Sugar-sculpted flowers are a signature of Lael Cakes, the boutique cake studio owned by Emily Lael Aumiller in Brooklyn. Inspired by Karl Lagerfeld’s froufrou dress for fall, this pink fondant cake has row upon row of flirty petals. “The feathery fringe doesn’t have to be perfect,” says Aumiller, “so this cake is good for beginners.”
The Fringe Vanilla Cake
Inspired by: Chanel
Baker: Emily Lael Aumiller
Serves: 10 to 12
How to Assemble:
1. Start with a round 8″ x 4″ vanilla layer cake from your local bakery; cover it with white fondant rolled out to 1/8″ thick ($9/2 lb.; globalsugarart.com).
2. Mix 1 tsp edible petal dust in carnation ($5/4 g; nycake.com) and 1 tsp vodka (it dries faster than water). Using a small paintbrush, draw a crosshatch harlequin pattern with the pink mixture. Tidy up lines with a vodka-dipped cotton swab.
3. Tint ½ cup white royal icing ($4/1 lb.; globalsugarart.com) with 6 drops of super red gel food coloring ($2/ .75 oz.; nycake.com) and transfer it to a pastry bag fitted with a round No. 2 tip ($7/24 bags and $1/tip; wilton.com). Pipe on a dot at the intersection of each crosshatch.
4. Take 4 plum-size balls of white fondant. Leave one plain; knead 1 drop of deep pink gel food coloring ($2/.75 oz.; nycake.com) into another, 1½ drops deep pink into the third, and a mix of 1½ drops deep pink and 1 drop of super red into the last ball. Dust a clean surface with cornstarch. Using a silicone rolling pin, roll out each ball paper-thin. Place pieces under a damp tea towel covered in plastic wrap.
5. With a paring knife, cut out rectangles measuring about 1″ x 2″, and cut fringes into each. Use your fingertips to gently thin out and curl fringed edges.
6. Starting at the cake base, stick on each piece with a one-to-one mix of corn syrup and water, overlapping shades. To slice neatly, run a knife blade under hot water and wipe it dry between cuts so it glides through sugary layers.