1St Wedding Cake Advice Please!

Decorating By VMesser Updated 21 Nov 2011 , 10:29pm by VMesser

VMesser Posted 10 Nov 2011 , 7:11am
post #1 of 22

First Thank You for Reading my Post.

Well, My Baby Girl is Getting Married! yeeeaahhhh! In just about 2 weeks.
I will be of coarse making her Wedding cake. I want every thing to be perfect. So I would like to ask for yalls advice and helpful tips. I have doing a lot of research over the internet.

K I will be making a 4 tier round cake. 6 Milk Chocolate , 8 Classic White, 10 Milk Chocolate & 12 Classic White. The Milk Chocolate is from Betty Crocker and the Classic White is from Pillsbury.
I will be using the Wilton Class Butter Cream Recipe for the cake. With C&H Pure Cane Powder Sugar. I will be doing a White Basket weave around each cake. With a white or a very light Pink trim at the top and bottom edge of each tier. I will be making Pink or Pink & White Roses [that I learned how to make in the Wilton 1st class], that will be placed flowing down the cake like a river from the top. On the top I will be placing a White Chocolate Gazebo that I will be making. In the Gazebo I have the Wilton Your Ceremony Bride and Groom topper.

The White Chocolate Gazebo I will be using Bakers White Chocolate Baking Squares. (~ Wondering if this would work like the chocolate candy melts??????~) I will be using these light pink pearl candies for a bit of extra detail on the gazebo. I will be attaching them with (??? Some of the White Chocolate or butter cream???? Dont know which will work best?)

The Roses that I will be making out of the Butter Cream I would like to add a touch of Wiltons silver dust for a bit of sparkle detail.

I have never done a tiered cake before but did check out the Wilton site and a few other sites on how to do this. I have 1 pack of the Wilton wooden dowels. (Will this be enough?) I have bought some pruning sears to cut the dowels. I have bought the Wilton Silver foil to wrap the boards in. I have read that I am to use scotch tape to tape the foil to the under side of the boards? Is this right? Because that means the tape will be touching the top of the cake tier under it? Is this ok?

The Wedding will be in Lake Arrowhead in the Mountains here in California about 2 hours away. So I will not be stacking the cake until we get there. So I will be placing each cake in its own box and the Chocolate Gazebo in its own box. I will be waiting to add the trim until I stack the cake. I was thinking of placing the dowels in the cake and cutting them before boxing them up for the trip up the mountains.

I will also be using Cake Release, Baking Strips and parchment circle in the bottom of the pans. I was thinking I might need to use a flower nail also in the large 2 cake pans????


Any other Advice or Tips besides the questions that I have listed above would be awesome. Thank You!
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21 replies
VMesser Posted 10 Nov 2011 , 7:23am
post #2 of 22

P.S. I don't know if this matters but I will be using a Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer. i also was wondering about when should I start making the icings and the cakes? Worried about baking more than one cake at a time in the oven so I figure it will take about 8 hours to make the 4 tiers 2 two inch cakes for each tier. The Gazebo I plan on doing the day before or maybe two? I have a 22 month old and a 3 month old that I have to take care of also by my self while doing this cake. Dad will be away at work. icon_sad.gif
So I need tons of advice and tons of planning.

richa134 Posted 10 Nov 2011 , 8:31am
post #3 of 22

Cakes are moister if you make them, wrap them in foil when cooled and then freeze them. This worked out great for me when I was making my daughters wedding & groom's cake.

Nazarine Posted 10 Nov 2011 , 12:20pm
post #4 of 22

I usually make my cakes 2-3 days ahead and wrap them in multiple layers of plastic wrap, then pop them in the freezer. I use a flower nail for 12 inch cakes and sometimes for 10 inch cakes too. Can't hurt. For the gazebo, I would suggest making 2 of them, just in case one breaks! Have you thought about doing the flowers in royal icing? Royal icing would allow you to make them in advance so you didn't have the extra stress of having to make them all the night before. Just thinking with all you have to do to prep for the wedding and the nerves, etc. I'm a sucker for anything that I can make in advance (I have a 3 and 4 year old so my decorating is frequently done in the middle of the night). Also, I'm not sure what you mean about covering the cake boards in foil? Usually I just leave my cake boards plain in between tiers because no one really sees them after you put a border on. But maybe others will have something to say on it.

