Can Anyone Estimate How Many Pearls On This Wedding Cake??

Decorating By Swede-cakes Updated 12 Aug 2012 , 3:59am by Swede-cakes

Swede-cakes Posted 7 Feb 2012 , 3:14pm
post #1 of 28

Met with a bride who wants this cake, and when I looked at it, all I could think of was that the qty of fondant pearls on this must be...what...2000-3000?? When I count out 10 pearls in the photo, then kind of estimate 10 of those bunches, it seems like the bottom tier alone would have 800-1000! And they seem really small, like 5mm.

Have any of you created a cake like this before with such a huge qty of pearls? I really need to figure out a price estimate for her by tomorrow (Wed)

Thanks in advance! icon_smile.gif


27 replies
milkmaid42 Posted 7 Feb 2012 , 3:27pm
post #2 of 28

Oh my gosh! Before I saw the photo, I thought of a linear arrangement around a border. But this is like trying to count bacteria on a microscope slide...or the number of zebras in a huge herd! Can you lay a grid on the picture and count the number in a certain section and then expand it to an estimate of the surface area---the size of the cake? It sort of sounds like what you've already done, though.
Whatever, it looks like you are in for a good pearl making session, that is if you make your own. I sure hope you are well compensated.
Sorry I can't be of more help. Good luck.


TejasRebel Posted 7 Feb 2012 , 3:30pm
post #3 of 28

Looks more like dragees to me. Might be easier!

jgifford Posted 7 Feb 2012 , 3:33pm
post #4 of 28

Apparently this is a popular cake right now. There's another thread going about it:

You might check that out and see if it can help you. thumbs_up.gif

ReneeFLL Posted 7 Feb 2012 , 3:36pm
post #5 of 28

I definately would not make them by hand. It would take forever to make them. I would buy them. I also think that they are dragees.

jgifford Posted 7 Feb 2012 , 3:38pm
post #6 of 28

No, these aren't fondant pearls. They're pearl dragees and the large quantity of smaller ones are mixed with piping gel and spooned on. Then the larger ones are randomly placed individually.

msthang1224 Posted 7 Feb 2012 , 4:38pm
post #7 of 28


That is a moster amount of dragees. Jgifford, that is a great idea of using the piping gel. I was sitting here wondering how in the world did they get them on this cake and at such closeness too.

jgifford Posted 7 Feb 2012 , 4:42pm
post #8 of 28

It took me a few minutes to figure it out, but if you look at the picture closely, you can see it. I can't imagine anyone trying to place each one - - they'd lose their mind!

Swede-cakes Posted 7 Feb 2012 , 4:50pm
post #9 of 28

Interesting! Ok, so piping gel should work. And seriously you think they're dragees, Jgifford? Those are known to crack a molar! LOL! I'd be inclined to use fondant pearls for the simple reason that there are SO many, the alternative is for guests to either have a crunchy bite of cake or scrape half the finish off their cake before they eat it. I'm going to half to find a way to estimate these babies!

jgifford Posted 7 Feb 2012 , 4:52pm
post #10 of 28

I would say they're dragees simply because of the size and the quantity. Seriously, if you tried to make all those fondant pearls, you'd be at it until 2:00 next summer.icon_smile.gif

msthang1224 Posted 7 Feb 2012 , 4:53pm
post #11 of 28

Yes, I surely would lose my mind, lol.

Swed: Most ppl dont eat the fondant on their slice of cake. Plus from the look of it, The dragees are placed at the top edge of the slice.

pag41989 Posted 7 Feb 2012 , 4:55pm
post #12 of 28

I also agree that they look like pearl dragees. I have never heard of mixing them with piping gel and spreading them on though, that is a great idea and that cake is gorgeous! Looks like it will be a lot of fun to make.

AnnieCahill Posted 7 Feb 2012 , 5:21pm
post #13 of 28

LOL! I thought this was the other thread I replied to yesterday!

It must be very popular now.

