Whats Your Routine?

Decorating By momof3jotynjake Updated 4 Apr 2005 , 5:41pm by SquirrellyCakes

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momof3jotynjake Posted 4 Apr 2005 , 12:27am
post #1 of 11

Ok.. here is one for ya!1
I need a routine! when baking, i feel like im all over the place and just going out of order!! what orders do you go by when making a cake? I have a tier cake that im going to be making.. 3 tiers.....
Now, do i make the cakes a few days in advance? then decorate them the day before? Im sooo confused. the last cake i made, my kitchen was a total disaster and i didnt know where to find half of the stuff!! LOL!!!!!!!!!!!
Thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

10 replies
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peg818 Posted 4 Apr 2005 , 12:39am
post #2 of 11

Before baking, i get all boards, boxes, pillars and any decorations that can be made ahead are done ahead.


Monday shop!! (make a list and get everything you need) Tuesday make icing. Wednesday bake. Thursday ice. Friday decorate, Saturday deliver the earlier the better (at least for me) This schedule buys me alittle extra time if something goes wrong. And sometimes i need to bake on Thursday instead of or in addition to wednesday.

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momof3jotynjake Posted 4 Apr 2005 , 1:04am
post #3 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by peg818

Before baking, i get all boards, boxes, pillars and any decorations that can be made ahead are done ahead.


Monday shop!! (make a list and get everything you need) Tuesday make icing. Wednesday bake. Thursday ice. Friday decorate, Saturday deliver the earlier the better (at least for me) This schedule buys me alittle extra time if something goes wrong. And sometimes i need to bake on Thursday instead of or in addition to wednesday.




So, on thursday, ice the cake and put in fridge?
that is a nice schedule! thank you soo much! i was doing all of that in 1 day!! LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! when you say you do decorations in advance, you mean doing the flowers etc?? and freezing them?

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tcturtleshell Posted 4 Apr 2005 , 4:09am
post #4 of 11

Yes, Montanakate, you can freeze your flowers. I just pick a day I want to make flowers & I spend most of the day making flowers. Then I freeze them. I just get them out of the freezer when I'm ready to place them on my cake. It saves lots of time & energy!

If it's not a big cake I make the icing the day before I bake then cake. Then I bake the cake & ice it the same day. Then the next day I decorated it. I'm not supposed to be on my feet as much as I used to so I have to do it in steps. I found that it is very easy that way.

For a wedding cake.. you can make your cakes weeks in advance & freeze them. Cover them with saran wrap & then foil. Put them in a trash bag & put em' in the freezer. On the Monday before the wedding I make up my icing. Then the day before or the night before I ice & smooth the cake. I stack it when I get to the church & add decorations to it there. I've only done one w/ decorations on it. The wedding cake I'm doing on the 23rd of this month will only have ribbon & real flowers on it. That will all be done at the church.

You have to do a wedding cake or any cake in stages just so you don't kill yourself!!!

Good luck, ~TC~

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SquirrellyCakes Posted 4 Apr 2005 , 5:02am
post #5 of 11

Just wanted to add a couple of things, you really don't need to refridgerate your cake and in some cases, it is best not to do so. Some folks crumbcoat the cake the same day it was baked, this varies a lot. Generally most people do bake on the Wednesday or Thursday before a Saturday delivery.
I make the icing up one day, in the week of the timeframe the cake is due.
Regarding freezing buttercream roses, well generally this is best with pastel colours as for some people, the deeper colours especially the reds and blues etc. well they have a problem with bleed out once the roses or flowers are on the cake and defrost. That might be something you want to experiment with. It doesn't happen to everyone, but it does happen to some and though you can cover the bleed out with more greenery, it might not be what you want to deal with.
But I like the way the workload is staged out in these posts. It is quite true that it can be quite tiring and daunting if you try to do everything over the course of a day or two. It is nice to have your boards covered and ready and all of the things you need laid out and clean and ready to roll.
When you have a massive task, baking and freezing the cakes as described, a week or two ahead, well it just makes the whole thing feel not quite so much work.
Though I usually bake up my cakes on the Thursday, I can see where doing them on the Wednesday and having that extra day in case something goes wrong, well it would be beneficial.
Even for a regular cake with a buttercream transfer, I do the transfer up a week or two ahead and the icing up the week the cake is due and sometimes even bake and freeze the un-iced cake a week ahead so that all I have left is the decorating and applying the transfer which I do the Friday before a Saturday due date.
The more you can do in stages, the less tiring the whole process is, especially if you have any hand issues or a life outside of cakes, imagine that, haha!
Hugs Squirrelly Cakes

