I need help! I'm not an expert baker but do make nice cakes. I am getting married next may but unfortunately don't have £100's to spend on a cake as much as I'd love to. I have seen a 4 tier cake I like its chocolate sponge which I can make but have never done on such a big scale. Please can I have some tips on how to make sure my cake is cooked through, how to stack them and what equipment I need to use (aside from the obvious)
Thanks in advance
1.Use nail flowers or baking strips for even cooking.
2. Check out the wilton method of stacking
3. Decide on whether you want buttercream or fondant finish.
4. YouTube has a lot of videos to up your skills
5. Practice, practice and practice- its not easy doing a big cake let alone doing it for your own wedding!
For a cake like this I would be tempted in asking a trusted friend or family member for some help. Once the cake is stacked, placing the chocolates on is very simple but having someone else do it could free up some very valuable time for you. Addictive_desserts has given you some great advice for the stacking. And I agree, you need to practice at every opportunity that you can between now and your wedding! Good luck!
Not everyone will agree with this, but I recommend to make your layers ahead of time, wrap them well in plastic wrap, then foil and freeze them. Some people use freshly baked cakes only but I love this freezer method. The cake when thawed properly is easier to handle and tastes just as fresh as if you made it that day.
Practice making this type of cake but on a smaller level so you can see what goes into it. I agree with the other person who said that it is a good idea to have someone help you. This cake looks a little time consuming (because of all the pieces) and having assistance on your big day will be nice. If you can find a friend, have him or her try decorating with you while you do test runs so they can know what they will be doing.
Calculate everything you will need plus a bit extra in case something happens. Make sure you have what you need so you aren't short on chocolates, ribbon, icing, etc.
Good luck, and I hope this helps!
Okay...Please don't hate me for this, but the amount of money that you are going to spend on the supplies (ie. cake pans, ingredients, ribbon, etc.) will probably come out to more then you think. And the stress of trying to put together a wedding and make the cake, I just don't think you really want to go there.
A wedding cake isn't something that you just throw together...Most of us spend days and very late nights (like 2 am) making a wedding cake, because we know that so many things can and will go wrong.
So...make a list....price EVERYTHING that it will take to make this cake.
Then.....If you are still wanting to do this cake yourself, do as others have said and inlist in friends for help and make the cakes in advance and freeze them. And make ALL of your decorations in advance. I am not trying to be mean in anyway, just realistic.....I wish you the best of luck with your future wedding and with the cake.
There's a good free class on Craftsy.com right now called Modern Buttercream with Joshua John Russell. He shows a three tier, four layer cake construction and I thought it was very helpful for understanding how to stack multiple layers. He also had some excellent tips in there. Also, other classmates have posted some tips as well. Hope it helps!
So I guess I'll be the voice of reason - Making your own cake is a serious undertaking, especially if you've never done it before. But you want to make the one in the photo? You are nuts. And I say that with huge amount of love. That's 4 tiers of cake covered in hundreds of chocolate bon bons (or cake balls) and I think eclairs of some sort? Maybe chocolate dipped lady fingers? Talk about HOURS of work to just make the bon bons, then the 4 tiered cake. Will your oven even fit a 16" cake pan? Probably not. What about your fridge? Freezer? How about the 20 pounds of buttercream you'll probably need? And another 15 pounds in chocolate? Even if you did think you have the kitchen space for that, you have a huge problem:
You can't put it all that together beforehand. 1st, it probably wouldn't fit in your fridge, but it also can't be done beforehand because one small bump in the van and all those balls would go flying OR all that chocolate would crack into pieces. Which means most of the decorating would have to be done on site at delivery. So besides the ginormeous amount of work to make that, the logistical details of pulling that design off you just will not be able to do as the bride.
You might pull off a basic 4 tiered cake, but seriously, that's still huge. If you want a cake you need to prioritize your budget, pick a realistic design that falls in it, and hire a professional baker to make it.
Best of luck to you!
Correction - I just looked up that cake and it's covered in malt balls. I still don't think it can be done in advance.
