Need Help With Debbie Brown Cake

Decorating By imartsy Updated 25 Jul 2008 , 10:16pm by imartsy

imartsy Posted 5 Jul 2008 , 5:06pm
post #1 of 17

I've been asked by a close friend to make a cake for her daughter's birthday. She looked through some books and picked out a Debbie Brown cake (see attached). It's an awesome cake, I'd love to do it - BUT, I think it's just going to be their family - 10 people tops. The cake seems like it will feed much more.

In addition, b/c it's a friend (and b/c of some financial issues I know about), I don't want to charge her the $125 I think this cake is probably worth. It seems very detailed - and again, larger than just for 10 people.

Does anyone have any ideas on how I can scale this down and maybe how to make it a little less expensive? I'm also a little scared of it - Debbie is amazing - wish I could watch her make one of these!
LL

16 replies
peg818 Posted 5 Jul 2008 , 5:09pm
post #2 of 17

I think if you did it an 8, 6 and 4 inch round with a small castle on top, it would be perfect for a small gathering. If you look closely at many of Debbie Browns cakes you will see that they usually aren't that big.

TooMuchCake Posted 5 Jul 2008 , 5:43pm
post #3 of 17

Peg818 is right about the scale of Debbie Brown's cakes being smaller than you'd think they are. What if you just did the castle out of cake, and built up the board with styro or something that you could cover in fondant to suggest the road up the mountain?

Deanna

Win Posted 5 Jul 2008 , 5:55pm
post #4 of 17

This cake only calls for an 8" round, a 6" round and a 7" square as well as a 10" cake board. Debbie basically has you build up from the 8" base with the 6" as the next layer. Then she has you cut a 2.5 inch square from the corner of the large square cake to make the castle itself which right there tells you this is NOT a large scale cake. The other odd pieces are what builds up the hillside, etc. It is; however, very detailed from that point on so what you feel you should charge will depend entirely on how much of your labor you want to cut out.

Denae Posted 5 Jul 2008 , 5:56pm
post #5 of 17

if you read the instructions in her book...90% of the time the cakes aren't that big. you can always do an 8" rd (just make the bottome piece a 1 tier an dress the board up) with a 6" sq castle in top.

babyqueen Posted 5 Jul 2008 , 5:56pm
post #6 of 17

What about if you used the large wonder mold? If you look at the overall shape, it looks a lot like the shape of a dress. Then you could carve some away and add some fondant under there for the path. I think that would be the best way to make it feed less people, and require less baking time.

Molly2 Posted 5 Jul 2008 , 6:01pm
post #7 of 17

FYI styro is very expensive I would stick with cake I know this because I am in the process of building a cake right now (football Stadium) part of it is styro and it wasn't cheap. I only do this as a hobby but I get a kick out of seeing the child face when they receive their cake so I would stick with cake

Molly2

imartsy Posted 5 Jul 2008 , 6:03pm
post #8 of 17

Ooh that's an idea - the wondermold pan. I think I have that somewhere... and never used it icon_smile.gif I'm not sure my carving skills are that good - but hey, maybe it's worth a try.

Do you all think I'll have problems if I use the durable cake mix recipe (cake mix + pudding + sour cream, etc) to make the cake? She wants chocolate and I'm just not sure any of my other chocolate recipes from scratch will be stable enough.

wendym Posted 5 Jul 2008 , 6:28pm
post #9 of 17

Hi, I made this cake for a friends birthday a couple of years ago and it was great but I wish I had put dowls through the whole cake as it started to lean backwards at the top. It didnt fall over or anything but it would have made my life so much easier if I had used dowls. Also if you follow the instructions in the book its not so big. Good Luck Im sure you will have fun. icon_smile.gif

Win Posted 5 Jul 2008 , 7:47pm
post #10 of 17

Yes, definitely go with as dense a cake as possible and do run a dowel through it. In place of a wonder mold, I use a simple ceramic mixing bowl to bake in --place a flower nail in the bottom and pour your cake batter over that. (I dowel everything with at least a center dowel even if it's not much in height, but has multiple parts... never can be too sure, Debbie's cake that is a shipwreck is a good example of one that needs multiple dowels... her stuff just wants to slip due to weight.)

Win Posted 5 Jul 2008 , 7:48pm
post #11 of 17

Yes, definitely go with as dense a cake as possible and do run a dowel through it. In place of a wonder mold, I use a simple ceramic mixing bowl to bake in --place a flower nail in the bottom and pour your cake batter over that. (I dowel everything with at least a center dowel even if it's not much in height, but has multiple parts... never can be too sure, Debbie's cake that is a shipwreck is a good example of one that needs multiple dowels... her stuff just wants to slip due to weight.)

Denae Posted 5 Jul 2008 , 8:37pm
post #12 of 17

use debbie brown's recipe for her maderia sponge cake

imartsy Posted 6 Jul 2008 , 6:44pm
post #13 of 17

See I thought the maderia sponge cake was kinda dry. I understand European styles of cake are different than American's and that European cakes aren't always as "moist"... so I figured it was just the recipe. Maybe it was just me. But she wanted chocolate too - did the recipe in there have a chocolate variation? I don't have the book in front of me.

Lenette Posted 6 Jul 2008 , 6:59pm
post #14 of 17

Hi!

I can't help with the cake but am wondering what book that photo is from? The cake is beautiful and I am sure your version will be just as lovely!

saracupcake Posted 6 Jul 2008 , 7:23pm
post #15 of 17

I've got the book infront of me, she doesn't have a chocolate cake recipe but on page 8 she does explain you can make her maderia cake recipe chocolate by adding 2-3 tablespoons of unseetened cocoa powder mixed with 15ml of milk to every 6 egg mix.

She also has a vicoria sponge recipe which is the one I use all the time, I like it better than the madeia cake. It is a bit less dense but I find if you leave the cake to settle before stacking and dowl properly it works for stacking too. There is less flour in the victoria sponge cake so it is a bit sweeter and doesn't seem as dry.

And remember when you are carving if you cut too much off glue it back on with some buttercream! I do that almost every time I carve something.

Lenette it is from Debbie Brown's Enchanted Cakes for Children.

HTH

Sara

Lenette Posted 6 Jul 2008 , 7:32pm
post #16 of 17

Thank you very much! icon_smile.gif

imartsy Posted 25 Jul 2008 , 10:16pm
post #17 of 17

Alright I tried the wonder mold pan and the cake collapsed while baking! TOTALLY caved in the middle. I have another post out about it, but thought I'd try here as well. Anyone have a good chocolate cake recipe that would work in that pan?

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