Newbies First Wedding Cake... Bad...

Decorating By whisperingmadcow Updated 6 Dec 2008 , 6:27am by margaretb

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whisperingmadcow Posted 4 Dec 2008 , 7:53pm
post #1 of 18

I had such high hopes for this cake but after seeing it put together, really, I was rather unhappy with it. I am posting the picture of my cake and the picture of the cake that they wanted so you can compair.

The cake itself is chocolate with strawberry filling and wilton buttercream on the outside. I made two 6" cake and two 8" cakes. I was very happy with the bake (love the oven in my new house) and I even did a crumb coat to keep from getting dots in the frosting. Well, when I came to putting on the actual frosting, I couldn't get the frosting to smooth out and it didn't want to stick in other places. I probably should have thinned it out more. So I used some wax paper and the fondant smoother to try to get it as smooth as possible. To me, it looks bad. So I get both the bottom and top layers frosted and I put the border on the bottom tier and I put everything in the fridge. I made everything on a Sunday and the wedding was on a Tuesday. I had my second job Monday, so it had to be that way. Well, the big day comes and I need to put the polka dots on. So I get up early, roll out the fondant and cut and paste. Well, I think I picked the wrong size circle or maybe I put them too close together but it sure doesn't look like the picture. If I had time to fix the problem, I would have but I was in such a rush to get it done before I went to work, then I just had to say forget about it. With fondant, could I have put the dot on sunday night or would they have gone retarded in the fridge over the two days? I didn't want to take a chance on the colors bleeding or the fondant going all stupid.

When I get to his house, I can't figure out how to stack the tiers without putting my fingers in the buttercream. So I do the best I can, but...still finger half-moons appear. When I lay down the second tier its totally off center, but I don't want to put my fingers in it ever more and risk messing it more. I put on the border for the second tier which hides some of the fingers marks, but the bow on the bottom doesn't look right and it ever cuts into my buttercream a little. At this point, I am just happy its together and in one piece but in no way am I proud of the cake. I look at all these people eating it and I can't help but feel very disappointed in the end result. I want to appologize to everyone for making sure a stupid looking cake when I feel like i could have done so much better.

So thats my cake drama. Any advise you can give would be nice.... = ( Every expert was once a newbie...right?

Also, if this is your cake, please know that I am sorry for butchering it.

17 replies
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Joybeth Posted 4 Dec 2008 , 8:14pm
post #2 of 18

I would definitely say that you had the wrong size circles, It doesn't look too lopsided but I think the ribbon for the other bows was a little wider and thicker, and they were tied a different way. You learn from experience they say, I am a true example of that as well. Don't feel bad. Good luck next time.

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tracycakes Posted 4 Dec 2008 , 8:17pm
post #3 of 18

Sweetie, don't be too hard on yourself. We are all our own worst critics and no one else see's our mistakes like we do. You did a great job and I'm sure you learned alot.

It is a trick to get the top layer on the cake without messing up the bottom layer and one that I haven't master yet. The main difference I see is the one that you've already mentioned, your fondant dots are bigger than the inspiration cake and a smaller cutter would have corrected that. I have a horrible problem with my 'dots' stretching on me but you did a fabulous job.

Don't beat yourself up, I"m sure they loved it!

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Karema Posted 4 Dec 2008 , 8:21pm
post #4 of 18

awwwwww...... ok I'm laughing with you not at you. Ok so that is kind of bad. I feel so sorry for you. But you tried your hardest and thats what counts right. If the dots werent that big it probably would have looked alot better. I can see what you mean about it being off center. And yes your icing was too thick. Way too thick.

I remember getting married 5 years ago and our wedding cake looked worse than this. We felt horrible and it made me upset for like a year. Then after awhile I forgot it even happened until I looked at my photos again. Anyway the bride may be a little upset but she will forgive you and will eventually forget about it. Make it up to her by making a small cake for their anniversary. I hope that you feel better and we all make mistakes and have a bad cake. If it makes you feel better I'm making sugar cookies now and they suck. I have to call the customer and tell her I cant do it because I'm just not good at sugar cookies. I feel horrible. It will get better trust me. Take it easy.


