CassiCakes Posted 3 Jan 2014 , 5:25am
post #1 of

Hi. I am new to the forums, so I hope this is in the right place. 

 

A friend of mine is getting married on the 11th. I have just recently started a small cake business doing birthday cakes and cupcakes and smaller things. So she decided to go with an actual bakery because I don't have too much experience in the wedding cake aspect of decorating. Well the bakery she has been working with for the past few months has not been returning her calls and has cancelled two meetings with her. Basically they are kicking her to the curb. And now it is 9 days until the wedding!

 

So, long story short, she has had to cancel with them and I am the only hope! I know I am capable of doing it with the right mind set and tools, but I am just real nervous and don't know where to start. I mean, it is someone's wedding! This has to be perfect. 

 

This is what she wants. http://cdn.cakecentral.com/5/50/900x900px-LL-5089ed22_gallery7531961343082500.jpeg

 

I have a few questions. The answers or places to find the answers would be so appreciated!

 

1. What is the best way to stack the cakes? (I have done a 3 tier cake for a b-day and I used thin wooden dowels)

2. How do I get the buttercream that smooth? With it being ivory, it has to be perfect.

3. Should I transport all tiers separately?

4. Where can I buy that rhinestone ribbon for cheap? And also the monogram letter (a U)?

5. Where can I find a chart for the serving per tier? (4 tiers for 200 guests)

 

Anything else you can think of that may give me a helping hand would be so appreciated! I want this stress to be off her (and put onto me I guess. Haha.).

 

Also, she wants to pay me. The bakery was charging her 300 dollars for this cake, 4 tiers for 200 servings. Honestly, with having to find the ribbon and letter, it seems a little cheap. Can I do it for that much? Or should I charge her a little bit more? She is a friend, and is freaking out about the whole thing, so I don't want to charge her full price, but I am just not sure that it will cover all my expenses and time.

 

Thank you to everyone who reads this and can give me a little advice. You are officially a life saver! And who knows? Maybe this will start something for me and I will do a few more weddings. :)

40 replies
leah_s Posted 3 Jan 2014 , 5:37am
post #2 of

AOrder SPS right NOW! that rhinestone trim looks like the good stuff. Order from Alabama Crowns. The undecorated squares make that cake very difficult. To get smooth bc largely comes with a lot of practice. Good luck. And I'd charge around $1000 for that cake, delivered.

Snowflakebunny23 Posted 3 Jan 2014 , 11:11am
post #3 of

Can't help with where to buy things (I'm in the UK) but as for getting a great finish, suggest you try the 'upside down' technique:

 

http://www.threelittleblackbirds.com/2012/10/simply-ganache-a-tutorial/

 

This tutorial is for ganache but the method is the same...I tried it the other week for the first time and it was amazingly easy and I won't be using anything else ever again :-)

 

 

My only tip would be to sit down now with a pen and paper and write down EVERYTHING that you have to do for this cake with a time line, no matter how small the task.  I was in a similar situation for my first wedding cake (although i had a few months) but had never done one before and was asked to do a 4-tier cake which weighed 16kg!  I was stressed out but once it was broken down into manageable chunks, it was great fun and the cake turned out fantastically :-)  All the best! x

mcaulir Posted 3 Jan 2014 , 11:59am
post #4 of

Can you talk her into having something with more decoration? Getting all those squares smooth will be really difficult. A few flowers might be a life-saver for you if when your buttercream isn't perfect.

leah_s Posted 3 Jan 2014 , 2:41pm
post #5 of

Achanging it to rounds would probably be the best bet.

Rosie93095 Posted 3 Jan 2014 , 2:45pm
post #6 of

I would ask if she could have round cakes. If you are not experienced with squares, they can be a pain to get smooth.

CassiCakes Posted 3 Jan 2014 , 7:54pm
post #7 of

Thank you everyone! So from what I gather from your posts, the hardest thing is going to be that buttercream. I have seen a tutorial using Viva paper towels to smooth out cakes after they have crusted slightly. Do you think that will help me? And is there a buttercream recipe that is better than all the others specifically for weddings?

 

Also, how far in advance can I frost the cakes and leave them in the fridge? I want to do them as early as possible, so I can take my time getting things smooth.

 

THANK YOU!!!

CassiCakes Posted 3 Jan 2014 , 8:11pm
post #8 of

Also, has anyone ever used this recipe for frosting? It is supposed to taste like a whipped cream. http://www.youtube.com/watch?annotation_id=annotation_224542&feature=iv&src_vid=tTRNkGpJMH8&v=CSN-Q5ZK1zU

JanDunlevy Posted 3 Jan 2014 , 9:20pm
post #9 of

AWhat Leah_s said! Order SPS immediately! Viva paper towels work great on a crusting buttercream. I use indydeb's recipe found on here from time to time. Will smooth perfectly. Round is much easier to decorate than square. Good luck!

