I am getting ready to do my first wedding cake. I am not sure how to get started or what I may need. Any and all advice will be greatly appreciated. It is going to be a 3 tiered round cake. Chocolate and vanilla cake with chocolate icing in between the layers and white BC covering. I am also going to have to do fondant daisies and royal icing butterflies.
Thank you in advance,
Well you've come to the right place! CakeCentral is a wealth of information!
How far away is the wedding exactly?
I would make the butterflies and daisies asap. They can be stored for a very, very long time, and getting it out of the way NOW is one less obstacle, especially if you have any difficulties.
How many servings are you needing to get out of the cakes? (Im asking because that is how you'll know what sizes to make the tiers)
What support system will you be using?
What kind of cake? (scratch, box, enhanced box?)
What kind of buttercream? (they're lots of good ones on here!)
Are you new to decorating in general? I don't mean to sound harsh, just trying to help get you prepared If you are new and don't have the tools, we're going to have to help you with those too
I will have about a 4 hour drive.....Yes I know crazy!!
Severing about 80 people.
As for the support system I am not sure that's kinda one of the reasons I posted this.
Probably box. How would you enhance a box?
Just basic butter cream. She also wants ganache in between the layers.
I have been decorating cakes for a short period. I guess you can say I am still learning lots of new things.
Thank you for the help!!
Box mix cake with real ganache? Please consider practicing some scratch recipes. Epicurious.com and this site as well has many great recipes to try.
Here is a link to a thread with lots of great recipes and tips.
the WASC (white almond sour cream) cake recipe (first link) is a recipe to enhance a box mix. And it's ok to use ganache on a box mix...really it is. This is a popular recipe here and it is very versatile.
For a really good scratch chocolate cake, I use the recipe on the back of the Hershey's Cocoa can. It's really good and moist. For a richer chocolate flavor, sub the water for strong brewed coffee.
As for support, this is a very popular system here, especially if you are going to be travelling so far:
I haven't used sps before but I normally only make two-tiered cakes and I don't travel too far with them. I usually use the plastic tube type dowels. I've actually started using bubble tea straws with good success. But like I said I don't have to travel too far. AND I haven't attempted a wedding cake yet. Someday maybe, and if I do I think I'd use the sps support system.
This should help you get started anyway. I'm sure you'll have a lot more questions as you go.
Good luck with your first wedding cake. I'm kind of jealous
Yes you can absolutely use a box cake mix...Duncan Hines has spent Lord-knows how much money perfecting its recipe to ensure a good cake every time. And you never have to ask yourself, "crap, did I put in the baking soda?"
That said, I really really second the Hersheys recipe recommendation on the box of cocoa powder. Oh my it is AWESOME! If given the choice of a box cake or that, its hershey's all the way for me. Yummy yum!
So as far as your tiers go, you'd have 81 servings of cake (IF the top tier is reserved for bride and groom, if not you'd have more cake to serve) if you went with a 12, 8, 6 rounds (4" high)
If you're too nervous to transport a fully stacked cake (I would be for that long of a drive!) you could just assemble the cake onsight. I used SPS when I worked at Wal-mart and I liked it okay. But, I still prefer to just transport individual cakes and stack/decorate at the venue.
All the cakes will be placed on thick towels on a very very flat surface in the van/suv. The towels act as a slide-resistant surface and will sort of be like a shock absorber.
So, onto stacking. For this you have your largest cake on its base. (I use large foil covered boards that are really like 5 boards in one, you can buy these at a cake-deco supply store, sometimes a bakery, and most definitely at Michaels.
Then the middle and top tiers will be on boards the exact circumference as the cake itself. Then the cakes will set on 2" larger boards (just to make transport easier and make it less likely that you will have a finger-injured cake ) You will need to go and buy dowels (I use PVC) to insert into the largest cake and the middle cake after it is decorated but not yet stacked. Make sure to cut the dowels so that when you stack on the next cake it sits level. Once stacked your second tier (the board) will be sitting on the bottom cake but the dowels will be there to act as your support, so that the bottom cake will not collapse. I personally would say youll need 5 for the bottom tier, and 4 for the middle. You will continue that process with the middle tier (doweling). You will not need to dowel the top tier unless your cake topper is going to be very heavy.
Since the cake will not be covered in fondant, youre going to need a good crusting butter cream recipe, and a roll of viva paper towels. IndyDebis recipe using Dreamwhip is awesome for a hot humid wedding. But if its going to be relatively nice weather out, below is my go-to recipe. My grandma was a cake-decorator and this was handed down to me.
1/2c salted butter
1/2c veggie shortening
2lbs sifted 10x
Vanilla to taste (I usually start with 2 tablespoons at first)
Milk if the consistency needs to be thinned a bit (if it does, only use a tablespoon to start out with)
Cream together the butter and shorteningadd in vanilla. Slowly add in your sifted sugar, and you have a nice crusting BC Again if it needs to be thinned out a bit (too heavy/stiff) add in a bit of milk to you get a nice consistency.
Let us know if you have anymore questions!
Oh, and youtube has a wealth of wedding-cake tutorials! (including stacking!)
OM Goodness!! I have my work cut out for me. Thank you for all the advice. I will definitely come back with more questions. You think I should go ahead and get started with the flowers and butterflies.....Right??