I'm doing a tiered cake for a friend's wedding, and this site has been so helpful! I still have a lot of questions though - your feedback would be MUCH appreciated!
First, the cake is for 150 people. I need to purchase the pans - Do you think this project warrants 3 layers or 4, and what size pans should I get? I plan on using the construction/doweling method on this site (SO helpful!).
Second, what kind of cakes work best for wedding cakes? High ratio? Genoise? Box Mix?? Soak them or no? I will need to bake them off a few days in advance and leave them out at room temp (freezer/fridge space is practically non-existent), so my main concern is dryness.
I also need to choose fillings that can be left at room temp for 1-2 days. Any flavor combo suggestions are welcome! Here's what I'm thinking:
* Layers 1 & 3: Vanilla chiffon cake w/ raspberry preserves
* Layers 2 (&4??): Chocolate cake w/ (linawoods') nutella truffle filling
* Frosting: RaRaRobyn's Crusting Buttercream Icing
Third, I was planning on decorating the cake simply using floral ribbon, silk flowers, and some simple piping on the sides. Are there any issues with doing this directly onto the crusting buttercream? For the piping, can I continue with the buttercream or do I need to use royal icing? And lastly, if I color the piping icing, will it bleed into the buttercream?
Whew, I think that's it! Thanks for reading - I look forward to your advice!!
Go to the Wilton site and find the servings charts - that will give you the options for pan sizes and shapes to feed the number of people you have. I just did my first wedding cake and it was for 150 people, too. I used a 14 x14 inch square base, a 10 inch round, an 8 inch round, and a 6 inch round as a keeper so that didn't count in the servings. Each tier was 4 inches tall (2 layers, torted), except for the 6-inch tier, which was 5 inches tall.
If you have to transport the cake, I recommend using the SPS system for stacking. It's foolproof and will save you a lot of anxiety. Look at the forums here and find the sticky by Leah on SPS. You'll be glad you did.
Thanks for the SPS tip... I am definitely going to take that suggestion. Also I think I'm going to copy you and go with a 4-tiered round cake - 6", 8", 10", and 14"
One other thing -- I would be careful about the raspberry preserves as a filling -- I've seen a lot of cake wrecks featuring leaky fruit fillings. If you want the raspberry flavor, maybe mix some raspberry preserves into your buttercream....
If you have time you should do a practice run!!!! Bake a cake, let it sit and ice it completely. This will also give you a heads up on how much time the whole thing will take and more importantly help ease off the stress that you have going on right now!
Make sure you have a good thick dam on the layer with the preserves so it doesnt leak out the side. also make sure your ribbon is double faced or else your buttercream will bleed into the ribbon
I agree with the dam part, I did a a wedding cake with raspberry filling (I made my own) and did a large dam around the perimeter of the cake, filled with buttercream and placed the filling on the buttercream (being careful not to go above my dam) and it did fine.
The raspberry preserves will need to be refrigerated. Make sure it will fit in the frig or better yet get a sleeve filling.
I agree with malene541's suggestion to do a practice run. To practice for my first wedding cake (on today's most saved! how exciting is that??!!), I tried a lot of the techniques I was going to use by doing the bride's shower cake (both were gifts for a friend). I can't tell you how much I learned by doing that! Both cakes are in my photos and you can see what I was practicing. I learned a lot about doing fondant drapery and came up with a much better technique for the wedding cake after practicing on the shower cake. For the topper, I learned exactly how many gumpaste roses I would need and exactly how long it would take to make them. Plus, I used the shower cake for the tasting and the bride chose her favorite for the wedding cake. The wedding cake still scared me, but I did not have the panic situations that I had with the shower cake. Practice, practice, practice....
I have read that chiffon cakes aren't strong enough for stacking. You might want to rethink that one and go with a more dense vanilla cake.
Thanks for all the input! The advice about the buttercream barrier and dam makes total sense. The bride ended up changing her mind and wants red velvet instead of the vanilla/raspberry option, so here is the new gameplan:
Tier 1 (14"): BeanCountingBaker's Red Velvet Re-Mix w/ Cream Cheese Filling
Tiers 2 & 3 (12", 8"): Pastrygirls' Best Chocolate Cake w/ Linawoods' Nutella Truffle Filling
Frosting: RaRaRobyn's Crusting Buttercream
Decorating: Double-sided (floral) ribbon, buttercream piping, fresh flowers
I'm ditching the anniversary layer since the couple doesn't really care about having one. And I guess I'll have to find a way to refrigerate the individual tiers, since BOTH flavors have cream cheese in them! If anyone has had success with a cream cheese substitute that can stay out overnight, feel free to pass that along... Thanks!
Luddroth - Just saw your first wedding cake... Awesome job!
Some fresh flowers are poisionous so be carful what you use and never stick them directly into the cake.
Tiggy - How do you attach the flowers if not directly on the cake?
they sell flower stakes that you use to cover the stemsmthen you stick into the cake. i have seen them at michaels and hobby lobby
Earlene's cream cheese icing is shelf-stable as long as you follow her recipe exactly. I've found it to be a little more tempermental than Indydebi's buttercream, so when I need cream cheese icing, I use Earlene's recipe but add the dream whip from Indy's recipe...the best of both worlds
Is the Nutella truffle filling the one that has cream cheese in it? I know I've seen a recipe like that recently and it has to be refrigerated, if it is that one.
If you do end up using frostings/fillings that need refrigeration, not only do they need refrigeration before the reception, but you've got to consider the time the cake will be sitting out during the reception and maybe beforehand.
Thanks everyone, for bearing with all my questions! I'll be doing a practice run next week