Could You Critique My Cake? No Responses On Peer Review

Decorating By nancylee61 Updated 12 Mar 2014 , 5:47pm by musicmommy1

nancylee61 Posted 12 Mar 2014 , 4:07am
post #1 of 18

A[IMG ALT=""][/IMG] Hi, There have been no responses on Peer Review, so I thought I'd ask here. Can you critique this? I think it's much better than my first tiered cake. Again, smoothing the BC under the fondant took hours! So frustrating.

Thanks in advance, Nancy

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17 replies
morganchampagne Posted 12 Mar 2014 , 5:43am
post #2 of 18

AThe one thing that sticks it to me is id maybe like to see the tiers taller..4" tall is about the standard

This really isn't about the cake...but look into some things about cake photography. The way you take the picture makes a huge huge difference. Goes a long way with your customers, which matters most

nancylee61 Posted 12 Mar 2014 , 8:10am
post #3 of 18

AThank you! Yes, I have a short, squat bottom tier. I'm making a cake for a friend and have to bake two more layers for the bottom because the first one I tried is so short,

I'm off to google cake photography! Thank you so much, Nancy

maisie73 Posted 12 Mar 2014 , 9:41am
post #4 of 18

AI don't know if I should comment, I'm quite new to decorating but I think it's pretty.It doesn't look straight to me but it might be the camera angle. I've made 2 two tier cakes, the first one was bad! The tiers were so short! Don't know what I was thinking! I kept this in mind when I was making the next one and it made such a difference, It looked so, so, so much better. It's the only two tiered cake in my pictures if you want a look. I did put it on a thread somewhere and asked for comments but I didn't get any either :-(

FlourPots Posted 12 Mar 2014 , 11:22am
post #5 of 18've done a really great job....the colors are awesome and I LOVE the touches of marbeling!

What I see is that the band on the bottom tier is too should never up to halfway (or even a little more in some places)...and because it's not a tall tier to begin with, I think it really emphasizes the squatty-ness.
What is the cake sitting on?
It looks like rolled out fondant??
None of my cakes are on fancy boards...I'm a hobbyist...I just use the glass plate from my microwave LOL! can see the places where you've used too much water to glue...they're shiny and the eye picks up on it least mine does when I look at cake photos.

I use as little a possible because it makes me crazy if I can see it in my own pics.

nancylee61 Posted 12 Mar 2014 , 1:55pm
post #6 of 18

Hi Maisie,

I'm glad you commented!! Thank you. Do you mean I didn't stack the cake straight on top of the other, or the sides are not straight? And I can't find your picture. Can you put it in this thread, I would love to see it!!



nancylee61 Posted 12 Mar 2014 , 1:57pm
post #7 of 18

Thank you, FlourPots!!!! That is exactly what I am looking for, the size of the band. I am an artist in other mediums, but I swear, I have a terrible time seeing my work objectively. And the shiny part!! Yikes!!! People say use vodka, but I don't drink or have alcohol lying around, so I don't want to have it out here just for this. 


I appreciate you taking the time to check it out,



Oh, and  yes, I had an ugly Wilton board, so I rolled out fondant very thin and covered the board, as someone suggested to me after my last cake. Thanks!!

FlourPots Posted 12 Mar 2014 , 2:33pm
post #8 of 18



You wouldn't use vodka to glue...only to make edible paints...I don't drink either, so I always use orange works great.

For gluing, I use water (sparingly) or nothing at all honestly, depending on where it's going on the cake...for figures, I use edible glue (water + tylose powder)'s stronger and adheres limbs and stuff better.


The fondant on your board isn't finished correctly, that's why my first thought was thin-crust pizza dough but I was afraid it sounded too harsh...I can see from your replies though that you're really open to improving.

