We Need Some Help!

Decorating By Mae_mom Updated 25 Sep 2010 , 10:35am by Jen80

Mae_mom Posted 23 Sep 2010 , 5:46pm
post #1 of 28

A friend of mine is getting married in November. She met with the gal who is going to do her cake but the lady ONLY does cakes with buttercream-like icing with flowers and ruffles, etc. My friend is dead set against NOT having any flowers, ruffles, etc. She loves the more modern look of fondant, but her fiance insists on their cake NOT being a fondant cake.

So, we're thinking... what are some tips on making a cake with buttercream icing and fondant decorations? Is there any in particular I should know about that so that it works out fine?

Also, she is a fanatic for stars. She has two star shaped cake pans but they are both slightly different. She thinks it'll look OK...I think it'll look goofy...but it's not my cake. icon_smile.gif

Anyway, Is there anything to take into consideration when tiering star shaped cakes?

My personal recommendation for her was to go with round or square cakes, tiered and add star decorations. She seems pretty set on these star shaped pans though, and I fear that will be what makes this more difficult. She's convinced that they are similar enough that it'll be OK but honestly, one of them is a rounded type star (blunt points) and the other is has very pointed points and is more.... lean.

Basically, I need pointers on stacking star shaped cakes, if it's any different than a round or square cake. I also need to know about applying fondant decorations to a buttercream surface. Also, any other ideas or ANYTHING any of you can come up with would be greatly appreciated! icon_smile.gif

Thanks so much!!!

27 replies
Cake4Fun Posted 23 Sep 2010 , 8:22pm
post #2 of 28

I don't know about stacking the stars. Sounds like I would prefer as you to do square or round and then add star decor. As for BC with Fondant decorations, I do that with most of my cakes. I am a BC fan for taste but sometimes only fondant can make your decorations the way you like. I have always used a little clear vanilla to adhere the fondant to the buttercream. I have done this on the sides of the cake and have not had any trouble. Recently I also tried making fondant glue (just a little fondant with about a tablespoon of water and let the fondant dissolve. I read that in a book and it also worked well and gave me a way to use my little bitty fondant scraps. Either way I haven't had trouble... hope yours works out.

7yyrt Posted 23 Sep 2010 , 10:14pm
post #3 of 28

If it's on a display like this, there would be no stacking problems, and each tier could be quite a different shape and still look good.
http://www.marysweddingcakes.com/userimages/star_wedding_cake.jpg

Bskinne Posted 23 Sep 2010 , 10:41pm
post #4 of 28

Doesn't that fiancé know he doesn't get a say on the wedding cake? icon_wink.gif lol
stacking stars seems like it would be difficult because unless you did them on a stand like mentioned above, each star tier would have to be a ton smaller than the previous or you will have the arms of the star hanging off....

joy5678 Posted 23 Sep 2010 , 11:11pm
post #5 of 28

Personally, I would not stack them but do a topsy turvy type. This way they are somewhat stacked but not actually on top of each other if you use the styrofoam pieces between the layers method. This would be a unique way to do it that your friend might like.

sweettreat101 Posted 24 Sep 2010 , 7:10am
post #6 of 28

What about a tiered round cake with star decorations and side cakes out of the star pans. I made a five tiered cake for a friend and they had three separate cakes around the bottom of the main cake. I made this cake for a friend who's sister wanted stars. The frosting on the side is whipped frosting, top is butter cream and the stars and lace are made out of fondant. In the middle of the tiers we made arrangements with stars shooting out. She did place artificial flowers around the fountain. I agree she should get to choose the cake. Make him a small grooms cake if that's what he wants. http://cakecentral.com/modules.php?name=gallery&file=displayimage&pid=1686079

Evoir Posted 24 Sep 2010 , 7:21am
post #7 of 28

What about using rolled buttercream?

hollyml Posted 24 Sep 2010 , 7:31am
post #8 of 28

A modern look with buttercream is not a problem. Just do smooth BC without the shell border and lump of roses. icon_smile.gif You can certainly add fondant cutouts or figures if you like, and if they don't stick without a little help you can dab some water, or fresh (not crusted yet) BC, or any "edible glue" to help the decorations stay in place. Or use all BC and just pipe a pearl or flat ribbon border instead of the more traditional scallopy shapes.

