What Was I Thinking! A Few Questions From A Newbie...

Decorating By cakelovincrazy Updated 18 Jun 2009 , 3:09am by mistiek2006

cakelovincrazy Posted 14 Jun 2009 , 3:14am
post #1 of 11

So, I've made a total of 4 cakes EVER and just for my daughter's birthdays. I decided to try my hand at baking them for a more personal touch instead of buying, which was fun and no pressure since it was just for family.
STUPID me decided to volunteer myself to make a B-day cake for a friend (the under the sea cake on my photos) and I was so nervous and worried and well I don't think the cake turned out that great, but everyone did compliment it. icon_surprised.gif Maybe they were just being nice. icon_confused.gif
Anyway, after this ordeal I have a few general questions:

1. What is a good, light and moist cake recipe that can be used for everything especially stacking and carving and can easily be adapted to vanilla or chocolate cake or is there even such a recipe? For my friends cake I used a box cake, added a package of pudding and it tasted great, but seemed very heavy and when I moved it to my cake board it cracked and when it was cut into at the party it was VERY CRUMBLY.

2. I used indydebi's BC icing, but I could not get it to smooth nicely. I used Crisco shortening and it crusted nicely, but it looked too grainy. Her recipe said the longer you let it mix, the smoother it will be. How long is longer? I mixed it it for about 5 minutes at the very end after everything was mixed well. Was that too long or not long enough? Should I have crumb coated it and then put another layer over it?

Well, I could probably come up with another 20 or so questions, but I will save those for my class. I plan on taking a Wilton class in August, Lord knows I need it. I look at all the beautiful cakes on here and I am so envious. I really hope to one day be as good as you ladies.

10 replies
Lisaa1996 Posted 14 Jun 2009 , 3:21am
post #2 of 11

I like the WASC base recipe from Macsmom on this site. You can adapt it to all kinds of recipes. I have used it to make chocolate, dark chocolate, vanilla, strawberry and creme, orange dreamsicle and white chocolate raspberry! I have carved it and stacked it with no problem. Make sure you get it nice and cold first. I usually bake the cakes, put them in the fridge overnight and then fill the next day.

cakelovincrazy Posted 14 Jun 2009 , 3:29am
post #3 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lisaa1996

I like the WASC base recipe from Macsmom on this site. You can adapt it to all kinds of recipes. I have used it to make chocolate, dark chocolate, vanilla, strawberry and creme, orange dreamsicle and white chocolate raspberry! I have carved it and stacked it with no problem. Make sure you get it nice and cold first. I usually bake the cakes, put them in the fridge overnight and then fill the next day.




Oh, I didn't refrigerate them, just left them on the counter over night. When you say fill, what do you mean exactly? icon_confused.gif

varika Posted 14 Jun 2009 , 3:36am
post #4 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by cakelovincrazy

2. I used indydebi's BC icing, but I could not get it to smooth nicely. I used Crisco shortening and it crusted nicely, but it looked too grainy. Her recipe said the longer you let it mix, the smoother it will be. How long is longer? I mixed it it for about 5 minutes at the very end after everything was mixed well. Was that too long or not long enough? Should I have crumb coated it and then put another layer over it?




Did you mix it on high speed, medium speed, or low speed? I find I get my absolute best results on low speed. I also mix for about 7 minutes, AFTER I add the powdered sugar.

paulstonia Posted 14 Jun 2009 , 3:38am
post #5 of 11

What kind of cake mix did you use. I find pillsbury very crumbly. I use the wasc recipe too but still prefer to start with duncan hines of betty crocker. Oh, and when I tried to find the wasc recipe I had trouble finding it, had to search with the whole name, white almond sour cream. It's great and you can adapt it to any cake flavor. And I think your cake is adorable. But now you'll be getting all kinds of requests for cake icon_smile.gif

Lisaa1996 Posted 14 Jun 2009 , 4:24am
post #6 of 11

When I say fill them, I mean that I put the buttercream or other filling in between the cake layers and then let it set really well before decorating icon_smile.gif

cakelovincrazy Posted 15 Jun 2009 , 12:19am
post #7 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by varika

Quote:
Originally Posted by cakelovincrazy

2. I used indydebi's BC icing, but I could not get it to smooth nicely. I used Crisco shortening and it crusted nicely, but it looked too grainy. Her recipe said the longer you let it mix, the smoother it will be. How long is longer? I mixed it it for about 5 minutes at the very end after everything was mixed well. Was that too long or not long enough? Should I have crumb coated it and then put another layer over it?



Did you mix it on high speed, medium speed, or low speed? I find I get my absolute best results on low speed. I also mix for about 7 minutes, AFTER I add the powdered sugar.





After adding the sugar I mixed it on med (5 on my KA) for about 5 minutes. You think using medium put too much air into it?

cakelovincrazy Posted 15 Jun 2009 , 12:23am
post #8 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by paulstonia

What kind of cake mix did you use. I find pillsbury very crumbly. I use the wasc recipe too but still prefer to start with duncan hines of betty crocker. Oh, and when I tried to find the wasc recipe I had trouble finding it, had to search with the whole name, white almond sour cream. It's great and you can adapt it to any cake flavor. And I think your cake is adorable. But now you'll be getting all kinds of requests for cake icon_smile.gif




Thank you for the compliment. icon_biggrin.gif I think the icing looks terrible, but I guess we are our own worse critics. I also had a really hard time with the corners, the icing wouldn't stay on.
I used a Betty Crocker Golden Vanilla cake mix and added a box of French Vanilla pudding. I wonder if adding the pudding made it too heavy?

varika Posted 15 Jun 2009 , 12:44am
post #9 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by cakelovincrazy

After adding the sugar I mixed it on med (5 on my KA) for about 5 minutes. You think using medium put too much air into it?




My instructor told us never to mix above a 4. I've been mixing my last few batches on a 1 and getting fantastic results--and smoothing it after it crusts helps, too. The Viva Paper Towl method doesn't work for me, but the Hot Knife method does a really nice job.

If I could just get the thickness of the icing on the cake to be consistent...

paulstonia Posted 15 Jun 2009 , 12:47am
post #10 of 11

The wasc recipe is a little heavier too ( finer crumb). Really I just think it's moister. I like it that way and it seems to make it more durable. Oh, and getting the corners of square cakes iced is a whole subject in itself. Do a search on it and you'll find lots of good advice from much more experienced decorators than me. It's a challenge for a lot of us icon_smile.gif

mistiek2006 Posted 18 Jun 2009 , 3:09am
post #11 of 11

Ever since Crisco took the trans fat out of their shortening, my icing never turned out right with it. I have to use Bake Rite. I try to find a shortening with the highest trans fat value I can, I average around a 7 gram content I think. I find that the lowere the trans fat, the grainier the icing and it didn't seem to hold up well. The icing would seperate in the bowl and there would be little puddles of oil, then the finished cake would be brittle and hard. I hated changing because I used the butter crisco for anything that didn't have to be pure white, but you got to do what you got to do.

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