A Little Help Here?

Decorating By NyanTan37 Updated 5 Dec 2009 , 5:42am by JanH

NyanTan37 Posted 4 Dec 2009 , 6:55am
post #1 of 10

I apologize ahead of time if something like this isn't appropriate on this board. I'm new here, but I noticed this place has a lot of really knowledgeable (AND HELPFUL) people, so I figured that this would be a good place to ask a few seriously newbie questions.

1) What are some technical shortcuts you guys use to make work time shorter? I'm always on a crunch for time (cake decorating is merely a hobby I've recently started up on), so any advice in here would be a great help!

2) What types of flavors and fillings do you think works best for stacked or carved cakes?

3) At what point do you feel that supports are necessary in a design? Do you cover your supports? How do you cut around them?

4) What kinds of engineering or weight distributions are necessary to pull off larger designs, whether tiered or carved?

5) How far ahead do you plan your more in-depth cake designs? Do you spend lots of time working out the detailed measurements, or do you make adjustments as you go?

I know this must seem extremely annoying, but I could really use the advice! Thanks a million in advance.

-Katie

9 replies
caseyhayes Posted 4 Dec 2009 , 7:07am
post #2 of 10

Good questions! I'd like to know the answers too!!!!

prterrell Posted 4 Dec 2009 , 8:45pm
post #3 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by NyanTan37

1) What are some technical shortcuts you guys use to make work time shorter? I'm always on a crunch for time (cake decorating is merely a hobby I've recently started up on), so any advice in here would be a great help!




Honestly, the only thing that makes things go faster is pratice and organization.

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2) What types of flavors and fillings do you think works best for stacked or carved cakes?



Butter cakes (any flavor). Stacked - any filling. Carved - buttercream or ganache filling only.

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3) At what point do you feel that supports are necessary in a design?



Supprts are necessary in ANY cake that has more than one tier (one cake ontop of another cake) or in the case of double-barrell tiers, every 4-6" of cake.

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Do you cover your supports?



They are inside the cake so they are hidden. Only food-safe materials should be used for support. I suggest SPS.

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How do you cut around them?



As you encounter them, pull them out.

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4) What kinds of engineering or weight distributions are necessary to pull off larger designs, whether tiered or carved?



icon_confused.gif Not sure what you're asking here, sorry.

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5) How far ahead do you plan your more in-depth cake designs? Do you spend lots of time working out the detailed measurements, or do you make adjustments as you go?



I don't generally do anything all that complicated (I don't do the Buddy and Duff type cakes, I do more traditional cakes for the most part).

snocilla Posted 4 Dec 2009 , 9:09pm
post #4 of 10
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What types of flavors and fillings do you think works best for stacked or carved cakes?



WASC cakes and variations always work really well for me. The few cakes I've done with filling other than buttercream or ganache have only been one tier, so I can't help much there.



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5) How far ahead do you plan your more in-depth cake designs? Do you spend lots of time working out the detailed measurements, or do you make adjustments as you go?




Although, I haven't done anything majorly in-depth, I make a plan and adjust it as I go.


As for the other questions, ditto on prterrel's responses.

And welcome to Cake Central!

DeeDelightful Posted 4 Dec 2009 , 9:24pm
post #5 of 10

I'd start with the WASC recipe on this website and a good crusting buttercream first for any type of cakes. do a search on here about how to stack cakes...basically, visit this website as much as possible and you will learn absolutely everything you need to know.

DeeDelightful Posted 4 Dec 2009 , 9:30pm
post #6 of 10

Hey, go to the Forums, under the How Do I topics and there is a "sticky note" with all types of tutorials....it's called Hundreds of Tutorials. I'm sure you can find tons of help there.

NyanTan37 Posted 5 Dec 2009 , 2:46am
post #7 of 10

Thanks a ton for the help, guys! I will definitely look into that part of the forum! icon_smile.gif I'm making a cake this weekend; hopefully, it will turn out okay.

Sorry for the confusion on question 4 (What kinds of engineering or weight distributions are necessary to pull off larger designs, whether tiered or carved?) What I was trying to ask was how you guys use different types of structures for cakes that are tiered compared to cakes that are stacked, then carved as one singular, giant piece. In other words, is there any kind of universal support people use regardless of what they're making? (I've seen dowels used and the ever-recurring SPS method, but are there any others?)

Thanks again~ You guys are the best!

Darthburn Posted 5 Dec 2009 , 3:12am
post #8 of 10

1) I was always in a crunch too, until I learned about freezing cakes. You can make your cakes days in advance, cover it in fondant the day before and then decorate all day the day of. Usually I fondant the day of also. Also you can pre-make all your details and stuff in advance if using fondant or gumpaste. Other than that, it will come with time and practice just as already said.

2) I used buttercream but change the flavors. I also like ganache because it is soooooo easy / quick to make and coats well.

3) I support any cake if there is a stack to it. Bigger the cake, more the dowels.

4) If you are getting really tall, make the base bigger. Just like anything tall, the cake has a high center of gravity which makes it want to fall to meet that center. If you make the base board bigger it lowers the center of gravity and makes it easier for you to carry and move. Make sense? The weight is going to be supported internally but the dowels. If you are taking huge, drive a center dowel. If you are talking a Ace of Cakes type cake oddity, you might need PVC, wood or other structures to be built.

5)When I made my Jack Skellington bust I measured a small model of Jack and then built the entire cake to scale. I planned what size cakes I would use, how much ingredients I would use, when I would make the cakes, when I would make the gumpaste pieces, and what day to put it all together. So yeah you need to plan a lot on some projects... it just makes it go smoother. But there is no doubt, as with most cakes, you are going to need to make adjustments as you go because usually something unplanned happens. You may plan to build something one way and it just doesn't works... so you try another way on the fly... improvise! icon_smile.gif

I hope that helps you from my point of view. Good luck

Brandy982006 Posted 5 Dec 2009 , 4:34am
post #9 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by NyanTan37



1) What are some technical shortcuts you guys use to make work time shorter? I'm always on a crunch for time (cake decorating is merely a hobby I've recently started up on), so any advice in here would be a great help!

You definately figure it out as you go along

2) What types of flavors and fillings do you think works best for stacked or carved cakes?

I mostly use boxed cakes...I spend more time on the decorating part then the recipe part. Everybody I make a cake for knows its from a box and they still love it...Nice and moist, mmmm icon_biggrin.gif

3) At what point do you feel that supports are necessary in a design? Do you cover your supports? How do you cut around them?

I use supports in all my layered cakes(...cakes tiered). I do not cover my supports because most of them are from the cake supply store and are food safe...I cover the non-food safe stuff with saran wrap. When cutting the cake I just pull out the supports.

4) What kinds of engineering or weight distributions are necessary to pull off larger designs, whether tiered or carved?

I am still trying to figure this out, hehe icon_lol.gif

5) How far ahead do you plan your more in-depth cake designs? Do you spend lots of time working out the detailed measurements, or do you make adjustments as you go?

I LOVE doing the in-depth cakes...It takes me at least 2 days for these. I take the time for the details but still have to adjust for the "as I go" thing cause I am still learning

HTH


JanH Posted 5 Dec 2009 , 5:42am
post #10 of 10

Hi and Welcome to CC, NyanTan37. 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 flavor variations). There are also baking hints, tips and links. When it's time to assemble there's a link to illustrations of the most popular cake support systems with directions. Also a sticky by leah_s on using the SPS. And lots more!

The secrets of cake carving:

http://www.cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopict-59361-.html

HTH

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