Advice Wanted - Re: Cake Sizes

Decorating By melinda1981 Updated 8 Apr 2013 , 3:48am by NicciZ

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melinda1981 Posted 30 Mar 2013 , 8:52am
post #1 of 21

Hi guys,


I'm new to joining, although I have been an active lurker for a couple of years. I adore cake making (when I get time) and would love nothing more than to have more time to get in to it. I have only made a couple of fondant cakes, and they turned out fantastic.... I am super super impressed by all your creations.


However, this time I think I've made a boo-boo. 


My daughter's 13th is next weekend, and I am making her a Twilight-themed cake, 2 tiers. 


I am combining 2 ideas, inspiration from 2 cakes I found on google images (and a huge credit to the creators);



This is what I've drawn up, and would love to achieve;



And this is my dilemma;


I bought a 12" cake tin, thinking it didn't look that big in the shop, and that it would be perfect for the bottom layer.


Only after having it home for a couple of days, I've realised how ridiculously big it is, and am wondering if my cake is just going to look totally stupid because of it.


I am putting an 8" (finished) layer on top.... can anyone please settle my nerves and tell me that my massive bottom layer WON'T look that ridiculous? I don't have the money to invest in new sized tins, so I'm kinda hanging on to hope that someone out there has made a 12" bottom with an 8" top and it's not looked so silly.


I know it's going to feed an army, that part I can live with - because I have a whole office that will gladly eat the remains... it's just the very large bottom layer that I'm worried about.


I do have a 9" spring form pan that I could use (if it must come to that).... but I'd have to carve that 8" cake back (just a little!) huh?


Anyhow, I'll stop ranting and raving and wait for some of you lovely people to come to my rescue... meanwhile, Rapunzel lets down her hair :)


M x

20 replies
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kazita Posted 30 Mar 2013 , 9:12am
post #2 of 21

AI really like your inspiration drawing and if you have people that will eat left over cake I see no big deal in making a 12, 8 cake I personally haven't made that size cake but I don't think it will look bad at all. If its really bothing you you can either take the 12 inch cake tin back and exchange it for a 10 inch or use a store coupon to buy the 10 inch tin. Dont go thru all the trouble out of carving your cakes down. Do you have a michaels or hobby lobby or joann fabrics near you? They all take competers sp? Coupons so you can buy a 10 inch tin for a good price, usually 4O% off.

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kazita Posted 30 Mar 2013 , 9:42am
post #4 of 21 Michaels has weekly coupons this week its 30% off you can wait until they have a 40 % off coupon and use that.

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kazita Posted 30 Mar 2013 , 9:50am
post #5 of 21 joanns has a 40% off coupon and Michaels and hobby lobby will take joanns coupons. Oh they have a 50% coupon right now but it expires today so you would have to use it by today but if you can get to the store today its half off that's if you want to buy a 10 inch tin.

To see how big your cake actually will be flip your pans upside down and stack them on themselves that gives you a rough idea how big your cake will be

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kazita Posted 30 Mar 2013 , 10:14am
post #6 of 21

AIn your inspiration picture the cake on the left looks like a 8 inch 6 inch combo. If you go that size a 6 inch cake tin is really cheap but be sure its big enough to fit the things that you want to put on the cake.

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melinda1981 Posted 30 Mar 2013 , 11:04am
post #7 of 21

AThanks for your replies!

Unfortunately we don't have those stores in Perth (Australia) and I can't find my receipt for the 12" pan :(

I think I might take your last bit of advice on board and check prices on 6" tins when the long weekend is over... I've baked 2 x white chocolate cakes in the 8" pans already (shallow, so needed 2)... so this seems like the most logical approach.

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mcaulir Posted 30 Mar 2013 , 11:41am
post #8 of 21

Do you have Robins Kitchens on that side of the country? I think I paid less than $10 for my 6inch tin there. You'd spend more money filling the 12 inch tin with cake batter.

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denetteb Posted 30 Mar 2013 , 12:41pm
post #9 of 21

AJust use the 8-12. Use what you have, it will be lovely. Your daughter will love it and that is what is most important.

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-K8memphis Posted 30 Mar 2013 , 1:00pm
post #10 of 21

i'm always surprised at the reluctance to carve cake- i guess it is more of a bother


but you could bake off 4 8s and then trim one down to the 6


once you get the layers assembled into tiers--if you could put a 6" circle on top and trim it


no extra trips to the store, no extra spending -- smaller cakes to deal with


sizing that you like better (nothing wrong with a 4" difference though)--less expense overall


what if you tried it in advance and see how it does then you could freeze it (uniced) and use it for your ocassion


or then you'd have enough time to get the other pan


but it is such a good idea--if you use fondant to cover--cover the cake when it's cold or frozen it will hold up fine


and if you are making those famous mud cakes--they are dense yes? what's the worry at all???


or at least consider it for a future project maybe


 i mean if it's a real fluffy crumbly cake sure--disaster ahead but if it's a nice firm cake designed to slice & serve well no worries

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NicciZ Posted 3 Apr 2013 , 12:21am
post #11 of 21

Someone correct me if I'm wrong, I'm new to this. An 8" on top of a 12" would leave 2 inches of cake all the way around. Sounds perfect to me.

