First Tiered Caked...lots Of Questions

Decorating By TracysCakes2009 Updated 27 Jul 2009 , 7:42pm by TracysCakes2009

TracysCakes2009 Posted 25 Jul 2009 , 1:53pm
post #1 of 11

Ok, so here it is. Obviously I am new at this so I know some things will come with practice....that being said....I am so impatient!!!

The bow......the bain of my existence! Any tips on making this easier. After I took this picture I had to stuff the paper back in it to keep it from collapsing and it was made yesterday. It is made out of MMF. I tried adding tylose powder to the MMF when I made the first bow and second bow (this is the third attempt) but it just cracked. So I decided to use just MMF. Obviously a mistake, it is drying out but very slowly....i'm not going to take the paper out until right before the party!
Also, I can't figure out how to roll out the fondant and not have it stick to the counter without all the powdered sugar. And as you can clearly see, there is visible powdered sugar everywhere on the bow. This is driving me crazy! Any suggestions on how to get rid of the ps look now that the bow is on the cake? I have seen in some other forums about people using a steamer, but I don't have one of those.

Finally, the buttercream....it is not smooth enough! I tried and tried. I am not sure I have it in me to make a cake with smooth buttercream. I would much rather just cover it in fondant, but the girl I made it for "doesn't like fondant" (snotty little kid voice). I used indydebi's buttercream, which I LOVE! Any tips on this.

Don't even get me started on the piping.....

So, I know we are our own worst critics and I know these are all things that are asked repeatedly on here, so thanks so much for tolerating my need to vent and giving me some personal attention! LOL

Any advise is MUCH appreciated! I envy you pros soooooo much!

I tried really hard to add the pic as an attachement but just couldn't make it happen. Here is the link!
http://www.cakecentral.com/modules.php?name=gallery&file=displayimage&pid=1421280[/url]

10 replies
Kiddiekakes Posted 25 Jul 2009 , 2:02pm
post #2 of 11

I think the cake is great.Smooth icing comes with practice and a Good icing recipe that works for you .I could never get the crusting Buttercream recipes to smooth so I went in search of a recipe that was soft (Doesn't crust) not sweet and really easy to make.I found it after 2 years of searching about 4 years ago...It is the Whimsical Bakehouse House Buttercream recipe.It is listed here in the recipe section.It is a dream to smooth but non forgiving in other areas but I love it...Maybe you need to find a recipe that works for you also..The bow is Fantatstic!! It may just be the climate you are in that won't allow the bow to dry fast.I live in a very dry area so my fondant is dry overnight.The key is to practice and have trial and error..You find out quickly when something works or not.HTH


Laurel icon_smile.gif

katwomen1up Posted 25 Jul 2009 , 4:51pm
post #3 of 11

That is a beautiful cake, and your bow is perfect. Place paper towel or saran wrap in the hoops until it's dried or until you have to deliver. You can try a small paint brush to start, a little damp, it's not easy after you put something together. Next time rub it off after you are done rolling it out. If you have a small fan place it on very low and blow it towards the bow to help it dry faster. Not sure if it will work but it's worth a try. You could try it on a scrap piece of the bow that you didn't need first.

TracysCakes2009 Posted 25 Jul 2009 , 6:19pm
post #4 of 11

Thanks kiddiekakes and catwoman! I will definitely try your suggestions! I did end up leaving the paper towels in the bow and the lady picked it up early. I just told her to pull them out before the party. She is a friend so she didn't mind. The party isn't until tonight. Thanks again!

HPChick33 Posted 25 Jul 2009 , 6:43pm
post #5 of 11

Your cake is lovely thumbs_up.gif .

I used to HATE working with fondant because it would stick no matter how much sugar I added. For me, the secret is crisco. I take a paper towel, aand dip it into the container, and rub it on my work surface. Also, I adjust the fondant often to prevent any stcking. I just pick it up slighlty and rotate it a bit. Practice makes perfect so keep at it!

