12 Vs 14 ... Worth The Trouble? (A Little Long ...)

Decorating By emiyeric Updated 8 Mar 2011 , 2:44pm by lilmissbakesalot

emiyeric Posted 7 Mar 2011 , 4:18pm
post #1 of 26

I'll start off by saying I'm a hobbyist, so don't typically bake larger cakes ... I've done a 12-inch square, but that's about as grandiose as I've gotten.
I'm making the wedding cake for one of my closest friends next month as her gift, and it will all be a very laid back and friendly ceremony. She originally wanted to keep it very small, but the wedding has expanded as weddings will, so her gust list has increased (from about 60 to 80). Originally, I was going to make a bottom 12-inch round tier with some dummy tiers in the middle and a 6-inch round on top, more than enough for her initial estimate, but about 15 servings short for her new one.

She is very appreciative of my making the cake, and told me she will be ordering a cople dozen cupcakes regardless for kids and any extra servings she needs, and asked me not to change the design or worry about the extra servings. I feel like, if I'm going to make her the cake, I should make the stinking cake and not make "a portion of" the cake and have cupcakes for the missing servings (though she will have them anyway for kiddos).

Trouble is, my pans only go up to 12 inches, and I have no experience with anything bigger. Clearly, I could buy a 14-inch pan, but I'm nervous it will be more difficult than a 12-inch (which is big enough, as far as I'm concerned, to get me into trouble both with baking and decorating with a smooth flawless finish!), and I don't know if I should just stay with the original plan or try to go up a size higher. I am not terribly well equipped for large sizes, and wonder if this is the time to start practicing :/ ... I work 80-100 hours a week at my actual job, so it's not like a I have a lot of extra time to fix mistakes if it doesn't go well.

So ... is there really that much of a difference between 12 and 14 inches when baking? ...

25 replies
CWR41 Posted 7 Mar 2011 , 4:30pm
post #2 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by emiyeric

I was going to make a bottom 12-inch round tier with some dummy tiers in the middle and a 6-inch round on top, pan...




Just don't use the dummies in the middle, use real cake instead.

A 12x9x6 would work.

emiyeric Posted 7 Mar 2011 , 4:38pm
post #3 of 26

No, the issue is the specific cake design. It's supposed to be a double barrel (8x2) middle tier, which would give way too much cake if real (and I can't really combine one dummy with an 8-inch cake to make the double barrel, I doubt it would look right). The double barrel look is what she likes, and since I'm transporting the cake 2+ hours away, I figured it would be easiest to just have one large "real" tier to worry about (the top one doesn't worry me, and it's not like they want to save it for their anniversary anyway so the servings count).

Thanks for the suggestion, though! Please let me know if have any other insights, as I am way out of my comfort zone with some aspects of this cake (including trasnportation! I do SPS for the real tiers in my cakes, but the styrofoam dummies are obviously not ammenable to that icon_wink.gif ). I'm glad this is a gift, and a relatively stress-free one at that, but I still want to give my friend the prettiest cake I can!

lilmissbakesalot Posted 7 Mar 2011 , 4:44pm
post #4 of 26

There's no difference baking a 12" vs a 14" other than a little longer bake time. You can do it!!

icon_biggrin.gif

ycknits Posted 7 Mar 2011 , 5:10pm
post #5 of 26

I agree that it's no more difficult to do 14" than 12". You might want to place a flower nail in the center of the 14" pan when baking the layers, just to ensure even baking and no dry edges. I actually find it easier to cover the larger layers with fondant than the smaller ones. The requesters frequently believe that its so much "easier" to do a smaller cake. Its just as much work, maybe more difficult to cover with fondant - so I'm relieved when they go a little larger. Good luck with your project!

Swede-cakes Posted 7 Mar 2011 , 5:20pm
post #6 of 26

A 14" layer is no more trouble than a 12". Just throw two greased flower nails in there and bake it. You'll just need to have at least a 16" board for the 14".

Btw, what method did you use for calculating your servings? The industry standard of 1"x2"x4"h slices? Or a chart that provides bigger slices? If the latter, then you may be able to scale down the serving size to a standard one and have enough cake.

Hth!

love2makecakes Posted 7 Mar 2011 , 5:21pm
post #7 of 26

Why don't you just bake another small cake (kitchen cake) or cupcakes for the extra servings?

Edited to add:

I wouldn't by another pan just for this cake if you don't feel you will use it... You will just be incurring more costs.

Sangriacupcake Posted 7 Mar 2011 , 5:25pm
post #8 of 26

Are you looking for permission to stick to the smaller cake? icon_lol.gif You work long hours, you only have a 12" pan, you haven't baked a lot of large cakes, and your friend has said not to worry about it. So why stress over this?? If it makes you feel better, go ahead and make cupcakes to match the stacked cake.

