AOkay guys, I'm new here and need lots of help! I'm planning on making a 3 tiered cake for my sons first birthday in a few weeks. but I don't even know where to start! I need a good white cake recipe and fondant recipe! I'm low on money, so I don't care too much about specific "cake" tools. Do I use dowels, or cardboard betwen the layers? how about frosting the cake before the fondant? transporting ideas would be awesome too lol Really anything would help, thanks!
SPS is a very secure system, especially for transport.
Search for WASC recipe (****e almond sour cream) or cake recipes with 4 or 5 stars on allrecipes.com
MMF (marshmallow fondant) and MFF (Michelle Foster's fondant): you can search for those recipes and make the fondant yourself. If you want to buy fondant, I recommend you stay away from Wilton and try Fondarific or Fond-x.
Most of what you need to know is in the forums; use the search box at the upper right of every page. Also, most everything is demonstrated on YouTube, so search there.
I agree with the WASC and MMF for ease and budget friendliness. Also, check out a recipe for Crusting or American Buttercream.
Go get some cardboard rounds (or squares) in the same diameter as the cake tiers. Your cakes will all sit on the cardboard and you will use supports in between the tiers. Spread some buttercream or melted chocolate on the cardboards before sitting the cakes on them to glue them down. I use bubble tea straws for supports which are essentially just fat straws that are really easy to cut with scissors. I've even seen it done with regular drinking straws, you just have to use a lot more. Stick one in, mark where the top of the cake is on the straw and cut it. Hold that one up to the rest and cut them all the same.
Lastly, don't attempt to do everything in one day. Make your fondant, prepare your cakes and buttercream, level and fill the cake layers, wrap each tier in plastic wrap and let them settle overnight before crumb coating and covering in fondant or your filling will bulge out between cake layers and you'll be able to see it through the fondant. I like to let my fondant-covered cakes sit out overnight so they get dry enough to "man-handle," letting me pick them up without messing them up.
You may want to secure a wooden dowel into your board and thread your tiers down onto the dowel so that it doesn't shift during transport. If you do this, just make sure you poke holes in the center of each cardboard before doing so and make sure the dowel's height is slightly less than the height of the finished cake so it doesn't come through the top. You can also add melted chocolate between tiers to keep it from sliding around. Hope this helps. Good luck!
I use the buttercream recipe (in the link) for crumb coats, regular decorating, etc... I like MMF, and use allrecipes.com for nearly all my cake recipes.