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Wedding Cakes as Centerpiece

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 

I have a wedding at the end of the month where the bride would like small wedding cakes as centerpieces on each table along with a 3-tiered wedding cake. So I will be making 22 centerpiece cakes and one large wedding cake. The centerpiece cakes are 6" and 8" tiered cakes and the wedding cake is a 6", 8" and 10" tiered cake. The centerpiece cakes are white cakes with strawberry buttercream filling iced in vanilla buttercream decorated with detailed purple and turquoise piping. The wedding cake will be decorated the same way. It is an almond joy cake. 

 

Has anyone does this before? I don't have my own shop. The bride is a friend and I'm doing this out of my home. How far in advance can I decorate the cakes? Do they all have to be refrigerated after stacked? 

 

Any advice/tips would be greatly appreciated! Thanks! 

post #2 of 18

If my calculations are correct, that is 866 servings of cake. Unless it is going to be a really large wedding, I would try to convince your friend to do smaller centerpiece cakes. Good luck!

post #3 of 18

icon_eek.gif

 

Assuming these are round cakes, you are looking at almost 900 servings.  For real?  That is absolute insanity.

 

Most people opt for 6" centerpiece cakes on high stands.  A 6" round serves 12 people and there aren't more than 12 people at a table.

 

If I were you, I would rethink this if you haven't already.  That is a HUGE undertaking to do out of your home and if you're using fresh strawberries to make the filling then yes the cakes will need to be refrigerated.

 

Will the bride volunteer to pay your water and electric bills after these are baked?

post #4 of 18
Thread Starter 

I tried convincing her to do smaller centerpiece cakes, but she is set on that size. I made two practice cakes a 6"/8" cake and a 4"/6" cake and sent her pictures of both on the cake stands she'll be using. I even sent her pictures of the how big the slices would be. She really wants the 6"/8" cake. Her plan is to send cake home with people. I calculated cake boxes in the price. 

post #5 of 18

I think she is totally insane and honestly you shouldn't give her that choice unless you're willing to put in the blood, sweat, and tears. 

post #6 of 18
Thread Starter 

My church is letting me use their kitchen to bake all the cakes. They have four ovens in the kitchen, which will help. I've already recruited my mom and friends to help. I know it'll be a large effort but I'm already committed to the order. 

 

The strawberry buttercream recipe I've used in the past is from Wilton. It calls for seedless strawberry preserves. 

post #7 of 18

22 cakes AND a wedding cake?  Whoa....That's a lot, even for someone who owns a bakery.

Sounds like she wants slices of cake to be her wedding favor for people.  Who will cut all of that cake for people to take home?

How about making cake pops as a centerpiece at each table?  I don't know if you are good at making them, but they can be quite pretty as a centerpiece.

post #8 of 18

This is WAY more work then I'd do for ANYONE with-out a huge payday! I've given away my fair share of cakes to dear friends over the years and it's not something I'll ever do again.....because it's never, ever fully appreciated!

 

If your going to do this, your opinion about the cake sizes should matter to your bride. If she loves you as much as you love her for doing this, she wouldn't honestly care if you did the bigger or smaller cakes. I think she's being selfish asking all this of you, with-out any compromises on her end. Don't forget to charge for the extra boxes it's going to take for all the leftovers to go home with guests. And don't get sad if people decline and you wind up throwing out a lot of your hard work.

 

I don't think you realize just how much work is involved. Getting help from family and friends can make things harder for you instead of easier, unless those people are all bakers and decorators.

 

Since you haven't reacted to the reasonable things previously mentioned..........do you seriously have access to that much refrigeration space and have you actually sat down to calculate how many hours it will take you to do this?

post #9 of 18
Thread Starter 

Even though she is my friend, I did charge her a reasonable amount. I believe I will be paid adequately for my work. I don't have that much refrigerator space, but I've already coordinated with friends and family to store cakes at their homes. My family and friends that are helping with these cakes have decorating and baking experience. They've helped me in the past and have always been a huge help. 

 

I appreciate everyone's concern about the workload I'm taking on, but that was not my intent of this post. For my own wedding, my mother and I made 30 centerpiece cakes and for a school graduation I've made 15 centerpiece cakes. I've done similar orders before and I understand what I'm getting into. If you have any advice on baking large quantities, how to store cakes, how soon I can decorate them or dealing with strawberry buttercream, I'd really appreciate it. If not, please do not try to change my mind. I'm set on doing this order. The wedding is on July 27th. I'll make sure to post some pictures. 

post #10 of 18

My largest cp cake wedding was 40 cakes plus the tiered cake.  I had a friend help and we baked for a week-maybe two. I had a large freezer, so that was not an issue.  My advice: buy or borrow as many pans as you can so that you can bake several layers at once. I had 3 ovens going, so I could bake 4-6 pans per oven at a time. If you have multiple mixers, that is a help as well.  I'd start baking as soon as you can!  Your week prior to the wedding is gonna be crazy with prep and decorating, and you shouldn't be doing ANY baking that week!

