How to Make a Fall Foliage Cake

Celebrate the harvest season with a stunning fall-inspired floral cake.

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Fall Foliage Cake

The beauty of the fall season is captured in this cake with its edible leaves, chocolate acorns and buttercream-painted autumn flowers.

What You'll Need

Food:

 ● 4 x 8-inch cake rounds, cooled (choose any recipe you like)
 ● Vanilla Buttercream frosting (use the large batch recipe included or 4 store-bought cans)
  ○ 6 cups (12 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  ○ 2 pounds (1 bag) confectioners' sugar
  ○ 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  ○ 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  ○ 1/2 teaspoon table salt
 ● Food coloring: Assorted fall colors (burgundy, green, golden yellow, brown, orange, etc.)
 ● Chocolate chips
 ● Mini vanilla wafers
 ● Chocolate kisses
 ● Sugar paper
 ● Petal dust: assorted yellows, golds, and/or reds

Tools:

 ● Plastic piping bags (and rubber bands to close them)
 ● Decorating couplers
 ● Piping tips: small and medium round tips, grass tip
 ● Offset spatula
 ● Frosting smoother
 ● Food-safe brushes

Baking and Prep

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line four (or more) 8-inch cake pans with parchment paper and coat with cooking spray. Prepare two batches of your choice of cake mix as directed; divide the batter between the pans and bake 25 to 30 minutes. Allow the cakes to completely cool before you begin decorating.

While the cakes are baking, make one large batch of buttercream frosting. Beat the butter for a few minutes on medium speed, preferably using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment. On slow speed, gradually add the confectioners' sugar 1 to 2 cups at a time, allowing each batch of sugar to incorporate with the butter before adding the next. Increase the speed to medium and add the vanilla, cream and salt. Beat for an additional 3 minutes.

Fill one large piping bag with vanilla buttercream. Use a rubber band to close the bag.

Divide and color the leftover frosting with your assortment of fall-toned food coloring selections. Insert a coupler into a piping bag before filling each bag with the colored buttercream. Use a rubber band to close each bag.

Make Chocolate Acorns

To make the chocolate acorns, first melt 1/4-cup of chocolate chips. Use the melted chocolate to adhere a chocolate kiss to the flat side of a mini nilla wafer. Add a dot of melted chocolate to the center of the rounded top of the wafer and position a chocolate chip in the melted chocolate to resemble an acorn stem. Refrigerate the chocolate acorns for at least 10 minutes to set.

Make Edible Leaves

For the edible leaves, cut out leaf shapes from sugar paper with scissors. Color the sugar paper using petal dust and a food-safe brush, brushing on a lighter shade of petal dust color across the entire leaf and highlighting the edges of the leaf with a darker petal dust.

Assembly: Step 1

Place the first cake round on a serving plate and frost with one color of buttercream frosting. Layer the second cake round on top of the first, and frost with a different color of buttercream frosting.

Assembly: Step 2

Continue until all of your cake layers have been added. Frost the top of the last stacked cake round with your uncolored (white) buttercream frosting.

Frost the Cake

Frost the exterior of the cake with white frosting and smooth with a flat edge frosting smoother. Place the cake in the freezer for 20 minutes to set and chill the frosting.

Decorating: Step 1

Once the frosting is chill and firm to the touch, add on the painted buttercream flowers. For each flower, use a round tip to pipe on the petals, then gently brush the frosting with a food-safe brush to create a brushstroke-like detail into the piped petals. Use a grass tip or small round tip to add on the center of the flowers.

Decorating: Step 2

Complete with leaves, repeating the same brush stroke motion with each added frosting detail. Alternate the round tip sizes and the brush sizes you use with each color to provide a variety of flower sizes.

Decorating: Step 3

Once you’ve added all of your flowers, add on the sugar paper leaves and chocolate acorns. Gently position both the leaves and acorns into the buttercream to keep them secure.

Chill the Cake

Place the cake in the refrigerator for at least 15 minutes before serving to allow the decor and piped flowers to properly set on the cake.

Serve and Enjoy!

Slice into your cake to reveal fall-toned buttercream layers and enjoy!

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