In regards to your buttercream issue, I always use a crusting butter cream. It's just easier for me. After icing the cake, I put it in the freezer uncoverd for about 15-20 min. I take it out and use Viva paper towels to smooth any imperfections. Just place the paper towel on the surface, and use your hands to rub. The heat from your skin will help you to ease out the gaps and ridges. You can also use a fondant smoother, which I always do after I've rubbed it with my hands. If you have any extra $, I higholy recommend that you buy Sugarshack's buttercream DVD. You can check out the demo on youtube....I'm pretty sure it shows her using the Viva paper. If not, look for Edna's video on how to achieve a smooth buttercream finish (Youtube name is tonedna). Her tutorial helped be transform my buttercream method, and watching Sugarshack's video helped me take it to a whole other level!

I thought your bow was perfect! Gumpaste is a bit tricky (at least it always was for me). I usually add tylose powdder to my fondant, but I couldn't give you an exact amount. You have to get a feel for it. I always add a small amount of Crisco if it starts drying out or cracking.

Good luck!

TracysCakes2009 Posted 27 Jul 2009 , 4:22am
post #6 of 11

I will definitely check out those videos! Thanks!

indydebi Posted 27 Jul 2009 , 4:41am
post #7 of 11

You've been given great advice in the above posts. I also think the cake looks good. The bow is great! My first bow ... well, I ended up running to walmart and buying a wilton pre-made one! icon_redface.gif

I prefer working with cornstarch on the counter instead of p.sugar. It wipes off much better than p.sugar (using a clean kitchen towel). I've also used crisco, as recommended above, and it works well, also.

Your "A" is great looking. Did you have a template or cut it freehand?

sugarshack Posted 27 Jul 2009 , 5:21am
post #8 of 11

1) Gumpaste might be easier to make the bow with, you can roll it thinner. The Wilton pre-made is pretty dern good. But MMF with tylose is fine too. A light brush down with shortening after your pieces are dry will cure all your cornstarch/PS woes.

2) smoothing BC is a very hard skill to learn, IMO and takes tons of practice. So don;t get too discouraged, just keep trying. Find a good recipe that works for you. And try all the different techniques till you fond what works for you. Look at all the videos/youtubes.threads you can about this and just keep trying. It takes time.

3) Your cake really looks GREAT! Keep on trucking!

sugarshack Posted 27 Jul 2009 , 5:21am
post #9 of 11

1) Gumpaste might be easier to make the bow with, you can roll it thinner. The Wilton pre-made is pretty dern good. But MMF with tylose is fine too. A light brush down with shortening after your pieces are dry will cure all your cornstarch/PS woes.

2) smoothing BC is a very hard skill to learn, IMO and takes tons of practice. So don;t get too discouraged, just keep trying. Find a good recipe that works for you. And try all the different techniques till you fond what works for you. Look at all the videos/youtubes.threads you can about this and just keep trying. It takes time.

3) Your cake really looks GREAT! Keep on trucking!

tiggy2 Posted 27 Jul 2009 , 4:33pm
post #10 of 11

I second the recommendation of sugarshack's BC DVD. You'll be amazed how much smoother your BC will be and her recipe is delicious.

TracysCakes2009 Posted 27 Jul 2009 , 7:42pm
post #11 of 11

Thanks again everyone! I will try the cornstarch and crisco for sure.
Indydebi, the "A" was one I printed out and "traced" onto the fondant and cut it out. Not the best method I don't think, but it worked. I checked out tonedna's video on youtube and got some good hints for the buttercream. Next on to sugarshacks! I am doing my first wedding cake this weekend for as a favor for a friend and of course she wants buttercream. I told her I would do my best and she said that would be fine. (It's like her fourth marriage so I guess she isn't feeling too picky! LOL)

Oh, I also wanted to know, can I add meringue powder to indydebi's buttercream? Would that help it crust better? I live in Hotlanta, as we call it, and it is very humid here!

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