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flayvurdfun Posted 4 Apr 2005 , 8:29am
post #6 of 11

I ask for at least two week notice...I need time to work up my nerve icon_lol.gif icon_lol.gif Then the morning of the day before the cake is needed I bake the cake. That evening, if I'm going to crumb coat I do it then, and I will frost it, and put it in a covered area. The next morning I do the main decorating and have it ready for them to pick up. I know I should decorate the thing the night before, and sometimes I do depending what time it will be picked up but an actual set way of doing it, I dont have one. My cakes have yet to be real detailed so my timeline and stuff works for me, once it gets more detailed I will have to change I am sure.

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PureShugga Posted 4 Apr 2005 , 9:49am
post #7 of 11

I bake my cake at least a day or two before it's due. While it's baking I get the cake board ready and place the cake on it after it's done. I then saran wrap it and leave it on the table overnight. Then I like to frost and decorate at the same time whether it's the day of or the day before it's due. I prefer the day before in case of any mishaps.

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momof3jotynjake Posted 4 Apr 2005 , 2:31pm
post #8 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by SquirrellyCakes

Just wanted to add a couple of things, you really don't need to refridgerate your cake and in some cases, it is best not to do so. Some folks crumbcoat the cake the same day it was baked, this varies a lot. Generally most people do bake on the Wednesday or Thursday before a Saturday delivery.
I make the icing up one day, in the week of the timeframe the cake is due.
Regarding freezing buttercream roses, well generally this is best with pastel colours as for some people, the deeper colours especially the reds and blues etc. well they have a problem with bleed out once the roses or flowers are on the cake and defrost. That might be something you want to experiment with. It doesn't happen to everyone, but it does happen to some and though you can cover the bleed out with more greenery, it might not be what you want to deal with.
But I like the way the workload is staged out in these posts. It is quite true that it can be quite tiring and daunting if you try to do everything over the course of a day or two. It is nice to have your boards covered and ready and all of the things you need laid out and clean and ready to roll.
When you have a massive task, baking and freezing the cakes as described, a week or two ahead, well it just makes the whole thing feel not quite so much work.
Though I usually bake up my cakes on the Thursday, I can see where doing them on the Wednesday and having that extra day in case something goes wrong, well it would be beneficial.
Even for a regular cake with a buttercream transfer, I do the transfer up a week or two ahead and the icing up the week the cake is due and sometimes even bake and freeze the un-iced cake a week ahead so that all I have left is the decorating and applying the transfer which I do the Friday before a Saturday due date.
The more you can do in stages, the less tiring the whole process is, especially if you have any hand issues or a life outside of cakes, imagine that, haha!
Hugs Squirrelly Cakes




great, thanks for all your feed back!!
Ok, now what is crumb coat?? is that just icing the cake?
do you use a thig consistancy when icing?

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briansbaker Posted 4 Apr 2005 , 2:37pm
post #9 of 11

SquirrellyCakes
welcome back!!! I was just asking about you...How are you? Great feed back everyone.. That cleared my path aswell. I have Sweet Sixteen on April 22. I was lost on how to start my week..
momof3jotynjake
Glad you asked this!!!!

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melissablack Posted 4 Apr 2005 , 2:44pm
post #10 of 11

If I am making a cake for Saturday, I make my icing Wednesday, bake it Thursday evening, ice & decorate Friday. While the cake is baking I get my cake boards together, icing bags and tips, etc...

What are the pros and cons of putting a cake in the fridge? My WM instructor always told us not to do it... I can't remember why she said that. I've always been paranoid about it... something about moisture/texture???

Melissa icon_smile.gif

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SquirrellyCakes Posted 4 Apr 2005 , 5:41pm
post #11 of 11

