ok these questions may seem kind of dumb but im a newbie and i need help
ok so im making my first 2 tier cake covered in fondant for my daughters christening. are the boxed cake mixes dense enough for the fondant on top and being tiered?? how many dowels am i supposed to put in the bottom tier? am i supposed to put some in the top tier?? i would appreciate ANY help thanks guys
Welcome to Cake Central!
There is never a stupid question...
You can make a boxed cake more dense if you are worried about supporting the weight of fondant; however, it is not always necessary to do so. Chocolate is always a denser cake, butter recipes as well as a good vanilla. There are many, many recipes in the recipe section here on Cake Central that are classified as "doctored" or "extender recipes." Take time to look through some of those for possibilities. A great "go to" recipe that can be changed up is White Almond Sour Cream (WASC.) There is an entire thread on the many variations of that particular cake. I'll try to locate it and post it for you.
As to stacking. It is a good rule of thumb to place the pan or the cake board of the smaller cake on top of the larger cake in order to mark the circumference of that tier. Wilton has a good illustration here:
As does Edna on YouTube(Tonedna on CC):
Hope that gets you started on the right path.
I'm not a professional but your questions are pretty basic and easy enough to answer.
-Box mixes are ok for a two tier cake.
-I would rather use the SPS (seperator plate system), I think that's what its called, rather than using wooden dowels. It's basically a plate (the same size as the top tier) attached with columns. There are some instructions here on CC on how to assemble.
-No you don't need any dowel on the top tier.
Have fun baking
Yes you can use a boxed mix for a fondant covered cake. Keep in mind though that boxed mixes don't bake up to the same volume that they used to. The box says it's for an 8" layer cake, but they will be thinner layers. I suggest either doctoring the mix or planning for extra boxes to get nice 2" layers that when stacked will give you a nice 4" layer cake.
Obviously, you are going to ice your cake prior to putting the fondant on it. And yes you will need dowels in the bottom tier. There is no need for dowels in the top tier as it will not be supporting anything.
Both of your tiers will need to be on some sort of base board, whether you use cardboard circles or foamboard. Cut these boards the same diameter as the iced cake will be.
You can use the plastic Wilton dowels, wooden dowels or Bubble Tea Straws. Insert the first dowel into the bottom tier (after it's iced and covered with fondant) and mark where you will need to cut it off. Pull it back out of the cake and trim it. Use that dowel to measure your other dowels with. The number of dowels needed really depends on the size of your tiers. Minimually you will need 4 dowels to support a 6" top tier. Personally, I put one in the center too. If I am using say a 12" bottom tier with an 8" top tier I would use 7 dowels in a circle and then one in the middle.
After you get your dowels into your bottom tier, you may want to put a bit of buttercream or royal icing within the ring of your dowels so that when you set your top tier on it will sit onto that icing and the icing will act as "glue" Hopefully that makes sense.
Good Luck and be sure to post pictures of your cake when it's done.
Here are some more recipes:
This is an adaption of Darn Good Chocolate Cake from the Cake Mix Doctor Book. The author adds chocolate chips and bakes it in a bundt pan. I don't find either necessary as it bakes beautifully as a layer cake. I think the chips are a preference thing, and sometimes I add them, sometimes not.
1 (18 1/4 ounce) packages devil's food cake mix 1 (4 ounce) boxes instant chocolate pudding mix 1 cup sour cream 1/2 cup water 1/2 cup vegetable oil 4 large eggs chocolate frosting ( recipe #86768 is preferred, but store bought or your own recipe is acceptable) Directions
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Grease 2 9-inch round cake pans.
Dust with flour and tap out the excess; (parchment circle on bottom of pan works well for quick release) set pans aside.
Place the cake mix, pudding mix, sour cream, water, oil, and eggs in a large mixing bowl.
Blend with an electric mixer on low speed for 1 minute.
Stop and scrape down the sides of the bowl.