Enjoy the wedding! icon_smile.gif

emiyeric Posted 7 Mar 2011 , 5:26pm
post #9 of 26

Thanks so much ... I need a little confidence boost! icon_smile.gif And just for clarification's sake, when I was rereading my post I wanted to emphasize that when I say she will be ordering cupcakes, I mean from a local grocery store. She just wants to get something simple so the kids "waste" cheapie cupcakes instead of throwing out nibbled-on bits of actual cake. Just didn't want anyone to get the impression she was "ordering" from me icon_smile.gif.

love2makecakes Posted 7 Mar 2011 , 5:29pm
post #10 of 26

Don't forget too if you go with a larger 14" cake you will need a cooling rack big enough to place the cake on.

Good luck! You can do it!

What a nice gift for you to give your friend too icon_smile.gif

cathyscakes Posted 7 Mar 2011 , 5:31pm
post #11 of 26

I just looked at your cakes and they are great, you should have no trouble with a 14" cake. I would deinitely use a flower nail and bake a 325. If your worried about the stacking part, just make sure you use a cake round to help transfer such a big cake. You can assemble while the cake is partially frozen too, less stress about breaking.Do you freeze your cakes, its a lifesaver for me, they stay moist and alot less pressure, especially with your busy work schedule.

emiyeric Posted 7 Mar 2011 , 5:31pm
post #12 of 26

Argh!!! Cooling rack! Good point!

emiyeric Posted 7 Mar 2011 , 5:32pm
post #13 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by cathyscakes

I just looked at your cakes and they are great, you should have no trouble with a 14" cake. I would deinitely use a flower nail and bake a 325. If your worried about the stacking part, just make sure you use a cake round to help transfer such a big cake. You can assemble while the cake is partially frozen too, less stress about breaking.Do you freeze your cakes, its a lifesaver for me, they stay moist and alot less pressure, especially with your busy work schedule.




Thanks so much! icon_smile.gif Yes, I LOVE freezing, even if I have plenty of time, simply because of the way my recipes seem to lock in their moisture with a brief freeze (I know it's controversial, but I love it!). Thanks for the tip on the cake round!

emiyeric Posted 7 Mar 2011 , 5:34pm
post #14 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Swede-cakes

A 14" layer is no more trouble than a 12". Just throw two greased flower nails in there and bake it. You'll just need to have at least a 16" board for the 14".

Btw, what method did you use for calculating your servings? The industry standard of 1"x2"x4"h slices? Or a chart that provides bigger slices? If the latter, then you may be able to scale down the serving size to a standard one and have enough cake.

Hth!




Sorry, I totally missed this post! Yes, I used the classic Wilton chart with the 1x2x4-inch servings. Just the top tier and bottom tier included.

Minstrelmiss Posted 7 Mar 2011 , 5:56pm
post #15 of 26

I'm glad that you are confident of your decision but what about these other source cupcakes? I do not mean to be a downer, but I would reach for a cupcake before a slice of cake-and would be disappointed if my cuppy was blah and my neighbor's cake was awesome. Why "throw away cake"?

Honest, I think what you are doing is lovely, and I am not trying to start something.

CWR41 Posted 7 Mar 2011 , 6:02pm
post #16 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by emiyeric

No, the issue is the specific cake design. It's supposed to be a double barrel (8x2) middle tier, which would give way too much cake if real (and I can't really combine one dummy with an 8-inch cake to make the double barrel, I doubt it would look right).




Actually, that's a great idea. It would look right... it's going to have that look anyway, so nobody would be the wiser if the middle tier was all dummy, all cake, or a combo of both. An 8" x 4" tier (on its own board) can sit directly on the 8" x 4" dummy, all iced and decorated as one (the board will help aid during cutting to prevent styrofoam from getting into the servings). That also solves needing the extra servings... 12" with 8" is exactly 80 servings (and the top tier can be frozen for later).

You can avoid buying a 14" pan too. The 8s will look better on a 12 than on a 14.

love2makecakes Posted 7 Mar 2011 , 6:08pm
post #17 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by CWR41

Quote:
Originally Posted by emiyeric

No, the issue is the specific cake design. It's supposed to be a double barrel (8x2) middle tier, which would give way too much cake if real (and I can't really combine one dummy with an 8-inch cake to make the double barrel, I doubt it would look right).



Actually, that's a great idea. It would look right... it's going to have that look anyway, so nobody would be the wiser if the middle tier was all dummy, all cake, or a combo of both. An 8" x 4" tier (on its own board) can sit directly on the 8" x 4" dummy, all iced and decorated as one (the board will help aid during cutting to prevent styrofoam from getting into the servings). That also solves needing the extra servings... 12" with 8" is exactly 80 servings (and the top tier can be frozen for later).

