Today's Finish Products - Constructive Criticism Please!

Decorating By percussiongrrl Updated 16 May 2010 , 7:13pm by mbark

percussiongrrl Posted 15 May 2010 , 7:36pm
post #1 of 19

I finished off 2 cakes today, a HUGE accomplishment for me to do two at once!

The first cake is my Sis and BIL's graduation cake. They graduate from Purdue today.

It is a 10" WASC with IndyDebi Buttercream and MFF accents

The second is my niece's birthday cake. Her party is tomorrow.

Bottom 10" teir is WASC made with Strawberry mixes instead of white, Top 6" tier is WASC. Again, it's IndyDebi Buttercream and MFF accents. The "Kitties" were cut by hand, as were the flowers. The bows on the kitties are hand made and painted with tinted piping gel. I cheated and used cookie cutters on her name and the number 4.

I'm only a hobby baker, but would you think these are "good enough" for parties, etc? Also, b/c someone will as (they ALWAYS do)....what would these kind of cakes cost from a "real" cake artist. (Then they will proceed to tell me that no one would ever pay that for a cake....etc)

Also - LOVE LOVE LOVE IndyDebi's buttercream (crisco based) and the MFF. I changed up my usual recipes for these two cakes and I think they will become my new "regulars"

18 replies
percussiongrrl Posted 15 May 2010 , 7:38pm
post #2 of 19

Ok, apparently my pictures aren't working icon_sad.gif I'll post them to my gallery pictures!

Ivy383 Posted 15 May 2010 , 7:39pm
post #3 of 19

I can't see the pictures... CC has been having problems with uploading photos. icon_sad.gif

mamawrobin Posted 15 May 2010 , 7:40pm
post #4 of 19

Can you just add them to your gallery? I can't open the ones that you posted here.

EDIT: Never mind. I just now saw that there are some technical difficulties with uploading photos. Maybe they'll have it fixed soon.

tastyart Posted 15 May 2010 , 8:00pm
post #6 of 19

Your cakes look very good. I like their neat and clean designs. I'm not typically a cake picker, but you asked for some constructive criticism. Here is my 2 cents. If you can get the frosting a little smoother they would look better. But seriously, they look great. I use the viva method to smooth my frosting. As far as price goes, charge AT LEAST $2.00 per serving. Depending on where you live you might be able to get more.

foxymomma521 Posted 15 May 2010 , 8:11pm
post #7 of 19

Love the decorations! I'm with tastyart about the smooth bc, but they look great!

percussiongrrl Posted 15 May 2010 , 8:13pm
post #8 of 19

I STRUGGLE with smooth buttercream. I can't seem to get the Viva method to work for me, but I'll check out your blog, Tastyart! I'm willing to try anything to get it smoother! I thought the new recipe would help, and it did, some. Now I just have to keep practicing!

makyta Posted 15 May 2010 , 9:44pm
post #9 of 19

Your cakes looks very preetty.......very the kitty one...and the colors.....

emms73 Posted 15 May 2010 , 10:24pm
post #10 of 19

i had the problem with the viva method but i'm finding the hot knife is working much better for me i cant remember where on here but it is on cc somewhere maybe somebody else knows hth

LisaR64 Posted 15 May 2010 , 10:33pm
post #11 of 19

I had problems with Viva sticking to my buttercream when I tried to smooth it, and someone recommended I use a higher ratio of powdered sugar to butter/shortening, and that did the crusts well now and I'm able to smooth it without the Viva sticking to it.

denetteb Posted 15 May 2010 , 11:59pm
post #12 of 19

A couple ideas to work on smoother buttercream is to check out some youtube videos. I found tonedna and seriouscakes to be really helpful, although there are a lot of others also. Also try the melvira technique, lots of references on CC about it. In short it uses a high density paint roller to smooth and works GREAT. I use a combination of scraper blade to get it mostly smooth, then some Viva and lastly the roller.

denetteb Posted 16 May 2010 , 12:02am
post #13 of 19

And they are certainly good enough to bring to parties. And I don't think anyone would consider it cheating to use a cutter for the letters and number. No ideas on prices as I don't sell.

kellikrause Posted 16 May 2010 , 1:15am
post #14 of 19

Cute cakes!! But I am in agreement that the butter cream could be smoother....I think most everyone struggles with this from time to time. I hated icing until I watched Edna's youtube video and used her frosting recipe with Viva towels. It really works well!

mbark Posted 16 May 2010 , 4:03am
post #15 of 19

I think you just need more practice. Try to get that icing smooth & fondant cutouts a little neater along the edges.

percussiongrrl Posted 16 May 2010 , 1:32pm
post #16 of 19

Is icing a cake dummy similar enough to a "real cake" for that kind of practice? If I get a dummy to practice on, can I use the same icing over and over again? As in, make one batch, practice, scrape it off, try again? I really want to get my icing smoother, and I'm tired of looking at my cakes and being disappointed in them b/c of that.

Also, mbark, how do you suggest I get my fondant cutouts neater? Right now, I use a paring knife to cut them out (the ones I don't use cutters for, obviously), and I do it over a silicon cutting mat. Is there something else I should be doing? Or something I should do after or before I cut?

Thanks for all the help! I so appreciate it!

denetteb Posted 16 May 2010 , 3:30pm
post #17 of 19

When I was re-using the icing I was practicing piping. I used an upside down cake pan placed on non-skid mesh on my turntable. I would think the dummy would work as well. You would have to anchor it down somehow so it isn't sliding around. But really, if you watch some of the videos, use a crusting BC, use a bench scraper for the sides, use viva (or clean typing paper or wax paper) and/or the roller, you will be making smooth cakes so quickly you won't believe it. It really is just using a few tricks. I am sure there is also a trick so your fondant ball borders are all the same size. I don't do fondant so don't know the trick but if you do a google search followed by cake central it is magic at coming up with your answer. For example I just put into google....fondant balls same size cake central......and found out. Some suggest to roll out your fondant a consistent thickness, and cut out circles with a cutter then roll them into balls and voila, all the same size balls. Cool.

tastyart Posted 16 May 2010 , 5:37pm
post #18 of 19

I've used that method on the consistent ball size. It works really well. I also use a pairing knife to make fondant cutouts. I find that a very sharp knife is a must. Sometimes you have to clean the knife during the process. The fondant will sometimes gum up on the blade and prevent a smooth cut.

mbark Posted 16 May 2010 , 7:13pm
post #19 of 19
Originally Posted by tastyart

I also use a pairing knife to make fondant cutouts. I find that a very sharp knife is a must. Sometimes you have to cleam the knife during the process. The fondant will sometimes gum up on the blade and prevent a smooth cut.

yep. another thing I do after cutting out shapes is to kind of rub/tap the rough edge with my finger.
My trick for same size fondant balls for a border is to roll out the fondant into ropes of the same size, then cut them into equal parts, then roll into balls.

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