I've got a cake which is going to have a gumpaste number topper on it, the numbers will be mounted on sticks and/or wires. I always take pictures of my cakes before they are delivered/picked up. In this case, it will be picked up. I would prefer to have the topper given to her separately so she can just put the numbers on the cake when needed rather than transporting the cake with them already installed, but is it ok for me to put the topper into the cake for photos and then take it out before I give it to her? Would it be weird to give her a topper that's clearly got crumbs on the stick from already being in the cake?
A second question: If putting number gumpaste toppers on a buttercream cake, would you put a sort of gumpaste/fondant "plate" under the toppers so they don't sink into the icing?
I don't know if this is the right answer or not but I am planning a cake for my Grandma's 90th with stand up numbers and my plan is to set skewers into the numbers as I am making them and insert thin straws into the cake for the skewers to sit into. Maybe you could do something like that.
If you insert the straw and trim as needed then cut a second one to match and insert the clean straw into the cake then the topper for photo's surely it will only pick up a few crumbs that you can clean off. I was planning on using a bit of melted white chocolate (cake will be white ganache) to set the number into the straw so maybe when you drop off the cake you could either set up the topper or give them a bit of chocolate in a disposable piping bag (they can melt the chocolate in the bag in the microwave and wont need much) so they can do it themselves.
Personally if someone gave me a dirty cake topper to insert into a cake I would be grossed out so I do hope you don't do that.
to answer your question -- as far as having crumbs on it -- clean it off --
and maybe that works for some of us but i would never ask a client or friend to melt chocolate to attach something as potentially wonky as a topper you don't even want to put on before delivery -- as simple as it is for us, a non-caker can really mess up something like that -- they could easily boil the chocolate, break the numbers, insert them but they flop over instead of stand up ripping up the top of the cake --
so my suggestion for you is to figure out how to apply them securely before the pickup so that they survive the car ride -- you might want to insert a guy wire type dowel behind the topper to hold it up -- you can cover it with piping to make it less dowel looking like vines flowers stripes anything --
and yes you make it as secure as humanly possible --
AI agree with K8. It doesn't look professional. The only 2 times I handed toppers over separately was (1) when I specifically asked by the client because she had to pick up the cake a day before the party and it needed refrigeration but with the the toppers on the cake it wouldn't have fit in her fridge (which was my ice age cake and the toppers could be just layer onto the cake easily) and (2) when a client insisted on collecting a cake with a piped Royal icing Eifel tower as the centerpiece and was willing to take the risk (thanks God it worked out fine!). If you're worried about assembling before collecting either insist upfront that you'll deliver it or have a structure that will hold.
Thanks everyone -
I will just insert the toppers before she picks it up, then. I don't think there will be a problem with their stability, my concern is more that I can never find boxes that are tall enough for cakes with toppers on them. Does anyone have a solution for this? It's only an 8" round cake, but with the toppers on top it'll need more like 8-10" clearance, and the only boxes I can find are 6" tall.
I am wondering the same thing - my MIL is sick so I need to put her cake in the freezer (bugger) and I need a box high enough for the topper but cake boxes are all 4 inch high - I don't understand why they don't make them bigger
prop open the lid -- if you make a short cut on the bottom edge of each flap you can rest the flaps into the sides of the box -- this keeps the lid open securely, tape it down then cover the gaping hole with plastic wrap
tape that too :)