(Don't Laugh!) Looking For Cheapest Cake For Dummies.

Decorating By CakeDiva73 Updated 7 May 2008 , 10:16pm by butterflywings

CakeDiva73 Posted 7 May 2008 , 5:05pm
post #1 of 22

Here is my dilemma: I have no pictures of fondant covered cakes in my albums. I have done them in the past, nothin' fancy, but can't find a one and I do not feel confident enough to do them on styro dummies until I have mastered them on real cake.

So here was my plan: Make cheap, cheap cake that can taste like dirt - use cheap shortening for the frosting (got the meat kind at Wally world for $2/ 4# ) and then go to town! I will cover and decorate the cake and then photograph them, rip the fondant off and start all over again so I can get at least 3 or 4 completely different cake sample pictures from this one "cake" dummy.

As I'm sure you can tell, cost is a factor and since I hate to waste and these will never be eaten, I was hoping to come across a dirt cheap cake recipe that uses as little of the expensive ingredient as possible.

And this is going to be a 14", 10", 6" which is a lot of cake so that's why I am being so penny-pinching stingy. I know I could use mix but each of those call for 3 eggs - I don't care if this cake is gross and nasty, just as long as I can cover it.

** sidenote: I am making my standard chocolate cake recipe with icing and covering it with fondant for my family - a smaller one. I realize I need to also be familiar with how well my own recipes hold the weight of fondant and such.

Thanks in advance for any help and hope I don't sound like too much of a cheapskate.... with 4 kids, I just hate to waste the food or the money.

21 replies
cupcakemkr Posted 7 May 2008 , 5:50pm
post #2 of 22

WM sell DH cake mix for like 89 cents. add a can of coke and bake - i think a can of dh frosting from WM would be cheaper than making from scratch?

HTH

CakeDiva73 Posted 7 May 2008 , 7:48pm
post #3 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by cupcakemkr

WM sell DH cake mix for like 89 cents. add a can of coke and bake - i think a can of dh frosting from WM would be cheaper than making from scratch?

HTH




So I don't use anythinge else? Just the can of coke? That is brilliant. Thank you!

cupcakemkr Posted 7 May 2008 , 7:54pm
post #4 of 22

Yes - it's closer to 10 oz. of soda; using the whole can makes it too moist, doesn't rise as much. Do not add the water/eggs/oil, just the soda.

Have fun icon_biggrin.gif

CakeDiva73 Posted 7 May 2008 , 7:55pm
post #5 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by cupcakemkr

Yes - it's closer to 10 oz. of soda; using the whole can makes it too moist, doesn't rise as much. Do not add the water/eggs/oil, just the soda.

Have fun icon_biggrin.gif




You are a doll! Thanks so much. (doesn't get much cheaper then that, huh?) icon_redface.gif

jessienj Posted 7 May 2008 , 8:05pm
post #6 of 22

So you're basically saying that it is easier to do them on real cake than on a dummy? I always thought the opposite when I did mine since I wouldn't even ice or use piping gel on the dummy if I just wanted to pull it off after - plus no baking involved.

CakeDiva73 Posted 7 May 2008 , 8:13pm
post #7 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by jessienj

So you're basically saying that it is easier to do them on real cake than on a dummy? I always thought the opposite when I did mine since I wouldn't even ice or use piping gel on the dummy if I just wanted to pull it off after - plus no baking involved.




No, I'm saying it's easier to do on the foam dummies. I don't want to put a bunch of flawless craft projects up on my website and have people think I can reproduce them using real cake........unless I CAN!

No disrespect to those who use dummies. I have 3 in the garage, in fact. It's just that I don't feel right using the dummies until I am very comfortable on real cake. And since I want to do several different styles over the course of a week using actual cake, I knew it wouldn't be eaten, so I was trying to do it as cheaply as possible.

As for the frosting being more expensive homemade, I got a 4# tup of shortening and 2# bags of powdered sugar for dirt cheap and I will use that as the icing, so I think it will be pretty cheap. The shortening is the nasty kind from meat, lol. Totally unappetizing but cheap. icon_smile.gif

jessienj Posted 7 May 2008 , 8:16pm
post #8 of 22

ahhh, makes sense now. CakeDiva, if you can do that gorgeous cookie you have in your avatar, you can do fondant covered cakes blindfolded icon_smile.gif. Sending some cake angels and good wishes your way.

butterflywings Posted 7 May 2008 , 8:17pm
post #9 of 22

i think dummies can be quite expensive, so ultimately, even if she had to buy 10 cake mixes and a case (12) of soda she's going to spend less than $15 for a cake "dummy" this way - and coke & cake mix, doesn't taste so bad, so you might actually be able to feed it to some people and not have a total waste icon_biggrin.gif

yh9080 Posted 7 May 2008 , 8:19pm
post #10 of 22

May I make another suggestion? Decorate the front of the cake one way and the back another way. That way, you will get more for your money.

