There’s nothing more princely than a peacock. These stunning birds have graced many a cake design, and remain one of the most popular wedding trends of the year. Prachi Dhabal Deb shares an intricate step-by-step tutorial for creating a very ornate, beaded, royal icing lace peacock.
By Prachi Dhabal Deb
- 6″ x 6″ round cake covered with white fondant
- 8″ covered drum board
- Flat board
- Green piping-consistency royal icing in a piping bag fitted with PME tip #1
- Blue piping-consistency royal icing in a piping bag fitted with PME tip #1
- White piping-consistency royal icing in a piping bag fitted with PME tip #1
- Brown gel color (I used Americolor)
- Dresden tool
- Paintbrush #1
- Printed patterns for peacock feather
- A4-size acetate sheet
- Vegetable shortening
- Rejuvenator or vodka
- Stainless-steel pins
- Gold ribbon to cover the circumference of the base board
Creating the Lace
Step 1: Print out a pattern onto a sheet of white paper and secure the patter to a flat board using masking tape. Place a piece of clear acetate over the top and secure with a tape. Apply a small amount of shortening onto the acetate sheet.
Prachi notes: This will stop your royal icing work from sticking to the acetate.
Step 2: Using white royal icing fitted with a #1 nozzle, outline the pattern.
Prachi notes: You should aim to make around 12–14 pieces. If you have any points sticking up, you can gently brush them down using a damp brush.
Step 3: Using alternating blue and green royal icing, pipe over the pattern number 2 as shown. Allow the pieces to dry overnight.
Step 4: Once the pieces are dry, paint the white pieces with edible gold paint, made by mixing gold luster dust with clear alcohol or lemon extract.
Preparing the Cake
Step 1: Cover an 6″ round cake with white rolled fondant and place on a covered board.
Step 2: To create the peacock design, trace a drawing of a peacock onto parchment or tracing paper.
Prachi notes: Using a basic line drawing rather than a complicated design will yield better results.
Step 3: Place the parchment paper onto the presentation side of the cake (with the pencil facing outward), and secure with two stainless-steel pins.
Step 4: Using the Dresden tool, trace over the drawing to transfer the pattern onto the cake surface and then remove the pins and the parchment paper.
Piping the Peacock
Step 1: Using blue piping-consistency royal icing fitted with a #1 nozzle, outline the imprinted pattern of the peacock on the cake surface.
Step 2: Take the blue and green lace pieces prepared earlier and start placing them on the peacock so as to resemble feathers (as shown).
Prachi notes: You can use a little of the blue royal icing to secure the pieces in place.
Step 3: Work slowly, and in rows, until all the lace pieces have been placed and the peacock’s tail is full.
Step 4: Using blue and green royal icing, in separate bags fitted with a #1 nozzle, pipe small beads along the curls of the tail as shown.
Step 5: Continue the beads on the crest of the peacock and along the outline.
Step 6: Fill the peacock body with blue beads using the same technique.
Step 7: With some white piping-consistency royal icing, pipe the beak and the eye of the peacock, once set, gently color them with brown gel color.
Prachi notes: For jobs that require such a small quantity of colored icing, it is easier to work in white and add color later.
Piping the Decorative Beads
Step 1: Using white piping-consistency royal icing fitted with a #2 nozzle, pipe a bead border at the base of the cake. Once dry, paint the border with edible gold paint. Pipe out small beads in triangular patterns evenly all throughout the cake. Once dry, paint the beads using edible gold paint.
Step 2: Take the gold-colored lace pieces made earlier, and adhere them along the top edge of the cake using a bead of royal icing.
Step 3: Continue applying the lace pieces, spacing them evenly around the circumference of the cake.
Step 1: Add a coordinating gold ribbon to the perimeter of your cake board, adhering with a little glue.