Need Major Help With 1St Stacked Books Cake!

Decorating By sarascakecreations Updated 28 Feb 2011 , 7:15pm by Marianna46

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sarascakecreations Posted 23 Feb 2011 , 5:23pm
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My son's school is having a read-a-thon and I want to make a cake for the final assembly. However, the cake has to feed 150 kids! So I am not going to make the usual stacked books cakes seen here.

I was thinking of ideas as to how to create a nice book cake but allow it to feed 150 kids. I was thinking of making a 1/2 sheet cake, so a nice huge base cake, and maybe doing it in green buttercream with grass and tons and tons of little flowers. Then maybe doing 3 books on top .... 2 books kind of side by side then another one laying across both if that makes sense???? Do you think it will work? Does it sound like a good idea in terms of strengh and appeal to the kids? This is the 1st cake I will be doing this large.

I don't think I will be doing any filling! Just plain chocolate cake to suit the kids cravings and help with stability.

So please tell me your ideas/input as to what you think of this idea?

I am going to do 3 books 1 for the younger kids, 1 for the middle grades, and 1 for the older grades. I'm thinking maybe a cat in the hat, a curious george, a goosebumps type books.

I also am going to need help with making the books themselves???? How do people cover the book and leave that little lip over the edge (the book cover?) I mean I suppose I could cover it in 50/50 fondant gumpaste mix but I want the kids to like the taste and well gumpaste isn't that tasty.

ANY help or ideas or tutorials would be soooo much appreciated!


11 replies
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nonilm Posted 23 Feb 2011 , 5:39pm
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I did a sheet cake with books stacked on top. I used rice krispy treats for the books and covered with fondant. They looked a little lumpy because I used plain fondant. I think next time I make a book I will cover the RKT with melted chocolate or ganache first. My books were plain but I think you could put some detail into the designs on the books and it would be cute.

Hopefully the attachement will work (fingers crossed) If not you can check it out here

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sarascakecreations Posted 24 Feb 2011 , 2:43am
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Thanks, that is definately the sort of idea I was going for but I'll have to do it on a much much larger scale! And I'll have to make the 3 books out of cake so that I have enough cake to feed all the kids.

Anyone else with some help?


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sarascakecreations Posted 27 Feb 2011 , 10:34pm
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well I figured out how I'm going to do this but go figure I can't find a cake board to suit a cake 27x13 aahh!

Anyway can anyone please help me as to how to make the cover of the books, the lip?


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Marianna46 Posted 27 Feb 2011 , 10:53pm
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I love your idea of having a sheet cake under your books. I just made a stacked books cake (it was great fun to do) and I used the information from a thread in the forums called "Here are stacked book cake tips" or something like that. Here's the link:
Hope I'm sending it to you in time. Best of luck!!!

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sarascakecreations Posted 27 Feb 2011 , 11:17pm
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Thanks, I've seen that link already... and while it did answers 'some' of my questions/fears some not so much lol.....

I read to add tylose powder to the piece of fondant I use for the book cover but I really didn't want to do that bc it's for kids to eat and well I don't want it to be too hard.

I will be starting to carve the books hopefully tuesday morning. I'm going to do the base sheet cake (maybe green with grass and tons of spring flowers) with 3 cakes side by side 9x13's only problem is I can't find a board long enough for it.... does one exist anyone know?

My biggest worry is the overhang on the cover of the books... I don't want it to droop but I guess like any cake this will have to be trial and error as it's the 1st time I'm doing it.


Also, Marianna, can I get your input on the board..... the biggest I found was a 17x25 which should hold a cake 15x 23 right? and if I do 2x2 servings it should give me about 86 servings right? Does that sound ok?

Then I plan to stack a book to feed 30 people, then 2 more to feed 20 each.... totalling 156

eessshhh so nervous for this cake!

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yortma Posted 27 Feb 2011 , 11:50pm
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Most lumber stores will cut a piece of plywood or pressboard to any size you want. They might charge you a small fee for the cuts (.50 or 1.00 per cut). Also, there are a number of thicknesses to choose from. Possibly you have a friend with a table saw or skill saw that will help you for a few cupcakes!

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cakeyouverymuch Posted 28 Feb 2011 , 12:00am
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I don't know how much help this is, but when I did mine, I left the fondant to set a bit and just wrapped it around the cake. The overhang is doubled fondant and it did not have a problem with sagging. I imagine if you made the overhang more than about a quarter of an inch it might sag, but a double layer of fondant allowed to dry a bit before it is asked to remain unsupported should hold up quite well. If you are worried about it sagging before it dries, you could use a small piece of foam core between the "cover" edge and the cake itself till it firms up. Once it firms up its not going to go anywhere.

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sarascakecreations Posted 28 Feb 2011 , 2:50am
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yortma... geesss why didn't I think of that! aaahh wish I had more time, but I'm wondering if I get a board cut, then I don't have a box to transport right? I know cakes especially wedding cakes are transported all the time without a box but I guess I'd be a bit nervous about that with all the snow and slush outside....... oh well out of time anyway, I should have asked earlier.

cakeyouverymuch, thanks for the input I am going to make sure I don't go over 1/4 inch.....


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Marianna46 Posted 28 Feb 2011 , 11:07am
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I think yortma is right about the board - you'll probably need to have it cut to size and out of plywood or something like that so it won't buckle under your cake. It's unbelievable how heavy cake is! I have to say I never box up my cakes. If you're worried about the weather, maybe you could put a sheet of plastic over it while you move it from your car to where you're going to leave it. I used fondant with added CMC for my covers. They were about 3/8" thick and hung over about 1/4" all around. They didn't sag and, since I only made them the day before, they weren't too hard to cut or eat. My best advice to you is to take a deep breath and have a good time doing this! Believe me, they'll be thrilled and only you will be able to see the little imperfections. Best of luck with this! Don't forget to post us a picture on this thread.

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sarascakecreations Posted 28 Feb 2011 , 3:38pm
post #11 of 12

thanks! I agree take a deep breath and I'm sure it will be fine.... oh and I will be assembling the cake at the school, only taking the base cake on the board then puttint the 2 stacked cakes on top.

what is CMC??????

Also 1 more question.... so my base cake is going to be covered in buttercream but then the books will be fondant. Now usually I stack using those wide plastic straws that you can cut to size..... do you think they will hold the weight of the books? I'm a little worried stacking books onto a buttercream cake!


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Marianna46 Posted 28 Feb 2011 , 7:15pm
post #12 of 12

CMC is a substance (it looks and feels like gelatin) that you add to fondant to thicken it even more - it basically turns it into gumpaste. It's sort of the chemical version of gum tragacanth, a naturally occuring substance, and a lot less expensive. You can get it at cake supply places. As far as stacking, you shouldn't have any problems using straws, as long as you have a base under each cake (cut exactly the size of that cake - or book, in this case). The cake and icing are not really bearing the weight of the tiers above. What's doing all the work are the straws and the cake bases. Just make sure you take a little repair kit with you to correct any flaws that come about from stacking (especially, some buttercream and a spatula or an icing tube with your grass tip on it).

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