solace Posted 26 Jul 2012 , 2:21am
post #1 of

Hello all, and thank you for having such a fantastic site available!!!

To start off, I am making a cake for my girlfriend (soon to be fiance), I was not able to get her an Loise Vuitton purse for her birthday after college tuition took a surprise jump, not to mention... an LV purse is way out of my ability... and this is a huge disappointment for myself, and her. This is my first cake EVER. But I am good at cooking and following things to precision as a once-be chemist.

I want to make an LV purse cake, I am a professional ceramic artist so don't think I will struggle with the sculpting of everything... it's the science of creating these mediums for cake creation that will stump me.

To my surprise, it has been done!
On the side, I plan on making a hello kitty figure with gumpaste or fondant.

This is what I have gathered from my reading up on cakes.
-I will need fondant to cover the cake with a nice smooth texture
-I will need gumpaste to create hinges/handles/plating/rims
-I can have a bakery or something plate rice paper in a design..I don't want that rice paper texture though... i don't know how these people made their LV purses with the lettering perfectly on there. I thought about cutting out a stencile of the LV pattern as a template and then go over it with edible gold paint... which leads me to a question i'll address below


What I don't know
-What kind of paint do i use that is affordable and edible?
-I don't know what kind of cake to make as the platform to all this? Angel food cake? White? Buttercake? cheesecake? There is no specific preference for taste here.. just worried about structure.
-I don't know the order to do this stuff in so the cake wont settle from weight and ruin all my hard work... or if something is needed for support.
-Am I missing allot of other things here?

Any advice, or a simple list of options and the order I should do them in, or if I got something wrong, or confused fondant and gumpaste as doing different things but really do the same thing just are made differently, or if there are better options/alternatives to what I want to accomplish.. let me know please. I want to make this as realistic as possible icon_smile.gif Her birthday is in 3 days. Got two days to do this, tonight to get the mat.'s

I really appreciate your time for reading this and any effort put forth in helping me accomplish my goals icon_smile.gif THANKS!

92 replies
DeniseNH Posted 26 Jul 2012 , 3:49am
post #2 of

What you're asking took a lot of us years to figure out. All the best to you and good luck.

FromScratchSF Posted 26 Jul 2012 , 4:47am
post #3 of
Quote:
Originally Posted by solace

Hello all, and thank you for having such a fantastic site available!!!

To start off, I am making a cake for my girlfriend (soon to be fiance), I was not able to get her an Loise Vuitton purse for her birthday after college tuition took a surprise jump, not to mention... an LV purse is way out of my ability... and this is a huge disappointment for myself, and her. This is my first cake EVER. But I am good at cooking and following things to precision as a once-be chemist.

I want to make an LV purse cake, I am a professional ceramic artist so don't think I will struggle with the sculpting of everything... it's the science of creating these mediums for cake creation that will stump me. Sculpting cake is nothing like ceramics or any other medium for that matter. But I do hope some of your skills will translate!

To my surprise, it has been done!
On the side, I plan on making a hello kitty figure with gumpaste or fondant.

This is what I have gathered from my reading up on cakes.
-I will need fondant to cover the cake with a nice smooth texture Yes.
-I will need gumpaste to create hinges/handles/plating/rims Yes
-I can have a bakery or something plate rice paper in a design..I don't want that rice paper texture though... i don't know how these people made their LV purses with the lettering perfectly on there. I thought about cutting out a stencile of the LV pattern as a template and then go over it with edible gold paint... which leads me to a question i'll address below The logo is handpainted or a stencil.


What I don't know
-What kind of paint do i use that is affordable and edible? Gel food colors thinned with Everclear, Vodka or lemon extract
-I don't know what kind of cake to make as the platform to all this? Angel food cake? White? Buttercake? cheesecake? There is no specific preference for taste here.. just worried about structure. That's the thing about cake and how to build a proper structure - with the right support you can stack jello. We generally make hi-ratio butter cakes, mud cakes or box mix cakes.
-I don't know the order to do this stuff in so the cake wont settle from weight and ruin all my hard work... or if something is needed for support.Yes, you'll need support if your cake height exceeds 4-5". [b]
-Am I missing allot of other things here?[b]Yes!


Any advice, or a simple list of options and the order I should do them in, or if I got something wrong, or confused fondant and gumpaste as doing different things but really do the same thing just are made differently, or if there are better options/alternatives to what I want to accomplish.. let me know please. I want to make this as realistic as possible icon_smile.gif Her birthday is in 3 days. Got two days to do this, tonight to get the mat.'s

I really appreciate your time for reading this and any effort put forth in helping me accomplish my goals icon_smile.gif THANKS!




