Is It Okay To Decorate Only The Front Of A Cake?

Decorating By mystsparkle Updated 8 Sep 2012 , 2:07pm by hbquikcomjamesl

mystsparkle Posted 8 Sep 2012 , 12:12am
post #1 of 8

your thoughts?

7 replies
LKing12 Posted 8 Sep 2012 , 12:35am
post #2 of 8

I watched one of the cake challenges shows and the competitors were bashed because they hadn't decorated the back of the cake. I think that a cake has four side and all of them need attention. Just my preference.

Elcee Posted 8 Sep 2012 , 12:50am
post #3 of 8

I think it depends on the cake, the design, and the occasion.

A competition cake definitely needs to be decorated all the way around.
http://cakecentral.com/gallery/1942657/in-love-with-lavender

Some cakes have a very distinct front design but should be appealing all the way around.
http://cakecentral.com/gallery/1889392/grace-and-cody

And still others should be decorated at the same level all the way around.
http://cakecentral.com/gallery/1982295/71st-birthday

hbquikcomjamesl Posted 8 Sep 2012 , 12:50am
post #4 of 8

Have you ever been backstage at a Disney theme park?

If you have (e.g., taking the Backstage Magic tour at Walt Disney World), you'll notice that the parts of buildings that are on-stage, and subject to close inspection by guests, are meticulously detailed. But if you look at the back side, you find less detail: the parts that are visible from outside the park, or from a ride vehicle, are decorated with detail that is "good enough" for the distance from which they're seen, while the parts that are only seen by cast members are frequently just generic stucco walls and flush doors (albeit painted to match the rest of the building).

Have you ever been to the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum? They have the original eleven-foot filming miniature of the U.S.S. Enterprise, from the original Star Trek. When I was there, it was in a huge glass case, in the basement gift shop of the Mall building. It's been beautifully restored, and (if I remember right) the lighting effects are in working order, and set up on a timer, so they self-demonstrate every few minutes. You look at the starboard side, and it's beautifully detailed. You look at the port side, and it's not only quite plain, but scarred, from the process of installing lighting effects between the filming of the second pilot and the first production episode. But if you see it on television, you never see it from that side with full lighting effects; if you see it from the port side, you're seeing stock footage from the pilots. But even if you know what to look for, it's hard to find any scars or missing details in any of the episodes, because the camera angles were chosen in such a way that it looks perfect and complete.

When you decorate a Christmas tree, that's parked in a corner, do you put "hero" ornaments in places where they can never be seen? I certainly don't. Where I live, the Christmas tree is invariably up against one of two walls in the living room. I have the "hero" ornaments (or at least, the ones that I'm using in a given year) all on the most visible portions of the tree. As I move away from the most visible areas, there are more "filler" ornaments and fewer "hero" ornaments, and as I get to areas that are never seen, there aren't any ornaments.

Do you normally frost the underside of a cake? If it's going to be served "in-pan," do you de-pan it anyway, frost the sides, and put it back in?

I believe the point here is to strike a balance. If there are portions of a cake that will never be seen, then decoration is wasted effort. And if they're going to be seen, but not close up, or not by anybody but the people serving it, then you should decorate it "enough" to maintain the illusion that it's fully decorated with as much detail as the more visible areas.

hbquikcomjamesl Posted 8 Sep 2012 , 12:51am
post #5 of 8

Have you ever been backstage at a Disney theme park?

If you have (e.g., taking the Backstage Magic tour at Walt Disney World), you'll notice that the parts of buildings that are on-stage, and subject to close inspection by guests, are meticulously detailed. But if you look at the back side, you find less detail: the parts that are visible from outside the park, or from a ride vehicle, are decorated with detail that is "good enough" for the distance from which they're seen, while the parts that are only seen by cast members are frequently just generic stucco walls and flush doors (albeit painted to match the rest of the building).

Have you ever been to the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum? They have the original eleven-foot filming miniature of the U.S.S. Enterprise, from the original Star Trek. When I was there, it was in a huge glass case, in the basement gift shop of the Mall building. It's been beautifully restored, and (if I remember right) the lighting effects are in working order, and set up on a timer, so they self-demonstrate every few minutes. You look at the starboard side, and it's beautifully detailed. You look at the port side, and it's not only quite plain, but scarred, from the process of installing lighting effects between the filming of the second pilot and the first production episode. But if you see it on television, you never see it from that side with full lighting effects; if you see it from the port side, you're seeing stock footage from the pilots. But even if you know what to look for, it's hard to find any scars or missing details in any of the episodes, because the camera angles were chosen in such a way that it looks perfect and complete.

When you decorate a Christmas tree, that's parked in a corner, do you put "hero" ornaments in places where they can never be seen? I certainly don't. Where I live, the Christmas tree is invariably up against one of two walls in the living room. I have the "hero" ornaments (or at least, the ones that I'm using in a given year) all on the most visible portions of the tree. As I move away from the most visible areas, there are more "filler" ornaments and fewer "hero" ornaments, and as I get to areas that are never seen, there aren't any ornaments.

Do you normally frost the underside of a cake? If it's going to be served "in-pan," do you de-pan it anyway, frost the sides, and put it back in?

I believe the point here is to strike a balance. If there are portions of a cake that will never be seen, then decoration is wasted effort. And if they're going to be seen, but not close up, or not by anybody but the people serving it, then you should decorate it "enough" to maintain the illusion that it's fully decorated with as much detail as the more visible areas.

BabyGerald Posted 8 Sep 2012 , 1:17pm
post #6 of 8

Great examples!
-j

BabyGerald Posted 8 Sep 2012 , 1:18pm
post #7 of 8

Great examples!
-j

hbquikcomjamesl Posted 8 Sep 2012 , 2:07pm
post #8 of 8

. . . And I might add, to strike a balance between concentrating your effort where it is most visible, and doing work you can take pride in.

One last example, one I picked up from the PIPORG-L list, and which speaks to this last comment:
There have been organbuilders who use beautifully finished hardwoods in places where only the tuner would see them, and there have been organbuilders who use plain old construction-grade fir plywood in places that were quite visible, if not necessarily conspicuous. Organbuilders who made every rank of pipes look good enough to be facade pipes, even if they were buried in the interior, and those whose interior pipework sounded just fine, but looked like cheaply-made ductwork. And similar things are true of other instruments, like violins and harpsichords.

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