Do I Need To Spilt And Fill Cake Before Frosting?

Decorating By tinarina1 Updated 26 Jun 2012 , 2:56pm by EvMarie

tinarina1 Posted 24 Jun 2012 , 5:02pm
post #1 of 26

I am baking a 3 tier cake for my daughter's wedding (first time I have attempted this!). Trying to make it as easy as possible and have found a very pretty cake covered with piped rose swirls. You have probably seen it as it's very popular. This involves a lot of quite thick buttercream, plus the crumb coat and the main one so I was just wondering what it would be like if I just buttercreamed the whole cake without splitting and filling it first? This way would make it easier and not quite so rich. I was thinking about doing 3 tiers - one carrot with cream cheese frosting, one lemon with lemon buttericing and the other chocolate with buttercream frosting. Do you think 10 inch, 8 inch and 6 inch would be enough to feed 100 people?

One other thing, I am hoping to bake and cover all 3 cakes and then put in the freezer a week or so beforehand and then bring them out the day before the wedding to assemble. Have bought some dowels but when would I put them in? The evening before the wedding, when they have defrosted? I presume I can't freeze the cake with the dowels in!!?

How does this sound to you experts? Want all the advice I can get please!

Thanks so much for any help - it is much appreciated.

25 replies
CWR41 Posted 24 Jun 2012 , 5:12pm
post #2 of 26

The cake doesn't need to be torted... you can fill with BC between two layers.

No... a 6x9x12 serves 100 (if they aren't saving the top tier)

You dowel when stacking/assembling.

carmijok Posted 24 Jun 2012 , 5:30pm
post #3 of 26

I don't think this is a legitimate post. She's had the same questions over the past year regarding this same wedding carrot cake...with varying degrees of dates and size of cake needed.

MimiFix Posted 24 Jun 2012 , 5:49pm
post #4 of 26

carmijok, I don't know, it could be legit. We all have different ways of doing things. tinarina might be a timid baker or simply nervous about the responsibility of her daughter's wedding cake.

(And I love your cat hat! You changed it once and I was so disappointed.)

imagenthatnj Posted 24 Jun 2012 , 5:59pm
post #5 of 26

She started asking last year and said the wedding was this fall. So wedding is getting closer. Fall is coming and she's getting closer to making the cake....I think.

tinarina1 Posted 24 Jun 2012 , 9:50pm
post #6 of 26

I am legitimate! Sorry for any misunderstanding.....Yes, I am really nervous now and starting to panic. Wish I hadn't offered but it seemed such a long time away. Now it's getting closer I am having second (and third) thoughts about what cake to make. Started off feeling quite ambitious and then began to realise I might not be capable. Have been practising buttercream roses and rose swirls all day - youtube is brilliant for that! Just keep getting questions popping into my head.......

Will have to try not to ask any more!

Thanks anyway.

carmijok Posted 24 Jun 2012 , 10:58pm
post #7 of 26
Originally Posted by imagenthatnj

She started asking last year and said the wedding was this fall. So wedding is getting closer. Fall is coming and she's getting closer to making the cake....I think.

On another post she said it was December. And she said she was already 'panicking' in her very first post last August.
I don't really care one way or the other. I've just noticed a lot of 'newbie' posts lately popping up with the same questions over and over...OR they ask stupid questions (and yes, there is such a thing as a stupid question) to get some kind of controversy rolling.

Just thought this one sounded a bit suspicious that's all. But again...I don't care. And OP, since you say you're legit, don't let anyone (including me) get in the way of getting answers if you truly plan on doing this.

However, since you say you're legit I will give you my opinion. Don't do the cake. You don't have enough experience in stacking tiered cakes, you haven't practiced one and you have no idea how arduous and long it takes to do a wedding cake. Why would you want to spend the week before your daughter's wedding....and the NIGHT before worrying about a cake? You'll have guests, family, friends...the rehearsal dinner, etc...all demanding time. It's a special time to share with your daughter and trust me you will be doing nothing but thinking about this cake if you do it.

Oh I know there will be others get on here extolling their experiences with doing their daughter's wedding cake and how wonderful it was...and how you should 'go for it'...but chances are, they had experience in doing more than just lemon sponge cakes. The one and only wedding cake I did crashed in the back seat of my car....and I had plenty of stacking and caking experience! Do you really want to take that chance?

