HELLO EVERYONE!!! I am brand new to this board and so excited to have another cake board to be addicted to !! To give you a little background, I have been decorating for 4 years and at best I am ........acceptable! I have found though that I am a decorator and NOT a baker. I suppose thats kinda like the chicken and the egg..I think I was supposed to learn to bake before learning to decorate. My problem is now I have started getting more wedding business, I have always used a box cake and feel guilty charging 4-500 knowing Im using a box. I have tried scratch recipes but they seem so unpredictable. I always bake my tiered cakes in a set of 4 inch deep pans that I purchased awhile back but now cannot find different sizes. Now here is where comes in one of my problems (as you can see I have a few!) I always bake in a 4" pan and torte only once in the middle, I would like to torte and fill at least 2 times but the cake seems less stable or just doesnt fit back together well (theres nothing I hate more than to see a "fill" line after the cake is covered with buttercream or fondant). I have always wanted to bake smaller tiers and fill and stack them but the tiers seem to shrink inwards during baking and never fit together correctly. Another thing that drives me bonkers is sagging edges or corners. I know there must be a way to work with this because I think most people do. And when you bake smaller layers to you still level the top? I feel like Im starting bake at square one when it comes to this stuff. My second question is do you fill your sheet cakes? I find it to be so expensive to make filling (heavy cream alone is expensive and doesnt make very much). It doesnt seem right to me to charge 70. for a cake and then say it would be an extra 12 - 15.00 if they want it filled. Oh, I just thought of a third question. if someone wants something like fresh strawberries for a wedding cake filling how does that hold up?? I normally bake and fill thurs, decorate Friday and deliver Saturday. Would it not be possible to offer fresh fruit fillings with a schedule like this? Ok , sorry this is so long, I just cant seem to figure these things out! Thank you guys for reading, Im excited to be here!
I would love to help you, but I don't do wedding cakes, I just bake cakes for family and friends for fun. But just wanted to say Hi, welcome.
I'm sorry, I don't do wedding cakes either, but a few tips I have learned, and I hope I don't offend you by any of these... Those cake-strips that go around the cake pans during baking help alot with shrinking sides. Definitely helps with even baking. If the eddges are shrinking, they're baking too much...Not all ovens are accurate. maybe try lowering the heat 25* and baking a little longer.
Also, 10" or larger, I find a flower nail also helps with even baking. If you press down gently on the cake after it has cooled 15 mins or so, it will "even out" the cake so you don't have to level nearly as much.
Just a question, do you use an icing dam with the filling? I find it helps so you shouldn't see a "fill line". Also letting the cake settle after filling, before icing should help.
Well for one thing, 4 inch deep pans are harder to cook evenly. By the time you get the centres cooked, the outsides have a tendency to be over cooked, so perhaps using a heating core or bake even strips is a good idea. So is baking at 325F.
As was suggested you do need to always make a stiff buttercream dam, in about 1/4 inch for the outer rims of your cakes, using just the icing bag with the coupler inside, you will get about a 3/4 inch dam. Then you always fill lower than this dam. Replace next layer on top and press down slightly.
When you torte you cakes, either pipe dots of icing so you can line them up, or insert toothpicks along the side so you can line up your tooothpicks vertically and therefore replace the torted layers in their original position before you torted. Does that make sense? For example, you cut a cake in half horizontally, you put two toothpicks or two dots of icing like this on the side of the cake. " : ".
Most folks find it easier to cook cakes evenly when they use 2 inch deep pans. Generally, at one time, all cakes were cooked in pans about 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 inches deep. But as decorators, we push the limits with various depths of pans. Since these pans are not like angel food cake or bundt pans that have these built in heat cores that make the cakes cook evenly in the centre, cooking the centre without cooking the edges too much becomes a concern. So people use upside down flower nails, or heating cores or bake even strips to inure the cakes cook evenly.
Well, filling a cake with sliced strawberries can result in some leakage issues. So you don't want to do this too much ahead, likely overnight. You should refridgerate any filling made with fresh fruit. YOu should use a coating of buttercream or a good stable filling or icing before using the strawberries and many folks also cover the strawberry filling with another layer of buttercream or such to minimize any leakage from the berries. Otherwise they use a sponge cake type of cake that will absorb some of the juices from the berries. Again using the buttercream dam and going sparingly with the filling is a good idea.
Hugs Squirrelly Cakes
Hi , I have made some very delicious cakes using box cake mixes and adding sour cream, etc.. The texture is like a very moist pound cake. I made them ahead and froze them and they were just like a fresh cake when I thawed them. No one ever guessed that they were from a mix.. I found the recipes for these on this site
I made the Kaluaha cake for my daughters wedding and it was fabulous. I also use the same recipe but subsitute an orange cake mix and two white or golden mixes and it makes a wonderful orange cake. I added grandmarinier to this one but to keep the cost down you could use something cheaper or the home made stuff..I didn't use the butavan that she calls for in her recipes , I just used butter flavoring and vanilla . The pans I use are the wilton cake pans and they bake very evenly I find. I haven't used those strips that you can put around them .Hope this helps. Have fun baking.
Thank you all for your great comments!!! Yes, it makes me laugh but as long as I have been baking I didnt know shrinkage was due to over cooking .
I do dam prior to filling but often have wondered if I should make a "thick" buttercream solely for damming purposes. I use a crusting buttercream so it is not a thin icing but maybe just for some extra strength.
I have not tried the baking strips, Ill have to do that.
Do you guys have 3 of each pan size to bake this way? And do you think it would make a cake more stable to bake it in 3 seperate pans and stack it as opposed to baking in one and cutting it? And what do you do if it sags on the edges a little? Thank you again for being so patient with my dumb questions!!!
One of the first things I bought and has proved invaluable is an oven thermometer. My oven lies to me by 25 degrees ! I always have used the box mix. I like to bake but if I am making something as important as a wedding cake I don't want to take any chances! Just call me chicken!
Dodibug that is me! I feel safe when baking a box. I know how it is going to react, I know how it is going to taste and I have never had a complaint. But the desire to have something different is what makes me want to try other recipes. Its hard to go into unfamiliar ground!
Definitely nothing wrong with learning new creations to add to your repertoire! I always experiment on the ones I love!