I've been baking for awhile now, but I have a big cake due this Sat. It is baked and frozen, but not carved yet.
Since it's a large cake I'm not really sure how far in advance to begin the process of carving, covering with crumb coat and fondant and then decorating. I have my sketch drawn out, colors picked, etc. but just not quite sure of the time line.
The cake is a female torso, in a bikini, the theme is golfing for a guys's 40th birthday. It's going to be really cute, and done in good taste.
I haven't done too many carved cakes so I might not be helping much, but for a Saturday cake I usually bake on Tuesday or Wednesday and freeze, then pull them out Thursday afternoon and have them leveled and crumbcoated by the end of the night. I have all my fondant colored and ready by Thursday too. I let the cakes settle overnight and do the bulk of the decorating on Friday, finishing up any final touches Saturday (depending on the time the cake is needed). Good luck, have fun!
Your scheduling sounds like what I was thinking. I absolutely hate to do much if a cake is due let's say late Sat. I like to have everything finished by early that day. That way, I have time if there is a few problems. I think I'll carve tomorrow afternoon, crumb coat and do the fondant later that evening. Decorate on Friday.
This is great info for a newbie. I haven't quite gotten my schedule down. Do you always freeze the cake, even if just for one day? Is this as a preservative or easier to work with? Thanks for sharing your schedules!
No problem, it always just takes practice to figure out what works for you! These days I always draw up a 'cake plan' a couple of weeks in advance, detailing what needs to be done on what day and I post it on the fridge for easy reference. It's always good to have as much done in advance as you can so you're not overwhelmed at the last minute. Most buttercream recipes can be made 1-2 weeks in advance and fondant/gumpaste decorations too. Coloring fondant can be a tedious job so I always make sure that's done a few days in advance.
I always freeze -- I don't know that I need to but it was a habit I got into long ago and it seems to work for me. It could be my imagination, but it seems to really lock in the moisture and freshness of the cake and it does seem to make it easier to work with. After taking them out of the freezer I let them sit for a while until they are just slightly firm, which helps with leveling and crumbcoating.
I agree about freezing. My cakes are always really good. Late night I covered my cake board, whch is very large. It is drying well and I'm ready for the rest of the process this afternoon.
I really do think that planning is really key. It just helps me not to stress out as much.