I'm all for taking on challenges, but why would you want to take on something you've NEVER done and risk taking away special moments during the most important time you and your daughter can share just so you can say you made the wedding cake? To me it's not worth it and if you hire someone else to do it, you won't have to panic about it anymore. If you want to do something cake-wise why not do a SMALL 2-tiered cake for the wedding rehearsal dinner? Lots less stress...and your daughter and future son-in-law can 'rehearse' cutting the wedding cake.
Anyway that's my opinion.

CraftyCassie Posted 24 Jun 2012 , 11:01pm
post #8 of 26

Why don't you try making a dummy cake first.

Good luck!!!!!!!

pieceofcake561 Posted 25 Jun 2012 , 4:05am
post #9 of 26

I like crafty's idea. What if you just make a dummy cake period. Then do some kitchen cakes to feed the guests. This will at least alleviate some issues you may have otherwise encountered. You can also do the dummy earlier to give you more time to work on the cake before the wedding. That way it will be perfect for the big day icon_smile.gif

EvMarie Posted 25 Jun 2012 , 5:11am
post #10 of 26

I instantly thought dummy cake. We have a local shop who actually specializes in dummy cakes....and they provide the sheet cakes to be set aside behind the scenes for cutting.

As a beginner-ish cake decorator - I could see a dummy accomplishing a couple things....
(1) the blank slate of a crisp dummy cake will be SOOO helpful
(2) the stacking of a dummy cake won't present all the scary issues a real cake would

Any flaws that do happen...could be concealed with sheet cakes behind the scenes for cutting. That = less stress & a better time at your daughters wedding.

If cake cutting ceremony is an can provide a small separate cake on a pretty pedastal maybe. Good Luck.

tinarina1 Posted 25 Jun 2012 , 6:58am
post #11 of 26

Thanks for all your suggestions. Not sure what to do now. Must admit I am worrying about it now and still have months to go! I shall buy a dummy cake to practice on now and see how I get on. The rose swirls worked pretty well yesterday.......

Thanks again.

RoseBonbon Posted 25 Jun 2012 , 7:30am
post #12 of 26

@ carmijok

i think CC has helped so many people with no baking experience to bake for living (source of living)

what you may already know and find stupid (stupid question asked by newbies), and you have learned somtimes in your life, can help so many people so if you don't like the question press next don't bother to answer and comment

not all questions are expert question and maybe an answer can change a someone's life

RoseBonbon Posted 25 Jun 2012 , 7:58am
post #13 of 26

i also encourage newbie to do some research before asking

Jess155 Posted 25 Jun 2012 , 4:12pm
post #14 of 26

That rose swirl cake is going to be one of the easiest cakes to do. That is a great choice for your first one. Find some cake stacking videos on YouTube (Edna DeLaCruz has a great one) or order SPS and read the tutorial from Leah_S. Seriously, you have until fall, you can do this. I would research the shelf stability of your fillings and consult the Wilton website for serving amounts.

tinarina1 Posted 25 Jun 2012 , 4:35pm
post #15 of 26

Thank you for giving me some confidence! I thought it looked fairly simple but impressive. What I think I might do to make it a little easier is a 12" and a 10" (tiered) and have another for cutting in the kitchen as that might not be enough. Will still need to put dowels in but only in one. I have ordered a dummy cake to practice on. Would it look ok with 2 tiers this size?

I froze a buttercream rose last night, got it out this morning and it defrosted very quickly as it's quite warm here at the moment - in fact it looked very soft. I think perhaps the frosting had a little too much liquid so will try another batch with less next time. I was just imagining doing the same with the cakes the day before the wedding. Surely in a centrally heated room/possibly a roaring fire, wont they end up melting during the wedding reception and sliding off the side before they have cut it!! Obviously I wouldn't put it next to the fire but we normally have it on display in a main room.Do I have to keep it hidden away in a cool room for much of the time? We tend to use fondant or royal icing over here (UK) and don't have that many wedding cakes covered in buttercream/frostings but I dislike the taste of fondant and i do like them to taste nice too.

Sorry - might be a silly question!

Thanks again.