First, it's awesome that you are attempting something like this and your heart is in the right place... I wish my husband would attempt to bake me a cake! But since you asked if you are missing stuff - yes you are. Of course you are. It's kind of like me saying I read a blog post about how to sculpt the Trevi Fountain in Rome, asking a few questions then thinking I could just do it because I've made a purse cake ;D.

Honestly, 3 days is not nearly long enough to plan for a cake like I think you want to make, and this is not a cake someone just whips up. Elements like sugar hinges, handles etc we make days, if not weeks in advance, along with planning out structure, timeline and so on. So I applaud your very ambitious plans, but I think you will need to scale it WAY back.

Although it's not an LV purse, it's a very simple purse cake that you could make without a lot of fuss, extra materials and sugar elements:
http://jessicakesblog.blogspot.com/2012/01/little-purse-tutorial.html

Then maybe paint a LV logo in the corner or something.

Best of luck to you!

vgcea Posted 26 Jul 2012 , 6:16am
post #4 of

Just before graduating nursing school, one of my instructors told the class: "you think you're ready because you're graduating but be very careful, you're about to enter the most dangerous phase of your nursing careers. Why? Because not only do you not know, but you don't know that you don't know.

Sculpting cakes takes way more than reading up techniques and imagining the steps in your head. Can you create that wow-worthy LV cake? Absolutely! But it's going to take more than 3 days especially since you have zero experience with cakes.

You could follow the tips above, but might I suggest you start preparing for her next birthday? Take the year to learn about cakes and sugar art. Stick around CC and read about the challenges cake decorators face when dealing with this wonderful medium called cake. You could blog about your journey even. Your labor of love could turn out something magnificent, even more than the cake.

Reading your post, I kept thinking to myself, no wonder non-cakers don't get why custom cakes are so expensive. They think it's something that can be whipped up by a complete novice in 2 days. Sigh.

cakecraving Posted 26 Jul 2012 , 1:11pm
post #5 of

WOW. You are very ambicious. 2-3 days is not nearly enough time to pull off a LV purse. Atleast not a good one. I dont even know where to start. Have you baked your cakes yet? For sculpting cakes a lot of people use pound cake. Others just use cake and freeze it and sculpt it while it is still frozen. Im not sure you would have enough time to freeze a cake.
Yes you need fondant and a smoother
Gumpaste is fine or you can use Tylose
I dont know how the LV is done on the cakes you looked at. But you can always print it out and either free hand it or trace it. Try useing sugar sheets.
You will need some support or structure probably dowls but I dont know I have never made a purse cake.
I think what you want to do is great. Your girlfriend should be very honored you even thought of this. But I think you are way in over your head. Remember in gift giving it is the thought that counts. Good luck icon_smile.gif

cupadeecakes Posted 26 Jul 2012 , 1:21pm
post #6 of

Solace, I think what you are doing for your GF is super sweet. I am sure that the effort you put into this cake will be appreciated and rewarded no matter how it looks. You should use denser cake, like a pound cake, and if you keep the height down (5" or under) you really won't have to worry about internal supports. DONT use angel food cake, its too soft!!

My advice is to find a good profile pic of a purse on line and blow it up on a copier / computer to the size you want. Cut it out and use it as a template that will help you carve your cake. Practice beforehand if you can.

It sounds like you are fairly artistic, and even though fondant and cake are a unique medium, I am sure you will do fine!

Panel7124 Posted 26 Jul 2012 , 3:16pm
post #7 of

You can always do a small LV suitcase icon_smile.gif - no need to sculpt anything. It's not tall and it's easy to cover with fondant too. You can do a purse later when you are more experienced or for the next anniversary of your fiance.

solace Posted 26 Jul 2012 , 6:31pm
post #8 of

I am extremely appreciative of everyone's advice. Really! I know I can have this ready by Saturday (it's Thursday now) I'll still give it a go, not cause I'm trying to be rebellious, just because I'm stubborn and wanna do it icon_razz.gif

I don't want it being giant, i saw the LV suitcase one and i liked that but it'd take allot of materials I found.. My question is, why would it take more than 3 days to make a cake like so? the designing? does something have to sit for a couple days in the fridge?... do the gumpaste decor's need to dry or something for a couple days?

I'm guessing the first thing I need to do, is make the gumpaste parts.

