Now What????? Long...

Decorating By CakeInfatuation Updated 31 Mar 2009 , 11:45am by CakeInfatuation

CakeInfatuation Posted 27 Mar 2009 , 1:11pm
post #1 of 35

Okay... so I'm taking an Advanced Cake Decorating Class in Philadelphia. Got everything together for my final cake. Made like 200 flowers, an arbor, a monogram...

I decided to do dark brown buttercream (super dark chocolate) and pink flowers and accents.

I made a TON of buttercream and then ran into two issues.

My cake is a 10, 8, and 6 inch tiered cake. The bottom tier is iced super dark brown. Looks fantastic. BUT I had a lot of trouble with my icing not wanting to stick. It wasn't even picking up crumbs. Just falling off. I could pick it up and put it back on... ODD But also my first time with chocolate buttercream.

After this tier, I realized that I had no idea how much icing I'd use on a 10" cake! I hardly had any left. I went to ice the 6" tier (just in case) and had the same problem, it just would NOT stick. I was ready to scream!

The only thing I could think to do is add more liquid and whip. HOWEVER... that lightened the color! AHHHHHHHHHH! So now the top tier is a little lighter than the bottom tier.

I still have the middle to ice and I have no icing left.

The 10" is yellow cake with strawberry filling and chocolate icing. The middle cake is yellow, strawberry filling, chocolate. The 6" is yellow, strawberry filling, chocolate, and chocolate icing.

NOW... with chocolate on the bottom tier, lighter chocolate on the top tier... what color do I make the middle tier. I'm never going to be able to mix up another batch, get it to stick, AND match the color of two different tiers?

Do I do pink buttercream and call it a day?

It's just my final cake but I really wanted something stunning for my portfolio. Now... I think I want to cry.

34 replies
Melnick Posted 27 Mar 2009 , 1:17pm
post #2 of 35

I like your idea of pink buttercream or you could do a brown that is a shade lighter than the bottom tier but darker than the top tier so it is a gradual colour change ... like you meant to do it

yelle66 Posted 27 Mar 2009 , 1:18pm
post #3 of 35

Can you do a brown in between the dark and lighter brown? I think that would look nice. Otherwise I think the pink would look fine, too. As long as you don't make it look like you were trying to match them, they will look fine. What kind of BC are you using? I hope it turns out for you! Update when you are done. I'm sure it will be beautiful!


foxymomma521 Posted 27 Mar 2009 , 1:29pm
post #4 of 35

Can you post a pic so we can help you think of an idea? I think 3 shades of brown will be pretty...

DianeLM Posted 27 Mar 2009 , 1:33pm
post #5 of 35

I've had the same non-stick problem with chocolate buttercream. Yes, adding more liquid seems to be the solution. Now that the buttercream has had a chance to set on both tiers, are they still different colors? Freshly whipped buttercream looks lighter at first.

I agree that trying to match the middle tier is potentially disastrous. I think pink is an excellent choice. That combo is all the rage these days.

Remember that cake decorating is 5% skill and 95% disaster recovery. That's what separates the men from the boys, so to speak. icon_smile.gif

I once had a customer get her cake home (10 minute drive) then call me to tell me the icing and all the decorations had literally jumped off the side of the cake! I wound up taking the cake back, scraped off all the chocolate bc, reiced with tinted regular bc, remade all the side decorations and got the cake back before party time. ...chocolate bc... grrrr....

IcedTea4Me2 Posted 27 Mar 2009 , 1:39pm
post #6 of 35

I'm in agreement with the others. I think another shade of brown would be fine. The pink would be, fine, too. I just wanted to say that I've had occasions where I was so aggravated that something didn't come out right or not as I had planned and after it was all said and done no one realized that it wasn't the plan. I had a monster truck cake, for example, that I tried a new chocolate icing with. I had to melt chocolate squares for this cake and I let it cool a little too long. When I put it all together the icing had chocolate chunks in it (small, but still there) and everyone thought I did it on purpose. It actually went well with the "dirt, mud monster truck" theme. So, no matter what you do, it will be fine and most people will think that was your intention all along!

Good luck and post a pic.


cas17 Posted 27 Mar 2009 , 1:56pm
post #7 of 35

i have a terrible time with choc bc. it is always streaky and there's always a few tiny bits of choc here and there cos i can never get my choc 100% melted no matter how much i heat and stir! i agree on the pink but not a super lite pink, jmo.

miss_sweetstory Posted 27 Mar 2009 , 2:02pm
post #8 of 35

How different are the two colors of chocolate? Are they different enough so that you can tint a batch of buttercream to an in-between shade (to get the color change effect mentioned before)? I like the idea if pink buttercream, but it might lesson the impact, or "pop" of your pink flowers.

DianeLM Posted 27 Mar 2009 , 2:09pm
post #9 of 35

I'm changing my vote from pink to the in-between shade of brown. By the time I got to the end of the post, I had forgotten about the pink flowers.

Off to brush up on my reading comprehension skills... sheesh...

Babarooskie Posted 27 Mar 2009 , 2:20pm
post #10 of 35

I agree with a pink middle tier.
I think that will actually look really nice!!

By the way, whenever I make Chocolate Butter Cream and it tends to get too "thick", I simply add Chocolate milk. It works awesome and tastes really good too icon_smile.gif

HTH and Good luck!

CakeInfatuation Posted 27 Mar 2009 , 2:33pm
post #11 of 35

Huh... Chocolate Milk... ha ha

That's not a bad idea!