You can avoid buying a 14" pan too. The 8s will look better on a 12 than on a 14.




I have done this before with a shopping bag cake.... Used a cake dummy for half of the shopping bag and cake for the top half. Worked wonderful! Great suggestion CWR41!

CWR41 Posted 7 Mar 2011 , 6:12pm
post #18 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by love2makecakes

Great suggestion CWR41!




It's the OP's idea! (I'm just encouraging that it will work!)

emiyeric Posted 7 Mar 2011 , 6:44pm
post #19 of 26

So, even with a white dummy under a pink cake tier (the cake itself is pink champagne), you think the white fondant would look the same shade? Obviously there will b buttercream under the fonda t, but I want the double barrel to match up well ...
Also, do you think the weight would be better distributed with dummy on top, or dummy on bottom?
LOL! I was actually looking forward to just rolling the big dummy tiers out into the fondant and wrapping ... so much for that idea! icon_wink.gif

Thanks for all your suggestions! And as far as the cuppies, I actually thought it was a good idea, particularly given that a) the taste of the cake is pink champagne, which might be mature for kiddies, and that b) the majority of the people there will be family members bringing small munchkins, but not giving a proper head count with the kids included ... difficult to estimate numbers. It will be clear that the cupcakes are purchased, and separate for little ones if they want one, but I know my kids always get more excited (and more completely demolish) a cupcake than a piece of cake anyway. Does it sound like a bad idea? I definitely wouldn't be up for doing the cake AND accompanying cupcakes!

lilmissbakesalot Posted 7 Mar 2011 , 9:19pm
post #20 of 26

I'd think dummy on the bottom would be less tippy and cake on top would be easiest for serving, but if you were to run a dowel through the whole shebang tipping would be a non issue. And yes... your fondant will all be the same color so no worries there. That would be what I would do too. I'd hate to have nasty grocery store cupcakes anywhere near my cakes.

icon_biggrin.gif

lilmissbakesalot Posted 7 Mar 2011 , 9:21pm
post #21 of 26

And not for nothing, but making a dozen or so cupcakes with a quick swirl of BC and sprinkles would take no time at all. I'd rather that than the grocery store cuppies, but that's just me.

love2makecakes Posted 8 Mar 2011 , 2:41am
post #22 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by emiyeric

So, even with a white dummy under a pink cake tier (the cake itself is pink champagne), you think the white fondant would look the same shade? Obviously there will b buttercream under the fonda t, but I want the double barrel to match up well ...
Also, do you think the weight would be better distributed with dummy on top, or dummy on bottom?
LOL! I was actually looking forward to just rolling the big dummy tiers out into the fondant and wrapping ... so much for that idea! icon_wink.gif

Thanks for all your suggestions! And as far as the cuppies, I actually thought it was a good idea, particularly given that a) the taste of the cake is pink champagne, which might be mature for kiddies, and that b) the majority of the people there will be family members bringing small munchkins, but not giving a proper head count with the kids included ... difficult to estimate numbers. It will be clear that the cupcakes are purchased, and separate for little ones if they want one, but I know my kids always get more excited (and more completely demolish) a cupcake than a piece of cake anyway. Does it sound like a bad idea? I definitely wouldn't be up for doing the cake AND accompanying cupcakes!




I've never had pink champagne cake before, but isn't the alcohol baked off making it safe for all ages to consume? Or do you pour the champagne over a baked cake?

lilmissbakesalot Posted 8 Mar 2011 , 3:03am
post #23 of 26

Some of it still remains after baking, but the amounts are usually pretty negligible. Even with a soak there isn't going to be enough to make anyone get tipsy. Champagne has a lower alcohol content than vanilla extract does.

I think she is meaning that the flavor would be something that kids wouldn't appreciate more so than the alcohol.

emiyeric Posted 8 Mar 2011 , 2:25pm
post #24 of 26

Yes, exactly, the alcohol should be all baked off, but the Lorann flavoring and the taste just from the champagne itself is fairly strong. I don't know if little ones will enjoy it, or if their parents will enjoy giving it to them, even if it is just the flavor and not the alcohol content we're talking about.

love2makecakes Posted 8 Mar 2011 , 2:35pm
post #25 of 26

Ahhh... Yep, that makes sense. Now I'm curious and will have try out that flavor cake!

lilmissbakesalot Posted 8 Mar 2011 , 2:44pm
post #26 of 26

Champagne (and I always hear it in my head like Christopher Walken's SNL character says it... LOL) cake is pretty good. I like it with raspberries or orange curd (with raspberries mixed in is even better).

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