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Plaid bands on a cake- advice?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Hi everyone. I'm brand new on the forum, and pretty new to cake decorating. I own a mobile gluten free bakery, and most of my experience has been with making cookies and brownies and such for local farmers' markets. But I have done a few cakes, and in a couple of weeks I'm doing my first wedding cake- thankfully, for a relaxed and forgiving friend.

The trouble is, this is a tiered cake that has to travel quite a long way- from central Pennsylvania to Delaware, roughly a 7 hour drive. So I think the best thing to do is refrain from assembling the tiers until I'm on-site, especially since gluten free cakes aren't usually quite as sturdy. No problem- I can easily pack everything I need to assemble and I'll have plenty of time to do it.

Here is the problem: the tiers are going to have plaid fondant bands on the bottom (the groom is wearing a kilt- the plaid is his clan tartan). The best way to do the plaid pattern, for me, is to paint it on to a rolled out sheet of fondant, then cut the strips from that. I'm planning on rolling the strips up around dowels with strips of parchment paper to keep the pattern from smearing and the fondant from sticking, then unrolling them into the cake. Does that sound reasonable?

I'm a little worried about the fondant cracking when I do this step, since I won't be able to knead it or I'll destroy the plaid. What I'm thinking about doing is wrapping the fondant rolls in plastic, and using a heating pad to gently warm them up and soften them before applying them to the cake. How does this sound to everyone? Does anyone have any better suggestions?
post #2 of 7
Maybe you have enough experience to do the tartan at home, and not smear it when you stack the tiers? Maybe a second pair of hands would help?

Because I'm really afraid of what would happen when the wet paint job gets rolled up for several hours...maybe you should test a band painted with one colour.
post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 
Oh, I'd definitely let the paint dry before rolling them up- but I don't think I can do all the painting in a hotel room or at the venue, so I need to be able to do it in advance. I'll be doing a test run this weekend for the plaid...just wondering if anyone has done anything similar before and has some guidance.
post #4 of 7
My concern is how is the paint going to dry with out the fondant drying out that it's painted on? have you considered creating the pattern from colored fondant rather than painting?
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post #5 of 7
It sounds like all of these problems would be avoided by printing the tartan pattern as an edible image(s) and wrapping that around the already-fondanted cake.

Easy peasy.

As a beginner, I'm assuming you don't have an edible printer, etc. but if you call a local cake supply shop I'm sure they can hook you up. I've read on these boards that even some national, chain, grocery store bakeries will do stuff like this, too.

good luck,
-j
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post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Quote:

My concern is how is the paint going to dry with out the fondant drying out that it's painted on? have you considered creating the pattern from colored fondant rather than painting?



This is what I tried to do first in an experiment, but I don't like how thick it gets and the uneven levels of the stripes, but it's impossible to keep the pattern from warping if I roll it out flatter. I'm hoping the paint can dry sufficiently before the fondant dries out- going to give it a shot this weekend.

Quote:
Quote:

It sounds like all of these problems would be avoided by printing the tartan pattern as an edible image(s) and wrapping that around the already-fondanted cake.

Easy peasy.

As a beginner, I'm assuming you don't have an edible printer, etc. but if you call a local cake supply shop I'm sure they can hook you up. I've read on these boards that even some national, chain, grocery store bakeries will do stuff like this, too.



I'd love to be able to do this, but you're right, I don't have the tools yet. I'll look into it, but I doubt I can get it done around here. The only places selling cake decorating supplies are Wal-Mart, JoAnn Fabrics, and Michaels. I might check with local cake decorators- there are some good ones nearby.

Assuming I can work out the issues with the plaid, do I sound like I'm on the right track with using a heating pad to make sure the bands are pliable before I apply them? I want to use them to hide the seams at the tiers, after assembly, so that's why I need to be able to use them on-site.
post #7 of 7
What an interesting idea with the heating pad! (I love how resourceful the mind of a caker can be...)

I've never tried what you're describing. If I'm understanding correctly, you are heating a relatively thick roll of fondant (in plastic wrap) with the heat pad wrapped around the entire roll, yes? If this is the case, my concern would be that the outermost "layers" of fondant in the roll could heat/overheat while leaving the innermost "layers" virtually unheated. Also unsure what the heat might do to your beautiful paint job.

Great topic; Lotsa materials science going on here!
Ultimately, testing will tell you if this will work. But if it's for this weekend, you may be hard-pressed to get those practice tests done.

I love the idea of calling local decorators, briefly describing your needs and asking to purchase the edible images from them. This would be particularly appropriate if you are computer savvy because they would almost certainly want the computer files "print-ready." You could also ask them, "Who should I call?" if they don't print EI's themselves.

I hope this ramble was helpful in some way!

You can do it,
-j
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