So i've agreed to make my first ever wedding cake for a friend in December and i'm a bit nervous as i want to get it perfect!
1. She would like a 4 tier cake with the bottom tier being a dummy. Would doing 6,8,10,12 be a good idea?! She doesn't want fondant so it will be decorated with white buttercream and fresh roses. So is leaving 2 inches between each tier enough space for the flowers?? What other sizes would people recommend without losing a lot of height?
2. I'm undecided on which recipe to use for the actual cake. She wants all tiers to be vanilla filled with jam and buttercream. My first thought was to go for a Victoria sponge but will this be sturdy enough? Is a Madeira cake a better idea? Also for each tier, i was thinking to have 3 or 4 layers of cake - is this too much?!
3.Stacking - I've been reading up on how to stack the tiers but is it essential to have one dowel going through the whole cake? And would you recommend assembling it all at the venue? Or perhaps do the bottom tiers at home then the top two at the venue?
Any help is much appreciated!! Thank you!
1 - yes, that's fine depending on the size of the flowers. I usually use 6/8/10/12 combos. When using fresh flowers, make sure you use posy picks or foil to ensure no yucky nasties from the flowers mix with your (edible) cake. It depends realy on the formations you are going for.
2 - I use a victoria sponge recipe for all my cakes but make sure you let them rest before you stack. However, if you have never done them before then maybe a Madeira would be better. I'd just suggest using a recipe that you are familiar with. I use 4 layers of cake (4x1") for every tier which gives you a great effect but...it's very heavy when finished. 3 works well too, it just depends on what look you are going for. You want them to end up the same height as your dummy (including buttercream, jam etc).
3 - No, not essential. I never do. I'm guessing that you're in the UK by using the words 'victoria sponge'. You'll find that the boards we tend to get here are much harder than the cardboard ones they can use in the US so you have to pre-hole the boards before you use them if you want to centre dowel. You can't just punch a hole through our boards (unless at least you want a big mess!). I'd recommend getting an interlocking support system if it's your first big buttercream (wedding cake) then you can transport it whole but, again, it will be HEAVY! They are more expensive here but worth it I think. Stacking at the venue is good if you can do it but remember that buttercream can be a big mess...so take an apron and spare piping bag. Also make sure you have a board under your first layer of cake and don't rest it right on the dummy. Otherwise the dowels in the tier will slowly sink into the polystyrene...
Thanks for your help!
With your victoria sponges do you use any simple syrup to keep them moist? And is it worth dowelling the dummy?