All the decorations can be bought. You can bake and freeze the tiers ahead of time, but I doubt you'll be able to do the final decorations. I agree with FromScratch that if you decorate and then transport, they'll be everywhere. So would you really have the satisfaction of doing your own cake? If you won't have time to do any decorating, it kind of defeats the whole purpose.
I've never made my own wedding cake, but I did make my daughter's. It was so much stress added to what should have been a wonderful day that I would really advise you to rethink this. That being said, if you really want to bake AND decorate your own wedding cake, I would find a different, much simpler design and do as much in advance as possible. Either way you go, I wish you the best of luck.
ScraftchSF made alot of very good and important points.
I strongly suggest reconsidering this idea. Putting together a wedding is very stressful and tiresome, and you want to add putting together a wedding cake (that you never done before) something this complex?
This is your special day, ENJOY it, don't add anymore stress to it by making your own cake. And as someone mentioned when you add up all of the ingredients, the cake pans and decorations- your honestly better off just finding another professional baker to do this, in the end it will be very worth it because that is a tremendous amount of time and stress that will free up in your life.
Just think about this And congratulations on your upcoming wedding, Good luck
I have always thought that I would be making my own wedding cake. So I have also thought through the time plan.
First you have to think of a cake that won't spoil so easily.
Second, all of the decorations have to be made in advance-I think with your cake, they could be bought?
Third, is there a possibility to hand your cake over the day before to the caterer, so that they would store and transport it for you?
But I agree, money wise it won't be as cheap as you probably hope.
I won't give you anymore advice because everyone here has give you some great advice and great voice of reasons.
Personally I do think that cake is a huge undertaking and going to add a MASSIVE time commitment to an already busy time and stress.
I would like to THANK YOU for doing your research! As someone who has very recently seen a cake disaster from a close family member who decided to make her own wedding cake with no research, thank you!
thank you all for your comments and advice id do see where your coming from with the stress and time side of things and its not a decision im taking lightly let me assure you lol
although i would prefer a cake made for me all the quotes ive have for this cake have been £200-£500 which me and my partner simply cant afford.
i think the decoration is just chocolate fingers and maltesers so i think they will be quite simple to do and it can all be put together the night before at the venue. its just the stacking i'll need to practise!
thanks again for all your comments much appreciated and if any of you live near sussex or know any bakers in sussex (uk) that would do it cheaper than the above quotes please do let me know!
I'm not much help on the practical side as other people have recommended you above but may I suggest you make a practice cake (as small as you like but incorporating every element) and leave it sitting out in similar conditions as it will be on the overnight before your wedding and try it the next day?
I'd just be slightly concerned the biscuit fingers (that's what they look like to me too) might go soft with the cake. Hopefully I'm wrong but wouldn't want you go to all the effort and end up with stale fingers!
Also as someone else suggested, work out how much it will cost you to make it, including the ingredients for every practice cake, tinfoil, etc, the spare biscuits, maltesers, ribbon etc you will need to buy and compare to the lowest price you ahve been quoted to see how much you will likely actually save.
Something else I just thought of although not cake decorating related - if you have your heart set on having this cake and are ok with asking for money as gifts, could you get donations towards it from guests (or maybe just family or something)?
Being a realitivity new decorator, I have to note that being a baker and a decorator are very different things. Maybe you already decorate cakes and know this but when I first started it never occurred to me that I could be good at decorating and suck at baking ( or vice versa). So just a note on that if you don't already decorate.
Second, I think that the cake you picked is attainable but will still take you 10-12 (at least!) hours between baking and decorating. People are amazed when I tell them it takes me a good 12 hours worth of work to get my cakes done and mine aren't even super fancy.
I personally could not see myself having done a cake before my wedding. The day of was insane and I can tell you there was no way I'd have had time for the cake. What happens if things don't go right? There is a major chance that something (or everything) could go wrong. Are you prepared o deal with the prospect of a not perfect cake or worse, having to find one last minute somewhere else?
Good luck with whatever you choose to do! There are a lot of experienced decorators here who can help!