Advice For This Cake Please (Especially Possible Collapsing Issues)

Decorating By Samm09 Updated 25 Nov 2014 , 9:43pm by Annie8

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Samm09 Posted 24 Nov 2014 , 5:46am
post #1 of 8

Hi everyone,


So I am an amateur when it comes to fondant cake decorating...


A friends partner has asked me to make this cake for her sons 1st Birthday & I've never done a cake this size with fondant. I have basic skills with fondant & have decorated a couple of cakes with it & make fondant cupcake toppers & know the basics...





So my main question is how to avoid collapsing? 

I've never realllly done 2 tier (not properly anyway) but as she is a paying customer I obviously need to provide the best professional job possible.


The cake is an 8" with a 6" on top -


How many dowels should I put in the bottom to help avoid collapsing?

Do I use a normal 6" cake board for the 2nd tier?

What are the things called that the fondant stars are on (so as I can purchase them from my cake decorating shop)

How much fondant do you think it will take? I'm thinking of buying a 10kg tub of Satin Ice anyway but wanted to know from other experience..



Any other tips/advice on things I need to purchase for the cake that I may not think of or ways to avoid mistakes as much as possible will be greatly appreciated.



Thanks in advance.





7 replies
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winniemog Posted 24 Nov 2014 , 8:17am
post #2 of 8

AI suggest that your friend purchases her cake from a registered business. You can't sell cakes if your kitchen is not registered by your local council. In addition, you don't have the first idea how to make this cake, and you are just setting yourself and your friend up for a very uncomfortable situation when you are not able to produce the cake in the picture.

If you really want to sell cakes, I suggest you go away and practise, make lots and lots of cakes, which you can give away if you don't want to eat them yourself, and keep a record of how you do different techniques, how much you need in the way of materials for different size cakes, and how much time it takes you to produce different cakes in different decorating styles. When you've got plenty of cakes under your belt, then approach your local council to register your kitchen, and then think about selling cakes.

I know it's not the answer you wanted, but you are not doing yourself or your friend any favours thinking a bit of advice will help you make this cake. You will have a terribly stressful time producing something of lesser quality and your friend will be disappointed, and neither of you will be happy.

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Samm09 Posted 24 Nov 2014 , 8:38am
post #3 of 8

I appreciate your response but I am registered with my council & am experienced in cupcake & cake decorating but not a fondant cake on this scale which I know I can do but wanted a few bits of advice mainly just with dowels which I know I could just google but was hoping to get help here instead so I guess I'll just go ask google instead.


I wouldn't do this cake if it weren't for a friend who knows I'm still practising with fondant nor would I attempt it if I felt I wasn't capable... I'm a "newbie" on this site but not with cake baking & decorating but yes I am still learning a few things.

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pinchofsweetener Posted 25 Nov 2014 , 5:52pm
post #4 of 8

Hi Samm09, I echo some of winniemog's thoughts here.  Even if the cake you're making is for a friend who "knows you're practicing" it's still not fair to use a cake she's paying for to practice on.  I know to beginners that doesn't seem to make sense but no matter your skill level, when you're accepting money for goods/services, you're implying that you're a professional.  Therefore anything you produce to a paying customer must be on a professional level.  It's only fair.  Knowing you've never done a cake like this, you can't guarantee a professional cake to this woman.

You might consider explaining to her that since you're not experienced with these types of cakes and are therefore using it to practice, she need not pay for it.  She'd be doing you a favor by allowing her sons' first birthday cake to be an opportunity for you to practice and increase your skill level.  But it shouldn't be both a "practice" cake and a business transaction.

On another note, you may be hard-pressed to get a slew of questions answered here like the ones you've asked.  While this can certainly be a place for learning and advice, it's a bit of a different situation when you're essentially asking us to tell you how to make this cake.  You'll always be encouraged to do your due diligence as a beginner; research, research, research, practice, practice, practice!  If this is really something you want to do as a professional, you're going to have to put in the work (and money) required to hone your skills.  You can utilize google (as you've said) and you'll also find a wealth of knowledge and resources by searching key words and looking through old forum threads here, then if you have a specific question or can't find something you're looking for, ask here and I'm sure you'll find help.  Then take what you've seen and read and go practice.  Good luck!

