Decorating By nikii0710 Updated 23 Jan 2014 , 10:51am by nikii0710

nikii0710 Posted 29 Dec 2013 , 11:05am
post #1 of 22

AHello there im new to cake central and need some help please.

I'm making a 2 tier cake for my baby's 1st birthday, i've made 2 other cakes but both were 1 tier and neither mud, my question is do i need supports and a cake board between? i know people do it but is it necessary?

My wedding, engagement and other daughters 1st birthday cake were all 2 or 3 tier and none had supports or extra boards and all were mud, they werent filled or anything either if that makes a difference?

also seeing as im making mud and can do it over a few days, do i cover with fondant and decorate the same day or cover, let it dry then decorate? the other 2 were baked, crumbcoated, covered and decorated, all in a matter of hours.

thank you in advance :)

21 replies
savannahquinn Posted 29 Dec 2013 , 1:51pm
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I put supports and some type of dowel or support system in all my stacked cakes...no exceptions. 

Smckinney07 Posted 29 Dec 2013 , 7:06pm
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AI can't imagine any tiered cake without supports and some sort of filling, unless they were very thin layers of cake. My cake tiers are at least 4" high or more so without any filling/icing between that would be a huge hunk of cake with only a tiny bit of icing.

Yes, no matter what kind of cake you make you need some type of support system in order to support the weight from the upper tiers. If cakeboards and sps aren't available to you, or you don't want to put the extra money into them just buy some foamcore and dowels (even bubble tea straws). I'd rather put the extra time into that support system rather then letting my cake collapse.

You can break the work up. Bake, wrap and freeze (you can do this a couple weeks in advance if you want) Mudcakes seem to get better after a few days so I always bake them in advance. The next day (or whenever) pull your cakes out and set them on the counter to defrost a bit while you make your icing (this lets most of the condensation form on the foil/Saran wrap rather then on your cake). I like to torte and level my cakes while they are partially frozen-stack, fill, and crumb coat then wrap your cakes again and let them settle overnight. Final coat of icing, let that setup, you can cover in fondant that day or wait another if needed & add your final decorations.

You can spread this out for a week if you need to, it just depends on your speed, schedule and the design.

-K8memphis Posted 29 Dec 2013 , 7:27pm
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ikr, smckinney & savannah, i'm the type that i would even fit a cupcake with dowel if necessary  :lol:


but there was a discussion on here once where lots of peeps did two tier cakes without supports! agh!


and the mud cakes were the most popular for this non-dowel treatment--


crazy to me but some of us do it--

nikii0710 Posted 29 Dec 2013 , 8:39pm
post #6 of 22

AOnce it's made it'll just be sitting in the same spot so it doesn't have to go anywhere. my tiers will be 4" thick. I'm not sure where you're from I can't find your location but in Australia mudcakes don't usually have filling and I don't really know anyone that actually eats fondant it just looks nicer, buttercream yes but fondant not so much. Do any of you have much experience with mud? It's very dense cake so I guess that's why people done use supports, only my daughters birthday cake was from a home business the other 2 were from a very well established bakery and both times (they delivered one we picked one up) they had to travel 45mins with no issues. I am gonna fill mine which brings me to another question, if I'm making 7" and 9" tiers how much ganache do I put between the layers? And after I've done my crumb coat then done my final coat of ganache do I leave it uncovered? Will it develop a crust like buttercream does? And for the this cake board between tiers they're cardboard with a silver side and and a white side, I've read people wrap them so they don't get soggy, does that type need wrapping?

Thanks again.

Chellescakes Posted 29 Dec 2013 , 8:53pm
post #7 of 22

I work almost exclusively in mud. I know lots of people that eat fondant, I only use a very thin layer so it just becomes part of the cake. Although if you are just starting out it is better to the fondant a little thicker until you are used to the medium.


The silver boards that we use here in Oz do not need wrapping .  The ones you get from Spotlight are usually fine , if you can't get one the exact right size just buy the one a bit larger and use your cake tin to trace around before you cut it down.


I don't put a lot of ganache between the layers , just enough to stick the layers together again a couple of millimetres usually.


