Please indulge me while I do the Happy Dance over the black and white wedding cake I just posted in my pics! It is the 3rd wedding cake Ive done and by far the best. The last one I did a couple of years ago was one problem after another, kept me working all night and drove me crazy. This one did not! Thanks to all of LeahSs posts and strong recommendations, I used the SPS and I had absolutely no worries about the support of the cakes, that stress never entered my mind! I did have to ask DH to cut the pillars because the finished cakes were only about 3 ½, even though I planned for them to be 4. But he did a great job. And I had no blow outs! I wrapped each tier in plastic wrap, set the cake pan on top and weighted it with cans of soup and let them settle for over 4 hours, SUPER advice from DianeLM! And Jennifer Dontzs pearl clay is the way to go whenever I need edible ribbon. It was so much better to work with than fondant! It doesnt dry out or crack like fondant and tastes great, what a bonus!
I only had a couple of issues, so maybe someone could offer some advice
I always use a crusting BC, and the crust developed tiny cracks. The third tier was the worst. I put the cake on a cardboard cake round and put that on a larger plastic cake board to frost. I noticed the cracks when I was about to decorate it, so I also put it on a piece of foam core. Im sure the cracks developed because it was not on a super sturdy board and slight movement caused the cracks. It cracked even worse when it was lifted to stack. How can I prevent this and keep the cakes looking nice? They were so clean. I dinged them a bit while decorating, but I was still very happy with them!
Also, the cardboard cake roundsI transported the cake in 2 sections, the top two tiers and the bottom two tiers. DH lifted the top two tiers to stack for me and he said the cardboard cake circle was very soggy, almost like his hands would smoosh through it. I loved using the cardboards because they were a perfect guide for smoothing the frosting with the bench scraper. I usually use foam core, but most of my cakes are only 1 tier and the foam core is the base board.
Any advice would be appreciated! Thanks!
First of all the cake is beautiful! Nice work!
The cracking is most likely b/c of the cake board. Any flex can cause that to happen. I would either use foamcore or double-up on the cardboard boards (making sure the board lines are perpendicular to each other). Another option is the plastic Tuffboards, completely grease-proof although I'm not sure how completely stable they are as I've not used them yet.
Personally I'm tending to stick more and more with foamcore, and I've just bought a new gadget...a drywall circle cutter, that cuts perfect circles so no more exacto knife! You can still use the foamcore to line up and get your edges.
I also use foam core board under my cakes and that seems to help with stability. I usually use two layers and then cover it. HTHs.
You mentioned Jennifer Dontzs pearl clay. I have nevered heard of this before. Is it something that you purchased premade, or do you have a recipe? If you have the recipe, where did you find it?
Your cake is fabulous! I don't know what to tell you about the soggy cardboard, I use cardboard all the time and haven't had any problems, I do use cardboard circles from BRP box and they are coated on top with "grease resistant layer" which I guess translates to moisture resistant as well, maybe look into trying a different type of cardboard circle.
One thing I can give advice in is the cracking! I used to have horrible issues with cracking...it would be so frustrating because I would get a cake looking absolutely flawless and then when I would lift it to move, the cardboard would give the tiniest bit and then hundreds of cracks would develop right before my eyes! I've almost cried over quite a few cakes because of it...I learned that I made made crusting buttercream too stiff and the other problem was not enough shortening. It's the mix of liquid and powdered sugar that creates the crusting effect and I've learned it doesn't take a lot of that component to get crusting to happen. Next time I suggest making your BC as usual but increase the amount of shortening in the recipe- it should help a lot!
You know I'm loving this cake, girlfriend!!!!!!!!!!
You've gotten some sage advice so far regarding the soggy cakeboards and the cracking. I use foamcore under all my cake tiers. Sometimes I use 3/16" and other times I use 1/2" if I want a taller looking tier or it's a REALLY heavy cake.
Cutting round boards can be a bit of a chore, but it is so worth it in the end. Why risk the stress and the potential damage to the cake, right?
Ditto MadameRaz' advice regarding the addition of more shortening to reduce cracking. I know the recipe you use calls for quite a bit of hi-ratio shortening to begin with, but factors like climate, humidity, water hardness, different product brands can affect the performance of a recipe.
I know you don't want to invest in a lot of stuff since this is mostly a hobby for you, but a couple of pieces of plywood or masonite to use as work surfaces would eliminate the risk of cracking or other damage when you have to move the tiers, before stacking.
I'm just going to throw this out there FYI... Now that you're using SPS, I would suggest, for a cake like this, to stack the bottom three tiers and add the top when you get to the venue. Lifting and positioning two tiers can be awkward and potentially dangerous. If it was a 5 tier cake, I'd suggest stacking the bottom three and transporting the top two tiers separately instead of as one unit. Of course, of the design demands that the top two tiers be decorated together at home, that would be the exception.
Did you cover your cake boards with anything?
Thank you everyone! More good advice! I usually use foam core, but for upper tiers Im never certain how to cover it. Diane, how exactly do you cover your foam core? And about not spending a lot of money cause its only a hobbythats why I keep my day job.to buy more cake stuff! LOL!
VickeyC: Jennifer Dontzs pearl clay is a mixture of candy clay and fondant. I got the recipe from her DVD Fun with Fondant Frills where she shows how to make it and use it. Her website is JenniferDontz.com.
Diane, how exactly do you cover your foam core?
For 1/2-inch thick, I cover just the top and sides with white Contact paper.
For 3/16-inch thick, I cover only the cut edge with white electrical tape (a trick I learned from Earlene).
thats why I keep my day job.to buy more cake stuff! LOL
LOL... Maybe I need a day job too!