Rainbow Fiesta Cake with Cactus Toppers – this cake was the perfect centerpiece for a fiesta-themed party! The rainbow buttercream ruffles, fondant cactus toppers and the bright ribbon bunting make for a perfectly festive birthday cake!
One of my most favorite and faithful clients, Rebecca, hosted a Fiesta themed party for her little girl and this was the cake for the day!
I’m gonna be (cake-decorator) honest with you and tell you that making all the colors of buttercream and having to use a zillion piping bags and washing that piping tip a dozen times is not fun. But – and this is a BIG “but” – it’s SO worth it to see the final effect.
Rainbow buttercream ruffles take me to my happy place every single time!
Rainbow Fiesta Cake with Cactus Toppers
Rebecca sent a photo of a similiar Fiesta cake but I really wanted to change things up. Instead of fondant ruffles (which take forever to make and are not fun to eat), I offered to do the buttercream. She thought that was a perfect idea!
So, I used Amercolor gel colors in in my vanilla buttercream to do all the ruffles. These are the colors I used:
Piping the ruffles was pretty easy using a Wilton #104 tip. I used disposable piping bags (doubled-up) so it was easy to rinse out the piping tip and load the next color! I started at the top and worked my way down.
This is the way I’ve always done ruffles but this time I had some trouble when I got near the bottom and the teal ruffles were a little messy. However, for this style of cake, I didn’t stress over it too much 🙂 If any of you pipe ruffles like this, I’d love to hear – do you start at the top or bottom of the cake?
Cactus Cake Toppers
The inspiration cake had a single cactus cake topper. However, Rebecca requested a 9″ round cake and the single cactus just looked lonely. So I ended up making a second cactus and a sombrero.
After they dried and hardened (overnight), I used melted lighter green candy melts to paint over the fondant. Before the candy melts hardened, I sprinkled them with white nonpariels for dimension extra character.
When I finished the cacti, the cake still didn’t seem complete and I didn’t like the bunting on the inspiration cake, so I brainstormed and finally it hit me – ribbon bunting! I’ve done something similiar here and I knew with lots of bright colored ribbon, I could get a topper I loved.
In the end, the rainbow ribbon bunting was perfect, if you ask me 😉 It was also really easy to make! I cut several strips of different colored ribbons and tied simple knots over and over again until I was happy with the look! Honestly, I could’ve added a dozen more and loved it but I didn’t want to go overboard.
You can get an idea of how to do a bunting topper like this here (different type of ribbon, but same idea).
Fiesta Cake Details
Last but not least, as mentioned above, this Fiesta Cake was a 9″ round cake. Magic Line pans are my go-to brand and I use them for 99% of my cake baking. The flavor was butter cake with vanilla buttercream.
Here are some of the supplies I used:
- Bamboo skewers for the cacti and to hold the ribbon bunting.
- Several colors of ribbon – get a variety pack here.
- Jute Twine (to tie the ribbons on)
- Satin Ice Green Fondant
- Bright Green Candy Melts
- White nonpariels
- Confetti Sprinkles
- Wilton #104 tip for piping ruffles
- I have a tutorial here for how I cover the board in glitter paper with a ribbon border.
If I forgot any details, please leave me a comment/question and I’ll answser if I can! Do you love ruffle cakes? Check out these others I’ve done:
Rainbows & Ruffles Cake