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melinda1981 Posted 3 Apr 2013 , 7:11am
post #12 of 21

Hi all,


Thanks so much for your replies, I am very grateful for the advice and reassurance!


I had a chat with hubby, and he agrees with most of you above... just make the cake, she's 13, she'll think it's amazing anyhow and that's the main thing! :)


So I've done my 12" and 8" and lastnight I made my 2 lots of ganache (white & dark) to be put on the cakes tonight....


Only I have a new dilemma now... my online order of white/black/red fondant has not yet arrived, and so if it doesn't come tomorrow I'm in panic mode (at worst I may have to re-purchase locally and suck up the cost. I had totally forgotten about the Easter break, but even so... 7 days in the post didn't seem impossible to me. 


I'll post pics soon... thank you once again! icon_smile.gif

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melinda1981 Posted 3 Apr 2013 , 7:17am
post #13 of 21

My local only has FONDX ELITE brand of fondant... is this any good?

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DeliciousDesserts Posted 3 Apr 2013 , 10:59am
post #14 of 21

APersonally, I don't care for Fondx, but some people love it. It is very similar to marshmallow fondant. If you like that, you will like Fondx.

I wish I could remember who I'm quoting..."one person's never is another person's always."

My personally favorite is a mix of Pettinice & Fondarific. Some people don't care for them.

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melinda1981 Posted 3 Apr 2013 , 3:37pm
post #15 of 21

AThanks DD :)

2 cakes now coated in ganache.. getting there slowly


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Bluehue Posted 3 Apr 2013 , 5:08pm
post #16 of 21
Originally Posted by melinda1981 

Thanks DD icon_smile.gif

2 cakes now coated in ganache.. getting there slowly

Melinda....truly - there is no right or wrong when it comes to what size tiers you use/stack.
It really is a personnel preference. By the time you cover your cakes with fondant people will be *oh wow, look at the cake* Not *oh wow, look at the size of the tiers*   In todays modern caking world - anything goes....If ever you get stuck for fondant arriving in time - you can always call Angela at champagne cakes... she is north of the river if that helps... not sure if you usually buy wholesale or retail... - but at least it might get you out of a sticky situation  ....Your ganached cakes are looking good thumbs_up.gif
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melinda1981 Posted 4 Apr 2013 , 5:39pm
post #17 of 21

AThanks Bluehue. I will remember that if I ever get stuck in the future.... I had to go to Rockingham to grab some stuff... my order hadn't arrived by the time I left work today :(

Here is the cake so far... but my ganache keeps splitting for the top layer. Will have another try in the morning or else it's a few more checkerboard pieces for the top... maybe a red apple so it doesn't look too bare?


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melinda1981 Posted 7 Apr 2013 , 2:31pm
post #18 of 21

Well, for the life of me I could not get the ganache to stop splitting! The ganache I made for under the fondant was perfect... but for the topping I had no luck. So checkerboard on the top tier it was :)


I ended up getting Cake Art fondant, because I wasn't paying attention at the shops.... what a nightmare that stuff is to work with icon_eek.gif It's sticky and shiny and just yuk in my opinion.


But all in all, I think it turned out alright for an amateur cake!!! thumbs_up.gif



Twilight (Breaking Dawn) Themed Birthday Cake


Bottom layer - 12" chocolate cake with dark chocolate ganache

Top layer - 8" white chocolate mud cake with white chocolate ganache

Red balls are Allen's Jaffas


Chess pieces made from Wilton Candy Melts & a chocolate mould

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Bluehue Posted 7 Apr 2013 , 4:57pm
post #19 of 21

You *got there* Melinda...and that's the main thing - well done.

Clever idea using the chocolate to make the chess pieces.


Wondering why your ganache kept splitting on the top tier -

can I ask - what kind of white chocolate did you use for the ganache?


Hmmm, the CA fondant - I have heard from others that's it can be icky to work with - haven't tried it myself...

But then we had higher that usual temps this past week.... and the humidity was rather high also....icon_rolleyes.gif


I enjoy working with all fondants, as long as you kneed them properly it covers well and smooths out great. But, its a personnel preference ...


Oh, there is also Cakes and Tinz north of the river....

And Bakeboss - north of the river also....who do mail out.


Hope your daughter was thrilled...



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cakeyouverymuch Posted 7 Apr 2013 , 6:25pm
post #20 of 21

Lovely cake!

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NicciZ Posted 8 Apr 2013 , 3:48am
post #21 of 21

ALooks lovely!

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