But if I understand you correctly, you are not doing the cake -- it is this other person who normally does flowers and ruffles? I'd worry about hiring anyone to do something that is totally outside their range, you know? I wouldn't ask someone who always uses fondant to make me a cake with BC basketweave and roses, and I wouldn't ask someone who always does BC ruffles for a "modern fondant look" frosting job. They are different skills and not everyone can do both. So that is the main thing I'd be saying to the bride, were I in your shoes! Sounds like she is setting herself up to be disappointed.

With the star shapes, a standard tiered cake is definitely going to be a challenge. It may be doable but you'd probably have to go buy all new pans instead of using the mismatched ones the bride already has. Would she go for hexagons instead? Or mixed shapes, so you could use one of her pans to make a tier that fits on top of a circle?

Some visuals, for example and inspiration:

Mixed round & star

Hexagon tiers with star decorations
http://www.cakecentral.com/cake-photo_8623.html

Here's an actual stack of star-shaped tiers!
http://www.cakecentral.com/cake-photo_1291396.html

Mae_mom Posted 24 Sep 2010 , 12:16pm
post #9 of 28

OH my goodness...you folks are wonderful!!! Thank you for all the input!!!!

Let me try to answer your questions, as I believe i still might have more.

As of right now, I am not the one doing the cake. A friend of her family is doing it but the bride is not at all happy about her skill. I think she feels like she has to let her do it. Her idea was to have the lady make a simple white cake, take it home and then have me decorate it. I'm not quite comfortable doing that; just don't think it's right. So she'll probably just take it home and decorate it herself (which she's never done). It's a very screwed up situation.

That's a great idea about the grooms cake!!! That never even crossed my mind!! I'm with you guys; that groom should have no say! icon_smile.gif This is the type of couple that get very..... I'm not sure what the word is....goofy maybe....about piddly things like that. And honestly, I'm a little frightened to be helping with her at all with this cake....she's one of my closest friends but the two of them can be pretty hard to work with. icon_smile.gif

Which is why I am here. I wanted to get all of the advice, input I could!! icon_smile.gif

Also....what is this rolled buttercream? I've never used or heard of it before! (I'm relatively new at this cake decorating stuff myself and have always just used MMFondant).

Thanks again to all of your for your help!!!

trishvanhoozer Posted 24 Sep 2010 , 1:04pm
post #10 of 28

When I have a bride who says she doesn't want fondant, I suggest immediately to do a tasting with both fondant and buttercream. With the new superior flavors of fondant available, most people really are not as hesitant to use the fondant. I usually use 4 inch round pans for my tastings. I would invite the groom as well, and show them both the BC and the Fondant. I personally use Satin Ice but I have heard that Fondanrific and Fontex are amazing as well. Fondant has gotten a bad reputation from its earlier stages and really even the MMF that I make at home is better than most brides expect. I have never, not even once, had a bride select buttercream over fondant after a tasting.

Regarding the star pans, it would be really had to put together a cake in the shape of stars that wouldn't fall at the points without really good support (and that would mean boards cut to shape between each layer with dowels). You could take the pans and use them as ideas, but actually bake and carve your cakes freehand. If she was adamant about having different shaped stars, I would go with the stand that 7yyrt suggested.

As far as having another person start the cake and you finish it, that would probably be a recipe for disaster unless it is someone you work with on a regular basis. Alternatively, you can tell the bride that you could do either the bride's cake or the grooms and have the other girl do the other. That way, no one's feelings get hurt and you aren't stuck having to deal with someone else's vision.

