sides in fondant. Then I used a tear drop shaped sponge covered with a paper towel to make the modeled pink pattern on the cake.  I used a paper towel for the bottom edge.  Next, I mixed electric pink paint with vodka to make a thin liquid to apply to the cake. 

Next, I made a cake board using 12 inch cardboard cake circles hot  glued together. I made sure the grain of each board was 90 degrees off set from the one below it to make it stronger.  Then I hot glued a ribbon around the edge. For detailed pictures, take a look at Sugar Geek Show Cake Board Tutorial.

The birthday girl wanted sprinkles on the cake, so I placed some one the back of the cake and attached them with piping gel. In addition, I gave her a large bag of fresh made pink sprinkles to put on the cake wherever she wanted. Both the sprinkles and the piping gel were easy to make.  The sprinkles tasted very good since they were very fresh. I also used sprinkles to cover the fondant seam at the back of the cake.

Finally, I cut out small flowers and placed the candles through the center to make a flower decoration around each candle.

Rapunzel Cake

Here’s a picture of the cake at the party.

For more Rapunzel party ideas:

Gravity Defying Rapunzel Cake

Tangled Birthday Party with Rapunzel Tower Cake

Marvelous Rapunzel, Flynn Rider, Maximus, and Pascal cookies