On medium low speed, continue to blend for 2-3 minutes more.
The batter will be very thick and should look well combined.
Pour batter into prepared pans and smooth it out.
Bake for 27-32 minutes (since I switched pans, I started checking the cakes at 25 minutes-- it was like gooey chocolate pudding-- then 3 minutes later it was perfect.
Another couple of minutes and I think it would have been dry, so keep an eye on your cakes.
Allow to cool in the pans on a wire rack for 20 minutes.
Now is the time to start preparing your frosting.
Run a knife along the edges on the cakes pans and carefully remove cake by inverting it; allow to cool for 20 minutes more on the wire rack right side up.
When the cake layers are completely cool, cut layers in half (save a domed layer for the top-- it makes your cakes look homemade) and frost.
This is also a good discussion:
Doctored Mix with Dream Whip * This isn't one I use but it is popular with a lot of folks.
1 box mix
1 cup water
1 envelope Dream Whip
(some people add 2 tbsp. of oil to this, others use no oil)
Mix all ingredients on low for 30 seconds and then on medium for 2 minutes. Bake according to the cake mix box.
This next one is for White Cakes . I use it a lot, makes a really thick batter, so you have to spread it in the pan. Follow baking instructions from box.
1 Duncan Hines Deluxe White Cake Mix
1 Jello Instant Pudding Mix - 4 serving size
4 large egg whites
I added 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup oil
Mix on low for 30 seconds, then on medium for 2 minutes. Then bake in greased and floured pan as per the box directions.
It does sink a bit after it comes out of the oven, but it has a great texture and is nice and moist and stable.
Bunnywoman from the Wilton site gave me the one and it works wonderfully for a stand-up bear pan or for a cake like that.
Bunnywoman's Pound Cake Recipe - or recipe for a stand-up bear or a cake where you need the cake to be able to hold up well
1 pkg any flavour cake mix
1 pkg. of the complimentary flavour of instant pudding mix, 4 servings size - for example for a white mix use vanilla pudding mix, etc.
1 cup whole milk
1 cup Crisco oil
4 large eggs
Blend ingredients for about 1 minute on low then 2 minutes on medium, scraping sides of bowl often. Bake for around the regular time frame, but at 325F.. I found I had to increase the time considerably - probably because of the amount of oil in the liquids. This makes a spongy type of cake, really moist though and good and it will cut well.
This next one is my favourite, I add butter instead of oil as per the note within the recipe.
auzzi From the Wilton Site's Extendacake Pound Cake
1 pkg of any kind of cake mix to which you add all of the ingredients called for on the box
1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 cup Crisco oil - she substitutes 1/2 cup softened butter instead and so did I - wonderful!
2/3 cup water
I beat the butter, then added all of the ingredients the cake mix called for and then all of the other ingredients. Then I blended on low for 1 minute, then 2 minutes on medium, scraping the bowl down. Generally, cook at 325F for the larger cakes, 350F for smaller and you will need to add baking time, perhaps about 10-15 minutes to the times given on the cake mix box. I checked ever 5 minutes or so over the cake mix times. Also a wonderful cake. You will get about 6 1/2 cups of batter from this recipe.
This next one is used most popularly for wedding cakes and can be used for other than white cakes, the instructions for other mixes are included. I have used it for wedding cakes, it is most people's choice for wedding cakes. It can be cut in half.
White Almond Sour Cream Cake
2 boxes white cake mix (I prefer Duncan Hines)
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups granulated sugar
1 ½ tsp salt
2 2/3 cups water
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 tsp real vanilla
1 tsp almond extract (optional)
2 cups (16 oz) sour cream
8 large egg whites
Place all dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl and stir together with a wire whisk. Add the remaining ingredients and beat on a low speed for 2 minutes. Bake at 325 degrees until cake tests done.
