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Posts by Dani1081

I use cake mix all the time.  That makes no difference whatsoever.  It is completely dependent upon your structural support.  Cake tiers on cake boards or plates, resting on dowels inserted in the tier below it.  
sorry - it would help to link to the picture:   http://cakecentral.com/g/i/2059366/a/2060366/
I've made this cake a couple of times - I used the Wilton sports ball pan for the basketball, but the basket itself is actually a "double barrel" cake - two 9" round tiers stacked and then covered in fondant.  It made quite a few servings of cake. 
I normally use the same buttercream recipe that I use to frost my cakes, but I thin it slightly with corn syrup.  It makes it a little smoother and more elastic.  Pipes really nice.
Jackie, it sounds like the baker you consulted does not know how to stack a cake. A cake is placed on a cake board and then that cake board sits on dowels inserted into the tier below it. It doesn't sit on the cake, so it won't smash the cake, no matter what the cake is made of.  You might do that baker a favor and refer her/him to this website: http://www.wilton.com/cakes/tiered-cakes/stacked-tiered-cake-construction.cfm
The picture you posted is a buttercream cake, in which case buttercream would work just as well.
 Jason, I wonder if this cake needed copyright permission? https://www.facebook.com/?ref=home#!/photo.php?fbid=10151336685263498&set=a.155837033497.1214517.25440463497&type=1&theater
The scallops are piped stringwork accented by piped dots.  PRACTICE piping. The stringwork could also be done with fondant if you have an extruder that can extrude very thin strings. And then just pipe the dots on to accentuate them.
I'm glad you are watching youtube videos - you will learn so much from them.  They are priceless in terms of information.  You might also go to the Wilton website and look at some of their tutorials - they are also very informative.   The straws are placed in the cake to actually support the tier that sits on top of it. That way the cake on top doesn't smash the cake on the bottom. Cake weighs alot - if there is nothing to support the upper tiers, they will squish...
I think your original idea is the right way to go.  I would make the cupcakes from granny's recipe (her frosting recipe will pipe just fine)  and make the tiered cake chocolate, or vice versa.  Or if she insists that both flavors be used in the cake, I totally agree with Cakepro on this one - I would make the cake and FILL it with granny's recipe.  The exterior of the cake would all be iced with my standard crusting buttercream so that both of the tiers look the same. ...
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