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Wedding cake stacking help, please....

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 

I'm going to make a wedding cake for a friend's wedding. She wants a 14 on the bottom, then a 12 on top of that, then a 10, and then an 8. I am going to attempt this for the first time. I make birthday cakes with no trouble... but this is a little out of my league. I just don't know if I should do how I saw a youtube video where the lady only baked one cake and cut it in half, put icing on one layer and then stacked the other half of the cake on top; iced it all and called that a tier. Or bake 2 of each size cake that she wants and stack them without cutting them apart.  "How would you do it? Divide each cake baked, or bake 2 of each size and stack? And should I assemble the cake the day of the wedding at the venue or would it be ok to assemble the day before and transport it all together? Sorry for all the questions, but I offered to do this as a gift for them because money is tight, I'm just trying to find the best way to do it. Thank you for all and any replies.

post #2 of 22

I would bake two layers of each size. The goal is for each tier to be about 4 inches. This link provides some helpful information. Good luck!

 

http://www.wilton.com/cakes/tiered-cakes/

post #3 of 22

I bake 2 of each size and fill between those, ice and stack. 

I transport all of my cakes stacked, but depending on your geography and the weight of the cake you may want to stack it on site.

It's whatever you are most comfortable with. 

post #4 of 22
Thread Starter 

Thank you for your replies. The cake pans are 3in. high so I don't want it to be too much cake and not enough icing, or for it to be a huge monster of a cake by the time I'm done. She wants a 4 tier cake and I thought if I baked one pan of each size and cut it in half and filled with a little more icing than usual; she'd still get her height and it would kind of equal out the cake to icing ratio. I just don't want it to look flimsy, but I also don't want it to be too much cake. I found this link to kind of explain what I thought I was supposed to do. http://www.sunset.com/food-wine/holidays-occasions/how-to-assemble-a-wedding-cake-00400000066804/

post #5 of 22
I recently partnered with someone to make a wedding cake for a relative. It was agreed he would bake, ice and cover the cakes in fondant. I would make all of the external decorations. He said the cakes would be 4 to 5 inches tall. ( he's in a different city from me). The cakes were transported to my house and then on to the other city where the wedding was being held. By the time the cakes made it to my house, the buttercream had absorbed into the cakes and the fondant had buckled all the way around. He had only 1 3" cake layer torted and filled it. The cakes ended up being only 3.25" tall. I ended up having to remove the fondant. Reice and recover and still ended up with a tier that was too short. Moral of the story is better too much cake than too short a tier! I have definitely learned a lesson! HTH.
post #6 of 22

I also bake two of each size, fill between, and then ice.  Because of the roads (rough/potholes/road construction) and the many hills in the area, I always transfer my cake individually and then put it all together once I get to the venue. 

 

Sure wish some of my nieces & nephews would move to another area that has less hills and gravel roads!!icon_rolleyes.gif

post #7 of 22

The pan sizes you described decrease in size by only 2" increments, so you will have a cake with a taller tower like shape with not much step between each.  If each tier is not tall enough it might  look squat and out of proportion.  I agree that each tier should be at least 4" tall.  I use 2" pans, and bake  2 or  3  cakes for each layer, depending on wether I want 3 layers of cake or 4 layers of cake for each tier.  I rarely do 2 layers, for me it is too much cake, not enough filling, not at as pretty when cut.  If I am making 3 layers of cake for each tier, I bake 3 cakes and then level to 1.25 - 1.5 ".  with filling that is 4 to 5 " for each tier.  Each individual layer of cake can be leveled to make the height you want.  More flexibility with this approach.  If making 4 layers per tier (my usual amount)  I bake 2 full 2" pans.  When torted and leveled, I have 4 layers just under an inch.  When filled and frosted it is 4".    Most of my pans are 2", and I prefer them.  3" pans can be tricky.  Especially the larger sizes.  They take a longer time to cook, and and can bake unevenly.  If you do use 3" pans, after leveling and torting, you would  have  2 layers less than 1.5 inches tall and 2 of those doesn't sound tall enough.    I think you would need to bake 2 for each tier.  you could tort each one and have 4 layers of cake with 3 layers of filling, or keep it with 2 layers of cake and one layer of filling.  It is fine to assemble the cake the day before.  If it can be refrigerated, even better.  If it will be fondant covered, or with decorations that should not be refrigerated (lots of people refrigerate fondant cakes, I have never tried it) it can also be prepared the day before, but not with highly perishable fillings like mousse or whipped cream type fillings.  HTH.  

I'd rather be baking!
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I'd rather be baking!
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post #8 of 22
Thread Starter 

Ok looks like I'll be baking 2 of each. I was trying to save a little money and not have a monster of a cake at the same time. And I was wrong, the pans are only 2in. deep. I don't plan to cover it with fondant b/c I just don't like the stuff and it would be a waste because most people won't eat it. Do you all ever thin your icing a little more after putting on a basic crumb coating or just use the same consistency? Thank you for replies :)

post #9 of 22

How many people are your friends going to be serving with this 'not-monster' cake? If they want those four tiers, you'll have almost 200 servings. That's a heck of a gift.

