hi, i'm usually a lurker and i'm still really new at the decorating, been baking for years and i'm really comfortable with my cake recipes but not the decorating. i usually do buttercream but i really wanted to try something different for xmas and my kids love the grinch. i really really really really want to try something like this:
or something with a buttercream transfer like this:
i've never carved a cake or done fbct. do you think i can actually do this? which cake should i try if i'm a beginner? i've heard carving is really hard but it's easier if you freeze and i've heard fbct can be tricky too. i'm not that much of an artist but i want something really special for my kids. Thanx!
How adventurous are you? Some people find carving more challenging than others. The transfer idea is a much safer bet, but maybe make a practice carved cake first to see if you feel comfortable attempting the 3D Grinch. If it's just for your kids of course, they'll love anything, but if you are planning to do this for a large group I'd practice.
I use cake mix cake to practice carving cakes. At $2 a box it's easy to practice away and not worry about messing up. I usually let my practice cakes sit out for a day uncovered. Mixes have so much moisture in them they can be hard to carve, you may want to stick (after sitting out) it in the freezer / fridge if it is still to hard to cut.
For carving scratch cakes, I like butter cakes, they are close to pound but lighter, Colette Peters has some good ones. My Elmo was a Colette Peters white cake, and my Teacup was a Colette Peters chocolate. I usually carve them chilled, but you don't have to. Why not try a few practice mix ones and move on to your cake recipes.
ok practice cakes sound like a good idea. to answer your question, overall i'm pretty adventurous, i just haven't been with cakes. tinygoose, that's a great elmo! if i want to try the 3D thing, what size pans should i bake? i know how to stack cakes, but i haven't carved them before. do you think i need a different shape of pans or just the regular 8" rounds? thanx again for your help!
I like using my regular pans. I used 3 8" rounds for Elmos body and a ball pan for his head. I used my doll pan for the teacup, caved and layed it on it's side.
I think 8" rounds or even 8" rounds for the bottom and 6" rounds for the top of grinch would work well, depends on how narrow you want the head. I don't stack more than 3 layers of cake without supports. Elmo had a ton of pvc pipe, but the body was only supported with one pipe going through the center.
The best trick I've found is to put a 3d object (Elmo doll, or small teacup, etc) next to the cake while carving. It just helps alot when you are eyeballing as you carve. Just go kind of slow, carve, step back, carve some more. I also did a few Orcas from a sheet pan and set a little 3" model next to it and a paper cutout of the general shape I wanted, which works well for flatter carvings. Think general shape, not details. Post a pic when your done.
I would do a 3d grinch carved face up like the FB transfer shape, if that makes sense. You could use 3 8" rounds and cut a template to get the outline, then carve the sides . It would almost look like a little mountain.
Hi there! The first grinch link was actually my cake - so fun to see it here! What tinygoose said is essentially what I did, but with an 8in cake at the bottom, then 6in, and a half ball ban at the top. I used a stupid carrot cake, which was far more crumbly and soft than I should have used, but I've done similar carving with a WASC and it's worked very well. This was only my second or third carved cake, so it really doesn't take much expertise to get the shape right if you're willing to be a little creative . Good luck!
That was a great grinch!!
Thanks! I had a blast making it, but when I think back to how very little I knew about cake decorating a year ago, I'm glad I decided to make it anyway. Not that I'm anywhere in the league of our wonderful caking experts here on CC ... but you really learn so much just by reading and reading and DOING it!
sorry i didn't see this sooner. thanx for all your good tips i'll try baking a sturdy recipe for practice and play with it. its great you guys are so helpful!