Newbie And Question About Decorating Birthday Cake

Decorating By mrsmac888 Updated 1 Sep 2010 , 11:24pm by mrsmac888

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mrsmac888 Posted 1 Sep 2010 , 4:59pm
post #1 of 7

Hi. I'm new to this site and so far have found it very addictive! I'd like to get some advice on a cake that I have to make in 2 1/2 weeks for my sister's 50th Birthday. I'm somewhat new to cake decorating. I've done a few, most have turned out impressive for a total novice!

I'm making a 3 tier cake for 100 people. I'd like to make all three tiers from scratch. I don't have time to test new recipes. I'd like one to be chocolate, one white and one red velvet. First question. Do any of you have no fail, easy to decorate, recipes?

Does anyone have a good filling recipe? Like strawberry or the like for the white cake?

I'm decorating with white buttercream. Smooth finish with basket weave on the sides. Decorated with 3D flowers on top. Here is a link to the cake I'd like to make.

I've done royal icing flowers but have never used gumpaste. I'm thinking that the gumpaste is the way to go. Is it smart to try something like gumpaste on a cake that MUST turn out well? Or should I stick with what I know? Is gumpaste a lot more time consuming than royal icing. Does it break as easily as royal icing?

Thank you so much for any advice you can give me! I really appreciate it! icon_rolleyes.gif

6 replies
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iamelms Posted 1 Sep 2010 , 5:10pm
post #2 of 7

Hey! welcome icon_smile.gif I know there are a lot more knowledgeable people than I, who can help you out. However, I have made this chocolate cake and it was wonderful and was easy to decorate. It's Collette Peter's recipe out of one of her books....I can't remember which icon_smile.gif
2c sugar
2 eggs (at room temperature)
1c milk (also at room temperature)
1c unsweetened cocoa powder
1c veggie oil or softened butter
1 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp almond extract
2 1/2 c flour
1 1/4c hot strong coffee
Preheat oven to 325 and grease pans
combine all ingredients minus the coffee
mix at low speed until blended, slowly add coffee while mixing
continue mixing until smooth
bake for about 35 min, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean

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hollyberry91 Posted 1 Sep 2010 , 5:21pm
post #3 of 7

For me gumpaste flowers are much easier and hold up better. And you can go ahead and start making them this far out and they will be fine in 2 1/2 weeks. Wilton has a good gumpaste flower making kit with a book on how to make different kinds that is pretty good. HTH icon_biggrin.gif

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malene541 Posted 1 Sep 2010 , 5:44pm
post #4 of 7

Welcome to CC!!! The best cake place on earth!!
Why do you want to make the cakes from scratch? I like to use a modified version of a box cake. I have never ever had anyone say anything negative about the taste. In fact they always say how amazing they taste.
This is the guy I use:
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup oil
4 egg whites
add one box any cake mix (I prefer Betty Crocker but others will say Pillsbury)
mix well then add 1 small box instant pudding mix (vanilla cake/vanilla pudding, choco cake/choco pudding, red cake/vanilla pudding)
then add 1 cup whole fat sour cream
The cake won't bake up with the huge hump that you have to cut off and the batter will be thick enough you have to spread it around.
The flavor is great because your adding the pudding which has flavor too.
The cake is very moist and has a slightly "pound cake" quality so you don't have to worry about it squishing down and falling apart.
Yes, do the gumpaste flowers. One, because you can do them now and take your time. Two, they will look great and you will be proud of yourself!
As for fillings, there are sooooo many options. I did a whipped strawberry filling that was to die for and got the recipe here on CC. I would just search in the recipes and check out the options along with the reviews. You shouldn't have a problem finding something that will be great!
Good luck on the cake and again, welcome to CC!

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mrsmac888 Posted 1 Sep 2010 , 6:49pm
post #5 of 7

To Iamelms, thanks for the recipe, I'll definitely try that one. I have a red velvet, that I got from this site, in the oven as we speak.

Hollyberry91, thanks. I've seen the kit you are talking about and wondered if that is what I should do. Does anyone have a specific brand of gumpaste that they use over others? I've heard that Satin Ice is the best for gumpaste and fondant. Opinions?

Malene541, I definitely will try your idea of adding to a box mix. I've never found a mix that I truly liked. It doesn't HAVE to be from scratch, but my 5 brothers will be at this gathering and I'll catch "you know what" if I don't make the cake from scratch, like Mom used to. They love to harrass me!

Is the strawberry filling the one that is posted by ColeAlayne? That looks yummy!

Thanks SO much for the advice and recipes. You all are great!

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shalini1 Posted 1 Sep 2010 , 7:52pm
post #6 of 7

welcome to CC! For the filling, you can make a Swiss meringue buttercream (just a bit stiffer than Italian meringue) and infuse it with strawberry (seedless) puree for your flavouring and it will give it a nice natural tinge, plus the nice hint of strawberry taste.

As for gumpaste, there are many tutorials you can watch on You Tube (I think Rylan has some tutorials here somewhere too), but you will definitely need a few tools. I make my own gumpaste, so I won't be able to recommend any good ones for you. Do you have any experience in handling gumpaste? If not, you will probably be better to focus on buttercream/RI flowers because it will cost you $$ to buy paintbrushes (for dusting), dusting powder in varying colours (to make the flowers really pop), tools, possibly some cutters (you can live without these but makes the job so much easier), floral wire, floral tape..etc.


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mrsmac888 Posted 1 Sep 2010 , 11:24pm
post #7 of 7

Thanks, Scoli. Good advise. I had to order the Satin Ice gumpaste, so I'll play around with it a little and see how it goes. I've done a few cake and have most of the colors, floral wire, tape and stamens. I keep wanting to buy the flower cutter set and will wait for the sale at Michaels to do that. Since I still have time, I'll give it a go and see what transpires. Maybe I'll end up doing the RI flowers if I don't get it right.

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