What Does It Look Like Under All That Decoration???

Decorating By Sassy74 Updated 8 Oct 2011 , 1:58am by aligotmatt

Sassy74 Posted 6 Oct 2011 , 1:52pm
post #1 of 20

****CAUTION: LONG RAMBLING QUESTION AHEAD***

I did a search for the terms "underneath and decorations" but was only able to look at one page of results due to CC acting funky. So, if I'm asking a question that's been asked a hundred times, I'm sorry. Lately it's tough to do searches on this site.

So, my latest cake was very simple, a 10"/6" WASC iced in white BC with a white ribbon border, and gumpaste flowers for decoration. Using Sharons recipe and method, I'm able to get my BC very smooth, and my edges pretty sharp, which I love. But whenever I put flowers on a cake, they always squish into the BC around the bottom of the flower arrangement. If you look closely, you can see it around the bottom edge of the flowers on top of the cake.

http://cakecentral.com/gallery/2173146

It was much worse around the back of the leaves. This is really frustrating to me. I'd like for my cake to look pretty even after the flowers are removed, not look like a dented, smooshed mess.

To secure the flowers, I wrapped the wires in floral tape, and secured them into milkshake straws filled with melted white chocolate, and inserted the straw into the cake.

Maybe I'm not arranging them right, giving them enough elevation off of the cake to not mess up the BC. Flower arranging/placement is one of my WEAKEST skills. If I use a piece of styro to arrange them, and attach that to the cake, how would I keep the styro from falling off the cake...those GP flowers get pretty heavy when arranged in groups. It doesn't seem like even gluing with chocolate would be enough to hold a larger arrangement.

So what do you guys and gals do to arrange and secure flowers into your cakes without destroying the BC under and around? Or can you even accomplish that?

TIA!!!

19 replies
Motorhead Posted 6 Oct 2011 , 2:12pm
post #2 of 20

i do not work with flowers (haven't attempted yet!!) just wanted to comment on how beautifully awesome and clean your cake looked! i love the fact that it's buttercream (entirely harder skill to master than fondant for sure!!) and your flowers look amazing! i dont' see any issue with the cake-its simply fab!! icon_wink.gif

mrslivvix Posted 6 Oct 2011 , 2:27pm
post #3 of 20

I thought the cake looked great also! I'm not sure if there is a way to keep something so heavy from making indentions into the buttercream. I will keep reading to find out tho.
My question is who is Sharon and where are her tips for making the edges so neat? Is there a link somewhere? I need to aquire that skill!
Thanks!

knlcox Posted 6 Oct 2011 , 2:28pm
post #4 of 20

I have that same problem. I'm not sure how to put something on top of buttercream without it squishing into the cake. I've made quite a bit of buttercream cakes with buttercream decorations but very few with anything else on it. I'm wanting to know that answer myself!

Apti Posted 6 Oct 2011 , 3:14pm
post #5 of 20

OP-- Yes, you can see the holes where gum paste flowers have been and some indentations for the leaves, but, when the cake is cut and served, it doesn't matter.

For smaller cakes, the flowers will be removed, set aside, and the cake will be cut and served on the spot. For larger cakes (like stacked wedding cakes), the cakes will be removed by the caterer/venue staff to the kitchen where the flowers will be removed, the tiers separated, and then cut into servings and plated. The guests will never see the 'holes' in the cake.

I posted a thread recently asking what happens to those gorgeous gum paste decorations that you see on cakes? Do people keep them? Do they get thrown away? Do bakers reuse them in another cake? The answers I received were, that in most cases, they are disposable. (A horrible thought to think of these creations in the trash.....)

You can create toppers that are placed on a fondant or royal icing plaque that could then be removed from the top of the cake and saved by the bride, but you'll still have a round circle on the top of the buttercream where you placed the plaque, and it limits your creativity in flower placement.

By the way, your cake is superb.

Apti Posted 6 Oct 2011 , 3:32pm
post #6 of 20

To the others that asked about Sharon Zambito buttercream:

Sharon Zambito sells a DVD with this fabulous how-to for buttercream on a DVD for $25.95, "Perfecting the Art of Buttercream". (This DVD and all of Sharon's videos are highly recommended ):


mariacakestoo Posted 6 Oct 2011 , 5:53pm
post #7 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sassy74


I'd like for my cake to look pretty even after the flowers are removed, not look like a dented, smooshed mess.

So what do you guys and gals do to arrange and secure flowers into your cakes without destroying the BC under and around? Or can you even accomplish that?

TIA!!!




Oh dear, who cares what it looks like after they take the stuff off? It's time to EAT it now! icon_biggrin.gif When you go to put decorations on, it's best you do it on a very cold cake. Very minimal damage occurs then, and once everything is in place, it's most likely not going to shift and cause dings and dents.

mariacakestoo Posted 6 Oct 2011 , 5:55pm
post #8 of 20

And your cake is lovely! I'm pretty anal about making sure my cakes are perfect looking, and I don't see anything from here that would have bothered me much. The only thing I would have done differently, is used fondant ribbon, which wouldn't have bunched in at the bottoms, and would have been smooth and straight. Next time maybe?

jules5000 Posted 6 Oct 2011 , 6:12pm
post #9 of 20

Sassy74; Your cake looks great!! I am going to agree with the others on here. after pictures are taken and the cake is cut and ready to serve and eat, no one cares about how perfect the icing is on top. I certainly don't.

