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Cake Designs by Wicked Goodies — 26 Comments

  1. Interesting you use the fridge so much for covering and decorating. I cover most cakes with fondant but if my cake is cold it’s hard to use smoothers as the fondant gets sticky and it seems air bubbles happen more frequently as the cake comes to a less cold temp. Am I doing something wrong?

    • Janet, Avoiding the sticky issue with fondant or modeling chocolate-covered cakes is all a matter of timing. As long as you cover a cake swiftly and efficiently, it should still be dry for the smoothing phase. Spending a lot of time on the covering phase is when the cake starts to grow sticky with condensation.

      The benefit of cold cakes is that they are more efficient to work with since they maintain their shape and especially their edges better. You can briefly hold a cold cake by its frosted parts, tip it sideways, flip it upside down, even roll it on its side, all things you cannot do when a cake is at room temperature. All these benefits greatly increase the speed and ease of cake covering. I am used to working in bakeries where this all happens very fast, so I assure you it’s entirely possible.

      Another tip is that immediately after covering a cake in fondant or modeling chocolate, you can seal the surface with plastic wrap to help prevent condensation from forming on the cake. That way, when you are ready to decorate, you can peel away the plastic wrap and the fondant or modeling chocolate will still be dry.

      As for the air bubbles problem, you are right. If air bubbles are just beneath the surface of fondant or buttercream, the temperature change will exaggerate their appearance. My tricks to avoiding air bubbles altogether are:

      #1 – Using this cake filling method to prevent air bubbles from occurring around the edges of filling layers, which is where the biggest pockets of air can get trapped in a cake.

      #2 – Adhering to this smooth buttercream frosting technique, which yields a smoother frosted finish so that there are no gaps for air to get trapped underneath fondant. Success with a fondant finish is in large part a matter of how well the cake has been frosted underneath.

      All in all, the benefits of working with a refrigerated cake still exceed the benefits of working with a room temperature cake because of the amount of extra control that is gained from manipulating a hard object as opposed to a squishy one. This is especially true when you start getting into larger wedding cake tiers and 3D sculpted cake designs.

  2. Hi again :)
    Why do you prefer the wooden turntable over all the glass and various plastic gadgets on the market? I would think that wood would be harder to clean and therefore perhaps be less hygienic than plastic or glass.

  3. Hi. I have another question that I hope you can help me with. I’m making an American buttercream filling for a cake and wanted to add in lemon curd which by itself I think might be too tart. What do you think would be the best proportion of lemon curd to traditional American buttercream? I’m also planning to add in some chopped pecans — or would that be too much???? Thanks for your help.

  4. You’re amazing, nothing less! Not only because of your fantastic and inspiring designs, but also because of this wonderful site with the never ending good advice that you share and all the great links. And yet, what makes you top the top are your quick, detailed and patient responses to all of our nitty gritty questions. And so another question: I would really like to try to make a topsy turvy cake, but I really don’t need anything near that amount of cake, so I thought of making a mini topsy turvy. Do you think that 6 4 2 inch layers would work, and if so what would the best total depth be for each segment? Looking forward to your reply.

    • Thank you :) I would not attempt to make a topsy turvy cake that small. Anything narrower than a 5″ tier is difficult to carve and stack. Remember that they are tapered at the bottom so if you start out with a 6″, the base is eventually 5″. Plus they are tilted to the side, so each tier needs some heft to it in order to stay standing. For smaller topsy turvy cakes, it’s better to go with a 2-tier cake like an 8″ – 6″ or a 7″ – 5″ combination. No one ever complains about having too much cake. Good luck! – Kristen

  5. You are really talented love your work and u really inspire me. Buying ur book right now can’t wait to have it delivered.thanks so much

  6. Hi first time I’ve tried the chocolate decoration. It’ works good ,though it cracked some of them guess coz of humidity? Btw I’m leaving in dubai where weather is quite hot

  7. I have a question regarding finished cakes covered in modeling chocolate. Since they have the buttercream underneath, should they be refrigerated? And should there only be a crumb coat of buttercream under the modeling chocolate or a thicker, finishing layer, as you say, underneath? Would it be too thick under the modeling chocolate covering if it is a finished layer? My concern is whether to leave it out and risk the buttercream underneath going soft, or risk ruining the modeling chocolate if refrigerated.

    • Yes – I always refrigerate my cakes until display time b/c I use all-butter buttercreams and natural fillings that require refrigeration. The butter-based frostings also get nice and hard in cool temps, which makes the cakes easier to handle and decorate while they are in process. I put a fairly thick finish layer of buttercream on cakes (under modeling chocolate) so there is usually 1/2″ worth of frosting on the outside of the cake. I take the cake out of the fridge only when I’m working on, always keeping it as cool as I can.

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