 

Perhaps you could go less and smaller tiers, like a 10/8/6 for 74 servings, and you could afford to make your tiers nice and tall.

post #10 of 22
Thread Starter 

They are expecting around 125 to 150 but you know as well as I do, that not everyone shows up. I thought it would help to save me $$$ if I just baked one of each size, cut in half, and put more icing than usual in the middle, then stacking the other cut half on top. And icing the whole thing. I guess I'm just trying to be too cheap :(

post #11 of 22
I suggest you start over. Since finance are an issue for you also , decide exactly how much money you are willing to contribute to her cake. Then look at the wilton wedding chart and see what layers will work best for 125 servings. then do some calculating on what it will cost you for all of the ingredients, boards, support system, supplies like pans you may need to buy. A total cost. Then meet with your friend and have an honest conversation about the cake you suggest and if she needs to kick in any money. If she is unwilling to go along with it then let her go get a cake elsewhere and you can get her a gift from her registry that you can afford. Cutting corners to save you some money by torting the one layer per tier is not a good idea. It will make a short and squatty cake and the slices will need to be cut larger to adjust for that. You will need to make more tiers so you really aren't saving anything. Also, be honest when she is picking a design. If it is something that is out of your ability and you don't have time and money to perfect,let her know you can't do it that particular design.
post #12 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by denetteb View Post

I suggest you start over. Since finance are an issue for you also , decide exactly how much money you are willing to contribute to her cake. Then look at the wilton wedding chart and see what layers will work best for 125 servings. then do some calculating on what it will cost you for all of the ingredients, boards, support system, supplies like pans you may need to buy. A total cost. Then meet with your friend and have an honest conversation about the cake you suggest and if she needs to kick in any money. If she is unwilling to go along with it then let her go get a cake elsewhere and you can get her a gift from her registry that you can afford.

Yes - do all of this. Helping them out doesn't mean you need to spend money you can't afford. 200 servings of cake would cost them $600 at a minimum. 125 servings would cost almost $400 minimum. Would you give these people a gift of that value otherwise?

 

Beggers can't be choosers - if they want you to do the cake for free, you do it however you want. If you want to make short tiers, then make sure they know what that will look like, and do that. If you want to make less tiers - offer them that and tell them they can serve their guests a smaller slice.

post #13 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by overmyheadncake View Post

They are expecting around 125 to 150 but you know as well as I do, that not everyone shows up. I thought it would help to save me $$$ if I just baked one of each size, cut in half, and put more icing than usual in the middle, then stacking the other cut half on top. And icing the whole thing. I guess I'm just trying to be too cheap icon_sad.gif

If the cake is the only dessert for the wedding I would check back with the bride closer to the date and ask how many RSVP's she's received. If there's a big dessert table then you could get away with making a little less cake-just something to consider. Not everyone comes, even if they RSVP and some people will just show up to the reception who haven't.
Be careful about putting too much icing between tiers, you don't want more cake then icing. Also remember your cakes will settle, so I highly recommend using at least two cakes per tier. It is very nice of you to offer your friend a wedding cake, maybe you can get some help from the bridal party to offset your costs, or family friends-this is definitely something you'll want to discuss with the bride. With supplies alone, it's a huge gift!
Quote:
Originally Posted by overmyheadncake View Post

Ok looks like I'll be baking 2 of each. I was trying to save a little money and not have a monster of a cake at the same time. And I was wrong, the pans are only 2in. deep. I don't plan to cover it with fondant b/c I just don't like the stuff and it would be a waste because most people won't eat it. Do you all ever thin your icing a little more after putting on a basic crumb coating or just use the same consistency? Thank you for replies icon_smile.gif

I use a thicker BC between layers if I'm making a dam for fillings, otherwise, the icing is the same consistency. Now your crumb coat will be a thinner LAYER (not consistency) than the final coat. I'm assuming that's what your referring to? The first layer is just to hold in and hide the crumbs from torting and leveling your cakes, then you let that set up and apply your final layer of BC.
I'm curious have you discussed design options with the bride yet? Your already concerned about the size and amount of money your putting into this gift, have you thought about how much time you'll need to decorate it? I'm not trying to discourage you at all! But you also have to consider if she wants plain ribbon around each layer or those glitter bands...does she want cascades of Gumpaste roses? I would definitely discuss these things with her before you proceed. I'd be honest that you'd love to make her a beautiful wedding cake but are now concerned if you can afford to make it without any financial support. Maybe you could make a smaller cake and have another guest or family member make some cupcakes.

Good luck!
post #14 of 22
Thread Starter 

Honestly I think I bit off more than I could chew. She couldn't afford to buy a cake because of financial issues so I was being nice. She's been my friend for nearly 20 years and I didn't think about the cost out of my pocket. I think I'm going to do a 12,10,8,and 6 and that will save me a little and still go ahead and bake 2 of each size. Honestly I think there will be only about 50 if that at the wedding and reception, but either way that should be enough cake so that everyone gets a slice. Depending on how many people come I can slice it accordingly. And they're not keeping the 6in. topper. I told them I'd make a little cupcake size to freeze so that way they could eat the top layer. I'm waiting on cake mixes to go on sale and I'll start stocking up :) Thank you all for your advice it's really helped!!

post #15 of 22
Why would you offer to make a cake that serves 200 for only 50 guests? That seems unnecessary and wasteful.
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