Help With This Bamboo Cake, Please!

Decorating By Michele25 Updated 4 Jan 2009 , 4:06pm by Michele25

Michele25 Posted 22 Dec 2008 , 3:07pm
post #1 of 17

Hi all~

I have a request for the attached cake for a bridal shower. The cake is from the Feb/Mar 2007 issue of Brides Magazine and was done by cakeobsessions.com.

The cake is covered in fondant, which I do not do. I let the customer know that and told her I could try to recreate the cake in buttercream. I will use fondant (or gumpaste for the bamboo) for the accents, but not to cover the cake with. Do you think I will have a problem attaching the leaves and stems if I am covering the cake with buttercream? I am worried the accents won't stick, and that I'll damage the buttercream (I do use a crusting buttercream, though). Should I attach them with buttercream or would royal icing be stronger? (Would the royal icing even stick to the buttercream?).

Can anyone also tell me what sizes it looks like the tiers are in the photo? Does it look like there is a 2" or 3" size difference between the tiers? The customer only needs to feed 40 people and I am also trying to decide what sizes to use.

(Did I mention that I haven't even begun to stress yet because I've never even attempted to make gumpaste bamboo???? I saw a video tutorial by brandibakes (Thanks Brandi!!!!!) so I'll try that and stress later, LOL!)

Thank you in advance for any help and Happy Holidays to all!!!!!!
LL

16 replies
DianeLM Posted 22 Dec 2008 , 3:25pm
post #2 of 17

Use gum glue to attach the bamboo to the bc iced cake. I use it to attach fairly heavy swags to bc cakes and never have a problem.

Making bamboo is very easy. Just roll out a sausage, Run the edge of a spatula around to make the divisions. Then, depending on the type of bamboo, gently pinch around the divisions.

Once it has set up, use brown petal dust to color the indents, then various shades of petal dust (or gel colors mixed with alcohol) to paint the rest.

Michele25 Posted 22 Dec 2008 , 6:15pm
post #3 of 17

Thank you so much, DianeLM! (You are one of my all-time favorite cake decorators, by the way icon_smile.gif

A few more questions, if you don't mind:
Can you tell me how to make gum glue? Also, is it better to use fondant, gumpaste, or a mix of the two to make the bamboo? Should I start out with white and then color it as you've described, or should I knead in color first and then add more colors with the petal dust or the gel colors/alcohol?

Thanks again!!

Michele25 Posted 22 Dec 2008 , 6:17pm
post #4 of 17

Oh....sorry I forgot to ask, any advice on the sized tiers used in the photo and what sizes I should use for 40 servings? I was thinking maybe 7" stacked on 9"?

CakeDesigns Posted 22 Dec 2008 , 6:20pm
post #5 of 17

99.9 of my cakes are iced in BC, therefore I can tell you that the GP and/or fondant decorations will adhere to BC, I use GP glue for thin decorations and RI for heavier decorations. Heavy decorations can fall during transit though. You will not damage the BC if you use fondant or thin GP decorations unless you want to reposition the decoration then it will ruin the BC. The bamboos seem easy, I'd fret more about the leaves if not using a mold or cutter.

kakeladi Posted 22 Dec 2008 , 6:32pm
post #6 of 17

For 40 servings the 9,7 should be just perfect if they serve the top. 9x4 round=32 and 7x4=15. Let the customer decide if they want bigger pieces (than the 1x2x4) or leftover cake. You might have to go to a 10,7 or8.

Michele25 Posted 22 Dec 2008 , 6:53pm
post #7 of 17

Sorry for all the questions!! But on that note, I'm always so amazed and thankful at everyone's willingness to help.

Anyway, kakeladi, I actually have a 5" pan too. Since I usually like to have my cakes serve closer to a 1-1/2" x 2" x 4" slice, would that do the trick without increasing the sizes of the other two layers? Or do you think the 5" top looks silly because it's so small. Do you think the size difference between layers in the photos is 2" or 3"?

CakeDesigns - how do you make gumpaste glue? Also, if it were you, would you transport the cake without the bamboo and then attach it while setting up (after you arrived at the destination?)