I will go out and just buy 2 pound cakes, flatten off the top of one, shave off the base of the other for more gripping texture, then bind them together, and shave the sides up to a tapered point... I REALLY like that jessicakes link for the little purse cake... I may just end up doing that icon_smile.gif that is perfect.

Then I would need to coat it in 'ganache', then put fondant over it..etc etc

vgcea Posted 26 Jul 2012 , 6:43pm
post #9 of

Go for it! I wish you the best. Please share the photos when you're done.

Sparklekat6 Posted 26 Jul 2012 , 7:12pm

Solace, for the record I attempted to write you instructions this morning on how to do a LV suitcase and I found myself writing stupid simplistic notes, like how to fill a cake. And then I thought, wow if I have to tell someone how to fill a cake do I really want to encourage them to make something so time consuming to give to their gf? I also found myself writing a long list of thing you will need to buy and I stopped and went, WAIT/time out! By the time you buy all these stupid ingredients and things to make this cake, you could have just ordered one from a cake shop and purchased it really small and it would probably come out pretty dang close. No one is suggesting that you CAN'T do this, we are just saying that if you do, be prepared for some frustration and don't be too dissapointed if it doesn't come out perfect. You are talking about doing poured fondant for example. I don't even do poured fondant and I bake all the time. There are just certain things I don't care to fuss with because they are extra fussy! You would really benefit from maybe finding someone on craigslist in your area who could do a rush job cake. You could try a local bakery but you are probably too late for that. (which may tell you something about how said cake is so labor intensive). Really I am stressed out enough for you that I would do it for you if I lived by you and wasn't already tied up with another cake.

Claire138 Posted 26 Jul 2012 , 7:25pm

SparkleKat, what a sweet thing to say and Solace it take alot alot of practice & time for these kind of cakes, I repeat what everyone else is saying, it's a great idea but maybe try and order it and learn enough so that you can make it yourself next year.

Cake decorating, while an art is a different art form. A close friend of mine is an artist but while she can bake she can not decorate whereas I can not draw but can decorate.

P.S. Definitely go with ganache and not bc bc the ganache is just easier to work with esp in this heat.

Good luck either way and if you do bake it make sure to post photos!

FromScratchSF Posted 26 Jul 2012 , 7:31pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by solace

My question is, why would it take more than 3 days to make a cake like so? the designing? does something have to sit for a couple days in the fridge?... do the gumpaste decor's need to dry or something for a couple days?




My question - how long do you think it should take? This is such a fundamental problem between what the public thinks we do and what we actually do! I don;t mean to sound crabby, but I'm sure you have looked at lots of cake LV purses online. Depending on the size of the purse and design, they take about 20-40 hours of work to do. That does not include drying time between pieces, chilling, cooling, etc. That's of SOLID work. And if you were to purchase that pretty LV purse cake in the picture from the decorator that made it, it would cost almost as much as a real LV purse.

But the scaled down version, the little purse cake I posted in the link above (which is the easiest carving job you could probably do and is really small so it doesn't need any internal support), this is how long it would take ME to make it (and I obviously have done cake sculpting before).

1 week or more prior:
Gumpaste handle and any additional details like a lock, chain, key tag, etc, along with the hello kitty figure: 1 full day or more, 3 days minimum for them all to dry, another day of painting to add detail

Day 1:
Bake cake: 2 hours.
Cool cake and freeze: 4 hours minimum
Make Buttercream: 1 hour
Make Ganache: Overnight

Day 2:
Frost/fill cake: 30 minutes (being generous here)
Refrigerate: 4 hours
Carve and shape: 1 hour (being generous for this somewhat simple design)
Cover in ganache: 2-4 hours, depending on your skill level. If it's your 1st time ganaching a cake? 6 hours of scraping, re-applying, chilling, scraping, re-applying, scraping etc.
Chill: 1 hour
Roll and cover in fondant: 30 minutes. 1st time? 1 hour or more.
Let fondant firm up to decorate: 2 hours minimum

Day 3:
Add trim/purse flap: 2 hours
Handpainting LV logo over entire cake: 4 hours letting time to dry between colors and coats
Adding additional gumpaste details: several hours, allowing additional time for sugar glue/royal icing to dry so your pieces stay attached

Day 4: Delivery

Now, you can shortcut some of this if you buy premade cake, canned frosting and don't ganache, but there is well over 2 days of solid work for the other stuff you want to try and do.

