I have an order for a cake this Saturday. I guess I have 2 questions here--first, what type of ribbon can I wrap around the base of each cake ?? Grosgrain ?? I'm concerned about the grease from the buttercream seeping thru the ribbon. How soon before I deliver should I attach the ribbon ??
Ok, I lied, I have 3 questions. This next one is more of a dilemma. The lady brought me the flowers (artificial) that she would like incorporated onto the cake and at the base. I have tried to fluff them, group them together, EVERYTHING. I am having such a MAJOR problem with this. The flowers are SO ugly, very cheap looking. Bought at the Dollar Tree. I'm doing this order to get some exposure and I am concerned that the tacky flowers are going to bring the cake down (looks wise). What would you do ??
Avoid polyester ribbon as it shows the grease or wet spots more than polyeurothane ribbon. I also attach my ribbons after the icing has crusted, so if there are no wet spots on the icing, there is less chance of any spots on your ribbon.
You could use chocolate clay to make a ribbon, then there wouldn't be any problem with the grease. On the topic of the flowers, that's a toughie...If they're really that ugly then it will make the cake look bad, so you might want to just call her and tell her that the flowers just don't look right for some reason...Maybe you can suggest that she could either get some other ones and you could use those to decorate the cake table (and put them far away from the cake, ha ha!) If they're fabric flowers you might be able to get away with telling her that you found out that the chemicals in the fabric aren't food safe, since I'm pretty sure that's true anyway. The stuff they put in fabric flowers to keep them stiff is pretty nasty...If you suggest fresh flowers or sugar than at least you're giving her some options.
You might want to take the flowers they gave you to Michael's or even Walmart and try to match the colors and style. Get some nicer flowers to make your cake look good. If exposure is what you are after then focus on the cake. You will want great pictures of your beautiful cake and ugly flowers can make a gorgeous cake look frumpy. Would you put sloppy flowers on a cake when you can make pretty ones? If these are the kind of flowers they are using to decorate with then the cake will be the prettiest part of the reception by far. Make sure to post pics when you are done!
For the ribbon, you can use any type that you want if....
1. You use double-sided tape and attach parchment or wax paper. (I have done this)
2. You can iron wax paper onto the back of your ribbon. (I haven't tried but have read others do this)
When I put ribbon on a cake I always apply clear tape to the back of the ribbon to keep the oil from seeping through.
Not sure what to tell you about the flowers - sorry
Wax paper taped with double sided tape on the back of the ribbon works the best for me. Just measure your ribbon around the cake pan and allow about an extra inch, then cut. I haven't had any problem with seepage as long as the wax paper is on the back. I tried ironing the wax paper and ribbon but didn't have much luck that way.
Good luck and post pictures. I would also substitute the flowers if you can swing it.
When I do ribbon I use satin and just spray it with Pam so it is already greasy. (Any short-cut I can find the better). The color only darkens a little and the satin remains pretty - no one would know. Try it on a small piece first if you are afraid of a drastic color difference.
You can tell the customer that you don't have enough flowers to achieve the look she is after--she can bring you more or you can add $ to the total cost if you buy something yourself (YOU are the designer/artist).
Try tufts of organza or silk leaves pulled off a silk bouquet with similarly colored leaves or just group the whole bunch together near one corner of the cake.
Group the ugly flowers in the middle/inside, masking them with the few nicer-looking ones.