Shower Cake - Complete! Constructive Criticism Appreciated!

Decorating By percussiongrrl Updated 17 Jul 2009 , 7:30pm by -K8memphis

percussiongrrl Posted 17 Jul 2009 , 2:41pm
post #1 of 18

Here is the bridal shower cake I fretted over. It turned out alright, i think, but I am not at all "satisfied" with it. I still can't get my buttercream smooth and stacking is still often a nightmare, I tend to botch little spots in the icing when i'm stacking :-/

Tips, tricks, and advice would be wonderful!
LL
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LL
LL

17 replies
LynnZClaire Posted 17 Jul 2009 , 2:51pm
post #2 of 18

cute icon_smile.gif buttercream is sooo hard to smooth and stack, it takes lots of practice...I'm only on my 3 or 4th stacked buttercream cake and its SO hard for me too!! I think you did a lovely job icon_smile.gif
The only tip I would share is that maybe next time use a different color when you pipe out words...the orange on orange made it hard to read. I actually thought it only had Lindseys (love the name by the way, lol, its mine too) until I looked harder and saw steve.

Oh and I love the flowers and stem piping you did!!

cindy1176 Posted 17 Jul 2009 , 2:51pm
post #3 of 18

I LOVE this cake...the colors are amazing and the flowers are great. It takes practice for the frosting to be totally smooth and also for stacking! Just remember that little finger indents can be smoothed with a viva paper towel and I have just discovered that the "upside down" icing method here on this website really rocks. My top layer was smooth as fondant!

Maggstess Posted 17 Jul 2009 , 2:53pm
post #4 of 18

I think the cake is pretty . I like the colors.Have you tried the melvira method to smooth your icing ? I use it with every cake and i love it.

PinkZiab Posted 17 Jul 2009 , 3:39pm
post #5 of 18

Really cute! the only constructive criticism I might give is that--as much as I love a borderless cake--I think in this instance, a small border (like the tiniest beads you could pipe) would have done well here. Really sweet design though--great job!

DollyCakes Posted 17 Jul 2009 , 4:14pm
post #6 of 18

Really cute! I'd just say to use a Viva to smooth the buttercream - it's a learned technique, that's for sure! Great job!

bkdcakes Posted 17 Jul 2009 , 4:25pm
post #7 of 18

I think you did a great job! The colors are gorgeous & I love the flowers! Smoothing bc just takes practice & even then, everyone has times when it just doesn't happen. Your cake is gorgeous!

Brenda

Win Posted 17 Jul 2009 , 4:25pm
post #8 of 18

Very effective cake! I would agree that a border would have "seamed" the overall look. The colors are great and I love the contrasts you used. Smoothing buttercream is truly an art and one I totally appreciate. I look at those who can do this and make it look effortless in total awe. Not sure if Sharon Zambito's DVD has been recommended to you. She goes by the name Sugarshack here on CC. It is called: Perfecting the Art of Buttercream. Even though I have not mastered the art, her DVD is full of great tips and has, at least, made it easier for me now. Tonedna's tutorial on YouTube is great as well.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dIXHFqpJK84&feature=channel_page

Ruth0209 Posted 17 Jul 2009 , 4:28pm
post #9 of 18

I just love the colors of this cake, and your flowers are great! It's a really cute cake.

I recommend that you make both tiers the same height. It could be an optical illusion, but in the picture the top tier looks taller than the bottom. I think they'd look better if they were the same. I do that by leaving my leveler at the same setting even if I cut more off one cake than the other (more cake top for the family). That's just a matter of preference, though.

I agree with PinkZiab that a small bead border with a round tip would give it a bit more finished look, maybe in the green to match the vines.

Just keep practicing with the smoothing. That'll make a world of difference in the finished product. Maybe try a little thinner icing and/or the methods mentioned above.

