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Help! Placing an equipment order / getting overwhelmed! - Page 2

post #16 of 26
OP don't forget Etsy as an option to purchase professionally made flowers and figurines. If you choose that route you could focus squarely on the cake. I support the rustic look over first time fondant.
post #17 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Deb2013 View Post

I searched the web for cake ideas and wonder if it's 'kosher' to post links to the couple I'm considering as inspiration for my own creation? Then you might see what I have in mind and could comment on whether one might be easier than another. 
yes, please share photos of cakes you are using as inspiration. We all do it! I would be happy to help, and I am sure there are others who would love to give tips on how to achieve the look you are going for!
Beginners, be sure to parrot advice and get your post count up as fast as you can. After all, it's not what you know, it's what people THINK you know.
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Beginners, be sure to parrot advice and get your post count up as fast as you can. After all, it's not what you know, it's what people THINK you know.
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post #18 of 26
Thread Starter 

Great! Here's a link to the cake I'm using as inspiration:

http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://djiqd110ru30i.cloudfront.net/upload/789471/project/58991/full_5453_58991_PeterRabbitBabyShowerCake_1.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.craftsy.com/project/view/peter--rabbit-baby-shower-cake/58991&usg=__JK6c5UhcdLppvNP0iEI4L8s8fnA=&h=384&w=512&sz=18&hl=en&start=1&sig2=gLb3z2r36Pue8MdmFf8EYg&zoom=1&tbnid=oHqvS7DA-BBG4M:&tbnh=98&tbnw=131&ei=JqObUcucHNLy0QHL_YDwAw&prev=/search%3Fq%3Dpeter%2Brabbit%2Bshower%2Bcake%26um%3D1%26sa%3DN%26hl%3Den%26gbv%3D2%26tbm%3Disch&um=1&itbs=1&sa=X&ved=0CCwQrQMwAA

 

I'm debating whether to make it 2 (2") layers or 3. I like the height of 3 layers, but question is, how to cut? I've looked at numerous cake guides and cutting like a wedding cake (inner circle) seems complicated. Would you cut down through all 3 layers? Or only cut through single layers? There will be 45 people at the party and while the cake doesn't need to feed everyone (there will also be cupcakes), I'd like to make it go as far as possible. Appreciate any thoughts on this.

post #19 of 26
Thread Starter 

It will be my 2nd time fondant, so I'll keep fingers crossed. :) My 1st time came out pretty good, as I recall (though it was years ago) so I'm caustously opimistic!. I ordered Fondarific (extra so I can practice with it) and it's arriving tomorrow, along with other supplies.

I'd love any tips you have when working with fondant - thanks! 

post #20 of 26
Thread Starter 

I've decided to make things simple by going with a layered 9" cake (no tiers), similar to this one: http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://djiqd110ru30i.cloudfront.net/upload/789471/project/58991/full_5453_58991_PeterRabbitBabyShowerCake_1.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.craftsy.com/project/view/peter--rabbit-baby-shower-cake/58991&usg=__JK6c5UhcdLppvNP0iEI4L8s8fnA=&h=384&w=512&sz=18&hl=en&start=1&sig2=gLb3z2r36Pue8MdmFf8EYg&zoom=1&tbnid=oHqvS7DA-BBG4M:&tbnh=98&tbnw=131&ei=JqObUcucHNLy0QHL_YDwAw&prev=/search%3Fq%3Dpeter%2Brabbit%2Bshower%2Bcake%26um%3D1%26sa%3DN%26hl%3Den%26gbv%3D2%26tbm%3Disch&um=1&itbs=1&sa=X&ved=0CCwQrQMwAA

 

Using 2" pans, I'm now trying to decide whether to go with 2 or 3 layers. How many do you think a 2 layer vs. 3 layer would feed? That brings up the question of how best to slice. With a 3 layer cake, do you slice down through all 3 layers for each serving? I'd like the cake to feed at least 35 - is that doable?

post #21 of 26
Thread Starter 

I'm finally getting around to posting after the shower I was making this cake for. I nixed the fondant idea as I was running tight with time and went with BC icing instead with Sweetapolita's Rich & Ruffled Chocolate Celebration Cake recipe. (the following week I used a recipe found @ CC to modify a B/C box mix and have to say, Sweetapolita's beat it by a mile for richness)

