Thursday, 7 July 2016

Mini Summer Cakes with Strawberry Buttercream - How to decorate a cake with fresh flowers.

How to decorate a cake with fresh flowers. How to make Strawberry Buttercream.

The last day of the school took me by surprise, but I couldn’t let the summer start without showing my appreciation for three special women that got my respect, I would say without reservations that more than anything else, they were angels that passed by to make everything easier for me and my daughters during our first year in Belgium, some kind of persons that walked next to us without saying much but helping a lot. I’m talking about
the teachers of my kids, I can’t explain how helpful they were, how good, how caring and how perfectly they did their jobs. To show my appreciation I decided to make this beautiful but simple Mini Summer Cakes decorated with Strawberry Buttercream and fresh flowers, to make sure their they would be happier after the Goodbye.

How to decorate a cake with fresh flowers. How to make Strawberry Buttercream.

At the same time I wanted to take the chance to show you how to decorate a cake with real flowers, the way that you don’t get any dirtiness or weird flavors into it. The cakes are made with four layers of almond biscuit, very light and spongy and the decoration was very soft american buttercream flavored with strawberry pure, which also gave them that beautiful pink color without adding any artificial coloring.

How to decorate a cake with fresh flowers. How to make Strawberry Buttercream.

For this special occasion, I gave a name to my cakes. As the teachers are all good, beautiful and correct, but all on their own way; the cakes also ’born’ with their own personality. That’s why I found appropriate to name them same as the teachers. - They were three ladies, Nancy, Barbara and Katrien. Worked with their souls to build up futures, to fill up hearts and to open little minds.-

How to decorate a cake with fresh flowers. How to make Strawberry Buttercream.

Nancy, is a semi naked cake, I decided to make a little bouquet and put it on top of it, so the ‘Fanciness Factor’ doesn’t get miss by the edges of the cake showing off. For Katrien I adopted a kind of messy style and I organized the flowers in a  half moon shape on the side of the top. Finally for Barbara, I decorated the sides with a stripy pattern very easy to make with a turntable pushing the spatula against the cake and twisting the turntable to make marks around the cake in form of stripes, one by one until all the buttercream shaped, the flowers I disposed in two parts, right on the top a little bit bigger and left on the bottom with a smaller size but complementing the ones on the top..

How to decorate a cake with fresh flowers. How to make Strawberry Buttercream.

To make sure that I explain myself well with the flowers, I made some pictures of the decorating process to show it better. For this cakes, I choose some beautiful Esperance Roses and some Gysophila to cover the holes in between the roses. Both varieties are very easy to find in any flower shop, but even easier, I found mines in the supermarket, so there’s not excuse! I also have to say that there’s other (maybe even better) ways to do this, but for my case, with this tiny basic cakes I wouldn’t go for complicated methods, I only wanted to make them look beautiful.

How to decorate a cake with fresh flowers. How to make Strawberry Buttercream.

When the cakes are ready and happily chilling out in the fridge, the first thing you have to do is cut the flowers; in angle and on a prudent distance that allows you to stick it on the cake without pass through it or destroying the layers, this is, about 6 cm from the end of the flower itself. For the Gysophila, you have to make sure that you grabbed a piece of the bouquet that fill up the space you want but also have enough base to be hided in between the roses, if it’s too much, you always can cut it off and arrange the rest in place.

How to decorate a cake with fresh flowers. How to make Strawberry Buttercream.

Once you have the cuts done, I like to tighten them out with some flower tape, then I use plastic foil to secure them to lick in the inside of the cake. Both wrapping are very easy to apply and only by pulling them off after a few twist you will get the job done.

Now the moment of the truth, sticking the flower on the cake, I can’t believe how nervous do I get, my hands shake, I start sweating, but it’s normal, after a few roses the nervous go away and your mind starts working to place them right and get a perfect view. This is how it looks only with the roses.

How to decorate a cake with fresh flowers. How to make Strawberry Buttercream.

I hope you get as excited as I did with this three beautiful ‘sisters’ and more important, take your time to say Thank you to the people who helped you on the way. Giving a little bit of yourself when your hearts tells you, fills you up with happiness much more than any other thing.

