Making My First 3D Cake..

Decorating By atruebeginner Updated 24 Jun 2010 , 1:53am by Doug

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atruebeginner Posted 24 Jun 2010 , 12:06am
post #1 of 5

and have LOTS of questions.

As my user name says I am just getting in to this whole cake decorating thing. I have done a lot of 1 layer cakes with pictures, characters etc. but I am ready to try some new things.

So I have taken on making a pirate ship for my nephews birthday. I am thinking I am going to need at least 3 layers to get the desired height for the ship. Going to try the WASC recipe on here for a dense cake that will stack easily. Here are my questions...

How do I support the cake between the layers? Can I use dowels or do I also need to use cake boards? If using cake boards how do you carve the cake with the boards??

Also I am using a chocolate butter cream as my sil has requested no fondant. I tried a chocolate butter cream recipe and it didnt' spread very well and kept pulling and breaking the cake up. Did I not beat it long enough? Can I over beat buttercream??

How should I transport the cake so it doesn't fall over??

Thanks in advance for anyone willing to offer advice to a newbie like me.

icon_smile.gif Terri

4 replies
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Doug Posted 24 Jun 2010 , 12:17am
post #2 of 5

W E L C O M E ! ! !

(warning -- this site is addicting!!!)


cake pic for inspiration:

instructions for that cake:


if only do three layers no need for board.

(and as for carving when using board -- cut board to shape first and then carve the cake to match it -- built in template!)

if BC is tearing cake -- BC is too STIFF -- soften it by adding additional liquid (water or milk)

great BC recipe:

to turn it into chocolate just add melted chocolate and even cocoa powder ( I do both using melted Ghirardelli dark chocolate and Hershey's special dark powder). It WILL need extra MILK to soften it.

consider using an icing tip:

makes getting the base coat on so much easier.


and keep asking questions -- it's how we learn!

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twinkie126 Posted 24 Jun 2010 , 12:21am
post #3 of 5

You use a carboard between the layers only if is over 4", if is less you dont need more cardboard in between. I use dowels to support whatever you want to add on top of the base cake. if you use the carboard in between, cut the carboard 1/2" smaller to have room to shape it.
Whe you cover the cake with the durty icing thin it a little bit then you don't rip de cake of. Put in the frish for 1/2 hour and repeat the icing until you have the final finish. You an over beat buttercream, I do it all the time and make my buttercream softer and lighter and still making a nice crusted icing.

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atruebeginner Posted 24 Jun 2010 , 1:13am
post #4 of 5

WOW thanks so much for the links that pirate ship ROCKS! If mine is 1/2 as good I will be thrilled.

Is Wilton Fondant the best fondant to use?? I am going to use chocolate buttercream to cover the cake but I will use fondant for the details. How many days ahead can I make the fondant parts??

What about the cake itself if I make it a day ahead should I store it in the fridge t keep it fresh??

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Doug Posted 24 Jun 2010 , 1:53am
post #5 of 5

Wilton fondant is problematic. While very easy to work with, the taste to many is less desirable, although it has improved of late. Many prefer to use it for details that won't be eaten due to it's easy workability.

More to many people's liking if the fondant will be eaten are:
SatinIce (what I usually use -- can be finicky)
Chocopan (when I use this, lucky to make it onto the cake -- should just be applied directly to hips!)

each has it's good and bad points.

Still others prefer to make a semi-homemade one -- Marshmallow Fondant (MMF)
multiple recipes:

and still others go the totally homemade route:

you can make the fondant parts that do not have to be flexible when applied days, even weeks, ahead. This is advised if if definitely needs to hold shape or will be used as a support.

Yes, you can make the cake a day or two ahead of time and store in fridge (banish all stinky stuff from fridge -- sorry onions and fish!), tho', if covering in BC, can easily bake on day one, ice and detail on day two and serve on day three (or day two)

The big concerns on fridge time are:
must be in fridge if filling is perishable
being in fridge helps "firm up" the cake so it holds shape better and longer
but...being in fridge can cause problems for fondant when it comes out and the humidity in the air condenses onto the cake (softens it, colors run)

if you bake late thursday and freeze the layers.
then defrost and do basic shaping and icing on Friday
and finish detailing out on Saturday morning -- it'll be fine for Saturday afternoon/evening.

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