As far as rolled buttercream, it is super shiny (which might be good for stars) but sticky and hard to use. Not sure I would ever opt for it. I would do a poured fondant before I did rolled buttercream.

cakesdivine Posted 24 Sep 2010 , 1:29pm
post #11 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mae_mom

OH my goodness...you folks are wonderful!!! Thank you for all the input!!!!

Let me try to answer your questions, as I believe i still might have more.

As of right now, I am not the one doing the cake. A friend of her family is doing it but the bride is not at all happy about her skill. I think she feels like she has to let her do it. Her idea was to have the lady make a simple white cake, take it home and then have me decorate it. I'm not quite comfortable doing that; just don't think it's right. So she'll probably just take it home and decorate it herself (which she's never done). It's a very screwed up situation.

That's a great idea about the grooms cake!!! That never even crossed my mind!! I'm with you guys; that groom should have no say! icon_smile.gif This is the type of couple that get very..... I'm not sure what the word is....goofy maybe....about piddly things like that. And honestly, I'm a little frightened to be helping with her at all with this cake....she's one of my closest friends but the two of them can be pretty hard to work with. icon_smile.gif

Which is why I am here. I wanted to get all of the advice, input I could!! icon_smile.gif

Also....what is this rolled buttercream? I've never used or heard of it before! (I'm relatively new at this cake decorating stuff myself and have always just used MMFondant).

Thanks again to all of your for your help!!!





Question: Have you ever done a cake before?


Edited to add: Oops! sorry I misread your post and though it said you WERE the one doing the cake...LOL!

New Question: Why can't she order from a reputable baker/cake shop? And how could a non caker decorate a cake better than someone who does do cakes for a living? I highly doubt that the lady she originally hired is the ONLY caker in your area. I live in a very rural area and there are at least 10-12 cakers in my area, most not legal mind you, but they sell wedding cakes just the same. Research your area, I bet she can find someone who knows what they are doing and can do it from start to finish.

7yyrt Posted 24 Sep 2010 , 2:27pm
post #12 of 28

Excuse me posters, but it's THEIR wedding not HER wedding... If the groom doesn't want fondant, there should not be fondant.
For heavens' sake, people always complain the grooms aren't involved enough and here's one who said one thing and we jump on him for it?

I agree with those who stated let them taste it before a final decision.
The groom could be one of those who prefer the look of buttercream, I do myself - Fondant is neat and clean, but buttercream makes me want to swipe my finger through a border and snitch some!

Mae_mom Posted 24 Sep 2010 , 2:28pm
post #13 of 28

Thanks again for your suggestions!!! It really does help a lot!! And for all of the detailed advice!!! icon_smile.gif

As far why she doesn't hire someone else....simply, cost. The friend of the family that is currently in charge of the cake is doing it for the cost of supplies. If I end up doing it, it will likely be for nothing. We do have other places here that do cakes but she's not willing to pay for it. Which, and I'll be the first to say it, does make this whole situation worse. She wants to get exactly the result she's looking for down to the very detail, but not pay for it. Which is why I've been drafted to help, I think.

Thanks again for everything, folks!!

Bskinne Posted 24 Sep 2010 , 3:59pm
post #14 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by 7yyrt

Excuse me posters, but it's THEIR wedding not HER wedding... If the groom doesn't want fondant, there should not be fondant.
For heavens' sake, people always complain the grooms aren't involved enough and here's one who said one thing and we jump on him for it?!



Awww, that's a little snippy....I only said it kind of as a joke, but in all actuality, that is why there is a wedding, or "bride's", cake AND a groom's cake. icon_smile.gif

7yyrt Posted 24 Sep 2010 , 4:33pm
post #15 of 28

Why was that snippy?
There are two big things in a wedding. The dress - which he doesn't even SEE until the ceremony, and the cake. A groom should have some say regarding THEIR wedding.
-
We don't have 'grooms cakes' around here just 'wedding cakes', at least I've never seen one in 'real' life; only pictures. Been to tons of weddings, though.

