I am a new member here and I just wanted to say thank-you to all of you amazing cake professionals out there. I actually discovered Cake Central in January of this year.
Back in the day (like a decade ago) I used to make these cheesy birthday cakes for my friends and family. No cake decorating experience, just a basic Wilton decorating tip kit and some gallon baggies. Needless to say, they weren't anything to turn in for a contest, but they were cute in their homemade way.
Anyway, my brother decided to propose to my best friend while they were putting their Christmas tree up last year and they decided to tell the family on Christmas Eve. Much to my surprise, my future sister-in-law remembered those silly cakes I used to make and asked ME to make her wedding cake. I thought "Well, she must have a really casual wedding. I'll make her a spice cake since it's her favorite and just do a swirly frosting effect. That should do."
But then a week later she emails me the kind of cake she'd like me to make and it's a topsy turvy! I think it was a Nightmare Before Christmas cake from the Pink Cake Box. Yeah, wayyyyyyyy out of my league. I think I told her that, too. She just said "I trust you." I suppose that's why she's my best friend.
Anyway, I decided I was going to at least try for her. I think I had 2 9 inch cake pans I bought from Walmart 12 years ago. I had to start from scratch and I needed to have an idea of what it is that Id need and thats how I found this place.
I was searching through google on anything topsy turvy. I found instructionals and videos. I couldn't believe how much I could learn from the internet! None of this was around 10 years ago! It was Cake Central, though, that taught me all the little things that allowed me to actually succeed at my endeavors. I read and read and read what I could.
I bought Magic Line pans, Sweetex shortening, the Stacking Plate System everyone raves about. I made Michele Fosters fondant. I experimented with the White Almond Sour Cream cake. Everyones favorite around here seems to be the coconut flavored with the LorAnn coconut emulsion.
I couldnt afford the extra expense of the tools and price of fondant so I ended up doing fondant decorations over buttercream. I tried the Viva paper towel technique, but ended up feeling more comfortable with a high density paint roller.
So thats what Ive been doing since January. I think I was able to make 2 topsy turvy cakes before the wedding. I was hoping to practice more, but my fiances mother wouldnt stop visiting us ugh.
Its been such an amazing experience for me. It doesnt even phase me anymore that Im using quarts of sour cream and like 3 dozen eggs. I remember going to 7 different stores from this grocery chain that had Betty Crocker cake mixes on sale for 65 cents and wiping them all out of white cake mix. All the cashiers thought I was nuts.
I remember being horrified at how much cake was being wasted as I carved my first topsy turvy. I refused to throw any of it away and ended up with 3 gallon baggies full of cake that NOBODY ate (I think my fiancé hates cake now).
It has been an honor to learn from you. All of the advice has been a blessing. The wedding cake made it to the reception intact, but only after the car had broken down and had to be towed. I ended up setting up shop in my dads basement and even though I stayed up all night and didnt sleep, I was still scrambling to make things work the day of.
I remember screaming at my brother over the phone that I needed sixlets from the Hobby Lobby because I had no more time. The wedding cake didnt turn out the way I wanted it to. I ran out of time. I wanted fondant ribbon roses. The sixlets were a poor substitute for a bead trim. I never had time to cover the bottom tier. My best friend, though, almost cried from happiness. I will remember that forever.
But, seriously, I dont know how you guys could do this for a living!
Anyway, I wanted to thank you from the bottom of my heart for allowing me to fulfill my sister-in-laws wish. I love the internet! I love Cake Central! Sorry I wrote a book. Thank you everyone.
You do amazing work! After reading your letter (which I really enjoyed by the way), I am SOOOOO impressed that you could do both those cakes!
My niece just created a website with my cake photos. I'd be honored if you wish to take a look: http://christinascakes.shutterfly.com/
I really identify with a lot of what you said. I too just bought out the white Duncan Hines mixes in three stores when they were on sale for 88 cents! Had to buy two large sterilite plastic containers to hold my mixes. My fridge is overflowing with sour cream and fillings and cream cheese and real butter and ..... well, you know the drill.
Laughed out loud at your screaming at your brother to buy sixlets! That was priceless (and they looked great on the cake!). The memory of your efforts to make that darling wedding cake will warm hearts for all the years to come--it was worth every minute, wasn't it!
Your cakes look great! Ive always wanted to try out a Wilton class. A buttercream rose is still beyond me. Id love to learn. That chocolate decorated cake looked REALLY yummy. I suppose thats my weakness, though. I was always more of a baker than a decorator. I enjoy looking at things that look delicious! Its almost like I see a nicely decorated cake as more of artwork than anything else. When my brother and sister-in-law cut into the cake at the wedding, I was so proud of how nicely it sliced and how yummy it looked on the plate.
I bet youve got a lot of coffee creamer in your fridge too, huh? Yeah, Ive got my cake mixes in giant plastic totes, too. I ran out of Sweetex, though. Im trying to figure out what to do right now until Christmas time when I can ask for some for Christmas. Yeah, Im going to ask for shortening for Christmas. lol. And a giant rolling pin so I can finally start practicing covering my cakes with fondant instead of buttercream.