I don't crumb coat either , I just ganache once , then leave it to dry overnight and set up properly.( at this time of year under the Aircon )  I mist with either brandy or cooled boiled water before I apply the fondant.


I use Aldi eating chocolate to make my ganache, with a ration of two parts chocolate to one part cream.

Smckinney07 Posted 29 Dec 2013 , 9:27pm
post #8 of 22

AI make Mudcakes often and typically use ganache. I live in US, Illinois. The type of filling I use is typically the same as the ganache that I'm covering my cakes with-some people order different flavors but with weddings I get a lot of white on white and Choc on Choc.

The amount of filling you'll want to use just depends on how much icing you like with your cake. With Mudcakes my layers aren't quite as thin as a regular white cake because they are so rich-that's up to you though whatever you prefer.

I always use supports, even with smaller tiered cakes. When I use ganache I don't really crumb coat, I do a couple layers like Chelles, but in one setting-in and out of the fridge. I wasn't sure how experienced you were so I just gave you the basics I started with. Once iced I let my cakes sit out (covered so dust doesn't gather, in a cool place) overnight usually, they form a nice 'shell' which makes covering with fondant much easier, especially if you are newer. Just a thin layer, as stated above, of fondant-which you can skip. Most of my customers do want fondant-again it's whatever you/your family like.

They have corrugated cake rounds, they are grease proof. You can also use sps (which is a plastic plate system with dowels). If your using mdf or something else just clean & cover in fancifoil.

Smckinney07 Posted 29 Dec 2013 , 9:29pm
post #9 of 22

AJust because your not transporting your cake doesn't mean the weight from the top tier won't sink into the bottom one. I strongly recommend it, especially since its your first tiered cake.

nikii0710 Posted 29 Dec 2013 , 9:30pm
post #10 of 22

AAwesome thanks chellescakes. I'm gonna use a masonic board for the bottom but just the thin cardboard one in between. I usually roll it 1/4" thick, I'm not good at anything but I have gotten ok at this, my last cake was very smooth, not cracks or dents, my first not so great, my fondant was dry so it cracked but I covered it with vines and flowers (tinkerbell) And once ganached you just leave it uncovered? I'll be using Cadbury, it's the only chocolate I eat so it's the only chocolate I bake with. so I don't have to do the jam thing I can just mist the cake? Yeh other than baking the cakes I'll be doing everything during the night when my girls are in bed, they're almost 1 and 2.5 so I'd definitely wreck the cake with them awake sorry for the 20 questions, I do really appreciate your help!!

Smckinney07 Posted 29 Dec 2013 , 9:36pm
post #11 of 22

AThat's what I use on the bottom. Another plus to putting each tier on their own board is being able to move it in and out of the fridge easily and stacking them up without damaging your work.

Just have fun with it, it takes practice. Yes you can leave it on the counter as long as your not using a perishable filling, the ganache will seel it. If your fondant is dry, try rubbing some shortening in.

nikii0710 Posted 29 Dec 2013 , 9:50pm
post #12 of 22

ASo my last question is, I am doing stripes on the cake but I'm thinking if I do it before putting the top tier on there'll be a space between the cakes? So should I do that after the cake is put together? I will it be too think to be a problem? I'll be doing a border which will cover it I'm just worried the space will cause an issue.

Chellescakes Posted 29 Dec 2013 , 10:08pm
post #13 of 22


I usually put each cake on its own cardboard board the same size as the cake usually they are just a bit bigger by a couple mm, makes for moving and ganaching easier , and you can fondant right over it to get a nice seamless edge on no gaps when you place it on the bottom cake and presentation board.
I usually roll it 1/4" thick, I'm not good at anything but I have gotten ok at this, my last cake was very smooth, not cracks or dents, my first not so great, my fondant was dry so it cracked but I covered it with vines and flowers (tinkerbell)
And once ganached you just leave it uncovered? Yes it can be left uncovered , I like to put just a light fabric food cover over it overnight .
I'll be using Cadbury, it's the only chocolate I eat so it's the only chocolate I bake with. Try the Aldi it is far nicer than the Cadbury
so I don't have to do the jam thing I can just mist the cake? Yes just mist the cake , typically you would only use jam on a fruitcake not a mudcake.
Yeh other than baking the cakes I'll be doing everything during the night when my girls are in bed, they're almost 1 and 2.5 so I'd definitely wreck the cake with them awake
sorry for the 20 questions, I do really appreciate your help!!
Oh and I never fridge a cake if I can help it , the humidity factor on the eastern seaboard just doesn't work with putting cakes in the fridge, too much risk of air bubbles
nikii0710 Posted 29 Dec 2013 , 11:01pm
post #14 of 22