Bskinne Posted 24 Sep 2010 , 4:41pm
post #16 of 28

It just came across condescending to something said as a joke. Lighten up.

7yyrt Posted 24 Sep 2010 , 4:55pm
post #17 of 28

YOU are the one who took it as some sort of put-down when it wasn't even directed at you personally.
Lighten up yourself.

Bskinne Posted 24 Sep 2010 , 6:14pm
post #18 of 28

I'm just making a comment. This site is so full of obnoxious comments like yours, that have nothing to do with anything relevant to the op.

7yyrt Posted 24 Sep 2010 , 7:41pm
post #19 of 28

I merely pointed out that a wedding is the union of TWO PEOPLE, as such BOTH people should have input.
For some reason you continue to take that comment as an attack on you.
-
The comment that a groom have an opinion about something important in THE WEDDING HE IS A PART OF, IS NOT AN OBNOXIOUS COMMENT.

It is respectful to include the groom in wedding preparations.
-
Now if you don't mind, I would like to stop having this conversation.

Mae_mom Posted 24 Sep 2010 , 7:46pm
post #20 of 28

Um...... Okay. I'm going to go back to the whole groom cake thing.

I've been to weddings with groom cakes before but never paid much attention to them. What is the typical size a groom cake should be? They are expecting about 150 people total...but I wasn't sure what the groom cake size should be in comparison to the big cake?

I'm just trying to gather as much info as I can for when I sit her down to discuss the options with her. icon_smile.gif

Thanks!

Bskinne Posted 24 Sep 2010 , 9:57pm
post #21 of 28

7yyrt: get off your soapbox, no one cares.
Mae_mom, the grooms cake and wedding cake usually add up to the number of guests, unless otherwised specified by the client.

playingwithsugar Posted 24 Sep 2010 , 10:21pm
post #22 of 28

Mae_mom -

Unless a specific number of servings are requested, it is common, but not carved in stone, to do half as many servings of groom's cake as the bride's cake.

Theresa icon_smile.gif

hollyml Posted 25 Sep 2010 , 12:58am
post #23 of 28

Well, FWIW, I do agree that the cake is one area of wedding planning in which the groom normally DOES have a very significant "say" even in those (increasingly rare) cases where the bride and/or her family is pretty much controlling everything else. At least IME. And of the many weddings I've attended in my life, I think there was only one "groom's cake" -- and that was due to a situation sort of similar to the OP's friend, where there was a personal relationship reason for a second person to be doing a cake. icon_smile.gif

Groom's cake simply isn't a common thing everywhere. AFAIK it's mostly a Southern thing. In my circle the usual thing is for different tiers of the cake to be different flavors, and for the couple to choose the flavors and design of the cake jointly. Quite often they will go to a tasting and each will pick their favorite flavor; half the tiers are her favorite and the other half his.

A taste test isn't a bad idea *if* both bride and groom are reasonably open to considering their non-preferred option. There are good-tasting and bad-tasting buttercreams, and there are good-tasting and bad-tasting fondants, and those are subjective things anyway, a matter of personal preference. (Though TBH I don't think I've ever met anyone who likes the taste and texture of fondant better than that of BC, as a general rule, obviously it's a variable thing.)

But still, if the primary consideration isn't taste, but looks, then the couple does need to come to some sort of agreement -- and it's even more important that they be gently-but-firmly told not to have unrealistic expectations. icon_smile.gif (Has your friend seen the wedding-cake "inspiration vs. reality" posts on CakeWrecks?!) If I were the family-friend baker, I would say, "Look, this is what I can do for you. I would love to do your cake but I won't be offended if you prefer a different style and want to go elsewhere." But I would NOT agree to hand over a plain frosted cake for someone else (anyone else!) to decorate, and I would NOT agree to attempt something I did not feel I could do well.

