Hello, all!

What a fun week it was in my kitchen! This week I had a request that challenged me a bit at first. My wonderful customer wanted a birch bark cake… nothing I haven’t done before (and seen a million versions of tutorials online for), but she wanted this cake to be a buttercream cake. This was new to me!

Naturally, the first thing I did was take to the internet for ideas on how to accomplish this. I found (as usual) tons of tutorials on rustic buttercream birch bark cakes, but none that matched my style. Everything I found resulted in a messy sort of birch bark cake.

I know, I know, why should a rustic cake of this style be neat? Here’s the thing: when I first started cakes, I struggled so much with the “messy” cakes – the rustic cakes or more masculine cakes such as my Planes Fire & Rescue cake (which, coincidentally, has been my biggest success on Pinterest).


When I realized that “messy” cakes were likely just never going to be my thing, I decided to take the ideas given to me and neaten them up in my own style. For example, I was asked to do a four-wheeling cake, and here was my final result.


Clearly, this was before I realized the importance of good photography, (and the customer added the four-wheeling vehicles after pickup) but you get the idea. Instead of smearing the cake with chocolate frosting before covering with rocks and other debris (as would have been the most likely plan), I chose to panel it neatly with modeling chocolate and cover the tier tops with edible dirt instead. This way, it pleased my smooth-sided sensibilities but still made my customers very happy!

Back to the birch bark cake.

After feeling frustrated with the lack of ideas to achieve what I was picturing, I decided maybe I needed to find a fondant birch bark tutorial and figure out a way to translate it into buttercream. Well, I already had a version that I was in love with and had successfully created before… Shawna McGreevy’s birch bark cake! I followed her amazing tutorial for my sister’s baby shower cake earlier this summer, and was really pleased with the clean, beautiful results.


Sooo… I did some mental planning and got to work.

What do you know… it was a success!


This is buttercream, people!

I was very pleased with the way it turned out and with only one bump in the road, to the tune of my airbrush failing on me, which I rectified by hand-painting the top of the stump. And in fact, I know that I spent more time trying to fix my airbrush than I did painting the top. Isn’t that always the way?

Anyway, I filmed myself creating this cake just because, and was able to edit it into a short little bit of cakey fun!

Keep in mind, the original birch tree cake tutorial that I used came from the brilliant mind of Shawna McGreevy here! I simply adapted it in my own way to buttercream!



Tools used in this project:

2 replies
  1. Carrie
    Carrie says:

    Hi Cassie – love this buttercream version of the birch cake! A couple of questions… Did you use a crusting buttercream or SMBC/IMBC? Also, what did you dip the cake marker in – straight gel color or a mix? Thanks in advance!

    • cassieunruh
      cassieunruh says:

      Hi Carrie! Thank you so much! I did use a crusting American buttercream for this, although I think it would work fine with non crusting as long as you use a recipe that gets nice and firm when chilled. I dipped my cake marker in straight Americolor airbrush color, but have done it with regular Americolor gel color mixed with Vodka with the same results, just more ingredients! I hope this helps! <3

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