Help With Handbag Cake Please

Decorating By Nicki161 Updated 27 Sep 2014 , 4:09pm by Nitaann

Nicki161 Posted 10 Aug 2014 , 5:29pm
post #1 of 26

AI've been asked to do a handbag cake for Thursday a shopper bag style,about 6/8" h 8"w 4" d roughly, I've never done this style before and I'm having sleepless nights worrying about it it's always on my mind,I've only ever done the bowling bag style before I'm a hobby baker self taught with the help of the Internet watching videos and reading tutorial has taught me everything I no, I've a couple of questions if anyone could help guide me through it please

. Would I need to support the cake in any way with dowels etc?

I'm planning on baking two 8" cakes that are 2" tall each cut them into two ,so they are 4" d 8" w then stack them on top of each other Using 3 or 4 of them , I've read that some people don't dowel, others do What would your advice be please ?

Also this might should really silly but I can't seem to find the answer anywhere, Some people say they board and dowel there cakes ,If I put 2 layers of sponge then a board then another two layers of sponge wouldn't all the moisture from the cake soak into the board/ cake card making it all soft and soggy? Or do you have to coat it in something first , sorry if it sounds silly but I've only ever used cake boards on the bottom of an iced cake as part of a two tier cake so it sat on dowels on top of fondant , not in the middle of cakes ,

The only weight going on the cake would be handles made from Gum paste

Hope you understand my post and some one can help me sleep tonight lol

25 replies
denetteb Posted 10 Aug 2014 , 6:13pm
post #2 of 26

If you're finished cake is going to be 6-8 inches high you will need to use a board in between and dowels/straws/whatever your preferred support system.  Think of it as a really narrow two tiered cake with each layer being the same size.  Another reason for having the board mid cake besides support is for ease of cutting and serving.  They can cut the top half down to the board and serve those and then remove the board and finish cutting the bottom half.  The cardboard should be fine, it is used with buttercream cakes all the time.  If you are worried you could use two boards, or foamcore.  You can do some searching on cake central for more info on that since foamcore gets some discussion about it not being a food item yet it is touching the cakes.  Some people cover it with plastic wrap or aluminum foil but I am not fond of those methods as I think it would be way to easy to get bits of plastic or foil in your cut cake slices.  Next time instead of having so many sleepless nights, make a practice cake and then you will have no worries and you can get your sleep.  When you used the boards before you did have the cake setting right on top of a board and it didn't get all soggy, right, this will just be cake on both sides of the board.  And whenever you dowel for support you have to have a board or the dowels do no good and just  poke into the cake that is sitting on them.

CindiM Posted 10 Aug 2014 , 6:16pm
post #3 of 26

Hi Nicki,


First question,


To dowel or not to dowel? 


Always!!!!!, when something is stacked higher than 4 inches!!!! 

And the fact that your cake will be 8 inches high and 4 inches wide, just says to me, I might fall over!  Dowel!!!!


Next question, the board in between, wrap it in foil. 


Now about this causing you to loose sleep.  Stop that!!!!! 


Enjoy what you do!  Don't stress over the fact, that you are doing something, you have not done before.  That is just what life is.  It is like a movie, only watch the end, if you can't deal with the journey.


I always think, other people wish, they had our problems.  It's a cake! :lol: 

Just think how good you will feel after it's done. 

Nicki161 Posted 10 Aug 2014 , 7:48pm
post #4 of 26

AThank you denetteb and cindiM for both your replies I will dowel with straws and use two cake cards joined together silver side up and down , think I just needed to hear it was the right thing to do, thank you for spending the time to reply to me. I spend most of my free time researching and watching tutorials there's so much knowledge / information and understanding that goes with each cake I always try to give 100% effort to my cakes as I'm sure everyone else does, I'm sure the more I do the less stressed I will be and learn to enjoy doing then at the minute I just feel every cake I do is so different from the last so it's all research and I've got to learn everything I do can't always be perfect think I'm to self critical on myself, it's my daughters 11th birthday next month and I can already feel a dark cloud over my head as she wants a 3d sitting teddy :-) the joys lol

denetteb Posted 10 Aug 2014 , 7:56pm
post #5 of 26

If you are doing two boards together make sure you attach them so they don't slide apart, double sided tape or a loop of tape or melted candy melts or something.  Oh, don't start worrying about the next cake already!!!  A cake for your daughter should be fun, not a worry.  She will be thrilled with it regardless so plan and prepare and allow enough time.  Are you going to carve the teddy or do you have the molded cake pan?  If you feel it is just too advanced then you have time to do some practicing or you could do a two dimensional teddy cake as a compromise. 