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costumeczar Posted 25 Nov 2014 , 6:00pm
post #5 of 8



The cake is an 8" with a 6" on top -


How many dowels should I put in the bottom to help avoid collapsing?

Do I use a normal 6" cake board for the 2nd tier?

What are the things called that the fondant stars are on (so as I can purchase them from my cake decorating shop)

How much fondant do you think it will take? I'm thinking of buying a 10kg tub of Satin Ice anyway but wanted to know from other experience..



That's a small cake and if you know how to cover them with fondant it's very do-able. Use a 6" board under the top tier, use three dowels to support the top tier. The stars are on floral wire (cloth-covered) and I don't know how much fondant it will take but a 10kg tub will be more than enough. There's nothing difficult about that cake other than cutting the stripes straight.

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sweettooth101 Posted 25 Nov 2014 , 8:00pm
post #6 of 8

Hey Samm09 don't be discouraged. You can do it, the cakes are  small in size, much easier to work with.

Place both cakes on exactly the same size boards  8'' on 8'' and 6'' on 6''. 

Then do your torting and buttercream.

Then cover with fondant and decorate. It is a good idea to watch a couple of videos.

Then you will place the dowels or if you have bubble tea straws you could use that.Make sure they are cut exactly the same length.

For the 8'' you could use 4 or 5 (1 should go in the middle)

As for the stars, make them  with the fondant, use florist  wire in white but do not stick the wire directly into the cake, push a regular thin straw where you want the star wire to go and then push the wire into that.

(If you want to do the decorations before hand, colour enough fondant for them, add some tylose powder to it, this makes it into gumpaste which will dry rock hard.)


Good luck. 

As a side note I think it is sad that when a person is looking for help on this forum they are given a lecture on how to conduct their business. If there is nothing to offer don't waste your time typing these 'advice' which the other person doesn't want to hear and can shatter their confidence. 

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Samm09 Posted 25 Nov 2014 , 9:11pm
post #7 of 8

Thanks Custumeczar & Sweettooth101 for actually answering my question as much as possible & especially to you sweettooth101 for not trying to bring me down!


I don't know why from asking these questions - which the fondant quantity was simply a curiosity & I just wasn't sure on the name for the wire (which is just flower wire from my local cake decorating shop =]) - I have been put down as someone who doesn't know how to do cakes of any style or scale..


I have done 2 tier cakes before bigger than this one that turned out fine but with the extra weight of fondant wanted to see how many dowels to put in it.. I did google these questions & not to my surprise found the answers on the Wilton forum site with people in a similar situation without being told not to bother as it's out of their league. again YES I'm learning still with FONDANT not cake decorating & baking in general & personally don't find fondant that intimidating to work with (especially when I have all the cake decorating tools I could ever need!) but it's just very time consuming.


Again it's for a friend who yes is paying but for ingredients as 1. She felt guilty about asking me to pay for ingredients even though I insisted not to  2. I don't have money to make fondant cakes every week & just get rid of the or throw them out - my family & friends have received enough cake lately to last them a life time haha.

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Annie8 Posted 25 Nov 2014 , 9:43pm
post #8 of 8

As a sidenote, some fondant you get more out of because it rolls thinner than other brands.  The amount you are saying you will purchase should be plenty for an 8" and a 6".  If you are someday looking for alternatives, I use Fondx and feel like I get a lot of bang for my buck, but I'm not sure if that's available in Australia or not.  I also use the SPS system (baker crafts) instead of dowels because it takes the stress out of making tiered cakes for me.  The cost is not very much (in the US) and I don't panic anymore about will my cake hold up.  


Remember, you'll want to dry those stars out a bit so they aren't floppy.  If you have a pastry wheel cutter, you can use that to make the stripes (or just use your ruler and knife). 


Good luck! You can do it!

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