Hi everybody! I just found this website today and I'm so happy I did!
So, I'm making my friends' wedding cake for their wedding in September and I have LOTS of questions!! I've made tons of cakes before but only 2 of them were stacked cakes and they were only 2 and 3 tiers (I never even used any internal support ) It's going to be 5 tiers (4-6-8-10-12) of twisting squares iced in buttercream. (I'm attempting to upload my drawing so you can see).
Question 1: How many dowels do I need to put in each layer for support and how far out to the edges of the cake that will be sitting on top do the dowels need to be? How should I figure out where to put them since the cake is twisting?
Question 2: Their wedding is on a Saturday afternoon (4 pm) and I will be in school all week prior to that. Is it possible for me to bake all of the cakes the weekend before and freeze them and have them end up tasting ok? Also if I freeze them can I crumbcoat and fill them too? (there is raspberry jam in the middle of the layers).
Question 3: Does it seem feasible to you that if I baked them ahead of time I would be able to finish the cake starting the friday afternoon before the wedding?
Question 4: They want flowers for the top and I've seen those little things they put the flowers in at weddings before. Do I need to go find one of those to put the flowers in or does that come from a flower shop? Do they make them small enough for a little 4'' cake?
Ok, that's all the questions I can think of for now! I hope some of you wonderful cake people can help me out!
You can absolutely bake the cakes and freeze them. I've heard of people freezing them with filling and crumb coat but have never done it.
I did a 3 tier cake this weekend - very similar design to yours - it took me 12 hours to do the fill, crumb coat, fondant, ribbons, pearls, etc. Part of that time was due to being WAY too tired and screwing up THREE batches of fondant but if this is your first large stacked cake, plan MUCH more time than you think you will need. I would suggest making your filling and fondant ahead of time too so that the day before all you have to do is decorate.
I can offer suggestions on some but not all of your questions:
#1: I use one dowel per inch of diameter supported. For example, I would use 4 dowels to support the 4" tier, 6 to support the 6" tier, etc. I would lightly press into the icing a cakeboard sized to the tier above, and then space the dowels equally about 1" - 1.5" inward from the impression.
#2: Yes, I've had great luck with freezing cakes baked ahead. I let them thaw on the counter unwrapped. Others may have different methods. I have never frozen coated or filled tiers before, but others may say it's fine.
3#: What time Friday afternoon? 1 o'clock or 5 o'clock? You would still have to ice, smooth, dowel, stack and decorate. Only you know your skill level, speed and frequency of interruption. I personally, as a sporadic decorator and cursed with OCD-ishness, would not start a second later than 1 p.m. !! But that's just me...
#4: Somebody else jump in here... I'm clueless!
Thank you both for your suggestions!
So I'm definitely going to bake ahead and freeze although I'm still on the fence about filling/ crumb coating them before freezing... could use some more input about that one.
grandmom- your suggestion about pressing a board into the cake to find the outline is great! I'm going to be using a crusting buttercream and the VIVA method so hopefully it will leave an outline and not just stick to the board...
And Friday I get back from class about 11 am and the wedding is at 4 pm on saturday. I think if I decide to freeze them crumbcoated I will have enough time as I would only have to ice them and pipe the little balls and put on the ribbon, but I'm not totally sure....
Any more suggestions or helpful tips would be greatly appreciated!
Forget about using dowels. Order SPS. It's pretty inexpensive and you lose all the worries about using dowels. I get them at Oasis Supply.
Here is the thread all about the system:
Personally, I wouldn't wait until Friday. Good luck!
You can get the flower picks from the florist but you will have to ask for them and be sure to tell them they will be going on a cake so they will give you new ones.If you get them and your not sure if they have been used,(florist recycle the picks from old flowers they throw away)be sure and wash them because the might have been in a bleachy type substance
that is used to give the flowers a longer shelf life.Anyway the florist picks are similar to the ones wilton sells other than they usually come in green.Hope this helps! I think veryone else has covered the rest. Good luck!
Yes, I would definatley suggest using SPS it's awsome. Check into it. I wish I could offer more but I think everyone has covered any tricks that I would know...because I have learned from the best...all cc'ers. Good luck. Post pics.
If this is your first wedding cake, I really wouldn't wait till Friday. I'm not sure exactly how you would work it out but I think Friday is too risky. Something ALWAYS goes wrong or almost wrong with a cake and if you're rushing, that ups the chances of that even more.
I would definitely use SPS as well. It will save you a lot of time and stress and your cake will be secure.
SPS definitely. Why not fill, crumbcoat & freeze a small tier now & see how you like it. Try freezing it for a week & then you can practice decorating it to see how long you think the whole thing will take. I do agree that you should have all your icing made up ahead of time and your cake boards, ribbons, and anything else you can think of done. Everything does take longer than you plan. Good Luck.
Would you have time to fill, crumb coat, and stack on Thursday night? That's what I would do. That way your cakes will have time to settle after filling. I haven't used the SPS yet but from what I've read here it's the only way to go if you want a fail safe way to stack and transport. You can also buy the Wilton flower picks pretty cheap and you'll know they're new instead of getting them from a florist. HTH---good luck and definitely post pics of the finished cake!
Yeah, but could she get all this stuff in in time if she ordered it?
I ordered the SPS from Global Sugar Art & it took less than a week for it to come in along with a bucket of Satin Ice.