 

We spent 3 days (Wed,Thurs, Fri) prepping and decorating!  I use a french buttercream, so my cakes need some sort of cooling - which I didn't have enough refrigerator space. I DID have a bakers rack with a cover, so I filled that with as many of the finished cakes as would fit and rolled it into the smallest room in our house and blasted the AC!  LOL  It was enough.  :)
 

So I would say, have decorating icing, boards, etc ready and then you should be able to start assembly & decorating on the Wed. before. If you have a couple of friends helping, you could do a sort of assembly-line process to speed things along.   If you are doing fondant - you could start sooner. 

 

I would def suggest doing a test of the strawberry frosting- just so you know how it is going to handle.  You don't want any unpleasant surprises!  For me, having the cakes in an AC'd room was enough, but yours may require storage in a frig until delivery time. The logistics of that could prove interesting....would the venue have storage space that you could take the cakes over the nite before?

 

And def have another person or two for delivery! Setting up cp cakes takes longer than you think!

 

Drive carefully and good luck!


Edited by cakedout - 7/8/13 at 7:42pm
With 30 years as a cake artist under my belt, I'm just here to share my knowledge and experience to anyone willing to listen!
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With 30 years as a cake artist under my belt, I'm just here to share my knowledge and experience to anyone willing to listen!
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post #11 of 18

Start baking your cakes now. Double wrap in plastic wrap and freeze the layers. You can also make your buttercream in advance but I would try a small batch to make sure there is no issues.

post #12 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by katiecakes3 View Post

Even though she is my friend, I did charge her a reasonable amount. I believe I will be paid adequately for my work. I don't have that much refrigerator space, but I've already coordinated with friends and family to store cakes at their homes. My family and friends that are helping with these cakes have decorating and baking experience. They've helped me in the past and have always been a huge help. 

 

I appreciate everyone's concern about the workload I'm taking on, but that was not my intent of this post. For my own wedding, my mother and I made 30 centerpiece cakes and for a school graduation I've made 15 centerpiece cakes. I've done similar orders before and I understand what I'm getting into. If you have any advice on baking large quantities, how to store cakes, how soon I can decorate them or dealing with strawberry buttercream, I'd really appreciate it. If not, please do not try to change my mind. I'm set on doing this order. The wedding is on July 27th. I'll make sure to post some pictures. 

AH, if I knew you had that experience I wouldn't have written my post as I did. If you mentioned you've done this before I missed it, sorry.

 

So then you have two questions:

 

1. How far in advance can you make them?  How far in advance did you make your 30 centerpiece cakes? How complicated are the designs for you to make? Which decorations can you do in advance? Those are your answers.

 

 

2. Do they need to be refrigerated? Buttercream frosting with preserves as flavoring will last as well as plain butter cream. Just don't add too much where the frosting gets thinned down and watery.

post #13 of 18
Thread Starter 

Thanks for all the tips! Sorry for the confusing and not mentioning that I have experience with large cake orders. But even with experience I know this is going to be a lot to handle. I'm doing my best to be prepared so it'll be less chaotic icon_smile.gif

 

I plan to start bake the cakes this Monday (the 15th). Our church's kitchen has four ovens and my family is bringing extra mixers which should help a lot. I do need to double check on the amount of pans I have. Thanks for the reminder. My plan is to freeze the cakes until ready to decorate. Also I'm planning on making all my buttercream in advance. I've done this on previous cakes and have had no problems. 

 

The design on these cakes is more complicated that what was done when I made the 30 centerpiece cakes. I think we decorated them on Thursday and the wedding was on Saturday. The cakes sat in an air conditioned room until the wedding. Normally I always refrigerate my cakes until delivery time. I'd like to start decorating the cakes on Wednesday prior to the wedding. I'm nervous leaving them out from Wednesday until Saturday. The cakes will be iced and decorated in buttercream. Has anyone had issues with leaving a buttercream cake out for that long? The cake recipe is one that I've used hundreds of times before. It's a nice moist cake. I'm not concerned about it drying out. I'm worried about the exterior icing going bad or the filling icing seeping into the cake. Should I place the cakes in a cake box and seal it with plastic wrap while the sit till the wedding? Any suggestions would be great! 

post #14 of 18

Best of luck to you and your challenge. I do agree with another response that customers do not fully appreciate all the time, effort, and money involved in decorating cakes, especially in your situation.

post #15 of 18
I've done several cp cake weddings but only on MY terms. 6" round cakes ONLY for the cp cakes.

Anyway good luck. I'm assuming this is a $5k order.
Answers to the most often asked questions re: SPS. SPS instructions are on Page 15 of the Sticky at the top of the Cake Decorating Forum. Supplies can be ordered from Oasis Supply, Global or BakeryCrafts.
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Answers to the most often asked questions re: SPS. SPS instructions are on Page 15 of the Sticky at the top of the Cake Decorating Forum. Supplies can be ordered from Oasis Supply, Global or BakeryCrafts.
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