I'm sure it will be lovely! Your daughter is lucky to have you! Good luck to you.

pmarks0 Posted 10 Nov 2011 , 9:08pm
post #5 of 22

Congratulations on the wedding! And your first wedding cake!

When they say cover the boards with fancifoil, they don't mean the boards between the tiers. That would be the bottom board.

In this case I would either buy a 1/2" drum board which usually comes either white, silver or gold. You can cover it if you want as well. Or glue together a number of the cardboard cake boards and then cover them with the fancifoil. Some people cut their own boards out of wood. If you do that, then cover it first with contact paper, and then use the fancifoil or any other food safe paper and you can reuse that board again, just remove the paper.

The cake boards between each tier are cardboard and you don't cover them. They should already be food safe. They should be the same size as your tier, and will sit on the next tier down on top of the dowels you've placed to support it. I also use a board under my bottom tier as it's much easier to handle when placing it on your drum board.

pmarks0 Posted 10 Nov 2011 , 9:08pm
post #6 of 22

Congratulations on the wedding! And your first wedding cake!

When they say cover the boards with fancifoil, they don't mean the boards between the tiers. That would be the bottom board.

In this case I would either buy a 1/2" drum board which usually comes either white, silver or gold. You can cover it if you want as well. Or glue together a number of the cardboard cake boards and then cover them with the fancifoil. Some people cut their own boards out of wood. If you do that, then cover it first with contact paper, and then use the fancifoil or any other food safe paper and you can reuse that board again, just remove the paper.

The cake boards between each tier are cardboard and you don't cover them. They should already be food safe. They should be the same size as your tier, and will sit on the next tier down on top of the dowels you've placed to support it. I also use a board under my bottom tier as it's much easier to handle when placing it on your drum board.

CWR41 Posted 11 Nov 2011 , 12:58am
post #7 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by VMesser

Well, My Baby Girl is Getting Married! yeeeaahhhh! In just about 2 weeks.




Congrats.

Quote:
Originally Posted by VMesser

I will be of coarse making her Wedding cake. I want every thing to be perfect.




That's nice. I have to be honest, if you want perfection--hire a professional to make it... I think you'll be in way over your head. Based on the two round cake photos you posted today, you aren't ready for this. You are getting better... I can see progress, but this is a lot to try to take on with only a couple weeks to go, and this is a wedding--I doubt you'll have time to make a complete 4-tier practice cake and drive it around to see what happens to it before doing it again for the actual wedding.

Quote:
Originally Posted by VMesser

I have doing a lot of research over the internet.

I have never done a tiered cake before but did check out the Wilton site and a few other sites on how to do this.




That's great you're researching and asking questions, but until you've actually done it you don't know how much work is involved especially being a first-timer.

I say enjoy the wedding without all the hassle!

cindynes Posted 11 Nov 2011 , 2:13am
post #8 of 22

I only have two very important tips for you since I just did a wedding cake for my own son recently.
#1- You can never have enough dowels!!!! It's so important to keep those stacked sections level, so install them straight and don't skimp.
#2- You will be making a little mess when setting up the cake on the cake table....therefore, bring towels to cover the table where you are working and paper towels to clean up with. This is a tip that seems so practical yet some of us forget to consider.
Oh, and leave yourself lots of time to set up. This is a special day for you and your daughter and the worst thing is to feel rushed!
I totally agree with the above posts in regards to making your cakes ahead of time an freezing them. It's so much easier to crumb coat and decorate a cold, solid cake. And, the only board that has decoration on it like the foil is the bottom cake board that the cake sits on. All other layers are on cardboards that are the same size as the cake.
I might also recommend watch the video that explains how to do the "upside down frosting technique" just google it and check it out. I love to do my buttercream this way and love the outcome. Good luck and be sure to repost to let us know how it all went.

pmarks0 Posted 11 Nov 2011 , 1:03pm
post #9 of 22

I have to say I agree with CWR41. Let someone else make the cake and enjoy the wedding. It's great that you want to do this, and I can also see that you're improving with every cake. But if you haven't done a tiered cake it's not something you can just "do". This means you haven't taken the Wilton Tall Cakes course where you are taught about structure and how to stack. When I took the course, back when it was the old courses, there was a course where we did a stacked cake. But even if I had that, I don't think I'd be jumping into a wedding cake right away. It's only now, two years later, that I feel that I could do someone's wedding cake.

