SPS, 4 tier BUTTERCREAM wedding cake with Fondant ribbon

Decorating By Jannie92869 Updated 6 May 2010 , 1:57am by Jannie92869

Jannie92869 Posted 29 Apr 2010 , 12:46pm
post #1 of 17

I'm still searching this topic...but if you can give me any help I would appreciate it.

I am doing a 4 tier buttercream wedding cake. I will use the SPS structure system. At the bottom of each tier is a fondant ribbon. The ribbon will have a 2" darker color and covered by a 1" lighter color. I plan to color the fondant the day before. My questions are:

1. Should I wait and make fondant ribbon the morning of(Wedding at 2 p.m.) and attach or should I go ahead and attach at night?

2. Cake should be crusted first...then attach with buttercream dots?

3. I plan to roll the ribbon in a circle and then attach and smooth as I go..but how do I smooth the seam without messing up the buttercream?

4. In using SPS, Can I go ahead and attach all the ribbon at home? I plan to stack in 2 parts due to weight and then attach those 2 when I get to the reception hall. I don't want to risk messing up the fondant ribbon.

Any advice that you can give me regarding this task..I will gladly take it.


Thanks in advance!

16 replies
leah_s Posted 29 Apr 2010 , 1:04pm
post #2 of 17

1. I use pre-colored fondant most of the time. If I have to color it, I certainly do it the night before to allow time for mistake making and color curing. If by "making the ribbon" you actually mean cutting it, then yes, that's a day of job.

2. I work while the bc is still soft. But that's me.

3. Ahh! I just now got what you meant by roll the ribbon in a circle. If you roll up the fondant ribbons, roll them in medium to heavy weight vinyl strips. I bought a couple yards at Walmart years ago and still have a lot left. Out those rolls into a zip top plastic bag. And just for backup, take extra fondant, a small rolling pin, a knife and a straight edge. A metal ruler works best. I actually had to reroll a fondant swag onsite a couple of weeks ago.

4. You can certainly attach the ribbon on the base tiers that you're going to take assembled. Someone on here has figured out how to pre-attached ribbon and then set the tier. I can not do it successfully, so I attached ribbons onsite, if I've set the tier onsite.

Remember you can preassemble whatever you can lift. **Whatever you can lift.**
If you're unsure, put the ribbon on onsite, but think about that too. I always have an extra pair of hands with me

Jannie92869 Posted 29 Apr 2010 , 1:17pm
post #3 of 17

Thanks Leah...I was hoping you were around. LOL!

Now, you have given me more to think about. I wasn't counting on needing another fondant ribbon. Especially since I have to do it in two different shades. Yes, I like to buy my fondant pre colored as well but the bride had different shades that I needed to match. I did a practice run and that worked our perfectly.

Working while the buttercream is soft...sounds real good as far as getting the fondant ribbon to stick all the way....but I am just a bit concerned about the cake getting dents?

Though it sounds to me...like maybe I should just do the ribbon on site...but what about the seams...can I touch them up with shortening to make them un noticeable?

Yes, in regards to stacking onsite vs at home...the two tiers is all I can lift safely so that is why I was only going to stack it in twos. I am just real concerned about this fondant ribbon as I have only ever done silk before. I don't want it to come off and tear off the buttercream in the process! LOL!

Thanks for your help. I am actually going to practice now. LOL!

leah_s Posted 29 Apr 2010 , 1:24pm
post #4 of 17

I use a non-crusting bc. I'm used to it. If you're not, then I'd do what you're comfortable with. Let it crust.

Seams will probably show, but then they also show with fabric ribbon. That's what:
a) flowers are for, or
2) why cakes have a back.

Jannie92869 Posted 29 Apr 2010 , 1:34pm
post #5 of 17

Thanks Leah........to my dismay there are no flowers on the side on this cake...just "perfectly" smooth buttercream and these double layered fondant ribbons! She does have a bunch of flowers for the top. I was thinking ....maybe make a batch of buttercream in each color...once I have the ribbon on successfully put a line of it on the seams and then smooth that? Not for sure if that will work but I am gonna practice on a layer today.

