Newbie Seeking Help!

Decorating By arual379 Updated 23 Apr 2012 , 7:26pm by ButRCream

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arual379 Posted 23 Apr 2012 , 6:31pm
post #1 of 7

Hi All,

I am brand new to these forums. My name is Laura, I am 23, and enjoy cake decorating at a basic level. My cake decorating skills are a bit "old fashioned" as my mom taught me how to ice with Wilton cake pans and tips, so please keep that in mind when you answer my question.

I am trying to make a cake shaped like a bus (a bus from my university) for my boyfriends graduation. I have tried to attach a picture below. would I do this? I assume I would make sheet cakes, layer them, and try to carve the indent for the windshield. Do you freeze a cake to make it carve well? Every time I try it just crumbles.

Also, I have never used fondant before, but considered using fondant to frost this case. However, since I haven't used it before, and I really dont want to mess it up, maybe just using "stars" and hand starring the whole thing would be easier. Any thoughts?

I know this is a much more basic question that you are all used to, so thank you for helping me get started!

6 replies
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ButRCream Posted 23 Apr 2012 , 6:53pm
post #2 of 7

Okay, so I'm going to tell you how I'd go about trying this if I wanted to steer clear of fondant (and just keep in mind, the star method would work just fine for this...but that's going to be a TON of stars!) I'd probably use a sheet pan and depending on the size cake you want to end up with, I'd just use one and cut it down the middle from end to end so you have two long pieces. You can fill in between your two layers with buttercream (or filling of your choice) and chill in the fridge for about an hour or so and it should be firm enough to carve well. Doesn't look like it would take too much carving on the front...maybe some on the top if you wanted to replicate the air conditioning unit? Then do a thin layer of buttercream over the entire cake so no cake shows through your stars, and pipe away!

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jgifford Posted 23 Apr 2012 , 6:55pm
post #3 of 7

Hi, Laura! Welcome to the world of cake insanity. icon_smile.gif You can really go nuts at times.

I think you've got the idea - - layered sheet cakes with minimal carving. Cakes need to be chilled to be carved. Frozen presents its own set of problems. Since you're a real beginner I wouldn't mess with fondant yet, especially on a cake that you really want to come out right, so I'd go ahead and do the stars, etc. Stick with what you know and experiment when you have time and the cake isn't for someone else.

Welcome Aboard! Good Luck and be sure to post pics of the finished cake!

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arual379 Posted 23 Apr 2012 , 7:02pm
post #4 of 7

Thanks to both of you for the responses!

1) How would you make the windows look nice and neat? I am obsessed with things looking neat and unfortunately, I haven't learned fondant yet which would help so much! I could make grey frosting and spread it smooth as best I can, or I can just make the windows with fondant...

which leads me to my next question....

2) I haven't had a fondant cake yet (haven't really been to many weddings yet!). I have heard that they taste bad, which is why I am reluctant to ever use it. I am sure some types taste better than others, but as a newbie, I would probably go pick up the Wilton stuff, and from what I have heard, that isn't the best. Any thoughts?

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jgifford Posted 23 Apr 2012 , 7:05pm
post #5 of 7

You'll get differing opinions on that (as well as everything else). I personally use modeling chocolate to cover my cakes. It stays fairly soft and tastes like tootsie rolls. If I make flowers or figures, I go with fondant or gumpaste or a 50/50 mix.

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tiffyjoy2 Posted 23 Apr 2012 , 7:19pm
post #6 of 7

I'm a fairly basic decorator as well, but there is a Marshmallow fondant recipe (i found one on here, as well as a wilton recipe) that I think tastes great. The wilton boxed fondant is really quite disgusting (in my opinin, tastes like cardboard). I use the marshmallow recipe and it is very easy to do, even for beginners. I think using the triple star tip can help you cover the big spaces on the bus a lot quicker, if you went that route. Good luck!

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ButRCream Posted 23 Apr 2012 , 7:26pm
post #7 of 7

For the windows, if you have some time for ordering (or someplace nearby you could find this) I'd just buy a small tub of Fondx brand black fondant. No coloring would be necessary and the taste is far better than Wiltons. But on the other hand, you'd still have the buttercream underneath the fondant even if you did want to use the Wiltons brand, so you could just peel that away and still have the goodies underneath! Also, Michaels craft store sells Duff brand fondant (which is WAY pricey compared to the Wilton) but supposedly much more tasty, so that's an option too icon_wink.gif

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