To Fill Or Not To Fill

Decorating By mrsmac888 Updated 17 Sep 2014 , 7:52pm by hbquikcomjamesl

mrsmac888 Posted 17 Sep 2014 , 3:59pm
post #1 of 11

I have a bride that wants a white, 5 tier cake.  12", 10", 8", 6", 4"  each tier being about 4" in height. It's being frosted/decorated in buttercream. I would automatically suggest a filling, raspberry, strawberry, chocolate, etc.  This bride does not want it filled, with anything.  I've never done a 4" deep cake with no filling.  Is this a big deal?  Is there a chance of it being dry?  My white cake is pretty moist.  Would you try to change her mind?  What do you think?



10 replies
-K8memphis Posted 17 Sep 2014 , 4:24pm
post #2 of 11

just fill it with icing  -- i always torte my white/yellow tier cakes so i'd just use icing in there -- so it would look like four layers of cake with three layers of icing in between -- no problem --


did she maybe equate 'filling' with higher price? then again some people just do not like filling -- but they still get all the layers for a white cake especially -- i don't care for big wads of uniced/unfilled cake

Rfisher Posted 17 Sep 2014 , 4:27pm
post #3 of 11

AIt sounds like the bride made it clear that she did not want it filled with anything, not that she was meaning "filling" but buttercream would be ok?...but if you think this is not the case, do you think she's trying to save money? Like you would charge her less? FD has 4" pans, or you can collar 3" pans if you have those. Non filled wedding cakes are not normal where I am, but they are elsewhere in this big world. . I lied. I've seen some sad non filled " kitchen cakes" over the years. If you are not comfortable with baking 4" cakes, or don't want to buy pans for this order, or you don't want to do a test run on dry stacking ( or even simple syruping) 2" layers.... you need to discuss your limitations/reservations with the bride.

hbquikcomjamesl Posted 17 Sep 2014 , 5:23pm
post #4 of 11

Why are you asking us? We can't read the bride's mind any more than you can. (Why isn't there a "shrug" emoticon on this board?) When I have a question about the specs of a program I'm writing at work, or about the specs of some type I'm setting or some exhibit I'm building at the Printing Museum, I ask the person who gave me the specs.

:detective:The logical person to ask for clarification when there's a question about a cake's specs would be the customer, in this case, the bride.


Miscommunication can lead to grief. This kind of reminds me of that old Sprint PCS spot, "Flour the Kids."


The biggest question in my mind is whether you have a cake recipe that will work for a single, monolithic layer that big without giving you a burned crust and a doughy center. Pound cake seems to work for tall layers (although, as I recall, the old pound cake mixes designed specifically for Bundt molds, although they filled the molds better than just using a regular pound cake mix of today, did leave a doughy ring.)

mrsmac888 Posted 17 Sep 2014 , 5:26pm
post #5 of 11

AAh yes. I didn't think about the cost factor. I bet that is why she declined the filling. I will bring that up with her and let her know that I would do it without adding too much cost to the cake. I just can't imagine doing a 4 inch cake without anything in between, seems very blase to me. Thank you! Christina

Dayti Posted 17 Sep 2014 , 5:39pm
post #6 of 11

I would charge her my per serving price regardless of whether there is filling/buttercream in there or not. The cost of filling would be pretty much cancelled out by a much longer bake time/electricity use. Perhaps if she is adamant you could persuade her to use a very tiny smear of apricot jam to stick 2 2" layers together. It would be so much easier on you than baking 4" cakes. 


I wonder what her guests will think when they are served a block of cake with no filling? Maybe she wants them to be able to dunk it in their coffee, who knows!

cakesbycathy Posted 17 Sep 2014 , 5:41pm
post #7 of 11

I only own 2" pans.  I've had clients before that said they don't want filling and I tell them the 2 layers of cake need something in between to keep them together (so to speak) and recommend a thin layer of vanilla buttercream.  Filling is already included in the price of the cake so they always go with that option.

leah_s Posted 17 Sep 2014 , 6:48pm
post #8 of 11

Cake civilians often call flavored things (jam, ganache, curds, etc) fillings, rather than the definition we use - whatever is between the layer of cake that make up a tier.  I always explained to brides and other cake civilians that filling is a product and a location, and I have to stick you cakes together with something.  If you don't want a flavored something in between there, then I'll use buttercream.

No miscommunicatin with that explanation, at least in my experience.

mrsmac888 Posted 17 Sep 2014 , 6:57pm
post #9 of 11

Thank you to everyone that took the time to throw your ideas and opinions out there to me!  I was originally thinking that I would collar my 3" pans.  But as I said before, just seems so boring to do it that way.  I will go the route of suggesting 2" cakes "stuck" together with something as simple as the buttercream.  I so hope she goes with this suggestion!  I have a lot riding on this cake and It's terrifying me!




Dayti Posted 17 Sep 2014 , 7:45pm
post #10 of 11


Originally Posted by mrsmac888 

 I have a lot riding on this cake and It's terrifying me!



Just explain to her nicely that most people would expect something running through the cake for added oomph, flavour, texture, and wow factor. Also don't forget that if what she ends up ordering is essentially lumps of 4" thick cake, guests at the wedding will maybe think you don't do filled cakes, just thick slabs. Not a good reputation to have in my opinion ;) 

hbquikcomjamesl Posted 17 Sep 2014 , 7:52pm
post #11 of 11

Not to mention that (as I said) a recipe that works perfectly in 2" high layers might be a disaster in 4" high layers.

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