Never Made A Wedding Cake Before, Is This Too Ambitious?

Decorating By ale86 Updated 9 Mar 2010 , 7:11pm by BeanCountingBaker

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ale86 Posted 9 Mar 2010 , 4:52pm
post #1 of 17

hello! i'm really glad i found this site! i asked a question last night and the replies I got fron JanH and SugarFrosted were so helpful! again, thanks so much!

but now i have a different question...

my boyfriend and i are on a budget so my aunt offered to make my wedding cake. she's never made a wedding cake before but she does have experience in baking so i didn't think it would be too much of a stretch for her to make it. but reading through the posts i'm thinking maybe the cake i want is a little too ambitious to have her start off with? what do you think? do i need to go with something simpler?

16 replies
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tesso Posted 9 Mar 2010 , 5:02pm
post #2 of 17

wow beautiful cake. I would say it would depend on HOW much experience she has, and how much experience she has with fondant. Using live flowers will help with technical work but that fondant swag is going to require some practice to achieve that look. Good luck and tell her start practicing now !! icon_smile.gif

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malene541 Posted 9 Mar 2010 , 5:07pm
post #3 of 17

If she has some "natural" talent with making things she might be OK. What does she think about the cake??

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KASCARLETT Posted 9 Mar 2010 , 5:20pm
post #4 of 17

Has she seen the cake? Has worked with fondant before? If not, if she feels comfortable that she can do it, I would ask her to practice it. It is wonderful that she has offered to make your wedding cake for you, but you definately don't want it to look bad either. If she isn't comfortable working with fondant, maybe opt just for the flowers and leave off the swags. It is a very pretty cake though!

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ale86 Posted 9 Mar 2010 , 5:23pm
post #5 of 17

well i'm not exactly sure how much experience she has, but she used to sell cakes before and i've tasted some she's made. i think they're good. she doesn't have much experience decorating or using fondant but she did say she would practice and i'm going to help her...

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BARBARAJEAN Posted 9 Mar 2010 , 5:24pm
post #6 of 17

That is quite an ambitious cake. I have been decorating cakes for 17 years, but I still cringe at 4 tiers covered with fondant and fondant swags.
Check out the fondant experience. Lots of us have none even though we may have been decorating for a while. I can't say aw thats easy because it sure is not.

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mamawrobin Posted 9 Mar 2010 , 5:35pm
post #7 of 17

If she has never worked with fondant I'm not sure if this is the cake you want her to do. Not saying it can't be done, but it certainly will require a certain amount of skill to make those swags look that good. Show her a picture of the cake and see what she says. Good luck!

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ale86 Posted 9 Mar 2010 , 5:42pm
post #8 of 17

icon_sad.gif why is working with fondant so hard? would it be better if she made the cake out of a different icing? would it still look that smooth? and what makes the drapes (or swags is it?) difficult to make? by the way, how are those made? (maybe that should've been my 1st question)

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chefjulie Posted 9 Mar 2010 , 5:50pm
post #9 of 17

When are you getting married? Has she done tiered cakes before? Fondant looks great, but it does take practice. Is she doing the cake for free? That cake is going to take A LOT of fondant, which isnt cheap, so (if you haven't already) you'll probably want to offer to help with the cost of ingredients for practice and the actual cake. You'll also want to invest in a good support system (do a search on SPS) so that you can transport it easily.
Oh, and go to to see some worst case scenarios for what could happen if everything doesnt go right!
Good luck! It's a GORGEOUS cake!!

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malene541 Posted 9 Mar 2010 , 5:57pm
post #10 of 17

The only way I think to answer that question about "why is working with fondant so hard?" is to make a fondant cake yourself!
My mother got me into cakes and she has been making them for at least 30 years. She did her first fondant cake recently and it was to say the least "bad" "really bad". It was sad really!

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ale86 Posted 9 Mar 2010 , 5:58pm
post #11 of 17

i'm getting married in july and i'm paying for all the ingredients, she's just making the cake. i did show her this picture and she said she could do it, i hope she wasn't just being nice. i'm also trying to learn the how tos of cake making and decorating so i can help her.

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cakesbycathy Posted 9 Mar 2010 , 6:05pm
post #12 of 17

This is a pretty challenging project for someone has minimal decorating experience and who's never done fondant.

If she plans on practicing beforehand (which I sincerely hope she does if you want your actual cake to resemble the picture), who is going to pay for the ingredients for that? Even if she uses the MMF or the Wilton stuff, the cost to practice is going to add up. I also would suggest she practice on dummies to save costs, but keep in mind that covering a dummy cake and covering a real cake are not the same.

Just some other thoughts to keep in mind.

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MikeRowesHunny Posted 9 Mar 2010 , 6:15pm
post #13 of 17

Hmmm, good luck with that. That is a very ambitious cake for someone with no fondant experience to make - whether they have been 'baking' or 'making cakes' for 900 years or not. Whilst a disaster may not matter so much for a 4 year olds birthday, it will certainly matter on your wedding day. Your aunt is almost certainly going to be way out of her depth on this one, whether she practices or not between now and July. That is an unfortunate reality.

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ale86 Posted 9 Mar 2010 , 6:17pm
post #14 of 17

so many things to consider... icon_sad.gif

thank you very much for the advice! everyone has been really helpful!

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cakesbycathy Posted 9 Mar 2010 , 6:34pm
post #15 of 17

Honestly, so that you are not disappointed on your wedding day, it's probably best to
a) either pick a different (simpler) design your aunt can do or
b) if your heart is set on this particular cake, pay for a professional to make it.

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whisperingmadcow Posted 9 Mar 2010 , 6:55pm
post #16 of 17

You know, I am going to be on the same side as the aunt. Sure its a challenging cake. But let the lady speak for herself. If she thinks she can do, why not give it a try. You might be out some money for practic goods, but in the end if she can get the hang of it before your wedding, then wouldn't it be that much more meaningful to have a cake your aunt made for you?

You can always ask her/help her to make a single cake with a swag. If you don't like it, then get someone else to do the cake or find a different design.

But I say give the lady a chance. My feelings would be so hurt if someone else decided that a project was too hard for me.

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BeanCountingBaker Posted 9 Mar 2010 , 7:11pm
post #17 of 17

Working with MMF takes practice, but the swags and flowers have the potential to hide a few flaws. My first few fondant cakes had seams in the back because I just couldn't get the fondant on without making a fold or wrinkle somewhere. When you have a problem with an area you can often disguise the problem with other decorations. Who wants to practice with fondant without a goal in mind. You can certainly whip up a couple batches of MMF and play around before you make a final decision.

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