-K8memphis Posted 3 Jan 2014 , 9:32pm

this is a secret tip about squares--do not tell anyone--

 

if you have the cake on a square base the same size you want your finished tier to be like it is for this cake--and build up more than enough icing all over--take a piping bag and pipe a big glob up all the corners so you have more than enough icing allll over--smoothy it a bit but still it's way too much--

 

take a dough cutter, a pastry knife and using the edge of the nice square board as your guide just scrape off enough icing to reveal the perfectly square cake underneath--it's actually easier than a round because a round never ends--a square starts and stops easy peasy--scrape off the top edge like you would do for a round cake anyhow--starting with the corners--

 

you may wanna go with rounds for this--that's your determination but don't be scared of squares

 

didja get the sps ordered?

 

yes flowers or scrolls can cover a multitude of sins too--

 

best of the best to you--allow more time for everything than you think--back everything up a day and you won't be sorry--nobody's ever been sorry for too much time doing a cake kwim

-K8memphis Posted 3 Jan 2014 , 9:36pm

use the icing you usually use and are already familiar with--not the best time for recipe testing--

BatterUpCake Posted 3 Jan 2014 , 9:38pm

Quote:

Originally Posted by leah_s 

Order SPS right NOW!
that rhinestone trim looks like the good stuff. Order from Alabama Crowns.
The undecorated squares make that cake very difficult. To get smooth bc largely comes with a lot of practice. Good luck.
And I'd charge around $1000 for that cake, delivered.

This one? http://www.alabamawholesalecrowns.com/

or this one? http://www.alabamacrowns.com/

 

OP, my fingers are crossed for you!!

trista4120 Posted 5 Jan 2014 , 11:15pm

AI did some research.

Rhinestones

http://www.amazon.com/s/?ie=UTF8&keywords=rhinestone+ribbon&tag=hydusmmsn-20&index=aps&hvadid=3520655433&ref=pd_sl_95y7qzaf2g_p

Cake slice

http://twistnswirl.blogspot.com/2012/11/tips-must-know-cake-cutting-counts.html?m=1

Buttercream Edna. De La Cruz

http://designmeacake.com/

What about asking the bride if coving cake with fondant would work

I agree- the price is to low(300.00). If you feel that 1,000.00 to high what about 750.00

Order your Sps ASAP

Also - hobby lobby has a lot of stuff they are also on line.

Good luck!!

costumeczar Posted 5 Jan 2014 , 11:30pm

AI would suggest going with an easier design that would give you more room for error. You're asking a lot of basic questions, and trying to do a plain square cake that you say needs to be perfect is going to be super stressful and might end up badly. If you do go with this design you'd better practice a lot between now and then, but something with more pattern on the sides would give you more room for error.

ApplegumPam Posted 5 Jan 2014 , 11:51pm

Did she have a contract with the bakery?   Surely she should have paid for it by now - maybe they are 'kicking her to the kerb' because she didn't pay up or hold up her end of the deal.   If she has paid - did she receive a full refund?

 

My advice to you is to stack up some dummies -  and serve some kitchen cake

To attach the bling to the base sounds easy enough..... until you realise that perhaps your cake & covering aren't TRUE square and you end up with lose floppy bits that are hard to adhere.

A poorly executed version of this cake design will look dreadful   - something you and your friend need to consider.

IF cupcakes are your thing....... make her a cupcake tower!   If you don't have a stand - get her to rent one
 

kikiandkyle Posted 6 Jan 2014 , 1:15am

At this late stage you are better off telling her what you can do, and she can either be grateful that you are stepping in to help her like this or give Walmart a call. Although I don't know if she'll get 200 servings for $300 at Walmart. I'd even be tempted to offer her a single square 'top tier' and cupcakes. 

 

Think long and hard about whether you really want to take on something like this before you agree. And make sure you figure out what all your costs and time will be, and get the money upfront from her. Because I can guarantee you that she expects you to charge less than the 'professional baker', and they probably disappeared because they went broke giving away cakes. 

liz at sugar Posted 6 Jan 2014 , 1:20am

Quote:

Originally Posted by kikiandkyle 
 

At this late stage you are better off telling her what you can do, and she can either be grateful that you are stepping in to help her like this or give Walmart a call. Although I don't know if she'll get 200 servings for $300 at Walmart. I'd even be tempted to offer her a single square 'top tier' and cupcakes. 

 

Think long and hard about whether you really want to take on something like this before you agree. And make sure you figure out what all your costs and time will be, and get the money upfront from her. Because I can guarantee you that she expects you to charge less than the 'professional baker', and they probably disappeared because they went broke giving away cakes. 

 

Ditto.

 

Liz

carmijok Posted 6 Jan 2014 , 3:25pm

I have to agree with the dummy cake/kitchen cake idea.  You could make one tier a real cake for the cutting ceremony and then serve the kitchen cakes to the guests.  The kitchen cakes should be layered and filled like the wedding cake so it would match.

 

A cake this size is HEAVY and you have delivery to contend with and if you've never done one this size before, you could have additional issues to deal with. 

 

While this looks deceptively simple, I assure you it is not. 