When you cover a board, your fondant should pass the board's edge, so you can then use a sharp knife or x-acto up against that edge to go around and trim off the excess...

maisie73 Posted 12 Mar 2014 , 2:34pm
post #9 of 18

AWelcome. It looks like the top of the bottom tier isn't level but like I said it could just be the camera angle. I can't put mine here til I can get to my computer ( in my phone a minute).It's in a thread called "am I charging too little". Last but one post.

nancylee61 Posted 12 Mar 2014 , 3:33pm
post #10 of 18

Thanks for the suggestions!! My board was scalloped and I wasn't sure how to handle it. Yes, it was thin!! It even ripped, but since this was a practice cake, I just covered the rip with flowers!! LOL!


And I appreciate the orange extract suggestion. Or a lighter hand with the water. :)


And yes, I am open to suggestions. I want to improve, and know I can't be thin-skinned to do so.


nancylee61 Posted 12 Mar 2014 , 3:36pm
post #11 of 18

Oh, Maisie, I really loved that cake! I can't believe that this is  your second tier cake. It looks so complex!! Nice and neat, great details. You can critique me anytime!! 


And since the evidence is now gone (eater) I'm not sure if the top was uneven. I don't remember seeing it, but you know - it's hard to see my own flaws. I think I will get a little level, as suggested here.


Thanks much!

musicmommy1 Posted 12 Mar 2014 , 4:12pm
post #12 of 18

Hi Nancy!!


Based on my own experience, let me just say that the single most thing I did to improve the overall look of my cakes was to make sure my tiers were even, straight and level. What a difference that makes!!! A CC member recommended I use a carpenter's square to make sure my tiers were straight. That was a great tip for me. Also, if you are leveling with a knife, I would highly recommend purchasing one of those Wilton thread cutters. Of course, they too are kind of a poor excuse for a leveler BUT they are cheap and at least better than a knife IMO. A few cakes ago I set out to focus solely on the structure of my cake. I took extra time to make sure everything was straight, level and even. I think if you can get that down, you will be thrilled with the visual transformation that will occur with your cakes! I know I was :)


Also- I just have to comment on the vodka. I'm not much of a drinker either but I don't know what I'd do without vodka. I've never used anything else so maybe other substitutes work equally as well. However, what I do is go to the liquor store and buy a small nip. It lasts a long time and I don't have to have an expensive bottle of vodka sitting around for ages. In fact, the last time I went to the liquor store, the clerk asked me "What are you making today, a cake or extract?". LOL Of course, it is a complete personal preferance. Just wanted to let you know what I do as a non-vodka drinker. HTH :-D

nancylee61 Posted 12 Mar 2014 , 4:52pm
post #13 of 18

Hi Musicmommy,

I have two carpenter's squares already!! What a great idea!! Because when smoothing the buttercream, inevitably a part is not even and sticks out. When I watched the craftsy video on buttercream, Joshua John Dude cut the brown sides off of his cake and then have to make sure it's even, which I did here. My teacher at the CIA the other day asked why in the world I would do that, since the cake bakes to the edges and comes out even.


Thanks for the vodka answer. I think I will do it. My fondant decorations get gummy.


And, BTW, I LOVE your cakes!!



FlourPots Posted 12 Mar 2014 , 5:06pm
post #14 of 18

Just to clarify...I use orange extract to make paint...I mix it (instead of vodka) with silver luster dust for example till it's a nice painting consistency.

I've never used it to adhere decorations.

nancylee61 Posted 12 Mar 2014 , 5:06pm
post #15 of 18

Oh, thanks for clarifying!! I would have been trying to stick decorations on with it!! LOL!!


maisie73 Posted 12 Mar 2014 , 5:07pm
post #16 of 18

AAw thanks Nancy. :-) there was a lot I wasn't happy with but I was very pleased with the tier sizes. I usually learn something new on every cake and my next one's usually better.

FlourPots Posted 12 Mar 2014 , 5:13pm
post #17 of 18



I know it's so much information being thrown at you...I wouldn't have even brought up the extract since it has nothing to do with your cake, but you mentioned that you were told to use vodka, and I hadn't heard of it being used for gluing, only painting.

musicmommy1 Posted 12 Mar 2014 , 5:47pm
post #18 of 18

AThanks Nancy! I still have a lot to learn but, as you know, it's a fun process. And yes- just a dab of water to stick fondant to fondant. Vodka/orange extract for painting

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