I was asked by my children's school to make a cake to be on display as part of an installation about how kids donate their gifts for their birthdays. The cake will be out and on display for a whole day during a dedication event as well as the day before for set up. They do not plan to serve the cake.
I generally use DH cake mixes with pudding and an extra egg and I like working with the nice dense cake. If no one is going to eat the cake, I don't feel like I should spend the money on the good cake, but I want to make sure I get a good texture for frosting/decorating. What should I do for the cake?
Also, I usually make Buttercream Dream (2 sticks butter/1 stick shortening) for my frosting. Should I look at making a pure shortening frosting instead?
Any other tricks for a display cake?
An at home baker who usually just makes her kids' birthday cakes.
If no one is going to eat the cake, I don't feel like I should spend the money on the good cake, but I want to make sure I get a good texture for frosting/decorating. What should I do for the cake?
Styrofoam cake dummy with shortening BC (or non-edible Perma-Ice).
Why don't you just made a dummy cake using styrofoam cake tiers. Then you don't waste the cake ingredients and it'll last as long as you need it to. You can use buttercream or fondant on cake dummies. I certainly wouldn't waste butter on a dummy cake.
Where does one get Styrofoam cake tiers? Are they pricey? I am looking to not spend a lot of money and although cake mix, eggs and oil add up, they may cost less than a dummy. They want a 12" round.
Any suggestions on pure shortening frosting recipes?
Honestly, if you don't have dummies already, an altered box mix cake will be cheaper than buying dummies unless you are looking to invest in some anyway. You can basically use any buttercream recipe you like working with and sub all shortening.
There are a lot of suppliers for dummies... I like Chef Rubber:
$3.00 for a 12" (of course, that doesn't include shipping).
Okay, the other thing is I need them by this Friday so unless I could find them at a local store, I am not using a dummy.
an altered box mix cake will be cheaper than buying dummies
What do you mean by an altered box mix?
you could use a box too, this time of year with the chrismas stuff showing up in stores already it should be pretty easy to find a round box. Turn it over and decorate away. May want to cover it with clear contact paper though to keep it from absorbing any moisture in the buttercream.
You mentioned you used a box mix with an extra egg and pudding. I'd just do a regular cake. Then you can always donate the cake to the staff, teachers, etc. You can look at it like a marketing opportunity to have the cake in the teacher's lounge the next day. Or, you can even suggest that the cake be raffled to the attendees. They can sell or give raffle tickets then raffle it at the end of the event. That would be marketing for you and an additional activity or fundraiser for the school.
I'd just do my standard cake since it is a single tier, and anything else would either be just as costly or an experiment to get around using actual cake. That's just me.
a bakery I use to work at use to flip over their 3 inch pan frost and decorate and photgraph for their seasonal and trendy kids character cakes, once the bottom border was on you never knew the difference. Do you mind me asking- why would their be a specific size required if you are not trying to serve a certain amount of people? You could also just buy styrofoam at the craft store and once it is stacked and glued and frosted you would never know the difference
why would their be a specific size required if you are not trying to serve a certain amount of people?
I think the committee has an idea of what size they want for their display. When I agreed to do this my friend had asked if I would bake a simple 9" round cake, but then the woman heading up the committee was hoping for bigger to go with her vision of the display. They were originally going to use a very fake looking cake...like one of those birthday cake hats but then thought a real cake would be even better.
The woman heading up the committee said that a single layer 12" would also work. She plans to raise it up. That way I can get away with only making one box of cake mix. It is such a shame to waste a perfectly good cake. Maybe I will suggest that they raffle it off to one of the many volunteers for the day or that they put it in the teacher's lounge for Monday. I guess then they would need to make sure that it is out of finger touching and sneezing range.
Oh, and although it is good marketing...I am not in the market to market. I have been approached by people to make them cakes, but I am still just making cakes for my family or offering up a cake to an organization I support to auction off.
The organizer said that the cake might either go to teachers or get eaten by the volunteers as they clean up. A new question...Will a real cake stay okay under some bright lights? Do I need to modify frosting?