And I did want to say that yes you can have too many dowels. You need enough to support the tier above. However, too many will make the cake unstable. There are many stories where people have put in more than needed and the cake fell. They should be spaced about 2" apart.

And speaking from experience, it is going to take you way way longer to bake, torte, crumb coat, ice and decorate those tiers. I still take way longer than I expect to.

Enjoy the wedding. If you want to make a cake for them, make something for the rehearsal dinner.

I

Bridgette1129 Posted 11 Nov 2011 , 6:25pm
post #10 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by VMesser

I have bought the Wilton Silver foil to wrap the boards in. I have read that I am to use scotch tape to tape the foil to the under side of the boards? Is this right? Because that means the tape will be touching the top of the cake tier under it? Is this ok?




First off, congrats!

The silver foil is to wrap the cake drum (the bottom support board for the whole cake).

You use cake boards (usually cardboard) under each tier. These will be the same diameter as the cake so they do not stick out. You will not wrap these in foil because they do not show.

Some people will suggest using a better support system such as SPS or wilton.
I have only done a 2 tier cake so I just used dowels, but for a cake this size I would use cake plates and supports.

Good luck! icon_biggrin.gif

VMesser Posted 12 Nov 2011 , 8:44am
post #11 of 22

Thank You richa134 & Nazarine; I will totally look into baking ahead and freezing the cakes.
Nazarine I was wondering have you used the bake strips along with the flower nails? and if so is this ok or is this to much? That is a Awesome idea about making more than one Gazebo. Thank You. I don't know were my head is I should have known to make the roses out of royal icing.

I will totally be making a repair kit to take with me. I have a small tote with lid that I will be putting any thing and every thing in that I might need to make a repair. Thanks cindynes I will totally be adding paper Towels and some food safe wet wipes in this kit. I would have never thought of that. Thanks, I will also check out the video you mentioned.
Thank You Everyone with ya'lls knowledge on the boards. I have remembered a very Heavy Duty White Plastic Banquet Serving Tray that I have and will use but not until I assemble the cake at the wedding. I will be sure to use that slip proof mat stuff. I'm going to put each tier in its own box and 4 different people will be holding one box in their lap. icon_smile.gif It has become a fun joke sort of who will be responsible for a part of the cake icon_smile.gif
Thanks Bridgette1129 I did see the plates at the store the other day. I will do more research on them. I don't know what SPS is but will do a search and see what I can find. Is there any more info that you or someone can give me on SPS?

Thank You CWR41 and pmarks0 for your Concerns, Advice and wanting me to enjoy My Daughters Wedding. My Daughter knows of my Skill Level. I have verbally informed her that Mommy is not that good yet and that I want every thing to be perfect. Which she loudly and clearly with Love informed me that what ever I do will be just fine. It will be a opportunity for me to practice some more skills. She just wants it to be eatable and the Little Bride and Groom on top even if it is crooked and hanging from the ceiling by fishing line, it will be perfect. There will be tons of L-O-V-E in this cake. Shhhhh! Don't tell no one that is a secret family ingredient of ours. icon_wink.gif My 22 month old and I even put tons of it in a home made Pizza last night that we made step by step together, that took us almost a hour to make. But it was the best Pizza I have ever tasted. icon_biggrin.gif For real.
I feel that coming here and doing the research for this cake is just what this site is for. To Learn. I can't wait this cake will be a great learning experience. Even if I have to add fishing line to my repair kit icon_lol.gif hehehehe. I understand that you can't just learn how to make cakes by reading them online but doing and not being afraid. I feel Honored that My Daughter wants me to make her cake, fishing line and all. I am working on a time line schedule of when every thing should be done and can be done to make things go as smoothly as possible. I think this will be a key tool to accomplish my goals being able to see it laid out in writing.
If all Fails there will be a simple one layer cake on the side to place the Pink Roses and Bride and Groom Figurine on. Which My Daughter will be fine with because it will have the family secret ingredient in it. One of the reasons I decided to do a basket weave is that I feel I can do this very well and it will hide any imperfections or the imperfections will add character to the cake. Despite what my photos on here show, every thing will be fine. These cake photos and other treats have been very helpful with my excelling skill level. *Info on the photos of the basket weave that I have on here; my 22 month old attacked the roses before I was able to place them on the cake icon_cry.gif and I did make that cake when I was 9 months pregnant with my 3 month old with major swollen hands and feet.
I totally can't wait to make this cake to see what I can do but to also learn more skills from any imperfections that may arise. icon_smile.gif

Thank You Everyone for your responses. I still have more questions which I feel very blessed to have each and everyone of you here to pretty much hold my hand sort of and guide and teach me. Thank You!

