I'm a total novice at cake decorating and need some advice, actually more advice....
I'm going to attempt the Wilton Petal Poetry cake found here, http://www.wilton.com/idea/Petal-Poetry
I'll be using the 14, 10 and 6 inch cake pans as described in the Wilton instructions.
I'm making this cake for my sister's 50th Birthday with 100 guests, oh my gosh, I am SO nervous! I've never attempted anything to this magnatude. Can you say panic attack???
Anyway, for each tier I'm going to make two cakes, 3 inches each, of each pan size. I'm planning on each tier to be 6 inches or so in height. Each tier will have filling in between the two cakes.
The party is next Saturday (not this Saturday) and the cake has to be done by 1:00 pm. I plan on making all the cakes on Thursday, one week from today. I'm going to do the fillings and crum coat on that same day. Can the cakes then just sit in the fridge? Should they be covered with saran wrap? Or would it be best to also do the buttercream that same day? Same questions, do I cover them at all if they have the final buttercream on them?
I then plan on doing the final flower decorations on either Friday or Saturday. I'll have time to do the final decorating on Saturday, so should I push the cake baking to Friday, in order to keep the cakes from having to sit too long and possibly drying out??
I'm starting the flowers and leaves today or tomorrow. My neice is the one that commissioned me to do the cake. She asked me if I could do the basketweave technique on the sides of the cakes. I told her that I can, but don't think I would. I think it wll make the cake look too busy. Opinions??? Also, she wants the flowers to be a mix of blues and dark pink. Again, opinions? I am terrible at "seeing" a cake before I make it. If I go with blues and pink, should I add a third color? ? I'm thinking that if I only do blue and pink, it will look like a baby shower cake! LOL
When doing gum paste flowers, how long do they take to dry? All the things that I've read on them say to make them a week in advance. Do they actually take a week to be ready to go on the cake? Also, when a cake is served with gum paste flowers, do you eat the flowers? Or does the server remove the flowers before putting cake on the plates? They will not have wire stames, btw.
Any advice will be highly appreciated. Some prayers wouldn't hurt either! Ha HA Ha. I'm already losing sleep over this!
Wow, so pretty and so fun! Just breathe...lol. Good idea to plan so far ahead! Makes it much less stressful when the day rolls around to finish.
I would absolutely do all the gumpaste deco asap. It only take a day or so for smaller flowers to dry, but they can be made way in advance so go ahead and get them out of the way, and keep them in a tupperware. The cakes I would also bake now or in the next few days if you can, and wrap them in saran wrap and freeze them. Make sure to let them thaw completely before you unwrap them! If you don't want to freeze them, make them on wed at the latest. They need to cool and rest overnight before you level or fill them. What are you filling the cake with? It's usually a good idea to fill and let it sit overnight before you ice it, esp on a larger cake like that. It needs time to settle so it's less likely to shift aroud. So maybe fill and crumb coat on wed or thurs and let set overnight? You don't need to cover it if you have a clean place for it to set where it wont be messed with. And I wouldn't put it in the fridge. The humidity dries it out faster. It wont dry out if it's crumb coated, and you can even make a wash to brush on it if you are worried about that. Check the recipes on CC, lots of good ones! Your timeline sounds good though. If you have plenty of time to do the final deco on saturday, then maybe ice it friday night? It should be fine sitting out. So make gumpaste deco now, either bake cakes now and wrap and freeze, or bake tues/wed. Fill and crumbcoat wed/thurs. Final icing on friday night. Final deco on sat morning? And colors are all subjective. If your sister likes those colors, that's all that matters! Green leaves will probably be enough to break up the 2-tone. You can also do a search of the CC picture albums and look at color schemes to get an idea. HTH!
Erin, thanks for the advice! I've played with the idea to make the cakes now and freeze. I just don't think I can manipulate for the freezer space.
The three tiers are all different cakes. The bottom will be white cake with the creamy and firm strawberry filling from this site. The middle will be chocolate with choc ganache as the filling. The top will be red velvet with cream cheese filling. All three cakes will be finalized with a cream cheese buttercream recipe that I've used many times. The cake does not have to travel, thank goodness, nor will it be outdoors.
What about the basketweave, should I leave that out?
Thanks again! I really appreciate it!
I vote for no basket weave. Good luck! I'm sure you'll do a fantastic job!
I vote no on basketweave, too, unless your sister really really wants a basketweave cake. Good luck!
Hi Christina, I will try to answer your questions.
You can actually bake 2" high cakes using the 3" deep pans, just decrease the amount of batter and put in the amount that is required for a 2" pan. Example: to make a 14"round by 2" deep cake you will need 10 cups of batter, (3" deep would require 15 cups of batter). I do this all the time because I don't want to purchase 2" deep pans when I already have the 3" deep pans, (trying to keep my costs down). Use bake even strips to help eliminate a hump in the center, you'll get nice flat tops! For your 10" cake you would need 6 cups of batter for the 2" depth (3" would require 8 cups). For your 6" cake you'll need 2 cups of batter for 2" deep, (3" requires 3 cups). You can get this information on page 113 in the Wilton 2011 Yearbook. HTH
If your filling doesn't require refrigeration you can leave the cakes out over night, once they are iced, in a cake box. The freshness will be sealed in for a few days. Be sure once you fill and crumb coat the cakes you let them sit for a few hours or overnight, to allow for settling. This is where you might notice a bulge between the layers. Once they have done their settling you can get rid of any bulge and do your final icing.
Gum paste flowers are taken off before cutting the cake. They are too hard to cut through. Most people don't eat them.
Good, I'm glad to hear you all vote no to the basketweave. I definitely think it will be better without it. It's not my sister, the one with the birthday, that is calling the shots, it's her daughter. She is very easy going and just makes suggestions. So not doing the basketweave will not be a problem.
Sandy. Thanks for the batter measurements. That was a big help! I, too, only have 3" pans, but I do want the total height of each tier to be 6", so I'll go with the 3" depth requirements.
I'm feeling better all ready! Thanks, Ladies!
One more question on this timeline, if anyone can, PLEASE let me know. Can I do the filling and the final frosting today(Friday) without having cake boxes? Can I just put the frosted cakes in the fridge and have them be ok for tomorrow? Will they be dry if I don't put them in boxes?