 

I used 9" x 2" pans from Magic Line (non-stick) and they were fantastic. Not a crumb stuck to the pan, and used Wilton's spray cake release and parchment on the bottom. I baked 3 cakes & torted each. I filled each layer with BC and after layer #3, inserted straws through the 3 layers and placed a cake board on top of layer #3. I then continued with layer 4, 5, & 6, using the BC between those layers, crumb-coated and put in the fridge to set. I had no idea how heavy the cake was going to be. I think it must have weighed at least 15 lbs., maybe more, and was 8" tall! I did the final covering of BC using a large spackle knife I got at Lowes. After running hot water water over it (and drying off) it really did a nice job of smoothing the icing. I put it back in the fridge for a bit, then smoothed over the entire cake using the Viva paper towel method. I added the cabbages and carrots we had made from RI (next time I'll use a combo of RI & BC, as the RI alone it so hard!) and had planned to put a picket fence all around the side of the cake with some piped grass, but ran out of time, so it looks very plain. Overall, I was happy with it as a first time trying a layer cake, piping, making decorations, etc. In all, it took 20+ hours and I thought it might take 1/2 that time. I kept looking at the clock thinking how much longer can it take? :)

 

After making this cake, I have immense admiration for those who do this for a living (I don't know if I could deal with the anxiety associated with the decorating, and don't forget the delivery!). We had to drive 1 1/2 hrs. on an 85 degree day, and at every bump, I would watch the cake shimmy, wondering if it was going to collapse, and hold my breath! We did a Rube Goldberg when it came time to pack up and go, taking a large plastic tote, easing the cake into it, along with a box filled with freezer packs to keep the cake as cool as possible, then covering it all. I tossed my raincoat, white lining out, to deflect any sunlight coming in the car window. It all worked, but I can't imagine what it must be like to deliver a multi-tired wedding cake on a hot day! This cake was for my niece, and if something had happened on the way to the shower, all would be forgiven. Not the case, I'm sure for a paying client.

 

Thanks to all for your inspiration and encouragement, tip, techniques and ideas. I can't wait for the next baby!

 

 

 

 

 

post #22 of 26
Wow, this is my first update to this thread! I suspect others, as well, as we wouldn't all have abandoned you like this, since you really wanted to learn.

I am sorry you never got to use your fondant! The cake looks great, though.

And you cannot mix RI with BC, it will just fail. You can add meringue powder to icing though. You could also whip it the fondant, but I love the icing cabbages. Your carrots are cute as can be too.

Do you know how much it ended up costing you, vs buying a store bought? And how long it took? Just for your information, if I did a cake like the one with the rabbit and the baby, and the fence with blue background, is a 9" to serve 30, it would've cost you $127.50.

And, did the bug bite you? Are you hooked? Do you have another cake planned?? icon_smile.gif
Beginners, be sure to parrot advice and get your post count up as fast as you can. After all, it's not what you know, it's what people THINK you know.
Reply
Beginners, be sure to parrot advice and get your post count up as fast as you can. After all, it's not what you know, it's what people THINK you know.
Reply
post #23 of 26

It turned out great!  I am glad you decided to scale back your design, better to have a nice cake that you can get made in the time you had, rather than no cake, or a mess of a cake, that is too complicated and time consuming.  Now you can  play around with the fondant when you don't have a time pressure.  By the way, this cake would serve around 64.

post #24 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Annabakescakes View Post


And you cannot mix RI with BC, it will just fail. You can add meringue powder to icing though. You could also whip it the fondant, but I love the icing cabbages. Your carrots are cute as can be too.

Do you know how much it ended up costing you, vs buying a store bought? And how long it took? Just for your information, if I did a cake like the one with the rabbit and the baby, and the fence with blue background, is a 9" to serve 30, it would've cost you $127.50.