DianeLM Posted 23 Dec 2008 , 3:45am
post #8 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Michele25

Thank you so much, DianeLM! (You are one of my all-time favorite cake decorators, by the way icon_smile.gif

A few more questions, if you don't mind:
Can you tell me how to make gum glue? Also, is it better to use fondant, gumpaste, or a mix of the two to make the bamboo? Should I start out with white and then color it as you've described, or should I knead in color first and then add more colors with the petal dust or the gel colors/alcohol?

Thanks again!!




Michele,

I make gum glue by whisking about a teaspoon of tylose powder into about 1/2 cup of water. Refrigerated, it lasts for months. To make less, just whisk a little bit into some water. The measurements don't have to be exact.

Tylose doesn't dissolve right away, so I usually just leave the cup and whisk on the counter and give it a stir whenever I happen to walk by. It will eventually all dissolve.

Some people drop a little blob of gumpaste in water and let it dissolve to make gum glue. I've never tried that method.

I like to use a mixture of fondant and gumpaste for bamboo. Gives lots of 'play' time without developing cracks, yet dries good and firm.

Definitely knead in a little color before forming your bamboo. I like Americolor gold.

Sorry, I neglected to address the size question.

For 40 generous servings, I think 10 and 7 would be perfect. I also think the size difference in the picture is 3 inches. I definitely would not do 2 inch difference. Not enough room for the bamboo.

Here's a pic of some bamboo I did recently. After you look at it, you can THEN decide whether or not you want to take my advice! icon_biggrin.gif

Oh, and thank you for the nice compliment! icon_redface.gif
LL

Michele25 Posted 23 Dec 2008 , 4:09am
post #9 of 17

Wow, your cake is awesome, Diane! The bamboo looks great! Thanks so much for all of your help and suggestions!!

Do you think the gum glue would hold the bamboo securely enough for me to (carefully) transport the cake with the bamboo in place, or would you "glue" it on once you delivered the cake? I have to drive about 15 minutes or so to restaurant that the shower will be held at.

Thank you again!

DianeLM Posted 23 Dec 2008 , 2:27pm
post #10 of 17

I'd definitely transport the cake with the bamboo attached. Once the gum glue dries, those suckers shouldn't budge!

Oh yeah... about the gum glue... use just a smear. If you brush on too much, your stuff will just slide around. I like to dip my brush into the glue, then blot off the excess.

You may need to hold the piece in place for a few seconds to make sure it adheres.

kakeladi Posted 23 Dec 2008 , 3:01pm
post #11 of 17

To be sure you have enough cake I do suggest adding the 5" top. It is not too small and will look good in a 10,7,5 combo. It only needs to be 3" tall (or it will look different). The smaller the diameter the less tall it should be.

Michele25 Posted 4 Jan 2009 , 2:17pm
post #12 of 17

I just want to thank everyone again for all the help. I am posting a photo of my cake below. I was happy with how my bamboo turned out, but I realize that I need some serious help with stacking and getting crisp edges on the cake. (I bought sugarshacks stacking and buttercream videos and plan to study them carefully). This cake was very hard to do in buttercream--I found that adding the leaves, stems and bamboo continually made "dents" in the surrounding buttercream. I did not have an actual bamboo leaf cutter, so I had to improvise. I know this cake needs lots of work, but I am self-taught and am learning constantly from all of you wonderful decorators! Thanks again for the help (and thanks again to Cake Obsessions for the design).
LL

bafishr Posted 4 Jan 2009 , 2:45pm
post #13 of 17

Michele25, I think your cake looks great.

Cupcakeluv24 Posted 4 Jan 2009 , 3:00pm
post #14 of 17

Michele25, I too think that your cake came out beautiful! Way to go girl!

Uniqueask Posted 4 Jan 2009 , 3:54pm
post #15 of 17

We Cake Decorators are our own worst Critics, I still have yet to do a cake that I do Not Criticize when I am Done Except for the cakes I made in class, Any back to topic, I think you did an awesome, awesome Job recreating that cake it looks wonderful.

dlinnane Posted 4 Jan 2009 , 3:59pm
post #16 of 17

What a darling cake. You did a great job!

Michele25 Posted 4 Jan 2009 , 4:06pm
post #17 of 17

Thanks so much, everyone! icon_biggrin.gif

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