Hi! I am new here- I registered a long time ago & have lurked, but never posted. I make shaped cakes from my kids birthdays and just have been learned as I go. Until now I've just used plain box mixes and bought tub frosting or a quick homemade frosting. (I think it would be considered a buttercream kind.)
Now that my kids are getting older and I have a little more time on my hands I'm wanting to try making my cakes better. I have spent the last two days reading tons of threads and learning a bunch. I have already decided to make the next one (for this weekend) with the WASC recipe, but the chocolate version. I have two questions for all you more knowledgeable decorators:
1) What frosting recipe would work best for a shaped cake? I am overwhelmed with all the choices and don't know which one to try. I don't use fondant (sp?) and all decorations & details I add are edible, usually candy. I also, personally, prefer a not-so-sweet frosting. (I'm the type that scrapes the frosting off & eats just the cake usually- unless it's the whipped cream kind.)
2) After reading all the yummy fillings people put in their cakes I would love to start doing that instead of plain frosting in the middle. Is that a bad idea for shaped cakes? Should I save trying that for regular cakes?
Thank you for any help you can give me- even if it's only directing me to read an already posted thread. I tried to find answers to my questions by searching, but I only can spend so much time on the computer. (If I didn't keep getting sidetracked with other cake tips I might of gotten farther! LOL)
If you're a fan of the whipped topping try the Bettercreme recipe in the recipe list. You could torte (fill) the shaped cake just like any other cake if you like. I'm no pro but those are my ideas hope it all turns out alright HAPPY CAKING
As far as fillings go, lemon curd is awesome. Another quick and easy filling is Polaner All Fruit with dry jello. Get a jar of the Polaner, take the lid off and heat for 30 seconds in the microwave. Mix in some dry jello that matches the fruit in the Polaner and it's a great easy filling. I put raspberry in a chocolate cake and my co-workers raved over it.
I've been decorating for a long time just off and on but in the last year, I've decided to experiment and learn new recipes and techniques. All I can say is just do it and have fun with it! It's easy to get overwhelmed. When I see something I want to try, I print it out and put it with my cake stuff ( I have a 3 ring binder I keep it in) and pull it out when I'm ready to try it.
I would make a crumb coating (use thinned buttercream) with the shaped (cut) cake. That way it would be much easier to frost with the bettercream (after the crumb coating is firm)...far fewer crumbs!
Thanks everyone for your help!
I will look at the Bettercreme recipe and whip up a batch for a test cake. (Thanks for the suggestion Krystyne)
And I will definitely do a crumb coating with a thinned buttercream first. (Thanks for the reminder PJ!) I wish I would of known to do that before- it would of probably saved me a bunch of frustration on past cakes.
I don't think my son care for raspberries- but I bet he would love a strawberry filling! Thanks for that tip! I was wanting to do a strawberry or cookies & cream filling for him. And I like the of using a binder to keep track of all the things I want to try (which keeps growing the more I look around here!) LOL
I have one other noob question- I keep reading about crusting & non-crusting icing (usually buttercream). I know what that means, but when should you use each? Is it a matter of preference? Just curious since I use candy decorations on my cakes usually on what one would be better for that.
I think its individual preference re: crusting and non-crusting buttercream. If you are using the candy, it probably doesn't matter! With the crusting, you can make it look smoother by patting it down with VIVA paper towels/computer/ or parchment paper. If you don't care re: smoothness, then non-crusting can be used. Even if you use the candy, the cake will look a "little more professional" if you pipe some kind of border on the cake (at least at the bottom), I think!
Thanks PJ for the reply!I'll remember that VIVA tip for the future- till now I've been happy when I can get is pretty smooth with my spatula. (Actually it wasn't even till my last cake that I finally got some spatulas- boy that made things easier!) This cake I'm going to try and make things a little better again- I bought real cake dowels at Walmart instead of trying to use skewers. Bit by bit I figure I'll get there! LOL
And you are right about the border- I did one on the bottom of the last shaped cake I did with candy and it just gave it more of a "finished" look to it.
BTW- I can't get Bettercreme in my town- is there any other recommendation for a frosting recipe that you have?
INDYDEBI's recipe is good and easy to work with...it is in the recipe section
Thank you- I'll try that one then- I just needed somewhere to start.
Another idea for filling is using the buttercream that you put on the cake, and add stuff to it. I have added cherry cordials (the kind with the liquid), mint cookies, and even raspberry and strawberry jam right into the buttercream while it was mixing. Make sure you dam it if you use an additive with more liquid, like jam or the cordials, but you can add just about anything to buttercream for a filling. Peanut butter cups would be another good one
Thanks APretty- maby I'll just try that to keep it simple this time around! I think a strawberry jam or maby some crushed oreos mixed with the buttercream would be easy, yet a little more special than plain buttercream. (I'd love to do peanut butter cups- but I have a niece that is allergic to PB.)