I’ve been experimenting with fondant-free cake designs a lot lately. Initially, this was born out of customers requesting cakes with zero fondant, because not everyone enjoys its taste. For those of you who don’t know, fondant is the smooth, pliable sugar paste used to cover cakes & create all sorts of edible decorations – it’s sort of like an edible Play-Doh. And it is awesome. Most cake decorators, including myself, can’t go a day without using fondant in some way or another. It’s an incredibly versatile medium, helping us achieve a flawless finish that is really difficult to accomplish any other way.
Whilst fondant will always have a special place in my little cake-obsessed heart (& in the buckets stacked upon buckets in my pantry), there are SO many ways to play with other ingredients like buttercream & chocolate, & so many reasons to try. For one, they are both a lot more forgiving to work with than fondant. Also, they just taste so darn good, both tend to make you want to take a swipe right off the cake with your finger & lick. Or at least they do for me.
(Sidebar: a customer actually gave in to this temptation once. He was a disgruntled elderly gentleman picking up a cake for his daughter, & the first thing he did when he saw the cake was stick his finger RIGHT in to the side of it. I looked at him bewildered, & he simply stated, “Oh. I thought that would be hard.” Horrified, I turned around to grab some tools & repair the cake, but before I’d even turned back he had already smeared the buttercream with his fingers in a not-so-successful attempt to cover the mess. He looked just at me with a nonchalant shrug, picked up the cake & left.)
Enter the drip cake. I first saw a cake like this on the Instagram feed of one of my all-time-ultimate-swoon-inducing-cake-idols, Katherine Sabbath, home baker & incredible dessert creative.
I mean, do I have to say anything?! That last one isn’t even a drip cake, it’s just too darn delightful for me not to slip it in.
Delve into Instagram & you’ll find a plethora of home bakers, novice decorators & cake art professionals sharing their take on the colourful drip cake. Cakes by Cliff – self-proclaimed office worker by day & cake decorator by night – has blown my mind with his upside-down drip technique. I can’t wait to give it a try.
Tome Coffee Shop’s elegant cakes with a rustic floral flourish are just perfection.
I’m thrilled to have drip cakes as a part of my own repertoire, & to keep experimenting with new toppings & variations on the theme. I love incorporating a giant, gold-dusted chocolate peony, which has sort of become an Oh My Cake! drip cake signature.
Recently, I played around with wafer paper to create a different flower to top off another drippy little number.
My whimsical Drippy Ice-Cream cake was largely inspired by Katherine Sabbath:
The technique for creating a drip is pretty simple, so long as you’re able to whip up a decent chocolate ganache. This is my chosen method most of the time, but fellow cake-lovers, I don’t believe we should even limit ourselves to a single medium. I’m sure that some interesting variations on this effect could be achieved with melted chocolate, royal icing or even a donut glaze. Some of my favourite cake designs & effects were products of experimentation (translation, most of the time: mistakes) in the kitchen.
What’s your opinion on the festive drip cake? Would you like me to share a step-by-step tutorial on creating your own drippy dessert? I can’t get enough, & although this may be nothing more than another fast fad, I can’t wait to keep on playing.
Yours in melty drippy goodness,
The images in this post are not all property of Naseeha Hassen or Oh My Cake!, & have been displayed with the consent of the original artists: Katherine Sabbath, Cakes by Cliff & Tome Coffee Shop.