This recipe makes: All pans are 2 inch deep
One 14" round and one 6" round or
One 16" round or
One 12" round and one 10" round or
One 12 X 18" sheet cake or
One 12" round and one 8" round and one 6" round
Half the recipe makes:
Two 8" rounds or
Two 6" rounds and 6 cupcakes
Double the recipe makes:
one 18" round + one 10" round
all 4 sizes in the Wilton petal pan set
For chocolate cake: use chocolate mixes, omit almond extract and substitute 6 whole eggs for the whites. Same applies to Marble Cakes.
For liqueur flavors: substitute alcohol (such as champagne or Kahlua) for about 1 cup of the water in the recipe
For berry flavors: Substitute one 3 oz pkg Jell-o instant Pudding in a coordinating flavor for part of the sugar in the recipe. Use a 16 oz pkg frozen berries, thaw reserving the juice. Substitute the berry juice for part of the water in the recipe, and stir the berries in at the end. *You'll need to add a little extra batter to each pan for this version.* I found I needed at least another cup and a half of batter for a 10 inch round when using the fruit version.
Marble Cake Poundcake
Follow box instructions but add 1 package, 4 serving size, of instant pudding - I use vanilla, use 3 tbsp. oil, reduce water called for by 1/4 cup or use that amount in milk, use an additional egg than what is called for on box.
Follow baking instructions per box.
When you don't have a Marble Mix but have a yellow mix, you can turn it into a Marble Mix easily by following the above but with the Yellow mix and reserving 1 cup of your batter to which you add 1/3 cup cocoa powder and proceed as directed.
Personal Experience Note on the SPS System:
While a good system, it is rather expensive for a hobby baker. Doweling is still used by very credible professionals and will certainly do well for you first time out. Just MHO.
hi yes the box mixes are fine for fondant on top
for dowels i use 8 in the bottom teir ( think of a pie divided) 4 in a x and then in about another inch or so closer to the center I do 4 more in the opposite x and one larger dowel running through the center through both teirs .
the top teir need to be put on a sturdy base such as stiff food safe card board or what I us is thin mdf cut to size needed covered in tin foil with a a hole drilled the exact size of the larger dowel in the middle ( make sure you have it perfectly centered. I also do this step for the bottom tier .
for all my cakes base in use thick plywood cut to the size I need . covered in tinfoil again. my husband the counter sinks the size of the large dowel in the ply wood center and the predrills the dowel and the screws the dowel to the plywood base . we use a 5/8 or 7/8 inch dowels for the middle we measure how tall the teirs are after baked and covered we then take two inches off the measurement so it dosen't stick up through the cake . we cut the end of the dwel on a angle so the cake slide on easyier .
so when the cakes are covered in fondant I then slide the bottom teir down over the dowel then when you are ready slide down the top teir you may have to cut away any extra fondant that comes up so that it layes flush then you proceed to decorate the teirs . this makes it completly safe to travel with . I have traveled with a four teir cake completely stacked for over an hours drive with out any worries I hope this helps feel free to pm if you have any questions i know lots of people do it a lilttle different but that's is how i do it thanks melissa
won't add anything else... Win, MissLisa and 1456 (in order of appearance) have done a great job tutoring our newbie!! However, if you panick in the middle of something and need someone to "talk" I'm online from 8:00 to 5:00, PM if you wish.
Thanks everyone for the helpful and concise info here. I am not the OP, but still am grateful!
SPS (seperator plate system), I think that's what its called,
Single Plate Separator
At the risk of sounding stupid, what is the SPS system? Just plastic tube dowels with the plastic cake boards?
At the risk of sounding stupid, what is the SPS system? Just plastic tube dowels with the plastic cake boards?
The Bakery Crafts single plate separators use the order code as SPS-___.
(you can order these from many suppliers, or use other brands of single plate separators from several others.)
On the top of this forum, there's a blue "sticky" folder that includes instructions by Leah_S.
thanks everyone this information has helped soooo much