Again, good luck and I can't wait to see pictures when you are done!

jones5cm Posted 26 Jul 2012 , 7:58pm

I, myself admire your tenacity at the very leasticon_smile.gif I made my first purse cake after 20 years of cake decorating under my belt! Take a look here:
http://cakecentral.com/gallery/1435166/birthday-cake-for-mom
I'm not a professional cake decorator, just a hobbyist; but my advice is GO FOR IT...it just may give you the incentive to learn more and who knows...maybe make you own wedding cake!! Best of luck to you!!

solace Posted 26 Jul 2012 , 8:04pm

Thankyou again for answering my question FromScratchSF.
And all other advice, I understand your not trying to discourage me, you are just trying to help me so I don't waste my materials and time and save me from frustration.

I can handle the frustration heh... I use to make moon cakes,,, the real kinds, which Chinese gruel over and go mad making mistakes.. they are tiny, and involve a weird intricate process.... my gf once told me, "DONT BUY THAT STUPID DIM SUM BOOK, it too complicated to make, TRUS ME it so difficult even we struggle to make it" , well, I'm a dumpling master now. I have confidence I can do this... at least the tiny cake icon_razz.gif

considering I have three days, and need 3 days for drying the gumpaste decor, I need to get started now, and will buy premade poundcakes in a tin. Couldn't find tylose at the crafts store! bleh, maybe Smiths will have it. If not... Joans or michaels will for sure.

I'll also start the ganache tonight,
along with the fondant, I will add two cake colorings I got to that to make it an ivory/brown color.

tomorrow I will mix the yellow-gold coloring with some thinned white icing to use as a paint... if not, I will paint over the LV stencil with some kind of thick oil I have warmed up (coconut maybe) then sprinkle powdered sugar over the stencil so it sticks to the oils and holds.. gotta go very light on the oil though to prevent bleeding if i take this route.

solace Posted 26 Jul 2012 , 8:06pm

Thanks jones5cm! That is the plan, i hope this will get me started on a new hobbie icon_razz.gif regardless of my busy course load with computer science classes.... this could be my meditation heh.

solace Posted 26 Jul 2012 , 8:08pm

claire thanks for the tip on the ganache, I live in Utah... it's super hot and super dry in my particular town. I hope the dry climate wont be a problem

solace Posted 26 Jul 2012 , 8:13pm

Is this a good ganache recipe?
http://www.marthastewart.com/how-to/how-to-make-ganache#slide_0

I was also going to use this ladies recipe for gumpaste:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m--Djm74i8Q

and this recipe for the fondant?
http://www.bakingobsession.com/2009/01/17/homemade-fondant/

FromScratchSF Posted 26 Jul 2012 , 8:23pm

save yourself some hassle and make marshmallow fondant. It's basically a bag of marshmallows 2 pounds of powdered sugar and a little bit of water melted in the microwave to make a paste. As for the ganache, chocolate ganache is two parts chocolate one part cream. You're not to find tylose at Michael's. It's generally only carried at cake specialty stores. So my advice to you is to buy premade gumpaste.

vgcea Posted 26 Jul 2012 , 9:30pm

Solace your tenacity is absolutely adorable, you must post pics when you're done. I want to see what tenacity vs adversity and wise counsel looks like in cake form. And if you slink away without updating us, I would take it that the cake was a fail. Please prove us doubters wrong.

FromScratchSF has given you valuable advice.

A crazy part of me is actually rooting for ya icon_smile.gif

kakeladi Posted 26 Jul 2012 , 9:53pm

...... You're not to find tylose at Michael's. It's generally only carried at cake specialty stores. So my advice to you is to buy premade gumpaste.....

Definately. It is a very special product that only cake supply shops will have - and then not all of them.
The fondant could be used instead. It just will be softer, don't ever get really hard.

FACSlady Posted 26 Jul 2012 , 10:24pm

You'll need so much time to do the carving, ganaching, filling, gum paste details, and painting that I really strongly suggest you buy the gum paste and fondant. They are tricky to make, especially if you don't know what they're supposed to feel like. Look online for coupons for Michael's, JoAnn's or your local store to help with the cost.

solace Posted 27 Jul 2012 , 1:00am

Wow that marshmallow fondant is a great idea!

I already looked up some youtube video's on making it now, and will take that route, and mix in the coloring.

I will just buy the gumpaste powder, I don't want to deal with the hastle of running around town/calling people to see if they sell tylose anymore.