Jess155 Posted 25 Jun 2012 , 5:02pm
post #16 of 26

I think having a 12" and 10" stacked is going to look short and squaty. What size dummies did you order? You could use the dummy for the wedding along with a couple tiers of real cake. If you ordered a 10" dummy, you could make a real 8" and 6" and have extra cake in the back.

About the buttercream, I'm in America, so we're used to buttercream, not royal icing. The swirls would work with buttercream or royal. If the UK is used to large amounts of royal, then do that. Another option might be white chocolate ganache, but that would be really expensive!

Unlimited Posted 25 Jun 2012 , 5:46pm
post #17 of 26
Originally Posted by tinarina1

Have been practising buttercream roses and rose swirls all day

What are the buttercream roses for if you're making a rose swirl cake?

Originally Posted by tinarina1

What I think I might do to make it a little easier is a 12" and a 10" (tiered)

A 10" is way too big for a top tier -- you should add a 6" on top.

Originally Posted by tinarina1

I froze a buttercream rose last night, got it out this morning and it defrosted very quickly as it's quite warm here at the moment - in fact it looked very soft. I think perhaps the frosting had a little too much liquid so will try another batch with less next time.

Again, I don't know what the roses are for, but freezing them isn't a solution to prevent them from melting because they will just return to the same consistency before they were frozen. Buttercream roses can be air dried a week or more before needed. Once they're dried, they can easily be picked up and placed where needed without fear of melting or falling off. If the roses are drooping as you make them, add more powdered sugar for stiff roses that won't droop, and they'll dry faster too.

tinarina1 Posted 25 Jun 2012 , 6:33pm
post #18 of 26

Sorry I meant a buttercream rose swirl which I froze on a piece of wax paper. I just imagined them all melting on the cake, in the heat of the room, and sliding off! Might that happen?

That sounds a good idea about the cake tiers. It was a 10" dummy I ordered so could use that at the bottom and then make an 8" and a 6" as you suggested.


ibeeflower Posted 25 Jun 2012 , 7:10pm
post #19 of 26

Tinarina, I'm sorry but I have to agree with Carmijok on a few points made. If this is your first cake on this kind of scale it might be best if you leave it to a professional who has the experience in this kind of thing. I am doing my parents 25th anniversary cake but theirs is fairly simple, won't feed that many people, and the cake is not really for display since they are doing it in their house in the middle of July.

But, I have done research. I first figured how many servings necessary, then figured out the cake sizes, I also did various test runs of different cakes to find one that could be carved, or filled.

I also took into consideration that it is 100 degree right now, and will only get hotter so I decided on a high ratio shortening based frosting. It took me questions and practice, but I have the icing down now. And I'm not doing fondant. Just a simple white frosting.

Also, I did my decorations out of gumpaste. I did them this past weekend so they will be ready by the time the cake is needed. Since you are doing roses on it this may not apply to you.

Your daughter's day is important...especially because you are her mother. I know my mom will want to spend a lot of time with me during the wedding process and she will be wrapped up in all the wedding hoopla right before my big day.

But if it really means that much to you and you really want to do it then just do your research. Search the forums because often other people have asked a similar question and you can see what other people have replied. Be careful with your frosting though. Do your research to make sure it will stand up to any heat in your area and won't melt off the cake.

Good luck!

terrylee Posted 25 Jun 2012 , 7:30pm
post #20 of 26

Do a dummy cake...all three layers....for the wedding...( a display cake) and bake regular sheet cakes for the kitchen to accomadate your guests. Stack all three tiers, tie together with dowels going thru all tiers....Ice the cake with your rose swirls. You can do this a few days before the wedding and let it just stand out in the will crust and dry a bit.. you don't have anything that will spoil and no need to refrigerate.....does this make sense....?

jgifford Posted 25 Jun 2012 , 9:16pm
post #21 of 26

I know how special doing a wedding cake for your dd is. My first wedding cake was a 4-tier fondant-covered castle for my oldest dd. I flew to NY and made it in her small apartment. Because of problems with supplies I had ordered to be drop-shipped to her, I missed her party with her bridesmaids. I had to be at the venue early to set up the cake and couldn't go with her to her hair appointment. Nothing went right that day and I didn't get to help her get dressed at the church.

