Newbie & Have A Few Questions....

Decorating By DaniellaB Updated 2 Nov 2009 , 4:44pm by Rylan

DaniellaB Posted 2 Nov 2009 , 4:03am
post #1 of 6

I've decided to put my creativity to good use and I want to start decorating cakes...however before I invest a lot of money in the art, I wanted to ask a few questions. I looked all over the site, and did many searches, but I can never seem to find the answers... so here they are:

1. Can I use disposable aluminum pans to make cakes? Is there anything I have to do differently? Or are there cheap starter pans that you'd recommend?

2. I'm having trouble removing the cake from the pan. Whats the best way to do this? Is parchment paper the only answer?

3. Can I use a butter substitute like Smart Balance or I Can't Believe it's Not Butter?

4. Is there a cheaper cake decorating supply store that you'd recommend? (I went to BJ's today, and bought a bunch of the basics (sugar, butter, shortening, flour...) in bulk which was much cheaper than a regular store, but they dont have everything).

5. I baked a cake today, but it completely fell apart. I dont know if it was too moist, or light. How can you tell if the cake is good for carving?

Thanks in advance for your time! I really appreciate it!

Daniella

5 replies
Adevag Posted 2 Nov 2009 , 4:21am
post #2 of 6

I have not heard of disposable pans and I don't think it would save you money long term. Make sure you buy a cake pan with straight edged. It is important to have a good cake since everything is based on that.
2. Yes, use parchment paper in your cake pans. All the time you spend making your batter (and the cost for ingredients) and baking it is not worth risking by not cutting out the little parchment paper for your cake pans. Of course, grease and flour your pans too.
3. I use a butter substitute called Earth Balance all the time because I don't eat any dairy products. They are sold as sticks just like regular sticks of butter (8 Tbsp) and are called Buttery Sticks. I buy them at Whole Foods.
4. I don't know where you live but as far as supplies (not ingredients) you can search online for great online shopping. Just be careful because it is very tempting to buy too much icon_rolleyes.gif

Rylan Posted 2 Nov 2009 , 4:23am
post #3 of 6

1. Can I use disposable aluminum pans to make cakes? Is there anything I have to do differently? Or are there cheap starter pans that you'd recommend?

-You can but I suggest you get invest on the non disposable pans because those are something that will last you a really long time (if you get the good quality ones). It will also be something that you will regularly use.

2. I'm having trouble removing the cake from the pan. Whats the best way to do this? Is parchment paper the only answer?

-You can use parchment paper, wax paper or grease you pans with a mixture of equal amounts of flour, oil and shortening (mix it to a paste)

3. Can I use a butter substitute like Smart Balance or I Can't Believe it's Not Butter?

Of course you can but it depends on what you are using it for. I don't suggest you use I Can't Believe it's Not Butter on your buttercream.

4. Is there a cheaper cake decorating supply store that you'd recommend? (I went to BJ's today, and bought a bunch of the basics (sugar, butter, shortening, flour...) in bulk which was much cheaper than a regular store, but they dont have everything).

I'm not familiar with the stores in your location but I purchase most of my ingredients at Costco and Sams Club. Check out Global Sugar Art for tools and decorating supplies (I believe they are in NY).

5. I baked a cake today, but it completely fell apart. I dont know if it was too moist, or light. How can you tell if the cake is good for carving?

The denser it is, the better it is for carving.

JanH Posted 2 Nov 2009 , 4:28am
post #4 of 6

Hi and Welcome to CC, DaniellaB. icon_smile.gif

Everything you need to know to make, decorate and assemble tiered/stacked/layer cakes:

http://www.cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopict-605188-.html

Above super thread has popular CC recipes for crusting American buttercreams, several types of fondant and doctored cake mix (WASC and other flavors) and so much more!

Disposable aluminum pans aren't proper pans for cakes that are going to be decorated. They're for top frosted only cakes that are going to be served from the pan - and then tossed.

You can sign-up online for Michaels and/or Hobby Lobby coupons (usually 40% off) and buy the Wilton decorator preferred pans on the cheap. No the very best pans but certainly more suited to decorating than disposable aluminum pans. Wilton also carries the necessary tools and other supplies.

Butter and margarine blends cannot be substituted for butter or margarine successfully in either baking or decorating. If you're new to baking and decorating, you really need to know how to read a recipe and understand the directions (and ingredients).

I'd recommend that you read up on basic cake making/baking techniques before you waste the cost of cake making ingredients. Ditto for frosting making.

Here's a very helpful site:

www.joyofbaking.com

And for baking/decorating/serving topics not covered in the above super link:

www.wilton.com

HTH

DaniellaB Posted 2 Nov 2009 , 1:41pm
post #5 of 6

thank you so much!
I actually made a cake yesterday. It tasted awesome and I used I Cant believe it's not butter in it. It was on sale in bj's and I had a coupon so I went for it. I bought regular butter too. I'll use it today.
I did make buttercream, which came out really yummy, however I think I'll need to take a cake decorating class to know what the REAL consistency is supposed to be. Right now, it looks and tastes like dunken heins (sp?) (just without the chemically aftertaste). I got the recipe from Wilton. But it seems too thick to use as anything more than a regular top coat. If I thin it with milk, does it really be come light and fluffy, like i find in the bakery?

Also, last question, I think...
What are the most basic basic sized pans I need? Can I cook in springform pans? I got a set of 3 round ones in a set for my wedding. I bought 2 different rectangle pans yesterday. (Brand is GoodCook, they were pretty cheap but they looked decent). 9x13 & 7x11. (They are pretty shallow so I bought two of each so I could layer if necessary.)

Ok, one more question. How much batter does one use per layer? Is it a science?

Again, thank you so much for your answers!

Rylan Posted 2 Nov 2009 , 4:44pm
post #6 of 6

Sounds like the cake was a sucess! Great job.

--to answer your questions, here it is.

What are the most basic basic sized pans I need?
-I think this is a personal preference. May people usually start with the even numbers. My first sets for cake decorating were 6, 8, 9, 10 and 12.

Can I cook in springform pans?
-You may, I've done it before. Just make sure your pans doesn't make the batter leak.

How much batter does one use per layer? Is it a science?
-It depends in many factors. How tall will your layers be and it also depends on the recipe. I have recipes where I just fill the pan only half way and some are just two thirds of the way up. Again, it depends.

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