CakeDiva73 Posted 7 May 2008 , 8:20pm
post #11 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by jessienj

ahhh, makes sense now. CakeDiva, if you can do that gorgeous cookie you have in your avatar, you can do fondant covered cakes blindfolded icon_smile.gif. Sending some cake angels and good wishes your way.




Well thank you, you are very sweet. (*cake angels sent!*) icon_smile.gif

It's just that I was watching a cake show on Food Network, I think it was a Challenge, and these professionals were totally struggling with the fondant. One even said he had seen grown men cry trying to put fondant on cake. icon_cry.gif So I am petrified.

CakeDiva73 Posted 7 May 2008 , 8:22pm
post #12 of 22

Good idea about the whole front & back thing...... icon_rolleyes.gif

Shoot....if I expect people to eat this, I guess I shouldn't use beef-crisco, huh? icon_lol.gif

yh9080 Posted 7 May 2008 , 8:23pm
post #13 of 22

Sorry.......double post

butterflywings Posted 7 May 2008 , 8:32pm
post #14 of 22

* edited due to double post... sorry gang! LOL

butterflywings Posted 7 May 2008 , 8:34pm
post #15 of 22

actually, if you're doing squares, you could decorate all four sides differently. i saw a wedding cake recently where they did that... the couple either was having trouble deciding what they wanted or wanted to incorporate so much... but it was really unusual and pretty.. depending on where you stood, you saw four entirely different looks/themes, but only one cake... it was really neat. anyway... if you took your pictures looking straight on at the cake, you could have 4 different looks and you'd only need to cover the tiers once. just an idea.

vteventrider Posted 7 May 2008 , 8:38pm
post #16 of 22

Genius! You are all brilliant. I love the coke and cake idea and each side different is great. Now I may do that since I was looking for dummies but this is even cheaper.

krazykat_14 Posted 7 May 2008 , 8:47pm
post #17 of 22

um, cake mix and coke don't sound very tastey... maybe crumble it and feed it to birds/squirels/bunnies when done? they don't care what things taste like, (and even if they did I'm mad at cute fuzzy things right now anyway- they ate my tulip garden... icon_mad.gif )

Trust me, I understand "cheap" I prefer to call it "financially creative"... but if I can get two uses out of something, I can rationalize it by cutting the cost in half- make the cake using the $.89 mix and $.50 soda=$1.39 for a "cake". Using the done with crumbles as a critter food, $1.39/2=$.70 cake and $.70 critter food. icon_lol.gif

You might consider a non-chocolate cake and 7-up if you're going to try feeding it to animals, though, chocolate and caffeine are bad for fuzzy buddies.

mjs4492 Posted 7 May 2008 , 8:50pm
post #18 of 22

CakeDiva:
With your talent I don't think you would have trouble at all making dummies!! Period!
Just spritz the styrofoam with water and cover with cheap fondant. Start with white and make different cakes changing the colors of the fondant to darker and darker as you go. You can order dummies from dallasfoam online and they're very reasonably priced.
Then you wouldn't have to go through the baking procedure/process even if it was a cheap cake.....

Just an opinion! icon_smile.gif

jennifer7777 Posted 7 May 2008 , 8:57pm
post #19 of 22

Honestly, I say this...sometimes you have to spend money to make money. Don't get me wrong, I understand the notion of being frugal, but think of this...you said you want to make sure you can do it on cake, and if you are putting this on your website, this could be a perfect marketing opportunity.
You could make the cakes, then give them away or something of the sort to promote your biz.
Remember, some cakes hold up differently anyway when working with the weight of fondant...so I say there is no true way of getting specific results, unless you do the specific tests. Believe me, I hate testing recipes because of your same concerns (frugality, waste, etc)...but if I am going to offer certain flavors to customers I have to be insured that THOSE flavors are the best. Hope you get my drift.

yh9080 Posted 7 May 2008 , 9:22pm
post #20 of 22

Another suggestion: start out with a simple design (example: just ribbon border and a flower) and take a picture. Work up to a more elaborate design, once again taking pictures along the way.

You won't necessary have to "glue" everything down like you do in real life. You should be able to just lay some design elements, such as flowers, on the cake.

something_sweet Posted 7 May 2008 , 9:34pm
post #21 of 22

actually in regards to the taste of the cake and soda, it doesn't taste bad at all! I don't know how it would taste with icing, because it is actually a trick I learned in Weight Watchers; chocolate cake mix + diet cherry cola = low point treat. We didn't eat it with icing because of the calories.

Sounds like you have a plan, I hope everything works out well! icon_smile.gif

butterflywings Posted 7 May 2008 , 10:16pm
post #22 of 22

i make that cake using devil's food or regular chocolate mix & regular cherry cola and a can of regular chocolate frosting (when i'm in a hurry or the kids are demanding regular cake NOW) and they LOVE it...

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