That was the most disappointing, stress-filled week of my life. Don't get me wrong - - doing her wedding cake was very important to me. But since it was my first, there was so much I didn't know and that made it so much more difficult.

The cake was beautiful, my dd was gorgeous, the wedding went off without a problem and all was well. The reception was perfect and everyone loved the cake. And after 2 good stiff drinks, I was able to enjoy it. Was it worth it? Well, that's an entirely different question. What matters is, would it be worth it to you?

EvMarie Posted 25 Jun 2012 , 9:26pm
post #22 of 26

You should do what ever you feel is MOST comfortable for you. Not sure what buttercream recipe you use & by no means am I the expert. But, in my personal experiences, I've noticed that my buttercream is pretty stiff before I add cream. When I first started making this particular recipe...I just kept on adding cream until I smooth my spatula through easily.

BUTTTT, if maybe you just added a tiny bit & tested piping. If it's too stiff, add another bit & then may get a stiffer consistancy for piping & the technique you're using could hold up better.

I've also heard that ALL butter buttercream is not good for heat. I've heard that you COULD go with all shortening based buttercream but some people don't like that it has NO butter at all. The shortening holds up to heat better.

If you wanna try my buttercream, I use Indydebi's recipe here on CC. It's 1 cup unsalted butter, 1 cup shortening (preferably with trans fat IN it for better texture...although, I use a shortening with out it and it turns out fine) and 1 tablespoon of flavor. Beat till smooth. Add 2 lbs of powdered sugar, slowly. Mix good. THEN, add cold cream one tablespoon at a time till you get the right consistancy. Normally it's 4 or 5 tablespoons for spreading on a cake. Using the cream makes it not as horribly sweet....

I hope I didn't discourage you in my earlier post. I just know how stressed out I get and thought it would be easier to scale it back to make sure you enjoy the day. But, you do have plenty of time to work out kinks in your process. If you stay focused, you can do it for sure. But, don't feel bad if you go the conservative route. My fellow always tells me ...pretty cakes are great but how they taste is what's really important.

I hope it all turns out for you.

lorieleann Posted 26 Jun 2012 , 4:10am
post #23 of 26

SInce you already have a few months, how about making a full fledged mock up of the cake as a dress rehearsal. IMHO, the frosting of the cakes really isn't the make or break part of the cake--the actual baking and stacking of the cake is where the heart is on this one (not to mention transporting it).

You must be comfortable with the baking, filling, resting, leveling, frosting, doweling, and stacking of this cake if it is going to get to the wedding. I've made the rose swirl cake so many times, and it really isn't hard once you get your rhythm going (and for that you can practice on dummies). I think practicing on dummies is great, but nothing beats the experience of baking and stacking and working with real, live cake and frosting.

that being said, I'd vote to order a cake and enjoy spending the days with your daughter. I would never trade time with my mother before my wedding for a cake made by her own hands. (an aunt, a family friend doing the cake is one thing...but my mother? I'd want her with me, not working for me.)

Jess155 Posted 26 Jun 2012 , 4:37am
post #24 of 26

I'd get it done a week before the wedding and stick it in the freezer. Pull it out the morning of the wedding and you're ready to go. Seriously, the rosettes are easy, forgiving, and they look great. You can watch YouTube videos about stacking, filling, etc. It's not like your trying to do some 7 tier monstrocity with 100s of gumpaste flowers in 2 days. You've got time, you can make a little tier cake for family and practice driving around and stacking. I think it's great that you want to do this for your daughter. I'm glad you chose an easy, beautiful design.

tinarina1 Posted 26 Jun 2012 , 6:42am
post #25 of 26

Thank you all so much for your replies. People are so helpful on this forum. The buttercream recipe I used was more butter than fat but think I will try equal quantities next time, with a small amount of cream. I have one using meringue powder too which I might try. Will just keep practising but in plenty of time to change my mind!

I have lots of time watching youtube videos - now I need to do it myself!

Thanks again.

EvMarie Posted 26 Jun 2012 , 2:56pm
post #26 of 26

OH! Yes, I saw a recipe with meringue powder in it too. It does help to stiffen. That makes sense.

Just trust yourself. I only do a cake every once in a my learning curve has been stretched out big time. But, if you are on a mission to do this - you'll find out after you start practicing which route is best for you.


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