Chocolate syrup might have worked too.

I went to the store and bought more of everything I need. I have to make more chocolate buttercream anyway, so I'm going to attempt to get as close as I can. I LOVE how dark the bottom tier turned out. The top is kind of funky because of all the trouble I had. SO... I'm hoping that since it's been iced and in the fridge all night and has a nice crust, I'll be able to put a thin layer of icing over the top of it and get it to be smooth and DARK.

IF that works, I'll ice the middle layer as well. IF it doesn't, I'll give up and go with pink in the middle...

And all this has to be done by 2pm Eastern when I go to work because today is my 10th Anniversary so I can't do it after work and my class is an hour away and I have to leave here at 8:30 tomorrow morning. I'm feeling the pressure. ha ha

Thanks for all your suggestions and help. NOW to the mixer...

cas17 Posted 27 Mar 2009 , 2:34pm
post #12 of 35

By the way, whenever I make Chocolate Butter Cream and it tends to get too "thick", I simply add Chocolate milk. It works awesome and tastes really good too icon_smile.gif

HTH and Good luck![/quote]

that's a great idea! thank you babarooskie icon_smile.gif

Babarooskie Posted 27 Mar 2009 , 2:48pm
post #13 of 35

You're welcome icon_biggrin.gif

I always have chocolate milk stocked up in my fridge icon_lol.gif

CakeInfatuation Posted 28 Mar 2009 , 8:10pm
post #14 of 35


It's done! I'm so happy with the result. Thanks for all your help and encouragement.

I went ahead and made a 2nd batch of chocolate buttercream like I said and it worked beautifully. I kept checking on the top two tiers as they dried to make sure the color would match and it did!!!

Here it is! Let me know what you think.

Melvira Posted 28 Mar 2009 , 8:21pm
post #15 of 35

It turned out perfectly! No one would ever know you had trouble!!

Deb_ Posted 28 Mar 2009 , 8:22pm
post #16 of 35

Oh that came out beautiful! See you'd never know it was a PITA! icon_lol.gif

When I have a client that wants a really dark brown chocolate bc, I add some brown food coloring, I just can never get it that dark w/just chocolate alone.

BabyBear3 Posted 28 Mar 2009 , 8:29pm
post #17 of 35

It looks fabulous!!!!!! Great job on your "recovery" icon_biggrin.gif

DianeLM Posted 28 Mar 2009 , 9:04pm
post #18 of 35

Looks fabulous! Glad you were able to make the chocolate work. A pink tier just wouldn't have had the same dramatic effect. Lovely work!

foxymomma521 Posted 29 Mar 2009 , 12:22am
post #19 of 35

That is a beautiful color against the pink! Well done and Happy Anniversary!!

cakebaker1957 Posted 29 Mar 2009 , 12:39am
post #20 of 35

Looks great and yummy

Wildrose6633 Posted 29 Mar 2009 , 12:44am
post #21 of 35

Beautiful work and great design. Happy anniversary.

Peachshortcake Posted 29 Mar 2009 , 12:59am
post #22 of 35

Loooovvvee it. Great job.
Now what was your recipe for the icing. I want to make something that dark but i hate using food colouring for it.....


CakeInfatuation Posted 29 Mar 2009 , 1:23am
post #23 of 35

I'll dig out the recipe later and post what it was. One thing I did though was to use Hershey's special dark cocoa powder as opposed to traditional cocoa powder.

Now... I made some changes to the cake. You'll see why in the description. I think I'm really happy now. ha ha

saap1204 Posted 29 Mar 2009 , 1:34am
post #24 of 35

Beautiful cake! You would never know you had problems with the frosting.

MRRRAR Posted 29 Mar 2009 , 1:43am
post #25 of 35

The first & second came out lovely!

Kitagrl Posted 29 Mar 2009 , 1:51am
post #26 of 35

Its very nice!

What class did you take? (I'm in Bucks County...)

jdelaney81 Posted 29 Mar 2009 , 2:16am
post #27 of 35

Oooh! I like them both, but the 2nd is my fave. I love all of those flowers. I doesn't look like you had any troubles at all! icon_biggrin.gif

aquamom Posted 29 Mar 2009 , 12:17pm
post #28 of 35

You did an amazing job. Both versions are lovely. Congratulations!!!

Tee-Y Posted 29 Mar 2009 , 5:09pm
post #29 of 35

Shill, Good and Better, that's what your two cakes are. WELLDONE on overcoming the crisis thumbs_up.gif .

CakeInfatuation Posted 29 Mar 2009 , 5:24pm
post #30 of 35


Go online to Fante's in South Philly. They have a link to their cake classes. Debbie Lang teaches. She is very knowledgeable and has spent her life in cake work.

She also is a judge for the Gingerbread houses in Peddler's Village at Christmastime. Said she teaches a class at the Cock 'n' Bull and it's only $10. My husband said he'll probably take that with me this fall. I always wanted to do a cool gingerbread house!

She's teaching a fondant and gumpaste class in April at Fante's (I think it's April) and she teaches a lot of gum paste flowers. (As opposed to the Wilton Course that only teaches daisy's, carnations, and the fantasy flower.

She has chocolate courses as well... Anyway, just go to their site and you'll see it all. I like her. She also lives in Bucks County. I think we are going to set up a time for her to teach me Lambeth in the near future. I really want to learn that but she doesn't teach it at her "classes". My husband said he'll pay her just so I don't have to drive to South Philly. ha ha ha

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