Maybe the person who preattached her fondant ribbon will chime in. I was looking for that post through a thousand others. I'm just gonna see what happens. Today....I am going to frost a 8" round on an 8 " board. Let it crust. Attach fondant ribbon...and then see if I can successfully pick it up once all attached without tearing the ribbon off. You have any idea how long I should wait before I try to move? I was thinking I should let it set before I try to move it.

Jannie92869 Posted 29 Apr 2010 , 1:55pm
post #6 of 17

Anyone else have any tips?

I am icing the test cake now...LOL!

cas17 Posted 29 Apr 2010 , 1:55pm
post #7 of 17

i just recently had a 4 tier cake with fondant ribbon borders (it's in my pics) i stacked my bottom two at home and attached the ribbons after my bc had crusted before transporting as that was all i could lift and carry (gotta be able to actually carry it to the cake table too!).

i rolled out and cut my ribbons for the top two tiers dusting them with cornstarch and wrapped them in plastic cling wrap then put them in a zipper bag. at the venue i stacked the top two tiers then took a small brush and i popped open a fresh new bottle of water and just lightly brushed a bit of water on the bc. the ribbon adhered just fine. i used a tiny bit of matching buttercream to blend the seam which i placed at the back of the cake and it was hardly noticeable at all. i would suggest planning for a bit of extra time for doing all this.

that day was unseasonably hot and pretty humid at the venue as it was right on the water and the ribbon did stretch a little and stick a bit as i was getting to the end that was at the center of the roll. i think i will use leahs tip of rolling the ribbon on vinyl strips next time icon_biggrin.gif
i cannot imagine trying to place a cake with a ribbon border and it not messing up or pulling but that's just me and my personal skill level maybe.

Jannie92869 Posted 29 Apr 2010 , 2:02pm
post #8 of 17

CAS17 thanks for your reply!

You made me smile when you said..maybe thats just your skill level...no...that's why I am here feeling a bit panicky! LOL! I want to make sure I go about this in the right way. The idea seemed so simple at first...but now..not so simple. LOL

Both you and Leah talked about rolling out on vinyl strips...are you saying...you had cut out your fondant to the length and size you needed. Then you cut out vinyl strips the same size and then rolled it up in a circle? That way it wouldn't stick or stretch apart on the way to the venue.

My list of supplies is getting a bit longer..now I will add a brush to adhere water or clean mistakes. I would rather have to much supplies than not enough. At this point, I will have my tool caddy with the essentials and that will be inside a tub. LOL!

Thanks again for taking the time to respond.

cas17 Posted 29 Apr 2010 , 2:13pm
post #9 of 17

yes, i believe that is what leahs is saying about the vinyl. lol, i take my cake tool box and a tote bag full of stuff for that "what if..." cos you just never know and i'd rather have too much stuff than that sinking feeling of if i'd only brought _____________.

hope all goes well and can't wait to see the pic icon_biggrin.gif

Jannie92869 Posted 29 Apr 2010 , 4:49pm
post #10 of 17

Alright...I'm back from the "practice test"! LOL!

What I learned I will not be able to put the ribbon on prior to stacking with SPS. I messed up the ribbon just a little when trying to place it on the SPS plate. It was repairable and a matter of regluing the ribbon but...I didn't like that it became dislodge...I don't want to accidently break the fondant ribbon. I will try the method of using cling wrap to roll up the fondant ribbon. I think I will smooth it up with shortening prior to wrapping so that it won't become brittle then I will put it in a ziplock bag and unroll and apply at the venue. I should only have to apply one ribbon if I do the other three at home.

