Cakes For Stacking And Carving

Decorating By mississippisweets Updated 18 Jan 2011 , 12:38pm by JanH

mississippisweets Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
mississippisweets Posted 11 Jan 2011 , 7:15pm
post #1 of 13

I'm a cupcake baker...but there is a demand for cakes, and since money talks, I'm now doing cakes. I've searched for dense cake recipes and found lots of options. However, most of the options are cake mix based recipes. I have no problem with go to chocolate cake is the Darn Good Chocolate Cake from The Cake Mix Doctor.

Does anyone ever get any flack for using a cake mix? I mean, all of the same things that you would make a cake from scratch with are IN a cake mix, and I've tried explaining this to people...but people think if you are selling cakes that you should be making cakes from scratch (at least in my little small town). The funny thing is, not a single person would know that the chocolate cupcake I make is from a cake mix.

12 replies
silverdragon997 Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
silverdragon997 Posted 11 Jan 2011 , 7:36pm
post #2 of 13

I've never had anyone ask me if I use a mix or bake from scratch (I do both, it just depends on what I'm making).

I'd say, if they don't ask, then it doesn't matter. If someone DOES ask, I'd tell them I use a cake mix as a starting point and then add my stuff to it. Lots of big name bakeries start off with those 50lb bags of "just add water" cake mix.

I've discovered that, with the exception of a couple of recipes, I get the most compliments on cakes that started with a mix. I'm fine with that, because the scratch recipes I use are way more work!

DebbyJG Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
DebbyJG Posted 11 Jan 2011 , 7:54pm
post #3 of 13

I don't think it matters as long as they don't ask and you don't have a no-mix policy. But as far "all the same things are in a mix that are in a scratch cake", not really.
My scratch cakes don't have any preservatives, twenty letter chemicals, hydrogenated oil, or aluminum in them. Cake mixes do. At least with my scratch cakes (can't speak for ALL, of course), there's nothing in them more unusual than butter, milk, eggs, flour, vanilla, (chocolate if it's a chocolate cake), salt, and baking powder (non aluminated) and baking soda. icon_wink.gif

Just wanted to clarify that. icon_smile.gif
My husband came across a bumper sticker the other day that said "Eat organic food. Or as your grandparents called it, Food." icon_biggrin.gif

Tclanton Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
Tclanton Posted 11 Jan 2011 , 7:55pm
post #4 of 13

No one I have dealt with has asked me. So, if they dont ask, I dont tell.

The recipe I use creates a really moist cake and everyone loves it.

mississippisweets Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
mississippisweets Posted 11 Jan 2011 , 7:56pm
post #5 of 13

True, Debby. I just meant base ingredients.

Thanks for all your input. I don't mind making anything from scratch but if the consensus is that cake mixes make even a slightly better stackable cake, then that's what I'm going to use.

leily Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
leily Posted 11 Jan 2011 , 8:12pm
post #6 of 13
Originally Posted by mississippisweets

... make even a slightly better stackable cake, then that's what I'm going to use.

It doesn't matter what type of cake you use when stacking. It's all in the support structure. If you don't use a good support structure, then it doesn't matter if you're stacking light and airy angel food cake or dense pound cake.

mississippisweets Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
mississippisweets Posted 11 Jan 2011 , 8:23pm
post #7 of 13

@leily - I've just found some people that say they like box mixes better for stacking...maybe I just haven't found all the other articles yet. I only started looking this morning.

Also, I've done some research on how to stack a cake. I also asked one of my friends who does this in Texas and she said she either uses wooden dowels or bubble tea straws for support with the cake boards in between each tier, which is what I've also read elsewhere.

I live in a tiny town in between Jackson, MS and Memphis, TN so I don't have easy access to cake supplies without a two hour drive either way. The cake I'm doing for Saturday is a 2 tier cake with a 2 layer 8 inch bottom tier and a 2 layer 6 inch upper tier. Are wooden dowels and cake boards going to be enough support?

Pardon all of my questions...I'm such a cake newbie.

Tclanton Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
Tclanton Posted 12 Jan 2011 , 2:20pm
post #8 of 13

Your bottom dowels and board (under the 6 inch) are only to support the top tier to keep it from smashing into your 8 inch bottom. SPS is a great system for stacking, however this past weekend I stacked a 10 & 8, four dowels in the bottom, cake board underneath the 8 - and a large dowel through the center of both. I used foam core board for the base - doubled and taped together.

Does this help?

brincess_b Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
brincess_b Posted 12 Jan 2011 , 3:14pm
post #9 of 13

wooden dowels and a cake board are always a good support, just make sure it all sits level. (although yes there are other options you can look into when you have more time)

i agree that when stacking its not really about the kind of cake, it is the support that counts. but if you want to try a few other scratch recipes, victoria sponge is my standard for light carving or regular cake. maderia is running a close second tho, i might be making that my standard! and being a bit more dense, it takes carving well too.

heyjules Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
heyjules Posted 17 Jan 2011 , 11:39pm
post #10 of 13

I find mix cakes to be too light and crumbly for carving. It's so much easier to carve a scratch cake. They are dense and easier to work with...not that you can't carve a mix cake. I just think it comes out better with a scratch cake.

Kaylani Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
Kaylani Posted 18 Jan 2011 , 1:20am
post #11 of 13

The question I have about using a different recipe for carving or stacking is how do make sure your customer understands this is not going to taste the same as the cake they normally order from you?


I love the idea of using a dense butter cake for carving, but it is almost opposite of my normal cake texture & taste.

cheatize Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
cheatize Posted 18 Jan 2011 , 4:34am
post #12 of 13

Call it by a different name. Tell them you have to use this version of the flavor to make it carvable. There's vanilla cake and vanilla butter cake, for example.

JanH Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile

Quote by @%username% on %date%