And, did the bug bite you? Are you hooked? Do you have another cake planned?? icon_smile.gif

 

Thanks for the tip about combining RI & BC - I think someone told me I could do that, but I hadn't tried it yet. So, to be able to pipe icing and not have it so hard (as the ribbon around the top cake edge was, and all broke off when cutting into it!), would you add meringue powder to BC to stiffen it a bit, and it would still be soft enough to slice through? I'd never piped before, so the cabbages were a bit wonky, but overall, ok. My mother made the carrots a couple days before I made the cake and they were a different scale than the cabbages. I claimed artistic license! :)

 

Cost? Hmmm, that's an good question. Store bought would without question, have cost far less, but that's due to my need to have every possible tool on hand! LOL I didn't have *any* equipment (save for my trusty old KitchenAid!), so I spent a couple hundred on tools, a turntable, cake pans, fondant, cake boards, books, coloring, cutters, molds, and a hundred other things I'm forgetting. And then there was the grocery bill (that was over $100). My husband kept telling me I could have bought an amazing cake for all I spent, but that wasn't the point. It was about making it for my niece and it was part of her gift. 

Your cost seems very reasonable! I'm not sure I understood - would that be for a 2-layer 9" cake? My thoughts about cake prices has gone completely out the window since my 'project'. I'll never again think a beautiful cake is too expensive!

 

The cake I made was about 8" or a tad taller. It was 6 layers, with BC filling. There was a board between layer # 3 & 4, so we cut down from the top through 3 layers, and when all those slices were gone, I removed the board and there was essentially another cake beneath. There were 40+ people at the shower and everyone got a slice from the top section and we ended up cutting into the bottom for a couple slices. Denetteb was close on servings, and I think the entire cake would have given us about 70 slices (about 1 1/2"+ sq. x 3 layers tall, and some people were saying the slices were too big). The chocolate cake was incredibly moist and so rich, some came back for seconds.

 

Did the bug bite? Yes! I was looking at videos last week on how to make peonies and I'd love to try that challenge.

My mother's birthday was a week ago and I made a 2 tiered (9" & 6") chocolate cake covered & filled with ganache. It was fairly simple as a lot was going on that week. I thought the 9" & 6" layers didn't look quite right though - would 7" look better with 9", do you think?  

I used a recipe here on CC to modify a Betty Crocker box mix and it was good, but didn't hold a candle to Sweetapolita's recipe. I'll definitely go to that one again, even if it is a bit more involved. I think the coffee in that recipe helps a lot to intensify the chocolate flavor. While I don't have any cakes planned at this point, I'd like to get better at piping and working with gum paste & fondant to make flowers. 

post #25 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by denetteb View Post

It turned out great!  I am glad you decided to scale back your design, better to have a nice cake that you can get made in the time you had, rather than no cake, or a mess of a cake, that is too complicated and time consuming.  Now you can  play around with the fondant when you don't have a time pressure.  By the way, this cake would serve around 64.

Thanks! Yes, you're so right, as to scaling things back. If I had tried to stick to my fondant plan, I would have been rolling it out @ 2 or 3 am, and as another very helpful forum member noted because the cake was so tall, it possibly could have stretched and torn and could have been disastrous, being so tired and all. I have time now to practice with the fondant and get a feel for how it handles. You're right on about the servings. We got about 40 slices from the top 3 layers and started cutting into the bottom as people came back for seconds. The slices were roughly 1 1/2" sq/ x 3 layers. I didn't realize the cake would feed so many, and initially, thought what I'd be making would feed 30. Then someone suggested the 6 layers, with a cake board in the middle and I thought, maybe that's a good idea, to make sure we have enough. Meanwhile, the host thinking my cake might not serve 30, bought a second cake, which we never cut into. It's deceiving how many you can serve, once you start carving through multi-layers. 

I've enjoyed learning so much on this site and through the forum members. You're all fantastic! 

post #26 of 26

I really think the key to getting a number of servings close to the charts is to cut them the proper size to begin with.  If I bring a cake and won't be there to cut I give specific instructions on how to cut it.  I have brought cakes to various events from graduations with food and mixed ages to a group of college kids with no other foods or beverages and the serving amounts just seem to work out right.  For piping your borders just use your buttercream, no need to use royal for that. 

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