 

The bride should have purchased the monogram a long time ago.  I think there's more to this story than the bride is telling you.  I can't imagine a bakery flaking out on a wedding cake days before the event.   Keep that in mind when you start purchasing ingredients.  Get the money up front.   Honestly I'd let the bride find and buy the bling ribbon and the monogram herself.  It will save you the hassle of looking for it and all you'll have to do is apply it to the cake. 

 

Anyway, good luck. 

Annabakescakes Posted 8 Jan 2014 , 9:19pm

Any updates, OP? What have you decided? Have you been paid? Have you started yet?

CassiCakes Posted 8 Jan 2014 , 11:23pm

AHi! I have decided to do it.

We spoke about everything you guys mentioned.

I upped the price. Not by much, but it's better.

I talked with her about the "smoothness" of the cake. She agreed that we could do some flowers to offset any bumps or air bubbles.

And I have baked my cakes and filling. The next few days will be spent frosting.

I have the sps and topper. Just waiting on the ribbon.

So everything is looking good right now.

I do have one more question. What is the best way to keep air bubbles out of your icing? I have a basic bc using shortening, but I always get bubbles, no matter how low I mix it???

Sammy09 Posted 9 Jan 2014 , 12:11am

ASharon Zambito has a you tube video on this. HTH

Annabakescakes Posted 9 Jan 2014 , 1:33am

You have to make sure your ingredients cover the mixer paddle. Are you using a kitchenaid? for a 5 qrt bowl 5 pounds of powdered sugar to 2 and half pounds of buttercream will cover it. Powdered sugar will fly everywhere, so put a damp tea towel over your mixer, or wrap saran wrap all around it.

CassiCakes Posted 9 Jan 2014 , 5:15am

AThanks Anna!

And I forgot to mention, thank you everyone for your advice. It is very appreciated. It is so nice to be able to come here and get honest answers straight from the people who do this all the time. I love how everyone really is a community here.

Annabakescakes Posted 9 Jan 2014 , 5:29am

Quote:

Originally Posted by Annabakescakes 
 

You have to make sure your ingredients cover the mixer paddle. Are you using a kitchenaid? for a 5 qrt bowl 5 pounds of powdered sugar to 2 and half pounds of buttercream will cover it. Powdered sugar will fly everywhere, so put a damp tea towel over your mixer, or wrap saran wrap all around it.

I meant to say 2.5 pounds of butter! not buttercream! It is an 8 pound batch for a 5 qrt bowl.

Annabakescakes Posted 9 Jan 2014 , 5:33am

Quote:

Originally Posted by CassiCakes 

Thanks Anna!

And I forgot to mention, thank you everyone for your advice. It is very appreciated. It is so nice to be able to come here and get honest answers straight from the people who do this all the time. I love how everyone really is a community here.

It's so refreshing to be thanked and appreciated! So many come here demanding and unappreciative, because they don't want the truth, or want us to do all the work for them.

 

You are SO welcome!

emetz74 Posted 9 Jan 2014 , 9:54am

Quote:

Originally Posted by Annabakescakes 
 

You have to make sure your ingredients cover the mixer paddle. Are you using a kitchenaid? for a 5 qrt bowl 5 pounds of powdered sugar to 2 and half pounds of buttercream will cover it. Powdered sugar will fly everywhere, so put a damp tea towel over your mixer, or wrap saran wrap all around it.

I know I am hijacking but thanks for the tip. I have never thought of wrapping the bowl to prevent the sugar from flying. Here is another hobbyist who does really appreciate the tips from the pros!

Snowflakebunny23 Posted 9 Jan 2014 , 10:08am

Quote:

Originally Posted by emetz74 
 

I know I am hijacking but thanks for the tip. I have never thought of wrapping the bowl to prevent the sugar from flying. Here is another hobbyist who does really appreciate the tips from the pros!


I started doing this fairly soon after beginning to use buttercream.  One day I got distracted and forgot...whacked the mixer on and pufft!  It's amazing just how far icing sugar can fly through your kitchen!! hehe

MBalaska Posted 9 Jan 2014 , 10:15am

Quote:

Originally Posted by Annabakescakes 
 

You have to make sure your ingredients cover the mixer paddle. Are you using a kitchenaid? for a 5 qrt bowl 5 pounds of powdered sugar to 2 and half pounds of buttercream will cover it.

 

Powdered sugar will fly everywhere, so put a damp tea towel over your mixer, or wrap saran wrap all around it.

 

This works great when making fondant also.

leah_s Posted 9 Jan 2014 , 11:53am

AYou've read the SPS sticky, right? Sometimes I get PMs when people think they're using it wrong. "Because it can't be that simple." Yes, yes it is.

Roseyrod Posted 9 Jan 2014 , 12:20pm

Whichever way you decide to frost Edna DelaCruz of Designmeacake.com and Sharon Zambito of SugarEdProductions are my maine source when it comes to technique whether it's buttercream or fondant.  They are both excellant.

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