Any Ideas On How To Do This Wedding Cake Detail

Decorating By ashegoe Updated 14 Aug 2012 , 11:52pm by woozy

ashegoe Posted 6 Feb 2012 , 7:31pm
post #1 of 23

I have been asked to do this wedding cake. I understand that those are sugar pearls of different sizes. I have two questions.. I can't I assume put those on the cake tiers and deliver to venue and put layers together. And yet if I wait to do them at the venue how do I get them to stick to the already crusted buttercream? piping gel? Do I have to hand apply each bead? Please help!! I am not a professional. Just started doing cakes and really want to tackle this! Any comments or advice would be so appreciated.
*Also how do you make your buttercream ivory colored. I can figure that one out easily but thought I'd add a question.

22 replies
TexasSugar Posted 6 Feb 2012 , 7:41pm
post #2 of 23

They do make an ivory color. Or you can just use pure vanilla in the icing.

As far as the beads/pearls. I'm not a pro, but I would not be putting those babies on at a venue. If I was doing it, I would have it stacked and decorated when I got there.

I haven't used them yet, but you may want to look into the sps, many here swear by them.

JWinslow Posted 6 Feb 2012 , 7:48pm
post #3 of 23
Originally Posted by TexasSugar

As far as the beads/pearls. I'm not a pro, but I would not be putting those babies on at a venue. If I was doing it, I would have it stacked and decorated when I got there.

I haven't used them yet, but you may want to look into the sps, many here swear by them.


ashegoe Posted 6 Feb 2012 , 7:49pm
post #4 of 23

NO way am I stacking a cake before I get there. that is too dangerous! I plan on making buttercream and figured it would be pure vanilla and not colorless. guess I will have to play with it. I do not buy unless i have to. What is sps?

Vista Posted 6 Feb 2012 , 8:07pm
post #5 of 23

I always stack my cakes before. Too much of a pain to try to stack at the venue. Sps is a system of locking plates and pillars that make travel with a stacked cake much more stable.

BlueRose8302 Posted 6 Feb 2012 , 8:10pm
post #6 of 23

Putting ALL those beads on at the site would take way too long! Hours! Stacking is not that dangerous--just get a good structor system and drive carefully. The first one is scary but you will come to know that disasters usually don't happen. I've only had 1 so far and it was not the cake's fault!

You will probably have to do them all by hand--that is the beauty and difficulty of this cake. I would use the piping gel with maybe a brush and keep layering them on. They are not pushed into the buttercream but placed on top. Believe me--it will take a long time but it will be beautiful in the end.

Just use real vanilla instead of clear and your buttercream will be ivory. HTH!!

Annabakescakes Posted 6 Feb 2012 , 8:23pm
post #7 of 23

No way do I not stack! I like to get the cake to the venue and leave. No fiddling in front of whoever is there. I love SPS for traveling with a cake. It doesn't even wobble.

As far as sticking the pearls on, I think I will take ages to get them on there, but I don't know how to get them like that. It is a neat effect. Looks crunchy though!

aprilismaius Posted 6 Feb 2012 , 8:46pm
post #8 of 23

There is no reason to stack on site if you use SPS. The pearls will take much, much longer than you think, and they are very messy. Do not attempt on site.

I delivered this cake stacked using SPS with no problems.

Piping gel held them on.

ashegoe Posted 6 Feb 2012 , 8:52pm
post #9 of 23

really SPS? wow thanks for all the comments. Like I said I am new at this. But am so excited to learn from all of you and appreciate all the advice you have offered sooo much!!!. Do you have any suggestions where I can order an sps set up? I live in the middle of nowhere and have to order off the internet.

AnnieCahill Posted 6 Feb 2012 , 8:54pm
post #10 of 23

Seriously? Stack, then travel. If you are using SPS you will have no issues. I stack mine as much as I can (I drive a very small car) and then put the top tier on at the venue. But if I drove a van or SUV damn skippy that cake would be fully assembled and delivered.

Ditto what others said about the pure vanilla (or just add a tip of a toothpick of brown) and using piping gel to apply the pearls. I would just brush on the gel, pile on a heap, and then spread them around lightly with your spatula. You will have to manually apply them on the sides, but the tops and the bases of the tiers should be easy enough.

aprilismaius Posted 6 Feb 2012 , 8:58pm
post #12 of 23

You can order SPS from It is worth every penny. If you aren't sure how to use it, there is a super helpful CC'er named leah_s who has put together very detailed instructions on how to use it. I only adds like $10-15 to the cost of your cake, which of course, you can pass along. I have delivered a cake stacked with 5 tiers using SPS. I love it. The cake is stable and it makes delivery a snap.