Now, I am going to let it sit out and make sure that the ribbon will stay on without falling off and not be to heavy. I had let the buttercream mostly crust before I put on the fondant ribbon and then didn't use anything else to adhere it to the cake.

cas17 Posted 29 Apr 2010 , 5:43pm
post #11 of 17

yes, that's what i was afraid of happening to me as well. i didn't have any problem with the ribbon becoming brittle but a bit of sticking of the ribbon to itself where i had begun the rolling of the ribbon. i'm assuming you are putting the two ribbons together first correct? it would be quicker and i'd hate to have to apply them separately. hope all goes well! icon_smile.gif

Jannie92869 Posted 29 Apr 2010 , 5:47pm
post #12 of 17

I hadn't quite figured out if I should have them all together when I wrap them in the cling wrap?? I thought they may get off balance while they were wrapped if I did that?

KHalstead Posted 29 Apr 2010 , 6:07pm
post #13 of 17

I let my icing crust first (since I need to do that to use my foam roller to get it perfectly smooth) and then I use my airbrush with just plain water in it and airbrush along the cake where the fondant ribbon will go, and then attach it.

If assembling the cakes onsite, I put the cake on it's own cardboard onto a bigger cardboard (so the ribbon has something to sit on) and attach the ribbon.

Then when I get to the venue, I take my spatula and run it around the bottom of the cake/ribbon to make sure none of it is stuck to the bigger board and then just lift the cake and assemble it with the ribbon already intact.

I'll attach the first cake I ever did that with (before I knew you "couldn't" lol)

you can also see that there was no border, and it didn't matter......I made sure the sps was flush with the icing on the tops of the cakes and when the next cake went on there was almost no space between layers!


The important thing is to get it to stick nicely, the last thing you want is to lift the cake and have the fondant ribbon fall down while you're trying to stack (I've never had it happen, but I know there is gravity and that it "could happen")
LL

Jannie92869 Posted 5 May 2010 , 9:02pm
post #14 of 17

Update: I took the cake in two parts with the top two stacked in each. Fondant Ribbon didn't go as planned..stuck to itself. I had packed large bowls of the colors of both ribbons. I piped the colors on with buttercream it looked fine.

SPS Problem: When I went to put the top two tier on the bottom two tiers...I smeared the icing on that second tier at the bottom. It seemed to be so heavy with the two tiers..I had my husband there to help me. But I just couldn't get it on that peg the first time...I was so looking forward to hearing it click in that hole. And I did use the plate to make the hole and then made it a little bigger with the skewer.

Lots of lessons learned...but everyone seemed to be happy! Haven't heard any complaints after drop off.

leah_s Posted 5 May 2010 , 10:12pm
post #15 of 17

Two tiers already stacked would be pretty heavy. I don't think I could handle lifting that up in the air.

For the fondant ribbon - you rolled it up on a strip of heavy duty vinyl? The fondant never touches itself. It's always touching vinyl.

cas17 Posted 5 May 2010 , 11:01pm
post #16 of 17

oh dear, i was hoping that you were going to roll the fondant up as leahs suggested. i was afraid as well that i would not be able to lift my top two tiers and steady them to place them on the bottom two tiers. it seems so simple but cake is heavy! plus you are just using fingers to hold onto the edges--ugh! i use a very large and sturdy spatula to help me but it's still a nerve-wracking balancing act. i always take my repair kit to smooth out or patch up any dings or finger marks they may occur. so glad to hear tho that your customer was happy and that's what it's all about icon_smile.gif

Jannie92869 Posted 6 May 2010 , 1:57am
post #17 of 17

Leah! I was so laughing when I read your reply. If it was heavy to you and you're the Pro with SPS imagine what I looked like. All cool went out the door and I was just trying to keep it from completely falling off. I did the fondant ribbon in the roll but somehow...I let it touch in places and it was still a bit sticky. I didnt' put any cornstarch on it before I left home to prevent it because I thought if it was sticky it would attach to the cake. The ribbon was double layer fondant with a large piece topped with a small piece but it somehow got bunched up along the way.

So....the lesson in that is...don't try to stack two tiers on SPS at one time. I have done one tier so I know their is success. I have stacked two tiers with SPS and they didn't have a problem making it to its destination.

Oh yea...those little "feet" that you take off for a snug fit...they don't exactly pop off I see...you really have to work with them. LOL!

CAS17 thanks for your words of encourgement...lesson learned!

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