Jeannem Posted 7 Feb 2012 , 5:45pm
post #14 of 28

I would purchase pearls by the pound--have seen CK pearls at around $9/lb. Don't know if I'd mix them with the piping gel--don't know how the pearl would show through--but give it a test drive and see.

labelle24 Posted 7 Feb 2012 , 8:01pm
post #15 of 28

I did a cake with a similar technique (see link below) , and I can tell first hand that it is a lot more labor intensive than it looks. With the exception of the top of the smaller tier, almost every dragee was applied with tweezers. It was the only way to keep them from going everywhere... [url][/url]

Swede-cakes Posted 7 Feb 2012 , 8:06pm
post #16 of 28

LOL! I just found that other thread! Well, a watermark on that photo would have made this easier for me to inquire with the original baker about the method, but my detective work paid off. I backtracked through three separate Pinterests to find the photographer for the 2011 wedding that the cake was done for. She's in CO. So I suppose I could ask the Photog whom the cake creator was, but I think Jgifford and others have solved the mystery.

I just found ivory sugar pearls that are 1/8' and that seems to be about the right size. I'll use piping gel by spreading it on the cake, and carefully spooning the pearls over it on the cake tops. I think I'm going to have to use tweezers for the sides.

Thanks so much for brainstorming with me!!!

Swede-cakes Posted 7 Feb 2012 , 8:11pm
post #17 of 28

labella24, your cake is beautiful!! Approximately how long did it take you for pearl work?

jgifford Posted 7 Feb 2012 , 8:13pm
post #18 of 28

Actually, what I meant was to mix the pearls with just enough piping gel to hold them all together and spoon the whole thing on. I'm afraid any other way, you'd work yourself to death.

Swede-cakes Posted 7 Feb 2012 , 8:14pm
post #19 of 28

OH! Ok, gotcha! icon_smile.gif Thanks Jgifford!

jgifford Posted 7 Feb 2012 , 8:16pm
post #20 of 28

I really hope I've helped. Can't wait to see how it turns out.

labelle24 Posted 7 Feb 2012 , 9:14pm
post #21 of 28

I would say close to 4 hours when it was all said and done. I used an entire bag of the large candy coated chocolate pearls, a normal sized jar of the "medium" pearls, and probably about half a jar total of the smallest pearls....although for every pearl that made it onto the cake...3 hit the ground icon_biggrin.gif

dawnybird Posted 7 Feb 2012 , 9:44pm
post #22 of 28

I'm thinking like an earlier poster - my first thought was someone breaking a tooth on one of these puppies!! It is really pretty though!

carmijok Posted 7 Feb 2012 , 9:59pm
post #23 of 28
Originally Posted by dawnybird

I'm thinking like an earlier poster - my first thought was someone breaking a tooth on one of these puppies!! It is really pretty though!

I don't think too many people will be biting into the side of the cake! icon_biggrin.gif
I do hate those things though...they are tough...but boy are they pretty!

Honeybees Posted 7 Feb 2012 , 10:31pm
post #24 of 28

Call me crazy but I'd be in my element making all those balls. I like to sit back for hours on end doing mindless work. helps clear the mind. I have bags of pre made balls simply for that reason!
I love that cake!!

Swede-cakes Posted 8 Feb 2012 , 5:03pm
post #25 of 28

Thanks again, everyone! I worked up a price for the cake and she booked. Very excited to be able to recreate this cake!!!

ReneeFLL Posted 9 Feb 2012 , 3:22am
post #26 of 28
Originally Posted by Swede-cakes

Thanks again, everyone! I worked up a price for the cake and she booked. Very excited to be able to recreate this cake!!!

Congrats on the booking. Post a picture when you are done. I would love to see another beautiful cake like this.

dawnybird Posted 9 Feb 2012 , 4:31pm
post #27 of 28

Good for you! Have fun, and let us know what method you use to apply all those little pearls!

Swede-cakes Posted 12 Aug 2012 , 3:59am
post #28 of 28

So six months later, I finally get to create the pearl covered cake I'd originally posted about. I did use piping gel (thank you jgifford!), but I ended up squirting lines of sparkly piping gel on top of each tier while they were still chilled and used a small spatula to spread it around in a section. Then just gently let a small handful of pearls roll from my palm onto the gel surface and they stuck! Tweezers and a dab of gel for the ones on the side.

I'm really glad I got the opportunity to do this cake design. (It was actually a relief not to have to make my edges perfect for once b/c they were covered in dragees! Woohoo!) I hope more clients go beyond the Swiss dot with ribbon look like this bride did. thumbs_up.gif

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