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Dummy tier in a wedding cake, advice please

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
A good friend just asked me to do their wedding cake. I know they need to keep their cost low (I will find out how low this weekend when we talk). So I am thinking of a few ways to keep costs down for her. I have never used a dummy before but was thinking of suggesting using a dummy tier (for ex: 1 dummy in a 3 tier) and the rest sheet cakes. I thought it could lower costs of ingredients and since I have 3 boys 3 and under the thought of decorating a tier way in advance is very appealing. Does this sound like a good idea or not? Also, if I did the bottom layer (say a 14 in) dummy at the bottom, is that bad because that is what couples customarily cut in front of everyone? Thanks for any advice!
post #2 of 18
There are the ones with the "real slice of cake" inserted at the bottom.

http://artofdessert.blogspot.com/2008/12/have-your-cake-and-eat-it-too-fake.html

That's an idea. Or you could do the middle tier fake. But I know that probably won't save you a lot of cake.
post #3 of 18
If you don't want to use the dummy with the spot for a real piece of cake you can place a slice of cake and 2 forks behind your large cake and that is what can be served to each other. My couples do this all of the time and no one is ever the wiser. This method if far less expensive and you can make the bottom tier well ahead of time and just cover it lightly in plastic. You won't have as much last minute stress with you little ones.
post #4 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by imagenthatnj

There are the ones with the "real slice of cake" inserted at the bottom.

http://artofdessert.blogspot.com/2008/12/have-your-cake-and-eat-it-too-fake.html

That's an idea. Or you could do the middle tier fake. But I know that probably won't save you a lot of cake.



I've been seeing this more and more. at first I didn't understand at first why...but now I get it. I saw a beautiful wedding cake that had 5 tier..the bottom 3 layers were "fake cakes" & the top 2 were real cakes. Love the idea
Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise: and he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding. Proverbs 17:28
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Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise: and he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding. Proverbs 17:28
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post #5 of 18
Thread Starter 
I agree the dummy with the insert is a terrific idea. I think it would only be feasible though if you had a lot of decorations in that area. If you had a more simple cake on the bottom it would look weird if you had nothing to cover it up. The idea with the plated cake is so simple and could totally work and I never thought of doing that! Thanks for the great suggestion. May I ask a stupid question???? Would I ever need to dowel a dummy cake?? I am assuming not, but Ive never used one and do know if I need extra stability. Thanks again everyone!
post #6 of 18
post #7 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lori2240

Would I ever need to dowel a dummy cake??



No dowel needed, the dummy can support the weight of a cake on it, however, if you're using a dummy as a middle tier, keep in mind it needs to be on its own cardboard circle to prevent lower dowels from piercing through the dummy when using real cake with support dowels below it.
post #8 of 18
When looking at costs, consider the cost of the styro tiers vs. cake. Whether scratch or mix, add up the ingredients and cooking costs. For the styro, look at price and shipping, as many local stores don't carry the dummies. I priced styrofoam rounds at M's, and they are not cheap. The website above used RKT, but I can't imagine that saved any money at all!

As far as decorating ahead, by all means the dummy will allow you to do that, provided you have a very safe, light free, cool area to store it.
post #9 of 18
I do the dummy with the insert. It's so much easier. I cut about a 3 inch wedge and only half way down. I cover this cut area with fondant and place my cake in the insert. Then decorate as usual.


And I always get all my dummies back. So the cost savings is significant.
post #10 of 18
before you "assume" a dummy tier is cheaper, read this blog article:
http://cateritsimple.blogspot.com/2009/07/fake-cakes-no-they-are-not-always.html

Same .... or more ..... ingredient costs (when you consider the dummy itself is an "ingredient". Same amount of work to ice a dummy as a real cake. PLUS the extra work of icing the sheet cake.

And they're supposed to get it cheaper WHY????? icon_confused.gif
post #11 of 18
I pretty much have the same dilema. A bride would like the top 2 tiers as dummies and the bottom tier real. I was going to decorate the dummies ahead of time but what icing do I use? I know I would normally use royal but she wants the real cake buttercream will the color/texture match? She wants all white icing with a pink ribbon at the bottom of each tier.
post #12 of 18
I've always iced all of my dummy cakes in regular buttercream. Only used royal icing for cookies, never for cake, even dummies.

Never "pretreated" the dummies. Just put the BC right on the stryo and off we go! thumbs_up.gif
post #13 of 18
When I did that it totally ruined the dummies. I had to throw them away. Do you have this issue? Someone here (I think it was on cc) said she threw hers in the dishwasher and they were fine. I haven't tried that. Anyway, the buttercream ruined the dummies and they became trash. Which makes my cost co up. WAAAAA!
post #14 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by tryingcake

Anyway, the buttercream ruined the dummies and they became trash.



Ruined how? I've seen them become stained, or turn yellow, but that doesn't ruin them... they are still useful for the purpose intended, especially since they aren't eaten.
post #15 of 18
Ruined as in GREASY GREASY GREASY. No matter how I scrubbed and no matter what I scrubbed with they had this weird film over them. And they stunk - you know that old greasy smell, like a never cleaned french fry vat.

Since this was for a dummy cake, I made decorator's icing rather than my typical BC which has butter in it. I used 100% Crisco and not Hi-Ratio as I would if making it to eat.

All I know is 4 dummies went in to the trash after two weeks of scrubbing and soaking.
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