I've been meaning to provide all of you bakers and non-bakers with additional images from the marvelous vintage Wilton Yearbook I wrote about awhile back. To this day that post about my experiences with Wilton cakes as a child happens to be among the most popular here on the site. I'm glad you liked it and continue to use it as a source of good information and also as a source of inspiration. If you haven't had the pleasure of reading that post, click here and go down memory lane. You may in fact encounter a cake or two from your very own childhood.
It's fascinating to me how cake presentation and cake decorating styles have evolved over the decades. The one thing that remains constant, however, is technique. One still bakes cakes the same way, one pipes buttercream roses & chrysanthemums in the same manner, as well as swags, ruffles, rosettes, shells & shell borders, leaves & vines and those perfect dots. These days many celebratory cakes, whether they're meant for weddings or birthdays, rely on ultra smooth fondant for that perfect finish. It certainly is amazing what one can do with fondant using a few simple tools & techniques to make one-of-a-kind confections.
Many bakers, nevertheless, still enjoy using all buttercream decorations for their cakes even if they are a bit more sensitive to temperature & moisture. Several decades ago, an all buttercream cake would have been the standard. Take a few moments to peruse these images of creative, colorful & festive cakes from the 1970s provided by Wilton Enterprises. I hope that some of you use these pictures as references and as a resource for ideas for your future baking endeavors. Take one idea or perhaps two, and incorporate them into your cake decorations.
A 12 month Zodiac Cake for that special someone.
Two 6" square cakes are stacked & iced. The lid & back are made using a 12"x6" folded piece of cardboard; it's iced. A styrofoam ball is placed on a toothpick and iced with a charming face.
George Washington Portrait Cake
The Love Cake
Two Hearts Entwined Cake
Separate heart cakes are baked. One is cut out following the curve of the cake that will fill it. Both are iced with roses and swags.
Easter Lamb Cake & Easter Bunny Cake
The lamb is piped with a star tip in short curves. The bunny is piped with a small star tip.
Easter Egg Cakes
Two 8" layers are stacked and iced in a pale yellow buttercream. Daisies are piped ahead of time and left to harden before being applied in swags. Perfect for a springtime dinner.
5" squares are stacked and iced. The pitched roof is made by splitting one of the layers at an angle and joining them together. The roof shingles are made with a Wilton #16 petal tip.
Welcome Baby Cake!
Appropriate for before or after shower. A garland of flowers is "draped" around two 8" layers.
Book Cake for a Bridal Shower
A classic tuck & ruffle cake baked in a book cake pan. The pages are combed in pale green icing. Tiny buttercream flowers are on one page, while a special message is on the other.
Groom CakeTwo 10" devil's food cake layers iced in mocha buttercream with a white contrasting shell border. The merry message is written with a small plain #2 tip.
May Queen & Court Cake
"Celebrate the beauty of a world in bloom! Have a May Day party or give any May party a special flowery flair. For a thrilling birthday treat, make our May Queen cake and her court of tiny Ladies in Waiting (one for each guest!). Decorate all with just 4 tubes."
Make this special cake for after the parade on the Fourth of July. Two 9"x13" layers are stacked and iced. The eagle and stars are made ahead of time using sugar molds. They're carefully placed after the cake has been completely iced.
Tennis Player Cake
For the sports enthusiast, bake two 12" square layers and ice with green & white buttercream.
Several unique flowers can be piped directly onto cupcakes, turning each one in your hand as you go. Do daisy and carnation flowers using a Wilton # 124 tip, both kinds of roses and jonquils with a Wilton #127 tip, and chrysanthemums with a Wilton #79 tip. All leaves are piped before one creates the flowers.
9" metal pans are used to make these uniquely bordered cakes. Zigzag tips are used. The colors are up to you.
The large pumpkin is baked in a ball-shaped pan. It's glued together with icing. The smaller pumpkins are made using egg-shaped pans. Ice as desired.
This amazing football is baked using a large egg-shaped pan. The halves are glued with icing and the "leather" is iced in chocolate frosting.
Bridge Club Cakes
These were baked using "Grand Slam" pans. Each was covered in a free form lace pattern & topped with a single rose.
These are simple to make. The bottoms & middle sections are constructed from large and small cupcakes. The heads are marshmallows. All three are held together with toothpicks. Perfect for Christmas!
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