I Don't Understand The How To Of Cake Carving

Decorating By pamconn Updated 8 Sep 2009 , 3:32pm by KHalstead

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pamconn Posted 4 Sep 2009 , 2:17pm
post #1 of 14

Watching Ace of Cakes, or the cake challenges on Food Network, I see them carving huge cakes that are filled and then carved. Do these cakes have supports in them before the carving? Do they have the cardboard cake boards in them and do those get carved too?

How many cake layers can you have before you need to use supports? I thought that it was either 2 or 3.

I hope this makes sense.

13 replies
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Texas_Rose Posted 4 Sep 2009 , 3:07pm
post #2 of 14

The general rule of thumb is supports for every 4" of cake.

I haven't done anything huge, but what I usually do is to carve the cake, then take it apart, cut foamcore just the tiniest bit smaller than the cake itself, add supports and the foamcore, then crumb coat the whole thing once it's back together.

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pamconn Posted 4 Sep 2009 , 3:36pm
post #3 of 14

Thank you. Since they don't show step by step on those shows I was confused about why their cakes don't collapse. I'll look to see if there is a photo tutorial here on CC or if I can find a video.

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2SchnauzerLady Posted 4 Sep 2009 , 3:46pm
post #4 of 14

I would be interested in any video/tutorial on carving myself. I know of another cc member in my area that wants the same.

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KHalstead Posted 4 Sep 2009 , 3:53pm
post #5 of 14

I think most of the time they cut the inner support boards a little smaller than they think they'll be carving to.

Elisa STrauss from confetti cakes has a video on you tube where it shows her carving a dog cake for her dad's bday (amazing cake by the way) it's all in fast forward but you can see that she had boards in the cake before carving that were already cut to the general shape of the dog that she was going for.

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pamconn Posted 4 Sep 2009 , 4:06pm
post #6 of 14

Well that makes sense! I'm going to have to look for a simple shape to start with-build up my confidence with a success-and go from there. I did try a purse cake but I was a little to scared to carve much. Next time I will put on my big girl panties and go for it. I was almost too ashamed to post my disaster, but thought that I can look back and see that I have improved that technique.

I would love to see first time cakes from some of the pros-or maybe their first time cakes still look great?

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kakeladi Posted 4 Sep 2009 , 4:34pm
post #7 of 14

Why don't you start with some as simple as my 3-d goose. An article has been posted and I've got a link to pix posted in my photos. It's a small creation and doesn't need any supports but might help you get a feel for carving.

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TooMuchCake Posted 4 Sep 2009 , 4:44pm
post #8 of 14

I've got tutorials on my website at www.cakedalaska.com . You might want to check out "Roger the Dragon" and "Nightmare Before Easter." "Monkey See" doesn't focus much on the carving but more on the covering of a carved cake.


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rosamatsas Posted 4 Sep 2009 , 5:00pm
post #9 of 14

I found that using templates helps me a lot white carving. I also do put dowels and boards into the cakes. The one cake that i decided against using supports, collapsed down int he ridge overnight. (i learned my lesson)

I never considered making the board the shape i intend it it be. I usually just carve with the board. Great idea, i will definitely try that.
When i did my huge Hermes birking cake i had templates held against the side of the cake so i knew how much and ant what angle to carve. I did the same thing with the car cake i made.
I also find that freezing or refrigerating the cake prior to carving helps a lot with the carving process.
I think i'm going to record my cake carving and post them up to help out.

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pamconn Posted 4 Sep 2009 , 9:51pm
post #10 of 14

Thank you ladies, those are great ideas. My dd wants me to do a bottle cake for her boyfriends 21st birthday. it is the one by Michele01.


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sarahokie Posted 5 Sep 2009 , 4:02am
post #11 of 14

I've only carved one cake, but it wasn't near as bad as I though it would be. I used templates and basically cut along the outline of the template. Here is a general idea of what I did.

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pamconn Posted 5 Sep 2009 , 3:00pm
post #12 of 14

TooMuchCake, love your website, I'm going to order your dvd.

rosamatsas & sarahokie, I'm going to use the templates idea, thanks.

kakeladi thank you for the link to the photos of your goose cake. Really great instructions and photos. Do you teach? If not you should.

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TooMuchCake Posted 5 Sep 2009 , 4:56pm
post #13 of 14

Thanks, pamconn! If you have any questions, let me know.


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KHalstead Posted 8 Sep 2009 , 3:32pm
post #14 of 14

that bottle looks like it's just carved from a flat sheetcake.........draw yourself a template onto some paper or cardstock or something and then use that to cut it out. That's a very simple shape, you should do just fine without any supports inside of it. I thought you were wanting something that was going to be 3-D and standing up. That looks to only be one 2" layer of cake there, you don't need supports.

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