I have long scoured the Cake Central site for ideas etc. I've read enough posts on here to understand that people can be very critical of unskilled people selling cakes. So let me start this by being very clear that I am not selling cakes to anyone. I only make cakes for my kids and other immediate family at their request. Now, my sister wants me to make her wedding cake. I'm concerned about my limitations, mainly in the area of recipes (cakes sturdy enough to stack), construction, and to freeze or not to freeze. I had a frozen cake fall a part on me once so I am wary of that. I usually doctor a mix and have concerns about density issues there.
My sister is on a very restricted budget and really doesn't have any money to spend on a cake so it is either me or a small grocery store cake. I would rather help her if I could and I have 4 months to practice (assuming she picks a design soon).
Please take a look at my profile gallery and offer insights as to the flaws and strengths of my cakes and whether or not, in your opinion, I can pull this off at my current level. My sister doesn't expect perfect, just good. Also, please give your advice as to the specific areas I mentioned above...doctored cake mixes for wedding cakes, construction tips, and freezing advice.
I looked at your gallery. You can obviously make cakes at least two tiers that don't fall over - that's a bigee. I don't see you having any trouble as long as you don't let her get overly ambitious. The vertical icing technique you used on your 2013 pumpkin cake would make a beautiful wedding cake. You can also make cupcakes to go with the cake, to keep you from having to make a cake bigger than you are comfortable with.
Just the fact that it's from you will make it special for your sister. I made my sister's what seems like a hundred years ago. It was really kinda homely now that I look back on it, but we accented it with flowers, it tasted really good, and everyone was happy. Of course, that was before Pinterest raised everyone's "standards."
You'll have to get actual technical advice from the pros on here, but in my opinion, you got this.
Good luck and God speed.
AOf course you can do this. Sounds like your sister has reasonable expectations and so do you. As long as that stays the same, you'll be fine. Be sure to find out if the reception venue has any restrictions on you doing the cake 1st. Cake itself does not need to be sturdy to stack. Use a good support system properly and you can stack any recipe. Opt for a system like SPS because of the occasion. Use cardboard cake rounds/bench scrapers to help pick up-transport-place cake layers if you feel there is an issue. As for freeze vs no freeze I am sure as you stated you've already read many posts, you already know you are going to get answers on both sides of the fence. Just because it works for someone else doesn't mean it is a guarantee for you. It is done both ways sucessfully. Decide on your recipe and try it both ways. Beware of the trap. The trap being losing track of time and money. You can very easily get on the slippery slope of nickel and dimeing yourself buying what you feel you need just for this cake. You don't want to add it up at the end and pairing it with all your time involved, (what you value your time to be) and the possible worry/frustration/drama on top.... And at the end just wishing you put that money towards buying the cake of her dreams for her. You want to look back at this experience fondly. Best wishes-
I'm the venue as well so no worries there. I wouldn't even have to move the cake. :) As for the SPS, the set I have is old and has a scalloped plastic edge on the plates which always shows (see my penguin cake). Are there sets that are fit more closely to the cake size so you have a clean edge?
........concerned about my limitations, mainly in the area of recipes (cakes sturdy enough to stack), construction, and to freeze or not to freeze..........
Freezing cakes is your *friend* :) You can bake more than a month ahead. Also make & fz icing. Then just decorate it at the last minute.
........had a frozen cake fall a part on me once...........
.I don't understand how a fzn cake fell apart. Did you put it together fully fzn? I bet there was some other reason for the problem you experienced.
.........usually doctor a mix and have concerns about density issues there. .......
Use my *original* WASC recipe and there will be NO concerns :) It's perfect for wedding cakes. I used it in my bakery for years. http://www.cakecentral.com/t/584319/the-original-wasc-cake-recipe
........the set I have is old;...has a scalloped plastic edge on the plates which always shows... Are there sets that fit more closely to the cake size so you have a clean edge?
You can cut your own boards and cover them w/freezer wrap for a clean edge plate. This works best for stacked cakes. Check out my gallery to see how plates can be used.
The cake recipe has absolutely no bearing on stackability. The support system holds up the cake. Please look into SPS - what you have is Wilton. SPS is the BakeryCrafts brand and it is different. Link in my signature line.
Also, yes on freezing the cake. If the cake was good going into the reezer, it will probably be even better coming out.
Read the thread "My latest trick . . " for a discussion on cake settling. (do a search.)
Yes, make your icing ahead of time. Fillings too.
Thanks everyone for the advice. I did it! And it wasn't a disaster.
That is sooo far from a disaster - it's a gorgeous showstopper! I wish I could get a closer look at the castle on the top. Beautifully done. Which support system did you end up using? My only wish is that it was shot straight up and down, it makes me feel vaguely uneasy at that angle!
That's not just ok or really very good that's freaking jaw dropping amazing!!!!!
It turned out amazing!!!