Hi I’m about to enter my first cake show and have decided to make some sculpted cakes. I am quite concerned that the cakes might collapse after being on display for a day or two so am trying to take some precautions!
I decided to use a 100% shortening buttercream because it would be more stable in the heat but what I didn’t anticipate is how it wouldn’t harden in the fridge at all. I have not yet covered in fondant because I’m rethinking this strategy...Im thinking it’s going to be a huge mess!! Probably better just to use the shortening BC in between layers and normal BC on the outside. I’m just wondering if anyone has any tips or suggestions as this is a pretty big project for me and already feel like I’m going to be doing everything twice :/
Shortening b'cream will stiffen up some in the fridge. Why do you need to frig the cake if it is not going to be eaten - but just be a display item? It should not be a mess unless you are talking temps over 100 degrees F w/99% humidity :) I have made many show cakes that have sat out for 3 days and not a one of them collapsed.
Hi Zaco! I compete in many shows and always use all shortening buttercream on my cakes. i have kept a winning showpiece for almost a year and it never collapsed :) If you are using a meringue, I would suggest using powder instead of actual egg. Other than that, you should be fine :)
When I do sculpted cakes, I cover them with melted chocolate of a high chocolate ration ganache. It makes them very sturdy. If you are using a good internal structure, you will not need to worry about your piece collapsing.
Thank you for the suggestions. I’ve been so wrapped up in other parts of the cake I haven’t checked this thread in a while. I guess my issue is I’m not entirely confident in the structure of one of my cakes but I still have two weeks to the show so I will finish it this weekend and let it sit for a couple days to see how it does.
What is your cake design, zaco? Maybe I can help with the structure.
I appreciate the offer!
Well this is my inspiration, though I’ve accepted I won’t be able to capture this exact pose.
I have an 18 x 24 board that will hold a pumbaa cake, Simba cake, Timon figure and a tree cake. I do have a metal threaded rod for the tree. I realize that would be my best bet for pumbaa too however my reasons for not doing that are:
1) difficult to sculpt on a large fondant covered board
2) no flexibility with placement
3) I will need a custom wood board and I’m not exactly sure what shape I will need it, nor have I ever cut my own boards before
So I am attempting to dial down the design and and hope to make something work with straws and skewers. I opted for shortening BC between layers, butter BC with meringue powder for crumb coat, and chocolate fondant which should dry firm.
Little bit over my head in this one but I’m going to make it work one way another, definitely open to suggestions!
This is very doable, but not exactly a beginner project......not calling you a beginner, by the way! Here is a free tutorial by the world-class instructor, Sedar Yener for Ferdinand The Bull, which could easily be adapted to your character. The tutorial is free, but you will have to join Yener's Way, which is also free. It is well worth joining anyway, because he emails fabulous free tips all the time.
Thank you I will definitely sign up!!
No tips for you, just bumping! Be sure to post a picture of the final result, I want to see the final masterpiece!
Haha will do ... hope that’s what it is, Laetia!
I wanted to thank you again for the tutorial SandraSmiley. I have intimidated by making custom boards, but I was also scared about metal rods up until a couple months ago. Sometimes you just have to jump in! I went the hardware store yesterday and created a VERY sturdy structure. It was a lot of work but I imagine the sculpting process will go much quicker than usual. Very excited to see this come to life and also for all the new design options for future cakes.
I am thrilled for you, zaco! You are on your way! The structure is the most difficult part....and can be so expensive. You can also use PVC pipe instead of metal rods. I am not sure they all do, but our hardware store will cut the boards to your specifications, if you don't want to do it yourself. I always cut my own because we have left over building materials all the time.
I can't wait to see what you do! If you have any questions, holler!
Well here it is. Obviously the show was cancelled. I‘m very pleased with how Timon and Simba turned out and feel decent about Pumbaa but not thrilled. It was a struggle to finish after the crazy week the world had and wasn’t feeling incredibly passionate about it and think it shows. Still I’m glad I challenged myself and feel good about the practice.
This is absolutely wonderful, zaco! What a shame the show was cancelled because this is a winner, for sure! Considering the fabulous results, I am guessing this is not be your last carved cake! It really is fun!
Thanks for your kind words I know pumbaa wouldn’t have been half as good if you didn’t direct me to that tutorial. Carved cakes are my favorite I’m just used to simpler structures.
It is such a shame the contest was canceled I’m sure you are not the only one disappointed after putting in so much work It’s great a real treat to see
My pleasure, zaco! There are a lot of fabulous, free tutorials on YouTube. Just do a search for what you need and see what comes up.