Nicki161 Posted 10 Aug 2014 , 8:18pm
post #6 of 26

AI will use double sided tape to stick both sides together, think I'm going to do a carved cake I've lots of tutorials saved to watch and read :-) I plan to practise that one , thanks again :grin:

Edible Art Co Posted 10 Aug 2014 , 8:26pm
post #7 of 26

I made a small handbag cake for fun once just to see what it was like, now I have an order for one that's twice the size and way cooler! Keep calm, make a list of each step/part you need to make e.g. buckles, make handles in advance to dry etc. When it comes to shaping the cake, level the layers as usual, use plenty of support and trim it roughly into shape first - no need to go hacking away then struggle to stick bits back on! Take your time, and trust in your skills :)

-K8memphis Posted 10 Aug 2014 , 8:29pm
post #8 of 26

Ai have been waiting for a question like this and if i recall correctly, it was mattyeatscake who told me that it was overkill to place skewers inside straws for doweling but this is especially when it is invaluable --

the cake is tall and skinny right -- so under the bottom board I glue a piece of 1" foam at least as big as the footprint of the cake -- being careful to *apply glue only around outside perimeter of the foam to the board --

so you cut the straw to be the dowel that holds up the board that the second tier sits on and when you insert the much longer skewer through the straw all the way into the foam underneath -- you have a worthy support system that will keep your coach on the road ;)

then you thread the final cake tier down onto the skewers so you keep humpty there on the wall - makes delivery much less of a xanax ordeal

*because skewers can't penetrate through the hot glue

Nicki161 Posted 10 Aug 2014 , 8:51pm
post #9 of 26

AThank you edible art co for your reply good tip on the hacking I will take my time when doing it, would you place it in the fridge first for a period of time so it' firms up a little for carving ? Just something I read on a tutorial

Nicki161 Posted 10 Aug 2014 , 8:54pm
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AMany thanks -k8memphis great tips I'll take it all on board thank you,

-K8memphis Posted 10 Aug 2014 , 8:55pm
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Athis way you have maximized the power of the skewers plus straws to securely hold the cake onto the board, keep it upright and separate the two tiers all with making only minimal damage and the fewest holes in the narrow cake -- more holes in there could tear it apart these are the skinniest because you use the narrow straws & shishkabob skewers ;D

-K8memphis Posted 10 Aug 2014 , 9:04pm
post #12 of 26

Ayou also have to make holes in the board so it threads down on there and sits on the cut straws

Edible Art Co Posted 10 Aug 2014 , 9:28pm
post #13 of 26

No worries, nope I just let the cakes cool down completely first. It always helps to use a mixture that comes out a little denser than your usual sponge (think madeira for example - nothing crumbly!), that holds up well to carving. I use the fridge as my 'firming up' friend! My kitchen gets quite warm so I would fill and stack the layers then chill the whole thing to let it settle into its basic shape. Then start carving. It helps to have either a picture or if you can, draw the shape out the size you want and refer to it as you go. Oh and don't forget to post your pics after :)  

Nicki161 Posted 10 Aug 2014 , 9:32pm
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AGreat thank you, I will post some as soon as it's done :-)

cara1982 Posted 11 Aug 2014 , 7:55pm
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A[IMG ALT=""][/IMG] [IMG ALT=""][/IMG] I have done a few shopping bags. I stacked the cake and just put some foam core board in the middle and a few dowels through the whole thing. I panelled the cake with fondant and it was easier than I thought!

Nicki161 Posted 11 Aug 2014 , 9:07pm
post #16 of 26

AOmg cara1982 they are fantastic ! I plan to panel to ( this will be my first time panelling ) Like nervous about it but think this will be better than trying do the whole thing in one go,

Nicki161 Posted 13 Aug 2014 , 6:32pm
post #17 of 26

A[ATTACHMENT=1859]Handbagcake (868k. jpg file)[/ATTACHMENT]

Just finished it, thank you so much everyone for all your help, I doweled and put a board in after 4" :-)

denetteb Posted 14 Aug 2014 , 2:53am
post #18 of 26

Very cute!  Nice work.

Nicki161 Posted 14 Aug 2014 , 7:06am
post #19 of 26

AThank you

Edible Art Co Posted 14 Aug 2014 , 8:33am
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Well done! It looks cute and sturdy, and what a delectable colour :)

Nicki161 Posted 14 Aug 2014 , 9:59am
post #21 of 26

AThank you edible art co, thank you for all your help and support much appreciated ,

denetteb Posted 14 Aug 2014 , 1:20pm
post #22 of 26

One suggestion...before you box the cake to take a really good picture of it.  Preferably with a neutral background.  A piece of foam core or one of those three sided tagboard displays like kids use for science fair projects works good.  That way you have a really nice picture to show your friends and to look back on.  I have no desire to sell cakes but I do like to share the pictures of what I make so I make sure I have pictures with neutral background and no box showing.  Just a suggestion. 

-K8memphis Posted 14 Aug 2014 , 2:22pm
post #23 of 26

ANicki -- you hit it out of the park -- I love the brave piping detail, so exact -- love the little Scottie dog -- awesome work -- Brava!

Nicki161 Posted 14 Aug 2014 , 4:42pm
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AThank you for that tip denetteb I never even thought about that , I was just so excited to have it done I was camera happy :-)

Nicki161 Posted 14 Aug 2014 , 4:43pm
post #25 of 26

AThank you k8memphis that made me smile ,how lovely thank you for all your help and advice ,

Thank you everyone :-)

Nitaann Posted 27 Sep 2014 , 4:09pm
post #26 of 26

 I have purchased a purse video on Craftsy.  You need to use a dense cake.  She also used the foam board for the bottom layer.  No dowels were used.  The frosting is swiss buttercream.  I hope this was helpful.

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