Swans are known for their gracefulness and beauty, and this gorgeous cake captures all the qualities that make them special. It’s a great way to celebrate any occasion, from birthdays to Easter and is easy to make.
It’s a two-and-a-half hour job, but it’s so worth the effort. With a little patience and lots of practice you can master the intricate details that make up this showpiece cake.
Firstly, you need to prepare the base of your swan. You can use a standard round cake pan or even a set of cupcake-sized tins that have been shaped like swans.
Once your cake base is baked and cooled, you can start working on the rest of your swan. If you’re using a cake pan, place it on a sheet of parchment paper and use a large flat food-safe paintbrush to draw out your feathers with bright white candy melts. Then wait for them to set before moving on to the next part of your swan!
You can then add the head, neck and body of your swan. If you’re making a swan that’s on the larger side then roll out white gum paste to around 6-7mm thickness (it needs to be thicker than usual so it will stand up). Cut out your swan using your sketch as a guide, and then place it in the centre of your cake before transferring it to the oven to bake for about 10 minutes until it is cooked through.
Then, once the swan has cooled, remove it from the oven and use an icing smoother to push all of its feathers into the buttercream. Work your way around the cake, overlapping them so they all fit in with each other as best you can.
To add the beak, roll out orange fondant to a slightly smaller shape than you would for your normal cake topper, and then cut out a small square of black fondant for the beak’s black part, as shown. Once the beak is cut out, use a thin veining tool to add nostril indentations on either side of the beak.
When your swan is ready, you can then attach it to your cake! You can use a drop of hot glue to secure the beak and head to your cake, but don’t use too much as it will seep through the bottom of the swan.
You can also use a small piping bag filled with icing sugar to pipe on the wings, beak and crown of your swan. Don’t forget to fill in any creases with a bit of icing sugar and smooth out the lines with a damp paintbrush.
Finally, you can cover the whole of your swan with the meringue frosting. This is a great technique that you can try for any kind of cake, but it’s especially effective with this one because it creates twinkling feathers that are perfectly balanced in height and texture.
You can then use a gold glitter spray to highlight the crown of your swan and make it shine as brightly as possible. Once the crown is dry, you can use edible glue to attach it to your swan’s head.