You went to a lot of work to put those flowers in straws with white cho. I would sure hate to think that that bouquet was thrown away. You did a great job on your cake.

LNW Posted 6 Oct 2011 , 6:45pm
post #10 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by mariacakestoo

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sassy74


I'd like for my cake to look pretty even after the flowers are removed, not look like a dented, smooshed mess.

So what do you guys and gals do to arrange and secure flowers into your cakes without destroying the BC under and around? Or can you even accomplish that?

TIA!!!



Oh dear, who cares what it looks like after they take the stuff off? It's time to EAT it now! icon_biggrin.gif When you go to put decorations on, it's best you do it on a very cold cake. Very minimal damage occurs then, and once everything is in place, it's most likely not going to shift and cause dings and dents.




ITA. Years ago I was asked by my BFF to cut and plate her wedding cake. Id never done anything like that before but the baker whod made it told me to come in early and shed show me how to dismantle the cake and cut it. She left me a cutting guide, which I kept right next to me at the tale the whole night. Her cake was a 5 tier hexagon cake with a cascade of fresh fall colored flowers flowing down both sides of the cake. By the time I picked all those flowers and floral picks out of the cake it was a mess. The cake was full of big holes from the floral picks and all the buttercream was smooshed from me trying to dig all the flowers and junk out of it. Its gets worse though.

The cake was stacked, one tier on top of the other. When I tried to remove the plate from the tier below it pulled ALL the buttercream off the top of the cake. It did this to each tier no matter how careful I was to pull the plate off. So I did my best to scrape the icing off the plate and spread it back onto the cake so at least the pieces would have some icing on top. It looked awful though.

One tier was filled with raspberry preserves. The cake was so moist it was just crumbling into a big ol mess. Then the whole tier just started falling apart, before I even had a chance to cut any slices. The top layer of cake was sliding off the filling and falling off the table. I was standing there with my cutting knife and a giant roll of paper towels and stack of serving plates scraping cake onto plates and cleaning up chucks of cake off the cake table, floor and myself while a very long line of guests waited for their piece of cake. Not too many people ate that tier, either because there was something wrong with it or because they saw me up to my elbows in it when I was trying to cut it lol.

Regardless of everything that went wrong with cutting that cake (and I blame the inexperienced cake cutter not the extremely successful bakery owner who produced the cake) only one person made a comment to me and it was a little girl. When the raspberry tier began falling off the table onto me I heard her tell her mother wow shes having a really hard time huh mom? Nobody cared that there were giant holes in the cake from the flower picks or that the icing on the tops of the slices was full of crumbs and smeared on with a plastic knife (and looked like it). They just kept coming back for more slices of cake. I saw some people up at that table 3 times! People love good cake and she had a great one.

Annabakescakes Posted 6 Oct 2011 , 7:45pm
post #11 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by LNW


<SNIP> The cake was full of big holes from the floral picks and all the buttercream was smooshed from me trying to dig all the flowers and junk out of it. Its gets worse though.

The cake was stacked, one tier on top of the other. When I tried to remove the plate from the tier below it pulled ALL the buttercream off the top of the cake. It did this to each tier no matter how careful I was to pull the plate off. So I did my best to scrape the icing off the plate and spread it back onto the cake so at least the pieces would have some icing on top. It looked awful though.

One tier was filled with raspberry preserves. The cake was so moist it was just crumbling into a big ol mess. Then the whole tier just started falling apart, before I even had a chance to cut any slices. The top layer of cake was sliding off the filling and falling off the table. I was standing there with my cutting knife and a giant roll of paper towels and stack of serving plates scraping cake onto plates and cleaning up chucks of cake off the cake table, floor and myself while a very long line of guests waited for their piece of cake. Not too many people ate that tier, either because there was something wrong with it or because they saw me up to my elbows in it when I was trying to cut it lol.

Regardless of everything that went wrong with cutting that cake (and I blame the inexperienced cake cutter not the extremely successful bakery owner who produced the cake) only one person made a comment to me and it was a little girl. When the raspberry tier began falling off the table onto me I heard her tell her mother wow shes having a really hard time huh mom? Nobody cared that there were giant holes in the cake from the flower picks or that the icing on the tops of the slices was full of crumbs and smeared on with a plastic knife (and looked like it). They just kept coming back for more slices of cake. I saw some people up at that table 3 times! People love good cake and she had a great one.




I can totally see that! The pastor's wife did that to one of my cakes before, lol. I was supposed to serve it, but I had a migraine so I "paid" her to do it with the promise of a red velvet cake the next week. She obliterated the thing, lol! But it got eaten up, and nobody said a thing.

mariacakestoo Posted 6 Oct 2011 , 7:49pm
post #12 of 20

Whenever I serve, I serve from the top tier down. Way cleaner, especially since I use a meringue BC.