How to decorate a cake with fresh flowers. How to make Strawberry Buttercream.

Mini Summer Cake (1 cake 6”)

Almond Biscuit


5 Large Eggs
150 g Sugar
100 g Self Raising Flour
50 g Almond Flour
Pinch of Salt
1 tsp. Vanilla Extract


Preheat the oven to 180 °C

Prepare four cake molds of 6” with butter and flour on the sides and a circle of wax paper on the bottom.

Sift the flour and the almonds powder in a separated bowl, set aside.
The eggs must be on environment temperature.

Use a stand mixer with the Whisk attachment or a hand mixer to whisk the eggs on medium high speed until they start forming foam on the top.
Add the sugar slowly, together with the vanilla and salt.

Once you got to this point on the eggs, get the bowl out of the mixer and get a hand whisk or a spatula, add the flour on two times folding it carefully until there’s not crumbs anymore, but remember than when more you touch it, less air there will be in the mix.

Divide the mix equitatively in the molds and bake until it looks gold on the top and its firm to the touch in the centre, try to not open the oven during the baking process, only when you are almost sure that it’s done. It won’t take long, from 10 to 15 minutes.

Strawberry Buttercream


220 g Icing Sugar
216 g Butter
1/3 c Strawberry Puree
60 g (Extra) Icing Sugar
1 tbsp Vanilla Extract


In a stand mixer attached with the paddle or a hand mixer, beat the butter on medium high speed for about 3 minutes until creamy and pale.

Sift the icing sugar onto the butter and mix on medium high speed for another 6 minutes.

Incorporate the puree by mixing another 3 minutes on medium speed.

Once the puree is homogeneous, add the extra icing sugar to make sure your consistence is not slimy and greasy.

Set aside.


On a board, Place a little bit of the buttercream.
Over it, place the first disk of cake.
Spread some buttercream on a uniform way, it’s up to you the amount of icing in between layers, I like it around 0,5 cm thick.
Place another disk of cake, and continue the process until the four disk are layered.
Make sure with every disk that the cake it’s looking proportionate and leveled.

It’s time to Crumb Coat the cake, spread some buttercream over the top of the cake and keep spreading to the corners and following the sides of it. tke more cream if needed, for the sides, use a left-right short movement, that ill prevent you from getting too many crumbs on the icing.
Scrap the excess of icing carefully.
Place the crumb coated cake in the fridge for around one hour to set.

For the semi naked cake, this is the end of the process, for the other two ones, keep going with the next steps.

Katriene Cake (Messy spatula)

Take more cream and spread uniformly all around the cake, it doesn’t have to be perfect because later we will mess it off, just make sure that the bottom looks clean because the chance to fix it won’t be very big.

Take the long spatula and grab some buttercream on it, press it on the sides of the bowl until spreading it all across the tool,  start applying the icing from the spatula in random spots, making sure the marks of the spatula are noticeable but uniform, not too big, not too small.

Keep going until the cake is covered.

Level the top of the cake being careful with the corners, which is always better pull from the sides to the centre all around the diameter of the cake.

Barbara cake (stripy pattern)

Cover the whole cake, same as it was done with Katriene cake, take the long spatula (make sure it’s very clean) and push it against the top side of the cake, mean while, turn the turntable to leave a stripe mark around the side.
Repeat the process marking one stripe next to the other, creating the pattern.

Last Details

  • For the last decorations, I decided to add a Basic vanilla buttercream necklace (that’s how I called it for looking like pearls). What I basicaly did was taking a piping bag with a 3mm round piping tip and pipe little shells or balls all around the bottom of the cake. Then it was ready to place the flowers in the centre.
  • I occupied a Golden Carton Patisserie Board for this little cakes, but it’s up to you.
  • I didn’t add any other filling to the layers such as fresh strawberries, nuts or syrup. But it’s totally valid and delicious! ;)
  • Don’t be scared of trying your own combinations, who knows if you think on giving them nice names too...



  1. I'm so in love with all 3 cakes... I will start doing the 1st one and I will let you know how was it lol... I'm a little scared because you show that like pretty easy, but is a real art.

    Thank you for this awesome recipes ��

    1. Thank you Josmir! Don't worry, you can do it! xoxo