Friday, July 23, 2010

Every Girl Needs a Pair of Little Black Separators

Cake structure is SO important.  I hope to take Mike McCrary's class on it this year!  For a simple, but very tall, round cake it can still be pretty tricky.  This cake was made with :

2 layers of 11" round cake
1" thick 9" circle of Styrofoam
4 layers of 9" round cake (with 9" cardboard circle in the middle)
1" thick 7" circle of Styrofoam
2 layers of 8" round cake
2 layers of 5" round cake

Most all cakes that I make are 3 layers thick and about 5 1/2" tall.  I don't really care for the look of squatty cakes, I like'm nice and tall.  This one was done this way because the bride wanted a tall cake, but didn't need to feed a lot of guests.  Also, it's a very modern look that she really liked.  I am always so proud when a bride is brave enough to do something so different and bold!

The ribbon, bows and black separations are fondant, everything else it buttercream.  I don't know how other bakers do the separators between layers, I guess I could have "Googled it"!  I just covered the styro with piping gel and then fondant.  Please let me know what you use.  I have only done this look twice, so I'm sure I have much to learn.  The silver sparkly things were very pretty hair clips that the bride purchased. 

I like real wood for the base cake board because there isn't any flex to it.  My icing is all butter and when it's hard and  the cake board flexes, it will crack the icing sometimes.  Even when I use wood, I usually put an extra board with a piece of shelf liner under a very heavy cake until I get to the venue and place it on the display table.  For support purposes, I used cardboard, covered top and bottom so they don't get  soaked in butter, for all of the cake boards.  The bottom board is two drums put together so that supports could go through them for even better stability.  95% of the time, I travel with my cakes fully stacked.  This one, I should have left the top two tier off until I got there, but you know what they say about hindsight!

I used a lot of straws, skewers, and one big wooden sharpened dowel through the whole cake.  I held it by the top of the dowel the entire trip, hand cramping and all.  The force of the cake when we were going up or down a hill was so strong that I was really glad that I put a "handle" so I could keep it level.  I put a level on each layer and it was perfect, until it was done :( .  I should have put even more than 12 supports into the bottom layer.  Instead of taking it all apart, I sharpened a wooden dowel in my pencil sharpener, cut it the length to only get to the bottom cake board of the big blue tier.  I tapped this dowel in from underneath and when I got it in, I took it out and replaced it with a non sharpened dowel of the same length.  What this did was give extra support from the bottom up to help out a slightly leaning cake.  Sometimes the answer doesn't always come from the top!   I hope sometime in the future this tidbit of knowledge comes in handy!


  1. Stunning Cake! Beautiful simplicity and not to mention the amazing vibrant colour blue ... love it! :)


  2. This is absolutely amazing! I am a cake decorator myself and just love finding inspiration through your blog! Keep up the great work :)


  3. You are amazing Jenn! I too want to take a class with Mike!

  4. gorgeous and so stunning! i laughed when you said you didn't like your cake squatty..

  5. oh wow! You delivered it all intact - I can't imagine the stress! Thanks for your tips. Gorgeous, bold and elegant cake!

  6. Wow! This wedding cake is really unusual. Love it! The color is really unique.


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