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Cake size suggestions, SPS, Pillars, gumpaste/RI flowers?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
In July I'm doing an anniversary cake for my boyfriend's grandparents.

His aunt is expecting approximately 110-120 people (will provide better headcount later). However she said don't go by industry standards for serving sizes. She wants to be able to serve people large slices.

She wants the main cake to be tiered (number of tiers to my discretion), using pillars that she had given me. Then she wants as many sheet cakes as needed for whatever the main cake doesn't serve.

I feel that 2 tiers would be the most comfortable for me - no more than 3. Then do the rest in sheet cakes which will be easier.

Any suggestion on cake sizes (2 tier vs 3 tier)? Then I'm not quite sure how many sheet cakes I should do. I just know large slices. Suggestions?

Then:

First, I know a lot of people swear by SPS - I'm only used to using dowels. Not sure if I should just stick with dowels or do SPS (and practice using it before hand). Additionally, I honestly have no idea how to use pillars (I think they are the Wilton ones). I'm not really sure how they work. I tried searching, but I couldn't find any good resources through Google. (I'm planning on getting some dummies to do some practice work in advance)

There will be travel - minimal (about 15 - 20 minutes), though some windy/hilly roads, not too many stop lights/signs.

I'm trying to do as much as I can in advance (I should have some freezer space so I can bake in advance). They do want some flowers - which I need to practice doing however I don't know if I should make my attempts in gumpaste or royal icing - any suggestions on which would be better. Additionally, how far in advance can I do either and best storing for either kind ensure they keep?
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post #2 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by augurey

Additionally, I honestly have no idea how to use pillars (I think they are the Wilton ones). I'm not really sure how they work. I tried searching, but I couldn't find any good resources through Google. (I'm planning on getting some dummies to do some practice work in advance)



You really can't practice with dummies for pillars, it has to be real cake. The pillars will either be push-in type (with no additional support) or pillars between two separator plates (with internal supports in the cake)... see construction here:
http://www.wilton.com/cakes/tiered-cakes/

Quote:
Originally Posted by augurey

They do want some flowers - which I need to practice doing however I don't know if I should make my attempts in gumpaste or royal icing - any suggestions on which would be better. Additionally, how far in advance can I do either and best storing for either kind ensure they keep?



What kind of flowers?
post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 
These are the pillars I had been given: http://www.wilton.com/store/site/product.cfm?id=3E31273E-475A-BAC0-53816B16CCB35E37&killnav=1 (Roman), 4 with 2 separator plates, so I'm assuming that these are the one with the internal supports (dowels?)?


As for the flowers, I think I'm just going to be going with roses probably. I think of the vast variety, I think roses are my best bet.


ETA: After looking at the wilton site, I see where they do it with the separator plates and pillars. Doesn't look to bad. At least know that I know how they work, shouldn't be too bad.
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post #4 of 11
Glad you figured it out. Pillars don't come with dowels.

The Roman Columns are the tall ones that are typically used to hold cakes over a fountain (6 pillars w/18" plates). The plate would sit directly on the table--supports not required under the base plate unless the fountain is to have cake below it.

I wouldn't make rock-hard RI roses... I'd use buttercream.
post #5 of 11
How big are the separator plates you were given? That will determine the size of the cakes. I think your idea of going with 2 cakes vs. 3 is probably a good one. Will you be using buttercream or fondant?

Since she wants "big" slices, I'd just double the serving amounts listed on the Wilton Wedding chart:
http://www.wilton.com/cakes/making-cakes/baking-wedding-cake-2-inch-pans.cfm

Keep in mind that the wedding chart above is for 4" HIGH cakes, not 2" high cakes.

I recently did my biggest project to date (2 years of hobby baking), and made enough cake for 188 wedding-sized servings. I did the cakes in buttercream. It's a LOT of cake!
Blue cake~14"x4" Red Velvet with cream cheese filling
Green~12"x4" Sour Cream Chocolate with chocolate buttercream filling
Orange!~10"x4" Lemon Poppy Seed with lemon curd filling (8 year old
Yellow~8"x4" Sour Cream White with raspberry & Bavarian Cream filling.
Here's a link to the photo:
http://christinascakes.shutterfly.com/pictures/340

The pillar construction she wants is normally associated with the "older" style of decorating which utilizes buttercream roses and leaves.

I'd suggest you go to eBay and purchase one of the "older" Wilton Course books that will give instructions on this type cake. Here's a link:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Wilton-Method-Cake-Decorating-Course-3-Student-Textbook-rev-2008-NEW-/330701055522?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item4cff51a622
post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 
CWR41, the plates are 8" w/ 4 pillars.

Apti, the separator plates are the 8" with 4 pillars. I will definitely be doing buttercream. So I figure that the top will have to be an 8" at the very least, but not sure if I should do a 12" or a 10" for the bottom (unless I did a 3 - which I'm leaning more towards 2).

So, for the serving sizes doubling what is stated on the Wilton wedding chart, in order to serve 24 people, I'd want to go with Either 2 8" or one 12"? Just so I know that I'm understanding correctly lol

Your cakes are beautiful icon_smile.gif Definitely a lot of cake!