VMesser Posted 12 Nov 2011 , 10:20am
post #12 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by cindynes


I might also recommend watch the video that explains how to do the "upside down frosting technique" just google it and check it out. I love to do my buttercream this way and love the outcome. Good luck and be sure to repost to let us know how it all went.




WOW! Thank You Soo much cindynes! I can't wait to try this technique. Thank You for sharing this tip.

Foxicakes Posted 12 Nov 2011 , 11:57am
post #13 of 22

You definitely have the determination that it takes to pull this off!! So, good luck to you.
Also, you mentioned using Pilsbury and Betty Crocker mixes for the cake. Might I suggest that at the very least, you do yourself a favor and use a "doctored" cake mix for this cake? ( I mean besides the family secret ingredient that you already mentioned...) A doctored mix will make the cake more dense and therefore more stable and able to hold up to all of the weight that several tiers are going to produce. It's just that plain boxed mixes are made specifically for single tier (or at the VERY most, double tiered cakes). They are made to be nice and fluffy and SOFT!! So no amount of support, IMHO, will be enough to have the 14 and 10 inch cakes hold up to all of the weight that will be on top of them.
Anyway, again, good luck to you. And, let us all know how it turns out... thumbs_up.gificon_smile.gif

Unlimited Posted 12 Nov 2011 , 3:35pm
post #14 of 22

Buttercream roses can be made well in advance and left to air dry. Once dried, they're easier to place cascading on the cake... start on the bottom, and build the cascade upward so the lower ones are helping to support the upper ones (if making a cascade). Dried BC roses will still be soft enough to cut with a knife and can be eaten with the served cake, unlike royal icing roses that dry too hard to eat and taste horrible.

If you'd like to practice making roses on a stick, you can watch my videojust click on the link in my signature line.

LNW Posted 12 Nov 2011 , 4:24pm
post #15 of 22

I would practice your basketweave a little more too. Do it on an actual round surfuce, like the side of one of your cake pans. Basketweave is very forgiving which is great if you aren't that good at smoothing yet. But if it's done sloppy or you get your lines off a little it will look terrible.

I would bake my cakes now, wrap and freeze them. That will save you hours of baking time later on.

I also agree that you should make your roses early and let them air dry. They will be a lot easier to place on the cake, they will travel better and you can make extras so when you break some (and you probably will icon_wink.gif ) you've already got replacements ready.

Congratulations on the wedding! I'm sure your daughter will love her cake.

coffeelover Posted 12 Nov 2011 , 11:09pm
post #16 of 22

I agree about doctoring the cake mix and if you do, I wouldn't use Pillsbury. Every time I've doctored it, it seems to leave an oily feeling in my mouth. Not sure if it's the recipe I use or what. The others (Betty Crocker, Duncan Hines) never turn out that way.

I'm a self taught newbie so I don't have much advice but I just did a wedding cake for my sister so I'll tell you what I learned from that experience........

Give yourself waaaaaayyyyy more time to complete the cake than you think you'll need. I baked on Tues, made icing and filling on Wed, pulled the cakes out of the freezer on Thurs and ended up baking more on Friday morning when I should have been icing, decorating and stacking. My layers after I leveled them were not tall enough and my buttercream was NOT as white as I needed to match the fondant I used on 1 of the tiers so I had to make all new icing....things I did not anticipate.

Also make sure you leave on time. LOL! My hubby made me late and here I was scared about traveling with this cake and still needed time at the wedding to set it up and finish it and we were late. I couldn't believe it. The result was people standing around watching me set up which made me nervous and there ended up being a few things with the cake I was unhappy with and would have fixed had there been time. BUT, my sister LOVED her cake so I guess that's all that matters and I'm sure your daughter will love her's too!

Good Luck! Oh and check out some videos on youtube to see how people dowel and stack their cakes. That was very helpful to me.

