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Feedback on this cake please?

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
Hi!

My friend did this cake for a recent wedding of a common friend. She was wondering where she could get honest feedback, and I knew about Cake Central. She's not on CC but asked if I could get feedback from the caking community! icon_smile.gif

This is her first ever fondant covered 3 tier cake.

Appreciate your input!!
LL
post #2 of 23
Over all its really not a bad job, my only advice would be to work on getting her tiers more level before covering and stacking, that way it will help to get a more smooth looking cake, and to keep practising icon_smile.gif
post #3 of 23
I think she did a really great job, especially for her first time! A couple of things stuck out to me that she could work on for future cakes
- Make sure the cakes are level on top
- Work on making sure the sides are straight
My guess is that the buttercream wasn't perfectly smooth before the fondant was applied, which really, really helps get a nice smooth finished cake. I would recommend she looks for a tutorial on the upside down icing method, it has drastically improved my ability to get sharp edges and straight sides.
Good job to her though!
post #4 of 23
I agree, she did a banner job. Three things that stood out once again would be to make sure both the tops and sides of your cakes are straight. The pans she's using might have flared sides and simply getting better pans would fix that. Also there needs to be more distance between her bottom cake and the middle one. See the distance between the middle and top tier - that's perfect. Her flowers and vines are all perfect. What I would do is to display them in an odd/even pattern. In other words look at the bottom design then the one on the middle cake. it's only slightly off to the right - I would have moved it way over to the right to create some blank space between the two. With the design as it is your eyes rush to take it all in - don't get me wrong it's all absolutely beautiful - just need to space it out a little in an odd/even way up the front of the cake. Also, I would have covered the side of the silver plate in off white ribbon. Ok, just one more thing. The top and middle layers are rimmed with fondant balls but the bottom tier has very small piped pearls. If anything the larger pearls should be at the base, medium in the center and smaller at the top. Ok, I'm done. Are those fairy wings on the bottom tier. Very cool. Thanks for letting us critique your first project. Don't dare show you my first. icon_smile.gif
post #5 of 23
I definately agree w/all that's already been said - over all, especially for a 1st, cake, it's really nice.
Have her work on getting the cakes level and sides straight. That alone would make a great improvement icon_smile.gif
post #6 of 23
Looks fine to me. A professional baker (which I'm assuming your friend isn't) might have produced something more perfect (or not), but quite frankly, I'd rather have a homemade cake than a bakery cake any day. Not the least because I like the taste of plain old cold-process all-butter buttercream better than I like the taste of any frosting I've tasted on a bakery cake. (And most bakery cakes I've eaten are, at least compared to the homemade cakes I grew up with, grossly over-frosted.)

Regarding the pans and "flared sides" (an untrimmed bottom-to-bottom 2-layer cake would have "hourglass sides"): The technical term is draft angle, and any cake pan is going to have it, to some degree, unless the pan is designed to be disassembled around the cake.

(There's a wedding scene in a novel I've been writing, off and on, for many years now, and the cake was baked and decorated by friends and relatives of the couple, in the church kitchen. It's the same novel in which a "throwaway" line led me to develop my strawberry marble cake recipe. Since the novel is about the adventures of a child-prodigy organist, and she marries a trumpeter, the central motif of the cake's decorations is trumpets and organ pipes. The bride and groom figures are a custom job: she's seated at an organ, and he's holding a trumpet.)

James H. H. Lampert
Professional Dilettante

Web site: http://www.hbquik.com/jamesl

Flickr "baked goods" set http://flic.kr/s/aHsjvZvdTh

Reply

James H. H. Lampert
Professional Dilettante

Web site: http://www.hbquik.com/jamesl

Flickr "baked goods" set http://flic.kr/s/aHsjvZvdTh

Reply
post #7 of 23
Thread Starter 
Thank you so much for the feedback! I'll pass it along to her.

DeniseNH... I didn't quite get what you meant by banner job icon_biggrin.gif
post #8 of 23
I really like the decorations, they are very pretty. I agree about making sure that the cakes don't flare out. When I started baking, I thought Wilton pans were the bees knees. But with experience I have switched over to Magic Line pans. There are other pans out there that don't have that flare.

It looks like a yummy cake and she did well for a first cake.
post #9 of 23
I'm new to fondant covered cakes too. On my first cake, it looked wider at the bottom like this one does because my BC was too soft and a lot of it slid down the sides to the bottom under the fondant. That may or may not be what happened to her, but something I learned to look out for. HTH. Tell her to keep on cakin'! She's got a great start!
Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.
-Scott Adams
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Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.
-Scott Adams
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post #10 of 23
Lovely cake for a first-time decorator. Smaller and neater beads and well-levelled cakes would have been better
post #11 of 23
Thread Starter 
Thank you!! Great feedback! So better pans would make
a difference and of course the leveling... I'll surely tell her that!
post #12 of 23
I agree with the straightening - pans do help a lot - along with youtube or Sharon Z's instructions! The piping looks great though! Practice will make a huge difference too!
post #13 of 23
Overall, the actual decor is very nice and shows real promise.

As everyone else said, the cakes have issues. Here is the link to Sharon Z's site. http://www.sugaredproductions.com/categories/Instructional-DVDs/
I recommend:
- Perfecting the Art of Buttercream (lots of good basics)
- Flawless Fondant
- Successful Stacking

It is always tempting to want to skip ahead to the fun "decorating" part of cake decorating, but a cleanly executed foundation is, in my opinion, essential. Great job for a beginner, keep practicing! thumbs_up.gif
post #14 of 23
Hi there

I was told by my instructor (NZ born) how to level a cake before icing:
1. Keep the cake to cool on a wire rack
2. level the top of the cake as much as possible with a serrated knife
3. Turn the cake up side down on to the cake board which you intend to keep and decorate
4. Use a level (you can get small one from a building maretial shop: I called this is called masonry level) to see if the cake is levelled

CHEERS
post #15 of 23
Not sure if you did these things, but they will help with the bulging of the cake sides.

1. Let the cake settle, preferably overnight. I do this after torting and leveling. I wrap the cake in saran to prevent the cake from drying out. I then put the same size or one size larger cake pan right side up on top of the cake. Inside the pan I then add something with a little bit of weight to it. I let it sit overnight or at least 4-6 hours if I am short on time. This will make the cake settle. Some people use a large tile to help the cake settle.

2. I then add a dam make out of really thick BC. Then put the filling or BC inside of the dam. The weight of the top layers and fondant should not cause any bulging if done correctly.
HTH
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