3D/sculpted Cake Questions

Decorating By baking1968 Updated 13 Sep 2010 , 7:35am by zespri

baking1968 Posted 11 Jan 2009 , 1:21am
post #1 of 8

Hi everyone!!!! I recently joined CC and am really looking forward to learning here. For the time being, I have some general questions related to 3D/Sculpted Cakes that I'm hoping some of you seasoned pros (smile) can answer. I graduated from a Pastry Arts program last Dec., so I'm not totally new to the world of cakes/decorating. However, as I'm sure many of you know, you learn a lot of the basics with the rest being left up to your work experience. Unfortunately, I live in an area that 3D/Sculpted cakes aren's as big (at least I haven't seen any indication).

Nonetheless, here are the questions:

1. What guidelines are used to determine the number of servings you get from 3D/Sculpted cakes when the designs are always arbitrary?

2. How do you begin learning where your support rods (dowels/other) should be placed in 3D/Sculpted cakes?

3. What should be considered when choosing a cake base/flavor for 3D/Sculpted cakes?

4. I understand the 3D/Sculpted cakes must be frozen to carve. In this case, are there certain cake fillings that shouldn't be used because they don't stand up well to freezing, or sculpting?

5. For 2 dimensional (cutout cakes), are templates used to cout out the design, or is this something that's achieved freehand?

Any help towards answering these questions would be most appreciated.



7 replies
cylstrial Posted 12 Jan 2009 , 12:28pm
post #2 of 8

Welcome to CC Robin! Unfortunately, I can't answer your questions about carving.. I haven't done a carved cake yet.

mgigglin Posted 12 Jan 2009 , 1:01pm
post #3 of 8


I haven't done too many 3D cakes but I'll see if I can help... I know there are others who do awesome 3D on this site, hopefully they will see your post....
for base flavors: when I do any carving I like a dense cake, I prefer my chocolate or the WASC. Any sturdy dense cake that doesnt crumble will be good for carving.
I do freeze the cake just to get them firm enough to carve. I haven't had any issues with them thawing .
I have done 2 dimensional also and that I did freehand. I just started out with a bigger cake than I needed to get the servings that I needed. then I just start carving till it looks right.

I know this isn't much but hope it helps a little!


TooMuchCake Posted 12 Jan 2009 , 2:56pm
post #4 of 8

Congratulations on graduation from pastry school! I hope I can help answer some of your questions. I have a tutorial website that shows a lot of in-progress cakes being made, most of them sculpted, so you might want to give it a look:

1. You need to plan ahead. Don't bake a huge ol' honkin' cake and whack at it until it's the shape you need. Think first, and make a to-scale drawing if you need to. Then bake layers that are as close as possible the size you plan to wind up with when you finish sculpting. On heavily-detailed carvings, as opposed to ones with minimal sculpting (see the monkey cake or the diaper bag cake), I lose about a third of the cake to scrap. Do your best to incorporate scrap into your design so that you lose less (see the monkey re: her legs).

2. I learned from Roland Winbeckler's book on carving, but it really is common sense when you stop to think about it. Every 4 or 5 inches gets an internal cake board. (see Roger, Nightmare, or the diaper bag) Anything with a precarious part should have extra support.

3. Choose a cake with a close texture to make it easier on yourself. Pound cakes are great, and I use recipes from The Cake Mix Doctor.

4. I never carve a frozen cake. Some people only carve them frozen. More than one road leads to Rome, so see what works best for you. I also never allow fillings in sculptures. It's too messy, the chance of filling showing through is too good (most of my sculptures are covered in buttercream) and the chance of sliding is too big a risk for me. Customers get buttercream inside their cakes and they don't get a choice in the matter.

5. I start students out with paper templates to give them the best chance of success, but I don't use them myself unless the design is very specific. I carve freehand.


baking1968 Posted 12 Jan 2009 , 2:57pm
post #5 of 8

Thanks so much for your answers and encouragement. I was hoping I'd get "some" replies. I appreciate it.

baking1968 Posted 12 Jan 2009 , 3:07pm
post #6 of 8

Just checked out your website. That's so awesome. You're definitely my new "Shero"---smile. I'm seeing a lot of websites want to charge you to become a member to get "cake decorating secrets only the pros know". Thanks for making your website available for people like me; not forgetting CC of course.

TooMuchCake Posted 12 Jan 2009 , 3:42pm
post #7 of 8

You're more than welcome. Nope, no charge to visit the website or to subscribe for notification of updates. The dvd sales help me pay my webdude, though, so if you're so inclined, I'd be grateful, but no obligation whatsoever.

zespri Posted 13 Sep 2010 , 7:35am
post #8 of 8

I love your work Deanna, so glad I came upon this thread, old as it may be! Unfortunately after paying the exchange rate plus shipping to New Zealand the DVD would cost me $47.71, otherwise I would have got one. Regardless, your work is very inspiring!

Originally Posted by TooMuchCake

You're more than welcome. Nope, no charge to visit the website or to subscribe for notification of updates. The dvd sales help me pay my webdude, though, so if you're so inclined, I'd be grateful, but no obligation whatsoever.

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