Cake Dummies

Decorating By nonilm Updated 18 Apr 2010 , 4:53am by Maynard628

nonilm Posted 5 Apr 2010 , 1:31am
post #1 of 12

I need to make two display cakes for a wedding (along with one real cake). Anyone have a good source for tips & tricks for making a dummy cake?

Some questions I have...

The bride wants buttercream...do I cover the dummies with BC as well so they look the same? I read somewhere on this forum about a BC recipe that dried hard on the dummies, how does that happen?

Is a cake dummy just regular styrofoam that I can buy at a craft store? These are stacked squares so I don't have to worry about cutting rounds.

Can I just put BC on it or should I put RI underneath the BC?

Should I refrigerate after decorating? The wedding is in August.

Is it worth getting a deposit and asking for these to be returned to me?

Any lessons learned would be appreciated!

Lisa

11 replies
mamawrobin Posted 5 Apr 2010 , 1:39am
post #2 of 12

I ordered mine from dallas foam. great prices....great product.

indydebi Posted 5 Apr 2010 , 2:07am
post #3 of 12

Yes, I'd do the dummies in BC also, so she has a uniform look at her reception.

No idea HOW it turns hard. It just does. Part of the crusting process.

Cake dummies are white compressed styrofoam. Don't use the very porous white or green styro in craft stores. The sides should be very VERY smooth. w w w . d a l l a s f o a m . c o m is my favorite place to order from.

No you dn't have to put anything under the BC. I made lots of dummy cakes and put the BC directly on the styrofoam.

No need to refrigerate. You're not going to eat them.

Getting them back is up to you. My guess is they would show a little wear from the cake-civilian handling. While you could use them as display cakes for your brides, if this bride specifically requested them as part of her cake design, I'd not mess with worrying about a return and price them as "you bought 'em .... you keep 'em" items.

Rylan Posted 5 Apr 2010 , 6:26pm
post #4 of 12

Depending on where you are, I like to purchase mines at Chef Rubber. It is cheap over there.

BlakesCakes Posted 5 Apr 2010 , 10:37pm
post #5 of 12

Some questions I have...

The bride wants buttercream...do I cover the dummies with BC as well so they look the same?
Yes a cheap decorator's buttercream of shortening, powdered sugar, and water. No need to waste $ on flavorings, etc. This recipe will dry hard on the dummies with extended exposure to air.

Is a cake dummy just regular styrofoam that I can buy at a craft store? Sure
You can cut the large white or green rectangles from the craft store with a good serrated knife. If you save up coupons, you can do this pretty cheaply and save on shipping.
I actually prefer the floral foam over the compressed foam dummies.

Can I just put BC on it or should I put RI underneath the BC
--NO ROYAL

Should I refrigerate after decorating?
NO

Is it worth getting a deposit and asking for these to be returned to me?
NO , not unless you really want it back. Odds are good that you'll just clean it off because no one else will want that exact design again. It's probably not worth the trouble.

PRICE THE DUMMY CAKE AT NO LESS THAN 80% OF WHAT YOU WOULD CHARGE FOR REAL CAKE. Styro isn't cheap.

HTH
Rae

JenniferMI Posted 6 Apr 2010 , 1:03pm
post #6 of 12

Just be careful not to give the dummy layers away. Most of the cost of a cake is the outside labor. Just keep that in mind. Most people think since it's fake they are going to get it for pennies....

Also, I would be very careful to use the exact same icing you are on the rest of the cake. Be aware if your flavorings might tint the icing... if they do, I would use them. You don't want anything to be different, looks wise, on the dummy cake.

I like Dallas foam for dummies.

Jen icon_smile.gif

leah_s Posted 6 Apr 2010 , 1:31pm
post #7 of 12

I'm going to say a big NO to the "Can I use regular craft styro?" I don't know if the porous type of styro eats the icing, or the icing seeps into the styro, but a cake decorator was sure embarrassed at our state fair a few years ago, as day by day, less of her decorations were visible and more and more of the styo showed.

Order real cake dummies, and I, too,order from www.d a l l a s f o a m .com

You'll charge 80% of what real cake would cost for the dummies. And just like cake, the customer BUYS and KEEPS them.

BlakesCakes Posted 6 Apr 2010 , 8:57pm
post #8 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by leah_s

I don't know if the porous type of styro eats the icing, or the icing seeps into the styro, but a cake decorator was sure embarrassed at our state fair a few years ago, as day by day, less of her decorations were visible and more and more of the styo showed.




I'm sure that was the error of the decorator. She may have not put a good coat of icing on the dummies or perhaps didn't make a proper shortening based recipe. Without enough PS, the icing could have been overly affected by the heat.

At the Wilton School in Chicago, ALL of their dummies are the porous floral styrofoam (white). They have them specially made in bulk. I have dozens of them from having taken classes out there. I recycle them all of the time, sanding, carving, etc. I wash them in the dishwasher. They're delightful to work with--so much so that I begged to buy some the last time I was at Wilton, but they can't sell them icon_sad.gif

Rae

nonilm Posted 16 Apr 2010 , 3:38pm
post #9 of 12

Thanks for the information!

Maynard628 Posted 18 Apr 2010 , 1:44am
post #10 of 12

I have a bride who wants me to use cake dummies (she needs to cut costs, yeah, oh well her choice), BUT she would like FRESH red roses cascading down the front (5 tiers). She has a friend who owns a flower shop and is basically giving her these roses for free. My question is, how would I insert them in the Styrofoam without them toppling over?

Should I wire them and wrap the wire with floral tape and then insert them? or just stick them in there, as is?

The dummies are kinda light and won't the flowers be too heavy? this is my first time doing this, so I'd appreciate ANY type of help.

As you can tell, I have no experience with this.

Thanks in advance!

BlakesCakes Posted 18 Apr 2010 , 2:21am
post #11 of 12

If you cover the dummies with fondant, you'll be surprised at how heavy they'll be, but if you're talking dozens of roses in on area, you'll need to counterbalance it some way.

As for "being cheaper", most decorators charge 80 to 90% of the cost of a real cake when it comes to dummies......and she still has to pay for real cake to be served.............so she actually pays more in the long run.

Rae

Maynard628 Posted 18 Apr 2010 , 4:53am
post #12 of 12

Thanks for replying! This bride doesn't get it (I did talk to her about the costs being the same), but it's what she wants and she knows she's paying more, so.... oh well...she has her reasons.

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