I've seen a lot of cake, but I know that the largest I've made don't compare lol

I will definitely look into getting the older Wilton Course books so I could browse for information.

Aside from decorating the main tiered cake with the roses and leaves, I'm not sure if the sheet cakes should be decorated or not. I mean obviously boarders and what not, but I'm not sure if those should contain further decorations with flowers or anything else of the sort.
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post #7 of 11
Man! I just had it all typed out, then lost it...... Oh well, here goes again.

If you want 125 GENEROUS servings, you are going to need as much cake as I showed in my photo. (Thank you for the compliment, by the way!)

Here are instructions for using two 8" separator plates with pillars:
http://www.wilton.com/cakes/tiered-cakes/separator-plate-cake-construction.cfm

I'd suggest a 10"x4" bottom tier and a 6"x4" top tier for the "centerpiece" cake. That will serve 50 tiny wedding sized slices, or 25-30 GENEROUS slices.

Sheet cakes are generally iced in the same buttercream as the centerpiece cake, same borders, a few of the same buttercream decorations in the corners if people are going to see them. They are called "kitchen cakes" because people usually don't see them and they are cut and plated in the kitchen and wheeled out on trolleys to be given to the guests. Kitchen cakes are made with the exact same ingredients/filling/frosting as the "centerpiece" cake. They are 4" high.

This means you will have to practice making two quarter sheet (9x13") cakes, putting filling on top of the bottom cake, then lifting the top cake and sliding it on top of the bottom cake with filling. Use the Wilton 14x20 cookie sheet to do this.
http://www.wilton.com/store/site/product.cfm?id=3E31517A-475A-BAC0-51DC46D419628856&killnav=1

A 9x13x4" sheet cake would serve 50 wedding servings (1" wide, 2" deep, 4" high) or 25-30 GENEROUS servings. That's four 9x13x4" tall sheet cakes (or 8 individual 9x13x2 layers).
-----------------
Are you starting to think "Costco" for sheet cakes, lol??
post #8 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apti

A 9x13x4" sheet cake would serve 50 wedding servings (1" wide, 2" deep, 4" high) or 25-30 GENEROUS servings. That's four 9x13x4" tall sheet cakes (or 8 individual 9x13x2 layers).



What's four 9x13x4" tall sheet cakes?

If a 9x13x4" quarter sheet cake serves 50 wedding servings, then four of them would serve 200. Are you saying the OP needs to make four of these to have 100 generous servings along with the two-tier cake?
HOW TO:
Make tip #127D (giant rose tip) Ruffle cake,
Write with icing,
Make buttercream roses on a stick:
http://s984.photobucket.com/albums/ae322/Unlimited1cakes/
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HOW TO:
Make tip #127D (giant rose tip) Ruffle cake,
Write with icing,
Make buttercream roses on a stick:
http://s984.photobucket.com/albums/ae322/Unlimited1cakes/
Reply
post #9 of 11
Unlimited~~Yes. I was also explaining that "kitchen cakes" are normally sheet cakes that are stacked with filling in the middle so they end up being 4" high with a middle layer of filling and will look exactly like the "centerpiece cake" when plated.

She stated that the Aunt specifically requested LARGE (GENEROUS) servings, not the industry standard of small Wilton Wedding sized servings. My original suggestion in response to that was to just "double" the amount of recommended Wilton Wedding sized-servings.

Yes, you would end up with a butt-load of cake! This is probably FAR more than would normally be recommended for 120 people, but that was her original question:

"His aunt is expecting approximately 110-120 people (will provide better headcount later). However she said don't go by industry standards for serving sizes. She wants to be able to serve people large slices.

She wants the main cake to be tiered (number of tiers to my discretion), using pillars that she had given me. Then she wants as many sheet cakes as needed for whatever the main cake doesn't serve.

.....Any suggestion on cake sizes (2 tier vs 3 tier)? I'm not quite sure how many sheet cakes I should do. I just know large slices. Suggestions?"

-------------------------
augurey~~You don't have to make these exact cakes. This is just an attempt to answer the original question the way I would personally handle it. You may opt for 4 sheet cakes that are NOT filled, and are only 2" high, which would probably be fine.

You may want to make a practice "centerpiece cake" AND a practice sheet cake and see how many large servings you'll get. (That's what I do since I am a hobby baker and still in the learning phase for BIG cakes. I donate my "practice cakes" to the staff at my step-mom's convalescent home.)
post #10 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thank you so much for all your help Apti! I really appreciate it icon_smile.gif

It definitely gives me a better picture of what I need to do. I just don't want to way over do it (not only wasted cake - though I'm sure it'd get sent home with people - but time and money in the ingredients) but I also don't want to not make enough.

I'll definitely have more information once it gets a little closer, but if I have at least your suggestions, it gives me a reference point. For the sheet cakes, I'd likely do a 4" with filling to keep it uniformed.

Thank you so much again! icon_smile.gif I definitely plan on practicing as much as I can on this. I know it's important for it to be nice - not only for them, but for me.
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post #11 of 11
You are very welcome.
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