Need Encouragement/advice....first "carving"

Decorating By Christina222 Updated 11 May 2009 , 11:00pm by -Tubbs

Christina222 Posted 6 May 2009 , 8:55pm
post #1 of 15

Hi Cakey People!

I am making a Hobbit/Bag End cake for a friend this weekend. I've baked the "base" cake which is a 12x18 sheet cake and my plan is to bake a "football" cake to use as the hill. I think that the sheet cake is too flat and non-dimensional at this point and probably could use some carving and dimension, but I have never done that and I am terrified!! I know that once you cut, it's done and you can't un-cut. Any tips or tricks or mind games anyone could share? =)



14 replies
Butterfly27 Posted 6 May 2009 , 9:27pm
post #2 of 15

Most of the cakes that people ask me to do are carved and sculpted so I will try to help you as best I can here. When I first started out I made alot of misstakes but I got better with each cake I did. I learned alot by trial and error. First of all, when carving just try to take your time, don't rush. Shave off a little at a time so you don't cut off too much. If you do happen to cut off a bigger piece than you wanted then just basically glue it back on the cake with buttercream icing, let dry a few minutes and then try again. My very first sculpted cake looked like the whole thing was bandaged with buttercream before I even put on the crumbcoat of icing to put on the fondant. Very sad let me tell you. I am sure you will do fine with it though. I hope some of this advise has helped you. Good Luck

CanadianCakin Posted 6 May 2009 , 9:31pm
post #3 of 15

Have confidence first off! It's not all that bad! my husband thought I was nuts because what got me into 'cakeing' was my sons birthday cake Lightnening McQueen....I carved it from 3 9x13 cakes!!!
So If I can do it anyone can!!!
My suggestions are (i'm not sure of the shape you're going for) If you can make a template do that...for example I made a cross on cardboard placed it on a cake then cut around it.
Make sure you have a long, thin, fine serrated knife.
Cut a bit at a can always take more's easier then trying to 'glue' pieces back on with BC!

Give it a go I bet you'll surprise yourself like I did. I find now when I'm think of cake designs in my head it unusual that carving will not be involved!!!!
Best of luck!

deliciously_decadent Posted 6 May 2009 , 9:39pm
post #4 of 15

this is gonna sound stupis o know but what is a hobbit bag? i am an aussie so this may be whay i don't know what it is?

nonnyscakes Posted 6 May 2009 , 9:41pm
post #5 of 15

I think carved cakes are a lot of fun to do. You have already received the best advice possible. Be confident that you can do it, sketch out your idea, make a template if possible, GO SLOW and carve a little bit at a time. You can also use your fingers to "rub away" excess in areas to create dimension and even out rounded areas. I had a ball creating the Lightning McQueen cake (in my gallery photos) for my grandson's birthday.

MissRobin Posted 6 May 2009 , 9:42pm
post #6 of 15
Originally Posted by adatay

this is gonna sound stupis o know but what is a hobbit bag? i am an aussie so this may be whay i don't know what it is?

I am not an aussie, and I still don't know what it is! When I think I hobbit, I think of lord of the rings! LOL!

nonnyscakes Posted 6 May 2009 , 9:48pm
post #7 of 15

Wow, I read Hobbit thinking Hobo and completely missed the "bag end" part.

A Bag End is a Hobbit House. It is a house built beneath a "mound" of dirt (thus the football shaped cake the OP mentioned).

Christina222 Posted 6 May 2009 , 10:00pm
post #8 of 15

HAHA - Yes Bag End as in the name of Bilbo's house from The Hobbit/Lord of the Rings. I'm going for an organic landscape type of feel. Right now the cake is super square and perfect. I'd like to give it more of a natural feel with rises and falls to go along with the natural feel. I know that's gonna probably make it easier, in that I probably can't "mess" up per se because I can always say "I meant to do that!" lol.

I think I'm just going to go slow and take my time and go with the flow. I'm just nervous. This is for my friends 40th birthday and there will be about 60 people and it's my gift and I want it to be perfect!

Thanks for all your help, I'll post pics when I'm done!


deliciously_decadent Posted 6 May 2009 , 10:01pm
post #9 of 15

oh you mean the hobbit bilbo baggins house? gotcha!!!
like these:
i would bake a cake in a half ball pan or a pyrex bowl that way you have the dome shape without to much carving and you can concentrate on the house carving icon_smile.gif let me know if you have any other questions!!

deliciously_decadent Posted 6 May 2009 , 10:03pm
post #10 of 15

can't wait to see it!!! how awesome!!

Christina222 Posted 6 May 2009 , 10:10pm
post #11 of 15

I already made the "flat" cake that will be the landscape, I was going to use a football pan to use for the "hill" and just put that on there. I found some great ones on this site that I am using for some inspiration as well. I'm just scared as all heck to take a knife to the cake =) I'm working on my courage and confidence! Thanks for all your help!!


deliciously_decadent Posted 6 May 2009 , 10:21pm
post #12 of 15

rest assured you can weild a knife and if you make a mistake you just stick it back on with some icing icon_smile.gif thats the best part!! i cover in ganche wich allows you to sahpe even more as it sets firm and you can add shape with it apposed to BC which remains softish so is hard to add additional height width etc. a football would work just as well as a half ball!! i would carve out the big detail and then add the small with fondant/gumpaste as trying to carve to much detail will be A) to difficault/timeconsuming B) to hard to ice c) get lost once it is iced so carve out you basic house fornt and do the details in the decoration. hope this helps?? you sound like you have it toally under control anyway lol!!

Christina222 Posted 11 May 2009 , 9:46pm
post #13 of 15

Ok, I chickened out on carving the base cake, but I did carve the "house" a little bit. The cake was very crumbly but I was able to clean it up a bit with some buttercream spackle! Thanks so much for all your help. Here is a like to the finished product.

Ruth0209 Posted 11 May 2009 , 9:56pm
post #14 of 15

Oh, it turned out really cute!! I love the garden veges!!

-Tubbs Posted 11 May 2009 , 11:00pm
post #15 of 15

The cake turned out wonderfully! Congratulations!

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