Rolled buttercream, by the way, is basically just buttercream with a whole lot more powdered sugar added. It makes the BC stiff enough to handle, roll or mold in a similar way to how you would use fondant, but it is still softer than fondant and more difficult to use for covering a cake. It doesn't taste quite the same as regular BC. If the goal is to have the taste of BC but the smooth look of fondant, then you just need really smooth BC. There are tons of examples in the galleries here.

sweettreat101 Posted 25 Sep 2010 , 2:02am
post #24 of 28

If you havn't done many cakes I would probably stick with a crusting buttercream and fondant accents. I like to use a printed pattern especially Bounty the diamond pattern imprinted into the buttercream looks beautiful especially on weddingcakes. You will get people asking how you did that. It also helps hide any imperfections. You can see the diamond pattern on some of my cake photos. I have done many a freebee just injoy making the cakes and have fun. I would do a search of grooms cakes to get some ideas. Does he have a hobby that's a good place to start.

teresa61625 Posted 25 Sep 2010 , 2:45am
post #25 of 28

Well Bskinne, I completely agree that you were just making a joke..I got it..icon_smile.gif that is usually why we put the LOL after so people don't take offense and realize it is just a lighten the mood type of comment meant to just be fun...so don't be jumpin all over the next groom that has an opinion on HIS wedding cake...LOL

Bluehue Posted 25 Sep 2010 , 2:50am
post #26 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bskinne

7yyrt: get off your soapbox, no one cares.

Excuse me !!! - what do you mean *no-one cares* icon_confused.gif
I CARE how you speak to her.
7 has been here a long time and yes, we do care what she has to say...............THANKYOU VERY MUCH
Step back and re read what she said and you will eventually see that it makes sense... thumbs_up.gif

Don't take everything written as tho its directed at you -
It was regarding the situation ............ period.
Shezzzz - lighten ups right....there was no need to go for her throat.
icon_rolleyes.gificon_rolleyes.gif ...the topic is about a CAKE... icon_lol.gificon_lol.gif

Bluehue


Mae_mom, the grooms cake and wedding cake usually add up to the number of guests, unless otherwised specified by the client.


all4cake Posted 25 Sep 2010 , 3:16am
post #27 of 28

Couldn't you take the preferred shaped star pan and make templates either larger or smaller then, cut them out of basic shaped cakes? I don't think stacking stars would be any more difficult than any other shape as long as they were on sturdy boards.

As a suggestion for the fondant vs buttercream discussion, one could point out to the groom that there will be buttercream inside and that it would be easier to cover with fondant and get nice, defined points than with buttercream (not to say it can't be done with buttercream...it can). This can be one of MANY compromises they'll face as a married couple, yes? or how 'bout he chooses the inside and she chooses the outside. or she decides the wedding cake and he the groom's cake (or vice versa)

As for the groom's input...I've only met one that wouldn't prefer to skip all the hooha of the wedding and just get married at the JP. So many b-t-bs have daydreamed of this day throughout their lives... I do think that she should consider his thoughts on aspects of the wedding when making decisions...I also believe their likes and dislikes should be discussed with each other before involving a friend in the decision making and most definitely before contacting anyone about doing the cake.

Jen80 Posted 25 Sep 2010 , 10:35am
post #28 of 28

What about doing three cakes on the separated stand like 7yyrt suggested, have them all the same size so you don't have to have different style stars, let the lady buttercream them and ask her to put a co-ordinating ribbon around the bottom of each one and then make a spray for each cake yourself. That way the lady gets to make the cake and then you get to help your friend make it look a lot less traditional.

And by spray I mean something like stars on wires in amongst white feathers. Would be a very pretty effect I think.



And for what it's worth, I told my DH I wanted a three tier chocolate mud cake with cream coloured roses. He organised the rest. I loved it thumbs_up.gif . I also have never seen a grooms cake, except for on the net icon_rolleyes.gif .

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bskinne

7yyrt: get off your soapbox, no one cares.




I must have missed the part where everyone voted for you to speak on their behalf icon_confused.gif .

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