So it my sister in law's baby shower May 14th and I am making the cake. I have made a couple tiered cakes, some with fondant, but nothing like this before. I am planning make a three tier cake with 9", 7", and 5" squares, with each tier being 4 layers. I am planning on filling the cake with buttercream, covering with white chocolate ganache and making Michelle Foster's recipe for Fondant with white chocolate. Of course I have a million questions, but here are some of them.
1. How far ahead should/can I bake the cakes? I dont want them to be stale, but I also want to have enough time to decorate. I'm driving there on Friday afternoon, so wanted to have it done by then.
2. How much buttercream do I need if I'm only going to fill the cakes with it? How far ahead can I make it?
3. I know the 3:1 ratio for white chocolate ganache, but how much do I need to just cover my cakes? How long does it need to set? How far ahead can I make it?
4. Will two recipes Michelle Foster's fondant be enough?
I'm just so confused about how to organize my time.
Wow, that is going to be a HUGE cake. 4 layers is 8" inches if you use a 2" pan. Which means your cake will be two feet tall! Is that what you need? That's a ton of cake. Before anyone even starts the math, are you sure that's what you need?
Using 1'"x2" pieces (at the standard 4" tall tier), you will be serving 75 people.
5" serves 12
7" serves 24
9" serves 40
So with your cake (doubled because you have 4 layers each tier), you'll be serving 150.
Sorry for the confusion. Each layer will be 4" with one inch layers. I was going to use a jelly roll pan instead of torting them. Is that ok?
Woah there, I don't know where 8" high layers is coming from, all my cakes are 4 layers - I bake 2" cakes, torte and fill. = 4" high layers. I didn't get that you were making 8" high tiers, JSYK.
My time frames when making large cakes: Bake 3 (sometimes even 4) days ahead, double wrap cakes in plastic, pop in freezer. 2 days ahead make all my buttercream/fillings. Take cakes out of freezer, let stand for 30 minutes in plastic, level, torte, fill, buttercream. I use SMBC so I pop into freezer and scrape to get clean edges. While cake is in the freezer I color and roll my fondant. Take cake out, fondant-cover, then let sit out. 1 day ahead I peg, stack, dowel, decorate. Exception to this is if I have an evening delivery I'll sometimes finish decorating the day of the event.
As for how much buttercream you'll need and how far in advance you can make it, that depends on what recipe you use and how much you want to have on the cake. I HATE running out so I always make at least an extra 1/2 batch for what I think I'll need. You are doing squares so I'd do 1 batch extra. You never know. But you are also doing ganache - are you just doing the sides or are you filling with ganache too? I think whipped ganache should be made a day or so in advance.
Fondant: I'd double the MFF recipe just to be safe. How much you need for your square cake depends on how you cover. Are you going to try and cover like a round cake? Do you cut your corners? Are you making panels? The fondant I'd make a week in advance.
So my advice is, make a ton just in case.
FromScratchSF - Thank you so much for the detailed timeline. That is exactly what I needed. I'm a bit nervous as I have to complete the cake around my 7 month old's schedule, but this helps a lot.