Anatomy of a Fall Cake
I wanted to throw together a cake that showcased some topping ideas that are, in my opinion, just perrrrfect for the fall season. Whether you’re making a smooth-as-can-be buttercream cake, a naked or semi-naked cake, or an unfrosted cake, continue after the jump to find easy store-bought topping ideas that will get your creative (and seasonal!) cake decorating juices flowing.
THE CAKE: For the above cake, I made a simple semi-naked cake with vanilla buttercream frosting. I always like to keep it simple and classic to start. Having a neutral palette allows for a very creative design, and let’s be real you can NEVER go wrong with a deliciously moist vanilla cake and some freshly whipped buttercream.
CARAMEL EXTERIOR: Once the cake was set, I added a layer of caramel around the side and used a spatula to smoothly set it around the cake. You can definitely make your own caramel, but to make things easier on yourself buy a delicious caramel topping from the store, like THIS salted caramel sauce.
- Pumpkin Chocolate Chips: Once the cake was lightly covered in caramel, I melted pumpkin chocolate chips and smoothed the melted chocolate onto wax paper to harden. Once it had slightly hardened, I crumbled it into pieces and sprinkled it atop the cake.
- Melted Caramel: I melted caramel and dark chocolate chips and added a little drizzle to the sides. If you’re nervous to do this, just melt and drizzle onto wax paper. Once it sets, you can directly transfer it to the sides of your buttercream cake.
- Dark Chocolate Dollops: I actually made those extra large chocolate chip-looking nuggets. It’s much easier to do than you may think. Just melt chocolate chips, pour them into a piping bag with a decorative tip (THIS tip will do wonders!), and pipe in a swirled fashion onto wax paper. Once they harden, add to your cake. You can even dust on a little edible gold if you like, but totally not necessary.
- Buttercream Dollops: I also placed some of my leftover buttercream into a piping bag with the same decorative tip and piped a variety of different sized swirled dollops onto wax paper. I topped those with cinnamon, and placed them in the refrigerator to set before putting them on my cake.
- Nutty Bars: To add some vertical flair to the top, Nutty Bars work great and they also provide a touch of that delicious wafer flavor.
- Mini Nilla Wafers: I also made some mini macaron looking treats by sandwiching a sliver of caramel in between two mini Nilla Wafers.
- Milk Duds, Whoppers, Chocolate Chips, Pecan Pralines: I like to call these candies “cake flair” because they all look AND taste great atop a fun fall cake.