Probably Should Have Posted Here First! (Need Help/guidance)

Decorating By andpotts Updated 20 Mar 2008 , 12:47pm by Mac

andpotts Posted 20 Mar 2008 , 4:43am
post #1 of 5

Well I'm probably going to sound like a complete moron but I've tried to figure stuff out on my own and I just have to ask. A little background,I'm not a novice, but my decorating experience isn't much, I've done a dinosaur, a firetruck and some cool cupcakes, all from shaped pans and using tub frosting (the horror!) But I've gotten pretty decent at using pastry bags and tips. Of course that's why I'm trying something I have no experience with this year

Ok so I want to do a pirate ship for my sons birthday, I've gotten wonderful design ideas from the gallery and a few tips, but I need the nitty gritty details. It will be 2 9x13 cakes, the first as the base of the ship cut to shape and the second cake cut and used to make the different levels, then I want to surround the whole thing with blue frosted cupcakes with shark fins to represent the ocean. (the party is at the end of May)

What kind of cake should I use, is box mix ok?
How do you level a 9x13?
Is there a specific brand of pan I should invest in, I only have the kind you can snap a plastic lid on (like my grandma always had ?
What king of frosting is best for this kind of cake? I've never made homemade and I am scared, is there a mix I can get?
What do I use for the detail work (outlines, windows) ?
Are there any other tips for making a 3d cake I should know?

Thanks so much to anyone who can help me, I know I'm planning early, but I want to avoid a costly disaster and I will be unable to do any practice/test cakes due to being away. T/Y Andrea

4 replies
Mac Posted 20 Mar 2008 , 4:51am
post #2 of 5

Welcome to CC--
When doing sculpted cakes, the firmer or denser the cake, the better it holds together. I use a box mix with the cake extender recipe from this site.
I level my cakes before I remove them from the pan--I overfill so it will rise to the edge of the pan.
I would invest in Magic Line or Fat Daddios cake pans--the sides do not flare out--nice straight sides--Magic Line pans have really sharp corners.
Search in the recipe section for buttercream frosting recipes--I use an all shortening one due to hot weather here in the summer time and it is more heat tolerant that real buttercream.
I use a tip #2 or #3 for detail lines--just depends on the lines you need to make.
Start with carving just a little of the cake at a time...can't put it back on if you cut too much off.

Feel free to contact anyone here at CC, post in the forums--someone is ALWAYS willing to help--Pam

Amia Posted 20 Mar 2008 , 5:14am
post #3 of 5

A crusting buttercream is definitely the best icing to use. If you're really scared to make it, Wilton does have a mix that you can get at Wal-mart, Hobby Lobby or Michaels. As with most of Wilton's food items, the taste is lacking, but it'll do in a pinch. However, making bc is very easy if you follow the recipe and only takes a few minutes, so maybe you can make a practice batch whenever you have a few minutes to spare. My bc is half crisco, half butter and I use the Wilton recipe (it's on their website). I also recommend using tips #2 or #3 for detail work. As for pans, I use Wilton pans right now, but I'm still relatively new to this and until I'm a little better I can't justify investing in expensive pans. Since you're going to be carving this cake anyway, I don't think the pan matters right now. Just remember to use parchment paper and grease it really well to prevent sticking.

Good luck icon_smile.gif

Edit: a good cake recipe I use can be found on the side of the Duncan Hines butter cake box - it's called a Sock-It-To-Me cake...or the WASC cake is yummy. I've used both for carved cakes.

andpotts Posted 20 Mar 2008 , 6:30am
post #4 of 5

this is exactly the kind of info I was loking for! Overfilling the pan so I can level, genius, why couldn't I think of that. Also the info on buttercream and the cake extender, thank you from the bottom of my big kitchenaid bowl icon_smile.gif I was worried about buttercream, I've eaten it plenty of times in my life, but for some reason when I saw that the recipes called for shortening it just kind of grossed me out, no worries though I will for sure make that now. Anyhow just wanted to let you know how much I appreciate your responses, I'm currently deployed and trying to plan my sons super pirate party from afar, thanks again!!

Mac Posted 20 Mar 2008 , 12:47pm
post #5 of 5

Thank you for all that you do.

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