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DIY Dipped Strawberry and Rose Tower


Months before I'm scheduled to make a wedding cake I go into research mode. My desk becomes piled high with cake magazines and I scour wedding websites to get an idea of what's new in cake design. This year I'm making two wedding cakes so I've been scouting double-time. (And imagine the imminent clutter!) One thing repeatedly caught my eye wasn't cake at all, it was a table centerpiece.

Strawberry towers (also called trees) aren't a new idea. It seems they've been around for a while, but the new-ish addition of fresh roses and greenery makes a very pretty centerpiece.


A few fancy bakeries are offering these towers for purchase at around $200 for a 10-inch tower (as I've made here). I think the price tag is justified if you don't have time to make one yourself, but I must tell you, this DIY version costs much less!


I purchased two dozen roses for this project in two different colors. I didn't use all 24 buds on the tower, but it was nice to have a variety of sizes and colors to choose from. Organic roses will be pesticide-free, so I suggest seeking them out. Whole Foods and Trader Joe's are both good places to look for them and they are less expensive than florists.  The tower will hold about one pound of dipped strawberries, but I suggest getting two pounds so you can pick the very best berries of the two containers.

I couldn't find many tutorials on how to build a strawberry tower, and the ones I did find had the berries sticking out at odd angles. Ideally, the berries should be pointing upward so they appear to have a rosebud-like shape. After some experimenting I figured out how to achieve this look. The following tutorial is my own method.


  1. First, pick only the prettiest, unblemished berries. Pull off their green tops and wash and thoroughly dry them. Line the berries up smallest to largest on a parchment sheet. Melt 12 ounces of vanilla candy wafers (or white chocolate) and dip each strawberry into the candy. Leave a nickel-sized portion of the strawberry uncovered on the backs of each berry (see picture 1). Place them on the parchment and allow them to stand until set, about 1 hour.
  2. Choose an 8-inch serving plate or cake stand with a lip. Place a little leftover melted candy (about 1 tablespoon) in the center of the plate.
  3. Press the bottom of a 9x4-inch Styrofoam florists' cone in the center. Let stand until set. 
  4. Cut a rosebud head from its stem and dip the end in melted candy. 
  5. Place the flower head at the base of the cone with the melted candy stem touching the cone. 
  6. Repeat the process, alternating the roses with macarons. Do not use melted candy on the macarons, they should be easy for guests to pull away from the arrangement. I made the bottom of the arrangement with only macarons and roses.
  7. Stick a toothpick into the cone just above the bottom row of flowers/macs at an upward angle.Starting with the larger dipped strawberries, thread one onto the toothpick. Thread it at the nickel-sized open area on the back of each berry. Arrange it so that the strawberry's pointed end is pointing upward and not straight out. 
  8. Repeat process, alternating with roses in the same fashion. Continue the next row with strawberries only and use smaller berries as you travel up the cone. I added a few more roses about 1/3 from the top of the tower, but you could use only berries if desired. 
  9. A larger and more bloomed rose can be used for the top of the tower. Insert a toothpick in the very top of the cone and thread on the rose. There will be some gaps between the berries. Tuck individual rose leaves between berries and anywhere the Styrofoam cone is visible. 


Here are a few more tips/things to consider as you're making this project.
  • Choose roses that have tight buds. You want the berry shape and the rose shape to almost be the same.
  • Rose heads that are bloomed or are too large can be made smaller by plucking off some of the outer petals. 
  • The Styrofoam cone can be covered with plastic wrap before adding the berries, if desired. 
  • You may have to re-position some of the toothpicks as you arrange berries on the tower, If you have to pull a toothpick out of the foam, hold the top of the tower down as you do so. The candy will definitely hold the cone stationary as you work, but it's not super glue.
  • The tower can be prepared one day ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator overnight.

I think the total cost of my tower was less than $40, not counting the cake stand that I already had on hand. The roses were the bulk of the cost ($25), and the 1 lb berry baskets were on sale at the grocery store (BOGO!). Store-bought macarons can be pricey, but I only used six. The candy coating is usually around $3 per package and can be found at most craft stores in the baking aisle. Most of what you need can be found locally, but I'm including a few quick shopping links so you can be sure what to look for. I also included the link to the cake stand I used.