Hi everyone!
Yes, Melissa, sometimes by refridgerating a cake, you are actually drying it out. Butter cakes are more susceptible to this than any other cake. Butter cakes also do not generally hold up as well when frozen, by buttercakes, I mean a cake like a pound cake that has a very high butter ratio.
If you are going to refridgerate a cake, well you want to make sure it is airtight. For example if it is just sitting in a cardboard box, well likely it will be fine for overnight, but you are still better off with it also sealed in plastic, I use clean unscented green garbage bags. The reason is two-fold, the cardboard is not air-tight, has a tendency to also take some of the moisture out of your cake and/or icing. Plus it does not make a good enough barrier to protect your cake from food odours in the fridge. So a plastic cake keeper or something more airtight is a better situation.
Some people that use the all shortening and water icing, do their crumbcoat with this and then refridgerate it for a few hours or overnight. They find it easier to flat-ice. Personally I find that it can lead to cracking issues, but I guess you have to try it for yourself and see how it works for you.
Freezing a cake for a week or two or even up to about 1 month, is a great alternative. Generally the best way to freeze a cake is un-iced and well sealed in plastic. Freezing causes a chemical change and breakdown to a cake and this change is generally not detectable until more than one month has elapsed, so this is where the timeline comes from. However a fruit cake can be frozen for 6 months with no problems. By fruit cake I mean a Christmas cake, not a fresh fruit cake. Generally the larger the surface of a cake, the better and longer it freezes. I tend to stay within the 2 week timeframe.
Freezerburn is not the only issue with freezing items such as this. There actually is a chemical breakdown, it does take awhile for it to be detectable by our tastebuds however. Generally though, especially with cake mixes, though your cake will taste fine, freezing it will cause it to have a shorter shelf life once it is defrosted - this information is from a Canadian Government Freezer safety site.
There are different types of crumbcoats, I tend to use thinned down apricot glaze. I can buy the glaze ready made and I measure it and if it is 2 cups, I add one cup of water to it, bring it to a boil for 3-5 minutes, then brush it on the cake while the glaze is still hot, very sparingly with a pastry brush. Now since I level my cakes with a serrated knife as soon as they come out of the pans, I am brushing the hot glaze on a warm cake. Regardless, if you cool your cakes first, well then you still brush the hot glaze on them. then let the cake sit until both cake and glaze are cool. Then I allow about 25 minutes for it to set. then I flat ice the cake.
Now if you cannot get this prepared glaze, then you heat up a jar of Pure Apricot Jam until it is boiling for about 3 minutes. Then you press it through a sieve to get rid of the pulp, measure it and if it measures say, 1 cup, then add 1/2 cup water to it and bring it to a boil again for 3-5 minutes. Now I store this in the fridge for months, until I need it and then I microwave about 1/4 cup which will do about a 10 inch cake. You only slightly brush this on the cake, you do not soak it. Why do I use this? Well when you are making a wedding cake and you have 6 layers of cake to do, well it takes only seconds to glaze them, you don't have to worry about smoothing the icing and they can sit on the counter for hours and are sealed with the moisture inside so there are no worries about the cakes drying out. For me it is much faster and less worry.
Generally commercial bakers use the glaze without adding any water, but if you do not want the slight apricot flavour, add the water to it as written.
Then there are also simple sugar syrups that you heat and flavour and brush on your cakes, these are also a crumbcoat, the idea being to trap in and give moisture to the cake and seal it from the air drying it out and also making the cake easier to ice without getting crumbs as they are sealed into the cake.
You can also crumbcoat with your regular buttercream. Most of you use the all shortening class recipe and there is one thing I would caution with this. Because this recipe has water as the liquid, there is a tendency for the water to evaporate. So your crumbcoat should be the same consistency as your final coat of icing. Why? Well, many folks have a problem with their icing cracking. Now yes this can be due to insufficient support by using boards that cannot withstand the weight of the cakes. But another cause of the cracking is this. When your crumbcoat and your final icing have different amounts of water in them, well one layer of icing tries to get some of the moisture out of the other layer of icing and this where the cracking starts. This is most especially true of cakes that are refridgerated after the crumbcoat is applied or cakes that sit iced for a day or two before delivery. So you really want to make sure that you are using that same amount of liquid in both the crumbcoating and also the final coat. When your cake has to sit for a day or two before delivery, then box it and enclose the whole boxed cake in a green garbage bag until the delivery day. This will trap all of the moisture in the cake and icing and not allow the air to dry the icing and cause cracking.
I don't find this cracking issue is a problem when using the half butter, half shortening and cream or milk recipe.
I agree with all of the timelines given here. It is true that if you have a simple cake to do, you don't have to do it up days in advance. But if you are just starting out and even doing, say a character cake with stars, well giving yourself an extra day or two may make it easier on you.
When doing these character cakes, there are a number of us that do not put an additional crumbcoat of buttercream on the cake before we star the designs on. As long as you star close together, well, generally you can get away with it and it makes it easier for some, to see the outlines. When doing a basketweave, I still do the apricot glaze crumbcoat and then I apply a very thin coat of buttercream before doing the basketweave, so in that case, you still need that crumbcoat of buttercream. Basically, with any design that will not cover the whole cake, you need the buttercream crumbcoat.
Hugs Squirrelly Cakes

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