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whisperingmadcow Posted 4 Dec 2008 , 8:33pm
post #5 of 18

Thanks for the support. The cake was for my brother and it was free so I am not too sad about it.

On a side note, I kind of wish there as a newbie section on this site.

Thanks again!

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Dizzymaiden Posted 4 Dec 2008 , 8:38pm
post #6 of 18

[quote="whisperingmadcow"]Thanks for the support. The cake was for my brother and it was free so I am not too sad about it.

I am sure your brother was grateful (as I would have been if someone took the time, money and energy) to create a wedding cake for me.

A good rule of thumb is to sketch out the steps to your finished product. I make a small batch of royal icing to "glue" the doo dads to my cake.

Hope to see another cake from you...don't give up!

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Amy729 Posted 4 Dec 2008 , 8:40pm
post #7 of 18

Just to let you know what I do for stacking tiers.

After they are iced and smooth I put them in the fridge long enough to firm the buttercream, ususally about 15-20 min. Then I stack. It helps for th buttercream to be firm and not get the fingerprints and indents.

I do use a butter/shortening buttercream so it may be the butter that helps to harden the icing in the fridge.

The first is always the hardest. The next one will be much easier!

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KHalstead Posted 4 Dec 2008 , 8:41pm
post #8 of 18

for small dots I just use the bottom of one of my cake decorating tips.......I think that is more the size of the dots on the inspiration for the bow, did you actually tie it on the cake?? Because if you did, then you did a phenominal job!!! I'd have to make it an optical illusion and tie the bow first and then cut the ribbon and join the two ends in the back. As for the lopsided the point in time that you're standing there stacking (most times with people watching you) it's almost too late to pick it back up and reposition it without totally destroying the frosting job (at least for me it is....I'm pretty much still a newbie in the wedding cake world, I had my first one in march of this year) I did the same thing with THIS wedding cake (below), BUT what I did was just turn the cake to the angle that was least noticeable that the stacking was off and then that's the side I made the front of the cake. The edge was a little larger spacing from tier to tier than there was supposed to be because I didn't stack it straight (forgot to poke holes in my cake boards and I use the sps stacking system, woops) but in the end NOBODY knew the difference except me and anyone that may have walked around behind the cake table!! Live and learn!!!

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candynumber1 Posted 4 Dec 2008 , 8:45pm
post #9 of 18

Wow, you were really being hard on yourself! honestly, ANY cake i make for free is considered a practice cake, so that's how you should look at it. You did pretty good, we learn from our mistakes. Also, have you thought about getting Sugar Shacks stacking video? I thought it was pretty informative, learned at lot.

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ngfcake Posted 4 Dec 2008 , 8:50pm
post #10 of 18

Sorry this happened to you, I know exactly how you feel when things are not going as you imagined. You can look at this experience as an opportunity to learn. I think you need to plan and practice every step you are going to take with each cake (specially the important ones). For example, you could look at the size of your cake pan and decide the size of the dots using it, that is, how many would you use, how are you going to place them in the cake, and so on. You could also practice in the pan how to tie a bow to look like the one in the sample cake (to me, it looks like the ribbon is attached to the cake and the bow is made beforehand and place on the ribbon). There is also a trick to stack the tiers in which you don't insert the dowels in the lower cake all the way down but leave them sticking out about an inch. When you place the upper cake, its weight will sink the dowels. I hope this helps.

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leah_s Posted 4 Dec 2008 , 8:56pm
post #11 of 18

And if I can talk you into trying SPS, then you know your cake will be centered properly. icon_smile.gif

Nope, I never give up.

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Sugar_Plum_Fairy Posted 4 Dec 2008 , 9:02pm
post #12 of 18

I think you're being too hard on yourself. It's not that bad, just a bit unpolished, if you know what I mean.