From leah_s signature: Answers to the most often asked questions re: SPS. SPS instructions are on Page 15 of the Sticky at the top of the Cake Decorating Forum. Supplies can be ordered from Oasis Supply, Global or BakeryCrafts.

ashegoe Posted 6 Feb 2012 , 9:02pm
post #13 of 23

also when i bake my tiers the cakes seem to shrink compared to the cardboard circles i bought for each layer. If the sps system is a set of plates (and I do know what you are talking about) how do I make my cakes fit them with out the plates showing over the edge after they are baked. Maybe I am baking wrong. I am so clueless. Thanks for putting up with me and willing to offer advice. I truely do appreciate it! If I lived somewhere where I could learn I would! There are no schools and no one makes cakes. we don't have bakeries other than grocery stores. it's sad. I still need to figure out pricing. i am practically giving my cakes away icon_cry.gif

AnnieCahill Posted 6 Feb 2012 , 9:09pm
post #14 of 23

For this design, it won't matter if the cardboard shows a bit. 10" cake goes on a 10" cardboard round, which goes on a 10" SPS plate. Yes, the cake shrinks back a bit from the cardboard BUT, that should be your guideline of how much icing to apply. I always slather it on and then use the edger of the circle as my "scraping guide" if that makes sense.

Also, have you checked to see if your state has a cottage food law? Are you legally allowed to sell cakes from your home? Check with your local health department for the regs.

jgifford Posted 6 Feb 2012 , 9:09pm
post #15 of 23

The majority of the pearls are smaller and they're mixed with piping gel and spooned on. Then the larger pearls are placed individually. It really shouldn't take hours to do it. HTH thumbs_up.gif

ashegoe Posted 6 Feb 2012 , 9:36pm
post #16 of 23

thanks for all the tips with the pearls and piping gel! I will give it a smaller scale run. Also thanks on the health dept tip. I haven't checked on that.I was thinking I would need a buisness liscence or something. I do have a food handlers permit. I have made one wedding cake free for a friend and only one pd cake for a bday party and tons of my kid's bday cakes. I am having lots of requests so I guess if I am gonna start selling I need to do it right!
Thanks on the tip for the stand to cake ratio. I do truely, truely appreciate all this advice. this is the best site ever. i am so glad I fell upon it! I had only been learning from you tube. and google searches! lol But I am naturally artistic just never thought it would roll into cake decorating. It's something I hope to do from home now and then so I can be a stay at home mommy to my 4 babes!

fcakes Posted 6 Feb 2012 , 9:37pm
post #17 of 23

I think you must try SPS.. I've read so much about it! Is SPS reusable? I have a square wedding cake to do end of 2012 and was wondering if I can get it back from the venue after the cake is cut and served.

Also, can the cutters/servers figure out cutting and unassembling a cake stacked using SPS?


AnnieCahill Posted 6 Feb 2012 , 11:16pm
post #18 of 23

It is reusable, but it's so cheap I wouldn't reuse it. It gets kind of gross. The pillars are hollow and they don't really disconnect easily once they are assembled with the plate. It's worth it to get a new set. If you charge up front for SPS, it shouldn't be an issue.

carmijok Posted 6 Feb 2012 , 11:44pm
post #19 of 23

Make sure your cake is cold when you deliver...especially if it's a buttercream cake...and make the delivery at least an hour before the reception starts. A cold cake is easier to handle and transport. And plan on buying tons of sugar pearls! Also plan on it taking a lot longer than you thought it would from start to finish. Don't wait until the last minute. Plan on having your cake done and in the refrigerator the night before it's due. That way, you'll allow yourself some time should issues arise--and they always do!

fcakes Posted 7 Feb 2012 , 9:45pm
post #20 of 23

Thank you Annie! Might PM you later to get some more questions answered about buying the right sizes... really appreciate it! icon_biggrin.gif

Jealena Posted 9 Feb 2012 , 1:43pm
post #21 of 23

LOVE that cake as well, maybe a dumb question, but how do you get the large pearls on like pic w/o denting in the frosting??? Use piping gel as well??? icon_smile.gif

woozy Posted 13 Aug 2012 , 2:14am
post #22 of 23

I did a cake similar to this.
I put the pearls in a single layer in a 3/4" edge cookie pan. I put my "glue" mess in a ziplock w/cut corner. I used a combo of modeling chocolate/gum paste. I'm sure a more learned person can refine the glue recipe. Then I squiqqled the BACK of the pearly laceness. I started off doing 3-4" sections but quickly became better at it. I let the sections partially set and then placed them.
After finishing I placed some individual pearls to even it out and cover up any glops.

woozy Posted 14 Aug 2012 , 11:52pm
post #23 of 23

I made another one, and tried placing the pearls directly on the surface with piping gel. My cake is similar to cake the OP posted, with pearls rounding the edges, using both horizontal and vertical surfaces.

If you do a cake similar to the second cake posted, with not too much on the sides, piping gel does fine. If you want to use both horizontal and vertical surfaces, I highly recommend placing in "sections".

There are an awful lot of "toothbreakers" on this cake. icon_sad.gif

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