LNW Posted 6 Oct 2011 , 9:38pm
post #13 of 20

That's what I did but every time I'd take the plate off the top of the tier underneath all the icing came up off it on the bottom of the plate. I was mortified. The cake lady never said THAT was going to happen lol. Nobody cared though, thank goodness.

I have never cut another wedding cake since and I never will lol. I lack the abilities to do it apparently icon_wink.gif

Sassy74 Posted 7 Oct 2011 , 12:35am
post #14 of 20

Thank y'all so much for the kind words! This cake was special to me because it was for a dear friend. And yes, the flowers were quite time consuming and may have ended up in the trash, but I enjoyed making them, and I think they came out very nice. First time making hydrangeas using Petalsweets tutorial.

I did think about refrigeration, as another poster mentioned, but I have limited refrig space, so it's not an option on tiered cakes. I prolly could have made room for this one, I just didn't think about it before decorating.

About the ribbon border, it was a last minute decision, as I just didn't want to put a BC border on the cake icon_smile.gif I didn't have any white fondant, so I just went with the ribbon.

And just to be totally clear, I'm not referring to holes left by the picks/straws used to secure the flowers into the cake, I'm talking about the dents and smooshed areas around the sides of the flower arrangement. Maybe it's not clear in my pic, but around the perimeter of my flowers, the petals made little dents, and the blossom on the far left of the top tier is actually sticking down into the BC a bit. Grrrr. Didn't notice until I was taking the pix and figured I'd do more damage trying to fix it lol .

I can just see myself trying to pull a bunch of flower picks out of a wedding cake and having it fall apart on me, haha! That would be a nightmare. But if no one said anything and ate it up anyway, who cares, right?

Thanks so much for all the responses. I really just wanted to know what decorators who regularly use GP flowers to decorate their cakes keep the cake itself pretty while inserting the flowers.

Goreti Posted 7 Oct 2011 , 12:48am
post #15 of 20

The cake is beautiful. I'm sure no one else noticed anything wrong with it. They only saw its beauty. Relax. You did a great job!

heartsnsync Posted 7 Oct 2011 , 1:01am
post #16 of 20

It is beautiful and you did nothing wrong. You cannot change the laws of physics. The butter cream is soft, the gum paste flowers are hard and heavy - gravity will have its way! I dare so no one could have made gum paste flowers like these not leave a bit of an impression here and there where they came into contact with the butter cream. So relax, know you made an amazing cake, and look forward to the next one! icon_biggrin.gif

indydebi Posted 7 Oct 2011 , 4:56pm
post #17 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by mariacakestoo

Oh dear, who cares what it looks like after they take the stuff off? It's time to EAT it now! icon_biggrin.gif


I stopped reading when I got to this one because that's EXACTLy what I was going to say after reading just the subject line. Who cares what it looks like once it's started to be disassembled? Heck, once you cut it, the icing isn't smooth and you can, omg, see the crumbs in the cake! icon_eek.gif Ok, I'm just teasing now, but seriously ... it's a cake. It's suppose to be taken apart, hacked up and eaten.

I won't even go into what it looks like once it's been thru our digestive system! icon_rolleyes.gificon_lol.gif

Pssst! you're not one of those people who carefully unwrap a present by pulling all the pieces of tape off one at a time so the paper looks pretty AFTER it's opened are ya? 'Coz I'm one who rips it apart to get to the good stuff inside! icon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gif

Sassy74 Posted 8 Oct 2011 , 1:14am
post #18 of 20

Debi, are you psychic lol ??? Because, yes, I remove my wrapping paper neatly, thank you very much! icon_wink.gif

I'm trying not to be neurotic, but maybe I still have a little work to do *wink*. I just don't want my cake to look like a hot mess once the deco's are pulled off.

I'll give refrigerating the whole cake a try, if it's one I can fit into my fridge assembled/stacked. Otherwise, I'll just hope the ppl are too anxious to eat it to notice the smooshiness of the BC.

Thanks again, all!

indydebi Posted 8 Oct 2011 , 1:37am
post #19 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sassy74

Debi, are you psychic lol ??? Because, yes, I remove my wrapping paper neatly, thank you very much! icon_wink.gif


LOL!!! icon_lol.gificon_lol.gif Oh my goodness, I have SO much work to do with you! LOL again! icon_lol.gif

aligotmatt Posted 8 Oct 2011 , 1:58am
post #20 of 20

Yeah, I have to agree. Who cares what it looks like when things are removed? I've never once considered this is smushing stuff onto my buttercream cakes. I know it's a bummer when you've spent a long meticulous time getting everything perfect. But really, the cake that sits on the table is the one people are looking at. Once it starts getting hacked up, it gets crazy looking!

I made a swimming pool cake this summer for my kids swim team banquet, used piping gel for the water. They had me serve the cake and that blue gel was flowing over everything, it looked wretched. But people went crazy over the cake, telling me it was the best they ever tasted. So what if it had piping gel flowing down!

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