Hi all, this is my first post - love the site and how generous everyone is with tips and recipes, what a great community.
I'm baking for a friend's wedding in a couple of weeks and plan to do mini cakes for the first time - 75 mini's plus a 6" topper cake. Each mini will have a rose on top, a ribbon round the base with a diamante slider, and the topper will have a posy of roses.
There doesn't seem to be much info out there on mini cakes, so I've got a vague plan and would be extremely grateful if anyone can point out any pitfalls I may not have considered
* Two days ahead, bake and level sheet cakes to 1", freeze.
* A day ahead, thaw and ice sheet cakes, then cut and stack 3 ready-iced rounds per cake.
* Crumb coat sides of cakes (how neat does this need to be? I believe it's better to roll fondant pretty thick for mini cakes, so does it matter if this isn't perfect? I was thinking of using quite a slack buttercream for this so it doesn't offer too much resistance under the fondant.
*Secure roses and ribbons with royal icing
*Transport in boxes on non-slip matting
Does that sound like it might work? Are there any tricks to speeding things up, or getting a nice, tidy production line going. I have a sneaky feeling 75 of these is going to constitute a massive job and a massive mess. I'm definitely having a couple of practise runs first
If possible cut the cake when still frozen, you will have a lot less crumbs
I think that 3" are a bit too tall. I've done quite a few (and believe me you will be swearing by no 30 )
Mine is about 2" high and about 3" wide.
I dont crumb coat mine, I actually cut the fondant in a circle big enough to cover the cake, flip the fondant over, spread a layer of bc on the fondant and then cover the cake. HOWEVER I have little mini pans that I bake mine in, so the sides are nice and smooth, this method will not work if your cakes arent smooth to begin with.
I like to use a little thicker fondant, it just cover those lil buggers better.
Dont make your bc too runny or it will just ooze out.
As for a production line I like to roll out a large piece of fondant and then cut circles that is big enough to cover the whole cake. I then place these in plastic bags to prevent drying ou. Then I place all the cakes on the boards and do the covering in one go. This saves a lot of time.
HTH and good luck!
I would frost the tops of the sheet cake before freezing. Cut the circles while the cake is still frozen and put them back into the freezer. Take out a few at a time to cover with fondant. Don't frost the sides, if you cover them while frozen you don't need to.
Do a practice run and see how long even ten mini cakes takes you.
Oh, and Cakechick is right about the height...too tall and they'll be a little unstable, plus it's harder to cover them with no folds forming in the fondant.
If you've got a bit of time and care to watch, I've recently added mini tiered cake tutorials to my blog. This is how I make my minis. The same technique applies regardless of the size or height of tier...whether one tier or 5 tiers (these are 1" layers, http://cakecentral.com/gallery/1560390 (I fully agree, 3" is too tall for anything less than 3" in diameter...even with poured fondant.). 2, 1" layers were used for the video tutorials.
Warning: They're long, somewhat redundant (I was working with 4, 3 'tier' cakes, 2 layers each and edited quite a bit), and I have an annoying voice to go with it. There are stop and mute buttons though .
all4cake I have a question about your videos. loved them by the way! The very last video at the end shows a mini cake that has poured fondant on it where the cake looks deformed and the fondant is cracking. Was that the room temperature cake or the frozen cake? You make it look so easy!
aaaaaaaargh...so sorry! I thought I had added text clips (new to the editing/movie maker thingy) that explained that I was demonstrating the technique for poured fondant. The ones in the video were frozen during that segment of the tutorial but, should never be done while frozen otherwise you'll get the sliiiiiiiiding of the poured fondant caused by the accumulation of condensation from the frozen cake coming to room temp and the cracking which is caused by the expansion of the thawing cake.
The two images of the messed up, poured fondant tier were taken the following day along with the 1 image of the 3-tier, poured fondant cake that was done on room temp to show what will result if you opt to use poured fondant on frozen cake.
After the tiers are given buttercream coats (I usually do 3..the final 2 while frozen), allow them to come to room temp before applying the poured fondant.
It really is easy and with good music (not a dh flipping between military channel and the college world series playoffs, they do go quickly and are somewhat therapeutic...can't think of anything else while doing them.
ETA: after all that rambling, the jacked up images were of those done while the tiers were frozen.
I uploaded the wrong version!!! (I sure am glad it wasn't the one with sound!!!) I'm uploading the correct one...the one with all the text clips in it that explains things a little better.
I think 2 days before is not enough time, unless you can devote all your time to the project.
I found freezing, even slightly, improved the appearance and manageability of mini cakes.
People seem to think littler = easier, but I think they are very difficult to do
The ones I did were larger than you all are talking about. I did 15 3-layer 5-inch rounds. I needed 45 cakes so I baked 9 sheets and cut 5 rounds from each. froze, filled, refrigerated, crumb coated, refrigerated, then iced. I couldn't do the fondant on that size so all was b/c. it took 2 nights to bake all, then all the buttercream making, etc. good luck with your project. i hope to avoid making minis ever again!
OP, what's the diameter of the minis you'll be doing?
Firstly, thank you to all4cake for pointing out that I actually need to watch a topic if I want to be notified of any replies. That was my first post and I didn't know, so had to steam ahead even though all of you took the trouble to help me. I feel pretty stupid to say the least, but at least now I know for next time.
Secondly, thank you so much to everyone who took the time to reply, I always find it heartwarming to see how willing everyone here is with help, compliments and encouragement ''
So, I ended up baking and freezing my sheet cakes a couple of days ahead. Then cutting 2" high rounds with a 2.5" cutter, splitting and sandwiching them with buttercream, and covering each in fondant without a crumbcoat.
I nearly had a nervous breakdown by cake 3, when I realised the magnitude of the task I'd taken on, and then I just got my head down and did it. I made 75 minis, plus a topper, and it took me 12hrs just to cover and attach a ribbon and a rose to each (I'd only done a few fondant covered cakes before this).
The bride absolutely loved it, but I won't be doing that again in a hurry
I've posted a few pics of the results in my gallery.