But overall you should be very pleased and proud of your cake. Nice job!

bobwonderbuns Posted 17 Jul 2009 , 4:35pm
post #10 of 18

It's a very nice cake. I remember something Nick Lodge told me -- cake decorators are always looking at their cakes at the end of their noses for long periods of time, so naturally we're going to be acutely aware of every little flaw on the cake. I'm happy with a cake if the overall effect is what I want -- every cake has flaws. In my pix the Tiffany box cake had more flaws on it and I almost had a meltdown, before my friend came over and basically talked me through it -- showed me I was fretting over nothing. Anyway, I'm glad that cake is over and the bride was thrilled with it. But I digress... icon_rolleyes.gif On your cake I would recommend Sugarshack's Buttercream video, it's awesome. It does take practice but believe me it's well worth it. On the flowers I would give the petals some curve -- take the ball tool and run it down the center of each petal starting from the ends going toward the center. Not too much, just enough to add some pizazz to them. Other than that it's beautiful! icon_biggrin.gif

tiggy2 Posted 17 Jul 2009 , 4:46pm
post #11 of 18

sugarshack also has a "Successful Stacking" DVD that is very helpful. All of her DVDs are excellent and reasonably priced. I'm a visual person so watching them then doing is a great way for me to learn.

Musings9 Posted 17 Jul 2009 , 4:55pm
post #12 of 18

Love the colors on this cake. I agree with a previous poster that pointed out some beading is needed between the tiers and to try the "Viva" method for your buttercream.
I just completed a gift box style cake for my father-in-law's birthday and your buttercream turned out much better than mine. I only learned of the "Viva" method a week later. icon_redface.gif
In the mean time, try not to be so hard on yourself and remember that no cake is without flaws-we've all been there.

-K8memphis Posted 17 Jul 2009 , 5:32pm
post #13 of 18

It's so happy--a beautiful work.
You can see your earnestness in the decor.

I have a construction idea for you. Measure the height of your tiers before filling and icing. I like to have my top tiers a bit shorter than the bottom tiers to have the visual balance I like the best.

Tiers can be the exact same height but the smaller ones look taller because of whatever reason it is that makes it come out that way--geometry, physics, I don't know maybe it's because of the pod people but anyway there's my idea for you.

icon_biggrin.gif

bamberc Posted 17 Jul 2009 , 7:10pm
post #14 of 18

I think that your cake is very pretty-I love the colors that you used. The flowers are funky and cute.
Two things that I have learned from this site that have been so helpful to me:

1.Melvira roller method for smoothing buttercream. There is a tutorial on it somewhere here (if I were more technologically savvy, I would have attached a link!), and it works great. I have used it on my last 2 cakes and I love it.

2. Leave your wooden dowels a little higher than your cake to stack. Go ahead and measure and cut them to be flush with the tier they will go in, but don't push them all the way down. Then when you go to stack your top layer the weight of the cake will push them down and you will have time to sneak you fingers out from underneath without smudging your icing. I tried this on my daughter's birthday cake a few weeks ago and it worked like magic!

Hope these tips help!

Amber

panchanewjersey Posted 17 Jul 2009 , 7:23pm
post #15 of 18

I have to agree with Win try Edna's videos on You Tube first and if they don't help then buy some. But she explains it real simple and shows you how to smooth and stack. Her cakes are awesome. It really does take alot of practice and I have all the videos already, it's practice not my watching it over and over. I still struggle with smoothing so don't worry.

Ruth0209 Posted 17 Jul 2009 , 7:25pm
post #16 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by k8memphis

It's so happy--a beautiful work.
You can see your earnestness in the decor.

I have a construction idea for you. Measure the height of your tiers before filling and icing. I like to have my top tiers a bit shorter than the bottom tiers to have the visual balance I like the best.

Tiers can be the exact same height but the smaller ones look taller because of whatever reason it is that makes it come out that way--geometry, physics, I don't know maybe it's because of the pod people but anyway there's my idea for you.

icon_biggrin.gif




How much shorter are you talking about? 1/2 inch or so? That's makes a lot of sense to me.

jaybug Posted 17 Jul 2009 , 7:30pm
post #17 of 18

cute cake, love the colors icon_biggrin.gif

-K8memphis Posted 17 Jul 2009 , 7:30pm
post #18 of 18

I eyeball it--yes like a half inch-ish

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