Newbie Who Needs Help With Creating A 3 Tier Birthday Cake.

Decorating By Irishbliss Updated 25 Feb 2009 , 4:42pm by kbak37

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Irishbliss Posted 25 Feb 2009 , 2:41pm
post #1 of 4

Hi guys,

I recently joined this forum and you are all so talented...I drool over your cakes.

I do bake quite a bit and make lots of normal cakes bu I have never attemped a 3 tier cake or used fondant.

My mum is 50 in May and we are having a surprise party for her...I always make the family cakes but never one so big.

We are having 50 people so would like to make round tiers....what sizes would I need? I want it to look impressive too.

I tried a receipe I had for sponge cake and it was horrible...I manage to make hazelnut cakes...chocolate cakes etc but a simple sponge went wrong.

I was thinking of a lemon cake....I saw one on tv from a celeb wedding and the piece they had seemed to have been split in 3 with a layer of lemon curd and another with lemon buttercream.

Instead of splitting it 3 times could you put a small layer of curd with buttercream on top?

What type of cake should I use? Totally confussed myself now...

Saw the marshmallow fondant and thought I would give that a go. Is it practical for making so much? How easy is fondant to make?

Obviously I will do a few test runs but was hoping you talented people could point me in the right direction with cake sizes and buttercream and cake receipes.

The party is on a Saturday night...when would the earliest be that I could make and assemble the cake?

Thank you so much for reading..hope I was clear enough!

The cake pictured is the type of thing I would like to go for.

3 replies
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chrissypie Posted 25 Feb 2009 , 4:06pm
post #2 of 4

Hi There,

I am a bit new at this too, but I have a few tips if that is ok.

First, I learned quickly that for me, there is a big difference between being a decorator and a baker! LOL! Namely, I cannot bake! No matter how closely the recipe is followed, my scratch cakes are awful! I stick to box cake mixes that I made additions to so they are more home made like. So, maybe you want to look into box cake mixes if they are availabe to you and look through the recipes on this site which offer delicious variations in which box mixes are used as the base. There are also recipes for fillings and buttercreams.

Second, making marshmallow fondant is successful for some, not others. I found it difficult personally. Some batches were good, some had to be thrown out and it was a hassle. To make things stress free, you may want to purchase fondant, but that is completely up to you. You may want to try making it in advance and see how you feel about it, as it is cheaper and apparantly yummier! Another tip I learned that really helps when covering a cake with fondant is not to have a thick coating of buttercream underneath. If you do just a very thin crumbcoat or none at all ( just brush cake lightly with piping gel) you get a much smoother look and it helps in preventing bulges. Cutting the shapes to go on top of the fondant shouldn't be too difficult. For the flowers you will need daisy cutters.

What sort of tools/equipment do you have? I think I could help more if I knew if you had cutters, colors,etc.

Also, there is a tutorial on this site on how to do tilted/whimsical cakes.
I myself have never made one, so I am not help there. I assume cake sizes may depend on how the cake is made. If you are not sure about making the cake tilted, you could always copy the design in a more straightforward way.
I hope any of this helps!


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bashini Posted 25 Feb 2009 , 4:30pm
post #3 of 4

Hi there, if you are not happy making from scratch, use box mixes like Christine mentioned above. Its entirely up to you. For the lemon cake filling, you can mix lemon curd to your normal buttercream. The sizes I would use to feed 50 people are 9"/7"and 5". That will give you 54 pieces.

You can bake and freeze your cakes if you are going to be busy. Or you can bake them 2 or 3 days ahead.

when you are stacking, make sure the top two tiers have cake boards same size as the cake. And you need to dowel you 9" and the 7" cakes. Here is a link from Wilton about stacking cakes,

Here is a link how to use fondant.


And as for the Marshmellow fondat, I've tried it once and never again. I don't make any kind of fondant at home. Its more easy to buy them.

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kbak37 Posted 25 Feb 2009 , 4:42pm
post #4 of 4

Hi Irishbliss..Welcome!
If it were me, I would bake ahead and really does free up time to get all the little things completed like making your icings and any decorations you can make ahead..unless you have time to do it all in a day or two. I would buy the fondant premade..I have made the MMF, it turned out great and I enjoyed doing it; however your premade is going to be consistent and perhaps one less thing you need to worry about. Jsmith just posted a link to youtube for a tutorial on topsy turvy 3 tier, although your pic looks less extreme. There are many great recipes on here that will give you what you are looking for and are durable enough to put fondant on. Your idea about doing a practice one is perfect...then you have an idea of what you need to do. HTH

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