9x4 inch green Styrofoam cone
White vanilla candy melts
Galvanized 8-inch cake stand with raised edge


DIY Dipped Strawberry Tower
Yields one strawberry tower
   which holds about 24 strawberries and 17 roses

2 lbs. fresh strawberries
9x4-inch green Styrofoam cone
24 ounces (2 packages) vanilla candy melts or white chocolate
2 dozen fresh organic roses, flower heads and greenery washed and dry
6 store-bought macarons
Toothpicks
8-inch cake stand or cake plate with a lip

Pick only the prettiest, unblemished berries. Pull off their green tops and wash and thoroughly dry them. Line the berries up smallest to largest on a parchment sheet. Melt 12 ounces of vanilla candy wafers (according to package directions) and dip each strawberry into the candy. Melt more candy as needed. Leave a nickel-sized portion of the strawberry uncovered on the backs of each berry. Place them on the parchment and allow them to stand until set, about 1 hour.

Choose an 8-inch serving plate or cake stand with a lip. Place a little leftover melted candy (about 1 tablespoon) in the center of the plate. Press the bottom of a 9x4-inch Styrofoam florists' cone in the center. Let stand until set.

Cut a rosebud head from its stem and dip the end in melted candy. Place the flower head at the base of the cone with the melted candy stem touching the cone. Repeat the process, alternating the roses with macarons. Do not use melted candy on the macarons; they should be easy for guests to pull away from the arrangement. The bottom of the arrangement should only consist of macarons and roses.

Stick a toothpick into the cone just above the bottom row of flowers/macs at an upward angle. Starting with the larger dipped strawberries, thread one onto the toothpick. Thread it at the nickel-sized open area on the back of each berry. Arrange it so that the strawberry's pointed end is pointing upward and not straight out. Repeat the process, alternating with roses in the same fashion. Continue the next row with strawberries only and use smaller berries as you travel up the cone. I added a few more roses about 1/3 from the top of the tower, but you could use only berries if desired.

A larger and more bloomed rose can be used for the top of the tower. Insert a toothpick in the very top of the cone and thread on the rose. There will be some gaps between the berries. Tuck individual rose leaves between berries and anywhere the Styrofoam cone is visible.
Serve extra dipped strawberries on a serving plate alongside the tower.

Tips:
Choose roses that have tight buds. You want the berry shape and the rose shape to almost be the same.
Rose heads that are bloomed or are too large can be made smaller by plucking off some of the outer petals.
The Styrofoam cone can be covered with plastic wrap before adding the berries, if desired.
You may have to re-position some of the toothpicks as you arrange berries on the tower, If you have to pull a toothpick out of the foam, hold the top of the tower down as you do so. The candy will definitely hold the cone stationary as you work, but it's not super glue.


link DIY Dipped Strawberry and Rose Tower By Published: DIY Dipped Strawberry and Rose Tower


14 comments :

  1. These are so pretty! And they look pretty easy to put together too, great job on the tutorial for them! :)

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  2. Gorgeous and very creative. Thanks for sharing!

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  3. This is beautiful! Both crafty and delicious - LOVE!

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  4. Perfect for Valentine's Day, thanks!

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  5. This is incredible! So, so pretty!

    Sues

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  6. Whoa! I would love to go to a party with this as the centerpiece. Or maybe it's more like, once this tower is present, then it can be a party!? Chicken/egg dilemma going on here. ;-) Beautiful work!! <3

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  7. That is just so beautiful!
    Kari
    http://sweetteasweetie.com/

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  8. This is stunning! This would be a great centerpiece on a dessert table!

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  9. Can I just lie in bed and pluck the dipped strawberries and just inhale DEEPLY those beautiful roses and SIGH SIGH this is so pretty.

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  10. Hello! Im thinking about doing this for my daughters birthday. However, im confused on how to dry the chocolate strawberries without the back having that ugly flat side from laying down on parchment paper..do I stand it up? Please help!

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    Replies
    1. Hi! All of the strawberries I dipped had a flat side from lying on parchment. That side is hidden when you attach them to the cone.

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