Yes, it was worth every minute. I had a glass of champagne in celebration when Id finally finished 10 minutes before they were going to let people walk into the reception hall. Im kind of sad that its over. But Im going to keep making cakes for little events here and there. I dont think I could do this for a living, though. Id probably have a meltdown. I yelled at my brother on his wedding day, for crying out loud! lol. Luckily, he had planned an extra half an hour in his schedule during the day in case someone called him with an emergency. I dont think he thought of sixlets as an emergency though. Oh well.
Your story is so touching! Not only was it your brothers wedding, but your best friend as well. Sounds like a fairy tale. So glad that she trusted you to make her cake and that you trusted yourself to pull it off. You did an amazing job. I have yet to attempt a topsy turvy. Maybe someday I will. Your story has been an inspriration to me.
Oh God! You are are hysterical! It sounds like we're joined at the hip. I have relatives in Nebraska and Kansas and like to go on road trips to visit them. I live in San Diego. Today is my birthday and my niece and her husband have gotten me ant-proof containers to hold my Sweetex and powdered sugar! I stopped them just minutes before they were going to buy 50 lbs. of powdered sugar and put in the container! (My current instructor said the PS gets too compressed in the large quantities. She recommends buying in 4 pound bags and said ALWAYS SIFT!)
Beginning in Jan 2011, high ratio shortening will be illegal in California. I'm already planning to smuggle it in from Mexico. My girlfriend and I go down to Mexico about every 3 months and make a day of it with lunch, etc. We usually end up dragging along a visiting friend or an out-of-town relative. She's already said she is willing to run the risk of being with a smuggler if it means my frosting will taste the same! I told her I'd do the Jedi mind trick, wave my hand in front of my face and say to the border guard: "There is no Sweetex in this car......"
10 MINUTES BEFORE PEOPLE CAME IN THE RECEPTION HALL!!!! You do like to live dangerously don't you. Sounds like you'd make a great shortening smuggling buddy.
that is a very good job on that, I have never attempted a topsy turvy cake yet. Not on purpose any way!!!LOL
They're making hi ratio shortening illegal???
What is this world coming to? lol. I've heard of Mexican vanilla, but the world is pretty much ending when we're hoarding our Mexican shortening.
You know the topsy turvy isn't really all that bad... more tedious than anything else. I was really nervous for my first cake around Easter. Justifiably too, since it completely collapsed on me. I took the advice that the best looking topsy turvies taper down 2 inches. And I left 4 whole inches of space for the tier above. I just felt it was safer and I'd have less of a chance of that "wall of cake" (for lack of a better term) fall completely off the cake. My mistakes on my Easter cake were thinking I'd be ok with a top tier that went from 6 inches down to 4... and I felt confident doing it in chocolate. I must have used the wrong kind of chocolate cake mix because it kept crumbling - and I know now that there's no WAY a 4 inch cake can support so much of anything so - kerplunk. There it went. But, you live and you learn. The wedding cake ended up having a top tier of 8 to 6. And I stuck with simple variations of the WAS cake, froze them up and carved away! It's funny that I can do topsy turvies, but haven't tried anything else yet. I guess I always did learn everything backwards
Yeah, she says real casual, "I started with topsy turvy cakes".
Dude! If you STARTED with a cake that scares the beejeebers out of most of us newbies, you are going to shine like a lightbulb when you do other cakes!
As far as the high-ratio outlaw shortening, I should have said: hi-ratio shortening that contains transfats. The transfat part is what is being outlawed. And, of course, the transfat part is what makes it work so superbly! There are tons of posts on the whole transfat issue here on CC. I reviewed hundreds of posts before buying my 1st hi-ratio 2 weeks ago--I'd been using IndyDebi's Crisco/Dream Whip recipe. However, with one use only, I'm a hi-ratio, transfat proponent! The difference is stunning. Taste, smoothness, texture, workability, there's no goin' back for me! So this is how it starts, a criminal cake.....
LOL ........... your story took me down memory's path. Much of what you told is similar to my beginnings.
Yes, and once you are 'so proud of how nicely it sliced and how yummy it looked on the plate. ' you are turely hooked on cake-ing!
It would be cool if everything was easy as pie from here on out, but there are still a lot of things that I couldn't imagine figuring out. 3D sculpted cakes, for instance. It's one thing to cut a cake at a slant and dig a hole out of it. It's another thing to turn a cake into a shoe. Also, after the complete meltdown of my Easter cake, I'm terrified of chocolate cake. The chocolate WAS does not have the same texture as a regular white cake mix WAS. I'm still digging around for a good recipe since chocolate cake is the only cake my fiance and his son will eat and I'm itching to make an autumn cake. Oh yeah, and Swiss or Italian Meringue Buttercream! I've been dying to try it with every fiber of my being! But, I only own a silly little hand mixer. Granted, the little guy's been faithful, refusing to quit as I tried to force him through 5 pounds of powdered sugar... but I don't think he could take on bigger tasks. I think I've been using the basic Wilton buttercream recipe that tonedna uses on her website. I haven't been brave enough to try anything else since I don't have a nice Kitchenaid stand mixer. It's worked well and she has such nice instructional videos. Like I said, everyone on here has been so helpful without even realizing it. Kakeladi, you're one of them! Thanks a bunch.