I am doing my first wedding cake this weekend. (Shotgun wedding for one of my college friends...they've planned it in under 3 weeks!).
This is the cake I think I am going to use as a basis:
Bride wants red flowers and white buttercream for the cake. I'm thinking of using chocolate clay or MMF for the flowers. Any suggestions or tips for this? Preferences one way or the other?
I also need to drive the cake to the reception location -- I'll be a guest at the wedding as well. The wedding/reception are just over 100 miles from where I live. I've never had to transport a cake before. I have a minivan. Any travel tips? Preferences or suggestions re: stacking at home or stacking on location? If I stack on location...how do I transport the flowers? And how long do you think it would take me to assemble on location?
Sorry for all the questions...I've never done a wedding cake before, I've never traveled with a cake before, and I've never had to dowel a cake before....all of it is adding up to a disaster in my head so any advice you can share, I'd appreciate it!
(I've told the bride all my concerns and she doesn't really care one way or another...she's pretty easy going and if need be said we'd just figure it out the day of the wedding if something disastrous happened).
Cake-Buddy--tell me you have this thing baked already.
the second round is in the oven as i'm typing (6, 8, 10 rounds)....i have til sunday though, not that big of a deal?
That's cool. I was just getting a little panicked for you ('figure it out day of the wedding') but you should be ok. I was going to recommend that you get an early start but you should be fine.
It would take me maybe 10-15 minutes to set this cake up if delivered unstacked. But like you said you've never done this before so it will take you a while--y'know how 'the first' anything always takes so much longer.
People deliver either way--stacked or unstacked.
I recommend that you box the whole thing whether stacked or in separate boxes. Use that nubbly shelf liner to keep things from sliding--put a piece under each cake inside the box so it doesn't slide and under the box so it doesn't slide.
The flowers--I scrunch up a bunch of paper towels in a half sheet box and set my flowers in there when I apply them on site--if they are really delicate I wrap each one in a paper towel. And make sure there's no wiggle room in the box so nothing can clink together en route.
But of course you only have to box the top two rows of roses. You can place the bottom row around the cake if you want. They will fit in a quarter sheet box easy. Hey you could set them in egg cartons too.
Keep the roses out of the sunlight on the ride over.
Also I always deliver chilled cakes--they are of course firmer and sturdier when cold. I even stick blue ice inside my boxes sometimes to keep my cake cold all the way--gets hot in Memphis.
For each tier, measure one dowel and cut all of them that same length. Parts of the actual cake will appear too short or too tall--that's to be expected--don't adjust the dowel they need to be the same length as each other per tier.
Good Luck! Take pictures!!
Thank you. I appreciate your advice!
Your cake has a beautiful design, and where the roses are not the petal by petal type, they'll be easier to transport. I have done it very similarly to K8Memphis, where I'll use that spongy, anti-slip liner underneath my box, cake pan, etc. to transport it, and i've never had a problem. My first wedding cake was one that was about 320 miles away, and the cakes traveled just fine. One thing I do suggest: bring extra icing in a piping bag ready to use. I know that your cake doesn't call for decoration with bc but you will want it to 'glue on' the roses here and there, and if your fondant should crack, you can pipe a bit of icing onto it, smooth it down flat with your finger, or a paper towel, and cover it with fresh powdered sugar do help disguise it. You can also wet the fondant a bit, and smooth it with a paper towel, then dust it with powdered sugar, but it's hard to do if the crack is very big.
I say transporting it separate, and then assembling on site is the best, least stressful way to go. I'd recommend fixing your cake to the cake circle (or cardboard) well with icing before you go, to hold the cake on the board during travel. I'm sure that you'll do very well, and your bride seems like the perfect one to work with. Good luck!
If by some chance you use the blue ice or for any next time, I wrap it in a paper towel and place it in a secure zip lock and wire it into the corners of the box. This prevents condensation from reeking havoc.
Hope all is going well!