This is how I constructed my 4 tier wedding cake covered in non pariels. There is probably an easier way to do it but this is just the way I decided to do it. If you find an easier way please share it with all of us.
List of Materials
- sprinkles–non pariels 4-5 lbs
- 1/2″ dowel
- white chocolate
- ganached* and fondant covered cakes
- **ganache is optional…It is just what I do prior to fondant to make sharp corners
This cake started as sprinkles for my five year old to decorate cupcakes with and then……voila. My bride and I actually had a totally different design for the wedding cake up until the week before the wedding. She was coming to pay the balance on her cake and my daughter and I were playing with the mini tiered wedding cakes I had just baked. Izabella had iced hers and poured a bowl full of sprinkles to dip her “dream wedding cake”. It looked really pretty!! So we were talking about fake tiers (the bride’s God daughter was planning a quinceanera and she was taking care of that cake as well) and how they worked as far as covering, etc. I had some that I was preparing to wrap in fondant all greased up with shortening with some errant sprinkles from Bella’s creation already attached so I just got a bigger bowl and dipped. It looked good and my bride and I were in awe of it so I covered the other two display tiers. She immediately asked if it was possible to do her wedding cake that way and all I could think off was NO stenciling!!! YAY!!!!. So 4-5 lbs of sprinkles later that cake was made.
As for how to do it. There has to be an easier way but I just stacked, ganached, and covered in fondant. Brushed the fondant with white chocolate and gently pressed sprinkles on it. I didn’t want them to sink in just stick. I ended up with a little paintbrush filling in spots that sprinkles refused to adhere. I left a little circle without sprinkles on each tier and filled it with chocolate so the next tier wouldn’t just roll off (they tried to) and of course a dowel down the middle. The original plan was to leave it with just sprinkles but it looked MUCH better with the ribbon. I wonder if it would have been better to stack and then sprinkle to make sure the tiers don’t move as much but this cake traveled over the most horrible road (all brick) in town up to the venue. If there is anything I didn’t answer feel free to pm me. I have learned SO much from people on this site willing to share their tips and tricks with me
So I didn’t take pics as I went along because I had no idea this cake would end up looking that neat. The first thing I did was take my prepared tiers (leveled and filled) and did a layer of ganache on all four. There are plenty of placecs to find the ratio of chocolate to cream, how-to-videos on you tube, etc. It takes me FOREVER to do get the ganache as smooth and sharp as possible but it is the one thing that makes a HUGE difference in my cakes. After the ganache has set well I covered all the cakes in fondant and let the fondant firm up a bit.
After the fondant has firmed up I warmed a bit of white chocolate. I used my chocolate just as it began to thicken so it was warm but I imagine the cooler the better. I didn’t keep track of how much but the goal was to evenly yet lightly cover the fondant and then gently press sprinkles onto the chocolate without disturbing the fondant underneath. I ddin’t want chocolate to show on the sprinkles so I lightly covered, pressed, and moved on to the next section, then the next tier. I wanted them to set up so when I went back there was less chance of me messing up what I had just done. Each tier was set on an elevated cooling rack as I worked on it so excess sprinkles would fall through and into sheet pans lined with plastic wrap. Trust me you want something…..ANYTHING underneath these cakes as you work with them. I found that without the plastic wrap the sprinkles hit the pans and bounced all over.
The main ? I got on this cake was: Did you stack then cover or cover then stack? I covered then stacked. Like I said in the beginning I had a week to figure this out and I honestly can’t tell you which is better since I only tried the one way. I figured if I stacked then covered there would be less movement of the tiers (a LOT less without having to stack them) but I wasn’t sure how easy it would be to cover the edges of each cake where they met. I am not the most graceful of individuals and figured as I tried to secure more sprinkles I would accidentally wipe off others or have to just pour in some areas which would make it harder to get a single layer of sprinkles secured. My goal was to have a single layer of sprinkles for many reasons but the main ones: I didn’t want sprinkles all over the back of my transport vehicle and I REALLY didn’t want sprinkles all over the floor of a venue that had banned confetti. I feel like I got the tiers covered in a single layer about as well as anyone could. There were hardly any spots without a sprinkle and there were very little extra sprinkles and still there were sprinkles in the vehicle and on the cake table. Thankfully there wasn’t a trail from the entrance to the cake table that I had nightmares of the night before.
So since I covered then stacked I had another obstacle….how to stack? If I traced the next tier onto the bottom tier and then placed sprinkles just outside that line then I would have a clean space to set the next tier… NOT!!! Like I said I did my best to make sure every sprinkle was adhered but when I went to stack them sprinkles would fall off and into the cleaned up circle. I didn’t want lines between the tiers that had to be covered (the ribbon was not part of the original design and wasn’t added until we were at the venue). So I decided to cover the tops as well. All the sprinkles inside the lines I drew for the next tier were placed with chocolate but this time I didn’t care if there was a little excess chocolate showin gon those sprinkles as long as the tier remained even…I wanted them STUCK. Once they set I used more chocolate to glue the tiers together. I put a 1/2″ dowel through the bottom three tiers and got everything ready to transport. When we arrived I attached the top tier to the rest of the cake. The bridal party was doing pictures before the guests arrived at the reception. The flower girl was the one who asked if they could add ribbon to the cake since the ribbon in her hair made her hair so much prettier. So I grabbed the ribbon I had in the car that was already prepped (for the original design). We decided it did look better. Since the tiers were 12-10-8-6 the ribbon did a lot to break them up and made it a little more girly. The whole wedding was pink and sparkly. The cake table was originally set up outside but it was HOT!! So I quickly snapped some pics before we very carefully moved it inside.