You already know aobut the dots and for the ribbon I would have probably put the ribbon on and secured it with RI and then made a bow from another piece of ribbon and then attached that separately instead of tying the bow from the ribbon that went around the cake.

I think you've already got some advice about stacking so I'll leave it at that.

Good luck with your future cakes!

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terrylee Posted 4 Dec 2008 , 9:11pm
post #13 of 18

Don't be too hard on yourself.....Yes, you're right...We were all newbies at one time.

The only thing I can say is maybe smaller dots and wider ribbon. Tieing a ribbon around a BC icing is tricky. You might want to try just the ribbon wrap, securing it with tiny dots of icing and then add a separate little bow to cover the connecting spot. Does that make sense?

Anyways..your icing is smooth and even.....good job....I think sometimes getting the icing right is the hardest. As far as finger prints......your decorative edge will for the most part cover that and you'll get better and more confindent in putting the cakes together.

You are off to a great start.....keep up the good work and post more cakes.

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jillmakescakes Posted 4 Dec 2008 , 9:25pm
post #14 of 18

Am I the only one who ties the bow, cuts off the excess and then attached the bow separately from the ribbon? I can't tie a bow around anything to save my life (is there a reason my life might depend on it??? icon_eek.gif )

I usually wrap the ribbon around the cake and then attach the pre-tied bow as if it were a separate decoration.

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Tita9499 Posted 4 Dec 2008 , 9:26pm
post #15 of 18

I'm really glad to read that most of the people responding had positive, constructive criticism. I won't comment on what you should do next time, because you already have received some awesome advice (and most of what I had to say was the same things anyway).

What I would like to do is encourage you by saying that yes, we were all once newbies, but the thing to keep in mind is that even experts make mistakes. No one is perfect and no cake is perfect either. The things that experts have more experience in than newbies is how to cover up flaws very well. Continue to strive for perfection, but don't beat yourself up for not achieving it. I completely agree with candynumber1's comment: "Every free cake is a practice cake".

God bless yoU!

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annacakes Posted 4 Dec 2008 , 9:53pm
post #16 of 18

It's gonna be fine. Make another cake real soon, you'll feel better and you'll know better next time. Upward and onward! Hugs to you.

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Rosie2 Posted 4 Dec 2008 , 10:00pm
post #17 of 18

Let me tell you this...your cake looks great! I am also a newbie and I still can't get my layers to look even and straight like yours icon_redface.gif
Keep trying and one day you'll surprise yourself with a perfect wedding cake icon_wink.gif

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margaretb Posted 6 Dec 2008 , 6:27am
post #18 of 18

Similar story -- made a wedding cake for my cousin based on a picture she had taken from an ace of cakes episode (it was a background cake). Well, it was a little fuzzy, but I got the idea. Spent a lot of time testing the cake recipe, not so much time thinking about the decorations. It was basically a tiered cake with a lot of leaves on it. Didn't leave myself enough time for decorating (3 kids aged 5, 3 and 8 months at the time), so I just cut out leaves and stuck them on. I didn't have a leaf veiner, but I was going to score them with a knife. No time for that, though, so just leaves cut out in three sizes. Well, when I was done, I thought it looked like the cartoon version of the cake she wanted. And the leaf cutters I had, well, when you cut out a bunch of them and stick them on the cake without drying them on a flower former to give them some body, looked like a bunch of green flames around the cake. I felt pretty bad about it, and I KNOW it wasn't what she wanted because I asked a bit and everyone was very careful to say how DELICIOUS the cake was and the comments sidestepped the issue of did she like how it looked. I finally decided I'd better just let it go. Not too much later, I happened upon an episode of Ace of Cakes and that very cake was in the background and OH NO!!! I thought it had had kind of stylized leaves, but no, when you saw a clear picture of it they were beauitiful realisitic looking leaves. Well, how horrible I felt when I saw what she had thought she was getting! So I hear ya!

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