I am wondering how you 3D cakers explain to your customers how to dismantle the cake and cut it up when they will be doing it themselves?
I have a golf bag cake to make which will be standing upright and I was hoping to get advice on how to handle the building of it keeping in mind the customer will be cutting it themselves.
Here is the situation: I wanted to build the cake in 3 tiers of 4"x 8" rounds
(for 75 people) stacked on top of a few layers of 4"x8" styrofoam dummies. I was thinking of using a PVC pipe through the middle of the entire structure cake and foam which will be firmly attached to the plywood board below. Then the clubs will be placed inside the top.
So, after going on this forum discussing how to build this, Some people thought it would be best to put the cakes below and the styrofoam layers above the cakes so it won't be top heavy. Makes total sense to me but I initially thought of doing it the other way so it would be much easier for the customer to cut up and serve.
So, my questions are: Do you explain to your customers how to dismantle the their cakes, where the actual line is between real cake and fake cake, and is it reasonable to expect my customer to peel off the fondant on the top portion of the cake, pull off the styrofoam up and off the PVC pipe, to get to the real cake?
Or, do you guys always include sheet cakes with your order (in this case to feed the 75 people) and then they can hack away at will to their 3D cake whenever and however they choose?? It seems like in the golf bag example, it would be such a messy hack session to serve only the golf bag cake. Advice please, how do you guys handle these situations and how much do you tell the customer about what is real/edible and what is not?
When I do a cake with structure, I do tell my customer where the structure is, where the cake is, and how to get the cake off the structure. Just make sure your styrofoam is properly protected from your cake. I usually ask my customers if they want sheet cake or to cut up the cake in the structure. Its a pricing difference for me.
As much as I overthink everything--I do not overthink the serving of the cake. I would tell them where the cake starts, but I don't get into it other than to say it's the approximate size of a cupcake with fillings.
But I do make it real simple for them too. Like golf bags have pockets on them--I'd use the pocket to point out where the cake begins and the foam ends.
They'll figure it out.
No I do not provide sheet cakes unless they buy them.
I usually give a diagram to the customer as a reference.
I've not yet made a 3D cake that had anything other than cake boards(cardboard) and doweling that wasn't edible. I do tell them that separator cardboard is in there along with either wooden dowels or tubes/straws. "the easiest way to cut it would be top to bottom, side to side, making sure to cut any extended pieces to keep it more stable while cutting....and to slice until it hits a circle/board....when the cardboard is completely cleared of cake, remove it and continue in the same manner. Sometimes there is a center dowel. I tell them they can work it out of the board as soon as they can get a grip on it, if they'd like...otherwise, slide the next cake board off it and continue cutting the cake....I only use the center dowels for transport anyway.
Doug has sketched out the structural support for a beer can cake which should also be useful for a golf bag:
Indydebi has a method which greatly simplifies the actual cutting of the cake slices:
As for your customer determining where the cakeboards are (to locate the individual tiers) when preparing to serve the cake....
Just cut a slit down the back of the cake and open just wide enough to get a view of the cake construction (i.e., see where the cakeboards are).
Then make a horizontal cut through fondant to remove the entire tier on cakeboard (with fondant still attached to cake) and use Debi's method to easily cut individual cake slices.
Repeat horizontal cuts to remove tiers until entire cake is disassembled.
Tiers will have to be lifted from top to bottom (off the center dowel).
Including a copy of Debi's cutting method for your customer would be very helpful.
Yup, I was kind of thinking the same thing - I am over thinking this and if I give them some sort of indication where the real thing begins, they can figure out how to get to it with a little instruction from me.
Good to know I am on the right track without going overboard.
Thanks a million for the adivce.