Help With This Cake, Please--Real Simple Weddings 2009 Cover

Decorating By Michele25 Updated 8 Mar 2009 , 6:34pm by j-pal

Michele25 Posted 24 Feb 2009 , 4:16pm
post #1 of 21

I received a call today from a woman whose two friends (customers of mine) recommended me to her. She is having a simple wedding at her home and asked me to make her cake. She emailed me the photo below. She said she wants buttercream frosting instead of fondant (which is good because I don't cover my cakes in fondant yet). The vines would be done in fondant, as shown though. She also stated that she wanted to use real flowers in place of the gumpaste (?) flowers in the picture.

My questions are:
--does this seem like a do-able cake in buttercream?
--How difficult does it look to make the vines?
--Will I damage the buttercream if I have to attach all these vines to it?
--If real flowers are used in place of the gumpaste, how do they get attached? Do I just "stick" them into the side of the cake?

I normally do not do wedding cakes, but because this is a small house wedding I am considering the order. I am just wondering if anyone can share their expertise on how hard this looks to recreate in buttercream?

Thank you so much in advance!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

20 replies
fabfour Posted 24 Feb 2009 , 4:35pm
post #2 of 21

I only do wedding cakes out of buttercream, the fondant craze hasn't hit here yet.
I would make the vines out of either RI or white chocolate and just pipe it right on the buttercream.
As for the flowers, is there a florist putting the flowers in? The florist here in town uses the flower spikes or straws that he pushes into the cake and then the flower stem inside that so the flower doen't touch the cake.

Hope that helps!

Chef_Stef Posted 24 Feb 2009 , 4:45pm
post #3 of 21

She said it all; that's how I'd do it, too.

Those look like peonies, but you could also look for someone with an old rose garden and get antique roses that look very similar.

If using fresh peonies, watch for ever-present ants (unless they're from a florist of course).

Michele25 Posted 24 Feb 2009 , 4:49pm
post #4 of 21

Thanks so much to both of you for responding! Can you describe, a little more, the process of piping the vines right on the cake? If I piped using royal icing, would that adhere to the cake or would the "grease" make it slide off? White chocolate sounds like it would be the tastier of the two versions. I'd be worried, though, that it would start dripping down the sides as I'm piping instead of setting up solid looking like the vines in the photo.

confectioneista Posted 24 Feb 2009 , 5:01pm
post #5 of 21

Royal icing, if it's prepared correctly won't slide off your cake. You could try making the vines in advance using the same technique for making a tiara, using the shape of the cake pans or some such to get the roundness, then apply it to the cake when you're ready (just make a few extra vines in case of breakage). Just an idea! Good luck.

P.S. Don't forget that the flowers should be pesticide free! icon_wink.gif

aswartzw Posted 24 Feb 2009 , 5:01pm
post #6 of 21

If you want to do white chocolate, do a ganache, place in the fridge overnight and whip it. It's a beautiful piping consistency once whipped.

If I piped them, I would just use a non-notched coupler or just snip a hole in the bag to the desired size and pipe.

Michele25 Posted 24 Feb 2009 , 11:19pm
post #7 of 21

The ganache sounds delicious, aswartzw. Would you happen to have a recipe for it? If I used ganache, would the cake need to stay refrigerated then?

nicolesprinkle Posted 24 Feb 2009 , 11:30pm
post #8 of 21

I would just print out the design and tape it to the side of the cake pan you will be using then tape wax paper on top of that than just follow the design with royal icing or you could use molding chocolate and sculpt the pieces!

Good Luck

2txmedics Posted 25 Feb 2009 , 12:40am
post #9 of 21

How about instead of piping the vines...of working with white choc. and molding it? just an either florist or silk, if you cant do gumpaste.

I only work with b/c...fondant and I DO NOT get I would do it with white choc. POST IT WHEN YOU DO IT, AND TELL US HOW U DID IT.

aswartzw Posted 25 Feb 2009 , 3:54pm
post #10 of 21

I use melysa's recipe. I think it's equal parts heavy whipping cream and chocolate. I don't have it now but I'll check when I get home.