VMesser Posted 13 Nov 2011 , 3:59am
post #17 of 22

Thank You Foxicakes
So Very Much. That was a question that did pop in my head slightly and hid some where in this brain of mine. Yup the other cakes I have made would be pretty much very moist and I did wonder about the strength but thought that me adding the dowels would be the strength that would hold it together. But was still unsure. I have now checked more in to the " WASC " recipe that is posted on here and a couple of other ones. But I was curious with the change in the recipe if I still use the pan recommendations on how many cups of batter to put in the pan? As ya'll see it is missing this info and how long to cook it for; as many did ask. I figure I give it 20 minutes or more before checking it with the good old toothpick.
Thank You Unlimited I do remember reading some where very recently were you can make flowers out of a butter cream a head of time and they will still be eatable. I think I booked marked it. I Hope. I will have to look at the recipes better to see which one I think will be better for my purpose. Also thank you for the link to your video I will check it out :0)
Thank You LNW
I will do some extra Basket weave practice before the actual day i need to do it. It will be tons of fun :0) i think I will try it with a few different tips so that I can see which one I like better.

Also Thank You everyone for your well wishes.

Candice56 Posted 13 Nov 2011 , 5:02am
post #18 of 22

Congratulations to your family and good luck on your wedding cake adventure..

leah_s Posted 13 Nov 2011 , 5:39am
post #19 of 22

1. Yes, you certainly CAN have too many dowels. Too many dowels, especially the wooden ones that do not displace the cake into a hollow inside can actually compromise the structural integrity of the cake, creating a risk of collapse.

2. Use SPS instead of the dowels. Sturdy, easy and cheap.

VMesser Posted 15 Nov 2011 , 3:23am
post #20 of 22

CoffeeLover I know you have probally heard this before but I just got to tell you that I Just Love You Screen Name :0) Congrads on Your Sister's Wedding and doing her cake. Thank You for sharing your experience. I have been making a time line for when I think I should handle each step. But of coarse this time line keeps getting readjusted :0) hehehehehe go figure. :0) Hopfully this plan of my will work and I'm able to give my self enough time for each step.
I did do, a practice run on the chocolate gazebo. Which I am extremely happy I did and had it very early on the time line because i did find out that Baker's White Chocolate is awesome for a white chocolate icing that I made before but not to make a Gazebo :0) So I went back to the store and got some White Candy Melts. So since I have alot of left over Baker's Chocolate someone will be getting a cake with White Chocolate Icing in the near future. hehehehe Made be over the Holidays. icon_smile.gif
Since there will be no room in our car [2 baby car seats, My Hubby, My Step-daughter and myself] I will be taken the cake tiers to My Daughter's and they will be taken the cake. Since the wedding can't start without the Bride & Groom :0) the cake will get there on time no matter what hehehehe.
Not really nervous about people watching me but the cake together. Shoot maybe they will roll up their sleeves and help me. [Hopefully only if they know what they are doing hehehehehe] The way I see it the cake is for My Daughter & Joe they just get to share it with them :0). I guess it helps me think of it that way so that I won't be so nervous.
Yup Got YouTube on speed dial on this computer :0).

Thank You Candice56

Thank You leah_s I am looking into the SPS system. If not for this cake for future cakes.

Ruth0209 Posted 15 Nov 2011 , 4:38am
post #21 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by leah_s

1. Yes, you certainly CAN have too many dowels. Too many dowels, especially the wooden ones that do not displace the cake into a hollow inside can actually compromise the structural integrity of the cake, creating a risk of collapse.

2. Use SPS instead of the dowels. Sturdy, easy and cheap.




Thank you! I was just going to say that. You DON'T want to overdo the dowels. I don't use SPS, but I do use the large Wilton plastic dowels in the bottom tier and tea straws in the smaller tiers.

Good luck. Take everyone's advice and plan about three times more time than you think it'll take. You don't want to run out of time and slap it together.

VMesser Posted 21 Nov 2011 , 10:29pm
post #22 of 22

Thank You Ruth0209 Sure will
Well I have completed the White Chocolate Gazebo. I 1st tried maken a circle one. That didn't work out very well. I was having issues smoothing the chocolate in places and getting it thick enough in other places so it wouldn't break. Then I did make a square one because I search online showed someone else that made a square one. But because of the lack of sleep; i measured for a 8" instead of the 6". Which I didn't realize until I was pretty much done. grrrrr! LOL! Well Then I decided that a Octagon one would look very pretty and might be easier for me to make? Go figure it took so long to mess up on all the ones I thought would be easy. But then it was so fast and so easy to make the one that I thought would be too hard!?! icon_biggrin.gif

As soon as I get my camera back from my daughter's friend I will upload photos.

Working on the Roses tonight. icon_smile.gif

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