I Need Help Making A Tiered Cake With Fondant

Decorating By girlfrommars Updated 4 May 2008 , 2:23pm by girlfrommars

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girlfrommars Posted 4 May 2008 , 12:52pm
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I'm going to be making my dd a small tiered cake for her 1st birthday. Can you tell me if my plan is 'right' or if I should do something differently.

My plan:
Lower tier will be a two layer 8 or 9 inch round with the top tier a single layer that is maybe 4 inches round.

I then have questions, I know I need to cover the tiers with icing before the fondant but how thick does it need to be? Also any suggestions on a frosting? I'm not a fan of butter cream and usually use a whipped icing but that won't be able to sit on the table overnight will it? Maybe butter cream will be fine for me, what I don't like about it is how hard it gets and when I cut into it it just crumbles/flakes off the cake, maybe I just don't know how to make butter cream correctly?

After the cake is covered with fondant I want to put colorful circles around the sides in different shapes, I have cookie cutters to make the circles. Should I do this with fondant or gum paste? I was under the impression that the cake should be covered with fondant and all decorating should be done with gum paste, but if I use gum paste will I be able to cut through the circles without them crumbling?

Then I plan on making lollipops and sticking them in the cake. If I can/should do the circles from my previous question in fondant, I'm wondering if it would be worth it to make gumpaste for the lolli's. Should I instead just buy lolli's or could I also make those out of fondant?

How to go about the tierd part. Do I just stick some dowels in the bottom tier and then can set the top one on top? What is the best way to cut the dowels to right size? How many will I need? How far spaced do they need to be?

My last question is how far in advance can I do each of these steps? Party is on a Sunday, can I bake the cake and frost it Friday night. Then Saturday add the fondant layer and decorate? Can I start any of this on Thursday? I'd like to get the cake done as early as possible so I have Saturday to clean and decorate the house and everything else that goes into a party.

As you can tell I'm really quite clueless about this and was up all night thinking about my cake disaster about to happen. I would appreciate any help you can give me in this!

6 replies
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cupsncakes Posted 4 May 2008 , 1:32pm
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Wow! OK I'll try to answer as much as possible. There is probably more than one way to do all these things, but this is what I do...
The icing under the tiers dosn't need to be very thick, I like it a bit thicker than a crumb coat, but not as thick as if you were doing buttercream alone. I wouldn't use any type of icing that you usually refridgerate, because you can't put fondant in the fridge, it will sweat. Buttercream under fondant usually doesn't crust. You could definately use fondant instead of gumpaste for the circles, and it would probably taste better. you could also use fondant for the lolli's but give them plenty of time to dry flat, as it takes longer than gumpste to dry. For the dowels, I use three, I push them in, make a mark where they need to be cut, pull them out again and them cut them off with one of my old knives (not a good one it will ruin it!). Evenly space them in the centre so that they will be hidden under the top tier. You could do your lolli decorations on Thursday or even earlier, your time line for the rest is fine.
I'm sure you won't have a cake disaster! Best of luck, make sure you post a photo icon_smile.gif

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bashini Posted 4 May 2008 , 1:41pm
post #3 of 7

Hi there,

First, I always put buttercream under fondant. I make it with butter, Powdered sugar and a little bit of milk. There are lot of buttercream recipes in the Recipe Index. Have a look and see whether there is one that you like to try. Here is a link from Wilton how to cover a cake with fondant. Here they have used a lot of buttercream, but I don't use that much.


When you cover the cake with fondant, the butter cream doesn't go crumbly.

For the accents, since its going to be eaten, I would do it with fondant. You don't HAVE to do the decorations in gumpaste. If its going to be eaten I always make them with fondant ( not the figures of course).

I would probably buy the lollipops. But if you want to make them, its better to do it in fondant, because again, if its going to be eaten.

Here is a link about stacking cakes from Wilton. It will give you a good Idea how to do this.


If the party is on Sunday, I would normaly make the cakes on Friday, cool it crumbcoat them in the night. And on Saturday, I would cover it with fondant, assemble them and decorate them. If you are going to do the lollipops in gumpaste, you can do them a weeks ahead.

Good Luck!

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Shola Posted 4 May 2008 , 1:49pm
post #4 of 7

Hi there!

You are attempting what I have just finished! A Bday cake for my DD's 1st!
All the Q's you asked are pretty much what I've asked so if you search my posts you will prolly get alot of info!

I'm not a fan of BC either, I used 'Julie's less sweet BC icing' http://www.cakecentral.com/cake_recipe-2523-Julies-Less-Sweet-Buttercream-Frosting.html
and thought it was much nicer than normal BC.

Also check out my post here to see how I got it all done before the big day! icon_smile.gif


Believe me I had never baked and decked a cake in my life and with all the help I got on here it came out really well! I'm sure yours will be great! thumbs_up.gif

Hope this helps


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SweetArt Posted 4 May 2008 , 1:49pm
post #5 of 7

The thickness of your buttercream is a personal preference. I like to have a full coat of buttercream under my fondant, others like to work with a crumb coat thickness. You can't put whipped icing under the fondant because they will start to break down and become watery. The buttercream wont dry out when the fondant is on it.

You can make the cut out shapes in just fondant. It will taste better. Gumpaste is used for decorations that you want to dry hard.

The lolli's you could make or buy depending on the look you want.

To dowel the cake, insert one dowel in the cake and mark it at the surface of the cake. Remove the dowel and cut. Cut the other dowels to the same height as the first one. I prefer to do a minimum of 4 dowels in an X or box pattern for stability. Dowels on a cake that small are mostly to keep the cake level.

You can bake and make icings on Friday. I think that would be better then doing it on Thursday. It is best to ice and cover in fondant at the same time so your buttercream hasn't crusted. Ice the cake cake and the put it in the freezer for about 10 minutes while you knead roll out your fondant. Take the cake out of the freezer and brush a little water on the side and then cover with fondant. The chilled cake will be firmer and easier to work with.

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alanahodgson Posted 4 May 2008 , 2:00pm
post #6 of 7

Real lollipops might be too heavy (I'm picturing the big round swirly colorful ones). I always put a regular layer of buttercream on, but make sure it is very well chilled so it holds its shape when applying the fondant. I think the standard, though is as cuppsncakes described with just a thicker than crumbcoat layer of buttercream.

When stacking tiers I will put in one dowel, mark and cut it then cut the rest of the dowels to that size. That way, even if my bottom tier of cake is not perfectly level, the tiers will appear level. For a cake of this size I would use lolipop sticks as dowels. They're so easy to cut. Like I said, I cut the first one, then I'll stand the second one next to the the first one, open a pair of sharp scissors around them, resting the scissors on the one that's already been cut and then snip the second one. For subsequent cuts I always use the first one because tiny variations can get further and further from the original size with each cut.

As far as your circles, I usually add a small amount of tylose powder to my fondant when cutting out pieces. I do this so that when I pick up the cut piece to apply to the cake it does not stretch out of shape.

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girlfrommars Posted 4 May 2008 , 2:23pm
post #7 of 7

Wow you guys are fast! Thanks for all the quick replies. I think I will be able to go about my day better now knowing what I have ahead of me rather than thinking about how to do it right.

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