Michele25 Posted 25 Feb 2009 , 3:59pm
post #11 of 21

Thank you!!!!!! Because of the heavy whipping cream, it sounds like the cake will need to stay refrigerated, right?

kakeladi Posted 25 Feb 2009 , 5:26pm
post #12 of 21

No once you have piped it the cake does not have to stay frig'd. It will last a couple of days.
I really think using fondant (you can flavor it) would be easier. You can mix some white choco into the fondant &/or add extract.
You can practice on your cake pan between now & when the cake is neededicon_smile.gif Try the different mediums mentioned and see what works best for you.

aswartzw Posted 5 Mar 2009 , 4:19pm
post #13 of 21

Actually ganache is extremely stable. Collete Peters says ganache can be left at RT for a week.

cylstrial Posted 5 Mar 2009 , 5:32pm
post #14 of 21

Pretty cake. I think I'd use white chocolate as well. =o) Good luck!!

-K8memphis Posted 5 Mar 2009 , 6:22pm
post #15 of 21

Cake-Buddy, practice this in advance. You will not be sorry you took the time and a little money to test this out thoroughly..

Beautiful cake.

Oh and btw--tell her it will only slightly resemble the photo. It will be a cake with vines and flowers but your interpretation.

Even just the changing from fondant covered to buttercream covered will change that texture between the branches and the surface of the cake.

j-pal Posted 5 Mar 2009 , 7:48pm
post #16 of 21

Is there a reason you don't want to pipe the branches in buttercream? Just asking. If you're not comfortable using fondant or white chocolate or the other methods mentioned, you can pipe the branches with buttercream directly on the buttercream. It looks like the cake is a 2-tone white, so I'd do the base color buttercream just a shade creamier than the piped branches. Good luck with this if you end up taking the order!

__Jamie__ Posted 6 Mar 2009 , 5:49am
post #17 of 21

Ditto to K8's comment.

Don't take this the wrong way, but you don't want to end up with a "bampoo" (yes bamPoo, google it, and it will link you to cake. Ya know?? icon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gif

That cake was made a very specific way, with very specific materials, and cannot be duplicated without the same techniques. That goes really for any cake. Any other method....and it's just an interpretation of the original.

Good luck! Can't wait to see it! icon_smile.gif

Michele25 Posted 7 Mar 2009 , 2:38pm
post #18 of 21

Thank you all very much for responding and for your advice. I have not spoken to the customer yet because she has been out of town, so I still have a little time to decide what to do about the order. She seems very nice and easy going though, so I will definitely tell her that if I do this cake, it will be my "interpretation" (thanks for reminding me to tell her that!!!) (_Jamie_, can't wait to look up the bampoo cake!!!! icon_lol.gificon_lol.gif)

Anyway, I am almost more confused than ever about what technique to use or to try. All of you have given me such great suggestions--most that I never would've thought of (ganache, etc.). Because I am self-taught and don't really do any wedding cakes, I am trying to sift through the info and decide which method would be the most manageable way (for a novice) to do the vines, while still giving me the closest results, and without screwing up the buttercream base of the cake.

Sorry if I'm rambling. I have a cake in my gallery that is a shower cake with bamboo leaves and stems all over it. It was such a total pain to do, because it was the same situation--customer picked a cake that was originally covered in fondant and I tried to recreate it in buttercream... I kept denting the buttercream, however, as I was putting on the leaves, etc. and it was driving me nuts. That's what I immediately thought of when I saw this cake with the vines.

Thanks again for all your help. I don't know what I'd do without my "Cake Buddies". You're the best!!! icon_biggrin.gif

j-pal Posted 7 Mar 2009 , 9:42pm
post #19 of 21

I'd really just plan on sticking with what you know, but practice in the meantime so that you could change if you start to feel more confident with any other technique. Piped buttercream branches will still give you a very similar look.

Here is one that I did in buttercream with wafer paper leaves.

The size of the "branches" in the original photo will be harder to duplicate (in my opinion) in fondant on buttercream. Depending on your buttercream, the thickness of the branch could pull on the icing and cause it to fall. Good luck and I hope you get the order!

Michele25 Posted 8 Mar 2009 , 5:22pm
post #20 of 21

Wow, j-pal, your cake is gorgeous! Thank you for sharing it!!

I actually would be the most comfortable with piping the vines if that would work...aswartzw mentioned earlier in this thread that she thought piping white chocolate ganache might work well. Aswartzw--do you have that recipe you mentioned? Thank you!

j-pal Posted 8 Mar 2009 , 6:34pm
post #21 of 21


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