And thanks vgca icon_razz.gif You'll see, just wait hehe. This is one of those things that if I don't finish it, it'll be regretted for a decade or two, I promise everyones advice wont have gone to waste ^_^

I have one last question... when I put the fondant on the cake... do I let it dry out in the open? in the fridge? does it need to slowly dry? how exactly?

and similarly, with the gumpaste, how do I go about drying that? if it dries to fast in this Utah dryness, will it crack like clay does?.. i take it that it wont..hopefuly. I could slow the process of drying by putting it in a plastic croissant box I got and put holes in it and put a humidor inside to make sure it stays around 20 - 30% humidity?

solace Posted 27 Jul 2012 , 1:01am

by the way, that marshmallow fondant recipe looks so fun! I'm excited to start. But first thing first, gum paste! Decor must be done tonight. and need to stop and get my pound cakes for size reference.

Annabakescakes Posted 27 Jul 2012 , 1:31am

I can't wait to see! I'm rooting for you thumbs_up.gif

FromScratchSF Posted 27 Jul 2012 , 1:53am
Quote:
Originally Posted by solace

Wow that marshmallow fondant is a great idea!Yup! If it wasn't such a mess to make in massive quantities I'd probably use it for my business.

I already looked up some youtube video's on making it now, and will take that route, and mix in the coloring.

I will just buy the gumpaste powder, I don't want to deal with the hastle of running around town/calling people to see if they sell tylose anymore.Gumpaste is pre-mixed, Wilton is the most common brand and they sell it at Michaels.

And thanks vgca icon_razz.gif You'll see, just wait hehe. This is one of those things that if I don't finish it, it'll be regretted for a decade or two, I promise everyones advice wont have gone to waste ^_^

I have one last question... when I put the fondant on the cake... do I let it dry out in the open? in the fridge? does it need to slowly dry? how exactly? [b]Yes, I leave the cake out for it to get a skin. Also, if you are going to get any air bubbles or blow-outs, it will happen then and you can fix it easy. After a few hours, once the surface is dry and no air bubbles have apppear, I pop the cake back in the fridge to firm up so I can start decorating on it.[b]

and similarly, with the gumpaste, how do I go about drying that? if it dries to fast in this Utah dryness, will it crack like clay does?.. i take it that it wont..hopefuly. I could slow the process of drying by putting it in a plastic croissant box I got and put holes in it and put a humidor inside to make sure it stays around 20 - 30% humidity?[b]I just leave it in the open air. It won't crack unless you break it. I use a parchment-lined cookie sheet. If you don't use parchment it will stick to whatever surface it dries on.




Dude, I will take it as a personal insult if you don't post pictures! I would love to see you in-process as well as the finished product!

Serious. PERSONAL INSULT. icon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gif

solace Posted 27 Jul 2012 , 1:59am

I will post pics, i'll have to get pics of the process to, so my gf believes i made it when its done haha!

I just talked to a lady at michaels crafts here in Ogden, Utah.
She said she has been making cakes for 30 years... told me the fondant, if left for one day, here in Utah will harden as hard as gum paste, and that gumpaste will actually crumble if not careful icon_razz.gif

I'm going there in a minute, and using this michaels crafts app on my smart phone, which has a 50% off on any 1 bakeware item in the store. Probably will get the gum-tex stuff, or "wilton" kind

Annabakescakes Posted 27 Jul 2012 , 2:04am

Out of curiosity, are you a male or female? Most men would not try to do this, so I am assuming you are a lady, lol,

paulstonia Posted 27 Jul 2012 , 2:05am

good luck, and add you color to the fondant BEFORE the sugar, when it is just soupy marshmallow. You may need to add a little more after the sugar to get it the exact color you want but it will save you a lot of time.Oh, and sift the powdered sugar, another time saver. And you dry you gumpaste in a dry place not the fridge. You don't need to refridgerate the cake, it will actually make the fondant sweat when you take it out, as long as it has nothin parishable in it. I too started to give you a list of instructions last night and realized it would be just too much. You are a determined man, good luck again and I cant' wait for the pics

Annabakescakes Posted 27 Jul 2012 , 2:07am
Quote:
Originally Posted by Annabakescakes

Out of curiosity, are you a male or female? Most men would not try to do this, so I am assuming you are a lady, lol,




BTW, It doesn't matter to me, just curious. My husband is a big part or my business, so I really appreciate male decorators and bakers.

cakecraving Posted 27 Jul 2012 , 2:23am

I am totally pulling for you.
And I guess man. A women would take insult instead of being thankful.

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