AOk awesome thank you all very much for responding and so quickly too. I'll be starting the cake in 2 weeks, I'll post a pic once it's done if it's any good lol thanks again! :)

pixiefuncakes Posted 30 Dec 2013 , 10:34pm
post #15 of 22

Just want to throw in my two cents here (as a fellow aussie).  I was taught when you are stacking that you need to put your dowels in the bottem layer pretty much as soon as you've done your fondant, otherwise the fondant dries out and it's difficult to get your dowels in without cracking the fondant.


Also with your ganache, you generally up the ratio of chocolate to cream in the summer months to deal with the heat and humidity, ie. the usual 3:1 is more like 3.5/4:1, just makes it easier to deal with.


I agree with chellescake, I don't refrigerate (especially with fondant), unless the ganache is just not setting.  Even then, give it plenty of time to get back to room temp.


HTH.  Have fun with it and happy birthday to your little one!

pixiefuncakes Posted 30 Dec 2013 , 10:36pm
post #16 of 22

Woops, forgot to say about the jam.  I was taught the apricot syrup method of attaching fondant to ganache, but honestly I'm so lazy that I use water, just brush on sparingly (so your fondant doesn't get too wet).  Saves time.


In the end, you find what you are comfortable with and what works for you.  So nice to have access to the wealth of information and experience on this forum.

nikii0710 Posted 22 Jan 2014 , 9:47pm
post #17 of 22

Athat kind you everone for all your help, I found the fondant didn't stick great so I'll stick with the apricot syrup from now in coz I've had better luck with that previously. I managed to get the cake done on minimal sleep, with a bushfire 1/2 a km from my house and finishing it right down to the last minute (was still in my pj's when my family started arriving) it wasn't perfect but everyone loved it and I now have a few cake orders from my family including my sisters wedding cake ahhhh she wants a 3 tier wedding cake which I am buying her as a gift but now she loves the way my cakes taste so much she'd rather I just made it, I've said no a few times but she keeps insisting on it! Also have a bday cake and kitchen tea cake to make. my sister has been showing my cake off to all her friends and saying how good it tasted and said if I had more confidence and didn't get so stressed she could get me heaps of orders, was so good to hear as I was extremely stressed about people tasting my cake as I'd never made mud cake before except for Xmas cupcakes but it all worked out and I have so much more confidence now! Thank you all again for your help and um sure I'll be back![IMG][IMG]http://cakecentral.com/content/type/61/id/3172198/width/200/height/400[/IMG][/IMG]

nikii0710 Posted 22 Jan 2014 , 9:48pm
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nikii0710 Posted 22 Jan 2014 , 9:49pm
post #19 of 22


quite proud of my first ever figure!

MBalaska Posted 22 Jan 2014 , 10:13pm
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vldutoit Posted 22 Jan 2014 , 11:02pm
post #21 of 22

AThat is an awesome figurine especially for a first! You are truly talented.

nikii0710 Posted 23 Jan 2014 , 10:51am
post #22 of 22

AThank you very much I am very happy with how she turned out, took me a couple of nights to make but worth the effort. it's funny when I think back to two years ago when I couldn't not over cook a packet cake and now I have quite a few great recipes under my belt and even calculated my own vanilla recipe which I love coz I couldn't find one that was perfect. I plan on opening a cup cake shop when my babies are a bit older, something to look forward to but for now I'm a hobby Baker enjoying my time with my kids :)

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