Am I In Over My Head?

Decorating By hulseyfam Updated 4 Feb 2010 , 11:06am by noahsmummy

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hulseyfam Posted 3 Feb 2010 , 11:01pm
post #1 of 12

Hi! I'm new here! I have always wanted to make my kids cakes, but just have never taken the time to learn. My youngest son is about to turn 1 and I really would like to make him a fish cake for his 1st birthday. Do you think that kind of cake is too involved for a first timer?? Where do I start, what do I need to know??

**updated with pics in a post below.

11 replies
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jammjenks Posted 3 Feb 2010 , 11:07pm
post #2 of 12

You'll never know until you try. Can you attach a picture of one you'd like to do and maybe we can give you some pointers.

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JGMB Posted 3 Feb 2010 , 11:18pm
post #3 of 12

You can absolutely do it!!!! Here's a pan from Wilton that you could probably buy at Joann's, Michael's, or Hobby Lobby.

If not, you could order it on line. That would be your easiest plan. The pan comes with detailed decorating instructions. I was able to do stuff like that when I was an absolute beginner.

If you're feeling a little more adventurous, or don't want to buy the pan, you could bake a 9x13" cake, make a fish-shaped paper template and cut a fish shape out of the cake.

If you need any more instructions, just ask! People here on CC are always very willing to help.


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hulseyfam Posted 3 Feb 2010 , 11:42pm
post #4 of 12

I was kind of thinking something along the lines of one of these. I know they are completely different and I'm sure the tiered on is a little less involved besides the tier. Anyhow, my niece and son were born within a week of each other so we are doing a combined first birthday party and cake. Initially I had the bass cake in mind and thought it was cute it was eating a birthday cake, but then when I saw the tiered one browsing through the gallery I kind of like it because it had two fish on the top.

For someone starting out is the stuff to make fondant and work with fondant pricey?? And does fondant even taste good?

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ZoesMum Posted 3 Feb 2010 , 11:58pm
post #5 of 12

I'm fairly new to this and have found fondant very easy to work with (I can't pipe yet...that is next for me to work on!). Now, with that said, I don't make my own...I buy Satin Ice. I just don't have the time to make it with two young ones at home. My daughter loves the taste of it, buy most adults seem to still pick it off. It's not bad tasting though! I like the two tier cake...very cute!! Good luck!

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prterrell Posted 4 Feb 2010 , 1:49am
post #6 of 12

Wilton fondant is nasty. Don't use it!

Either make your own (marshmallow fondant is very popular) or get Satin Ice.

Fondat is like working with Play-do, very easy!

Honestly, I wouldn't try to do a tiered cake as your first cake. There are structural issues that you have to deal with. But you could do that design as a one tier cake and it would still be really cute!

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mandymakescakes Posted 4 Feb 2010 , 2:05am
post #7 of 12

I agree with prterrell... a tiered cake for your first attempt could get rough simply because of the support you'd need. A single tier of the cake above would be really cute though with a blue fish for your son, a pink one for your niece? You could make matching cupcakes if you're concerned about # of servings. On my website, I have a picture of a buttercream fish that was super simple to make.

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kakeladi Posted 4 Feb 2010 , 2:07am
post #8 of 12

If you are not covering the cake w/fondant.....just using it to make decorations (the fish on the tiered cake) Wilton fondant is o.k. You can knead in flavoring (vanilla etc) &/or add some melted candy melts to help the taste.
It sounds from your post that you have not made decorated cakes before. Sculpting is hard (my opinion. I have 25+ yrs experience and have only done minor sculpting). I repsectfully disagree w/prterrell icon_smile.gif. If you use the seperator set shown in the pic no dowells are needed.

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hulseyfam Posted 4 Feb 2010 , 5:43am
post #9 of 12

THANK you all for your suggestions and input!

I think we've decided to go with one similar to the tiered one (not sure yet if we will make it tiered or not).

SO, what do I need for this? Obviously a round pan and what else? You're going to have to walk me through everything I need so I can purchase it since I don't have ANYTHING! I would like the icing to be somewhat edible rather than just for looks. When baking cakes, how far in advance can these be made (to where they are still edible)??

THANKS a ton, I'm in love with this site and hope this is my first birthday cake out of many for my kiddos!!

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Rylan Posted 4 Feb 2010 , 10:40am
post #10 of 12


You would need a metal spatula (incase you don't have one). Round cutters will also be good (or you can use a glass). You would also need gel colors, cardboard circles, tips and a nice strong piping bag. Also, I believe you can get the support from Michaels.

As for fondant, I suggest you try to check out ready made fondant just so you can get a feel of it. Go ahead with two tiers, my first cake was actually 4 tiers. I love challenge.

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Caths_Cakes Posted 4 Feb 2010 , 11:01am
post #11 of 12

You can bake your cakes a few days in advance if you like and freeze them, freezing does no harm to them, it makes them moist and easier to work with i find. Are you baking from scratch or using a box mix? Betty crocker devils food cake mix is lovley i think, a good one to start with.

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noahsmummy Posted 4 Feb 2010 , 11:06am
post #12 of 12

give it a shot. =) im fairly new at this too, and just made a two ire cake for my sons first bday.. and didnt need supports.. also made little fondant figures and such. That being said, i found fondant really frustrating, im still getting used to it, store bought may be better though? i dont know, i always make mine from scratch because its cheaper. Also, if you do find you are having too much trouble with covering the cake in fondant, you could just ice it in Butter cream and use fondant to make the fish and such. its much easier and less stressfull, obviously it wont give you such a smooth glossy finish, but it will still look great and taste better than if you used fondant anyway!!! goodluck!

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