3 Common Cake Decorating Mistakes - And Their Easy Solutions

How To Manage Crumbs When Cake Decorating

Have you ever been decorating a cake and everything was going smoothly, then all of a sudden you notice crumbs in your beautiful icing mixture? When this happens you can ruin the whole effect of your cake. There is a way to combat the dreaded crumb problem when decorating your cake; the method is called a 'crumb coat.'
A crumb coat is a thinner mixture of the exact same icing that you use on your cake. You can thin the mixture down with whatever liquid you have used to make your icing, for example water or milk. The icing has to be thinned down just enough to cover the surface of the cake with a thin layer.

Once you have applied a crumb coat to the surface of your cake you will then need to let it set awhile. Place your cake in the refrigerator and let it set overnight, or for at least an hour or two. Don't be overly concerned if crumbs get into your crumb coat, as the crumbs will become "glued" into the surface of the cake. Once set the surface will be ready to decorate.
By following these instructions you will win the war on crumbs!

Beating Bulging Cakes

Often people who decorate cakes are faced with the problem of their fillings bulging out of the sides of their cake. Luckily there is a remedy for this little cake decorating disaster. Below are some helpful tips to stop the dreaded cake bulge.

o By baking your cake in advance, for example the day before, you will firm the cake up, and give it time to settle down. Freshly baked cakes tend to be unstable and won't hold fillings as well as settled cakes.

o Another procedure that can be used to stop fillings from overflowing or bulging is to use piped icing to create a dam. This will act as a barrier and keep your fillings from bulging out the sides of the cake.

o After you have created your icing dam, you can then cover the whole cake with a crumb coating; a thinned down version of the icing that you intend to use to decorate your cake with.

o Once you have done a crumb coating of the cake you will find that refrigerating the cake overnight, or for at least 2-3 hours will help the icing to firm up. This will reduce the likelihood of bulging also.

o Once the cake has had time to firm up in the fridge, the dams that you put in place and the crumb coat will stop the cake from bulging.

Follow these steps and you'll be well on your way to having beautiful bulge-free cakes!

Freezing Cakes To Save Time

Finding the free time to prepare a specialty cake can be a frustrating task. Thankfully, the practice of freezing cakes has become an invaluable tool for the novice and professional alike. Just think, you can have a cake baked and ready for decoration weeks before the special occasion.

Some cake makers shy away from freezing cakes due to the fear that their creation might dry out. If the proper method is not utilized, that fear will be justified. The key lies in how you wrap the cake. It's also important to postpone the decorating process until the cake has fully defrosted. Icing tends to "sweat" and become gooey when a cake is left out to defrost.
Air and moisture will eventually ruin a cake. To keep the air out, wrap three layers of sturdy cling wrap around the cake. Then just prior to freezing, wrap one layer of aluminum foil over the cling wrap. This storage method helps keep the moisture and flavor from escaping.

Allow the cake to slowly defrost at room temperature for 1-2 days before the event. Do not decorate the cake until it has completely thawed. By following this method cake decorating should be easier and quicker, especially if you are put on the spot to make and decorate a cake at the last minute.

Budget Saving Wedding Cake Ideas

When I was 12 or 13, I remember being the hostess at my cousin's wedding. One of the first things that I saw when I walked into the reception hall was this beautiful wedding cake. For years, I dreamed of a fairytale wedding cake just like hers. The cake was tall, separated by columns with a few tiers, although I can't remember exactly how many there were. At the top of the wedding cake were the bride and groom, and on the side were the bridesmaids and groomsmen standing on staircases that led to the top. The staircases were also connected to smaller cakes that adorned the side and underneath the cake was a fountain. I think many brides remember the era of the big cakes with all kinds of special decorations on them. I just stood there amazed and looked at her beautiful wedding cake decked out in the colors of the wedding and dreamed of the day that I would cut into my own wedding cake that looked just like that. That cake was probably the second most admired part of that wedding.

As brides, we want that reaction to our wedding cakes as well. We want people to mill around it and admire the creation that is a symbolic of a couples new union. We have dreams of hearing those "ooh's" and "ah's" and the conversations about the décor, the colors, and the height of the cake. The right wedding cake should take the breath away of all your guests, and make them anxious to take a bite.

The wedding cake is one of the major elements of the wedding day. Because it is such a big purchase, much time and purpose needs to be dedicated into making the perfect cake. If you have never planned a wedding before, you may have a hard time figuring out where to start. Well, by the end of this article, I hope that you will have a clearer understanding about what you need to create that wedding cake of your dreams.

The Shape Basics

First, let's focus on the different shapes of most cakes. The shape of your cake is very important because it can affect the number of people that can be served and the price as well.

Round: This is the traditional shape of most wedding cakes and is still widely used by most brides. Because the shape of the round cake is the most simplistic, it is usually the least expensive; plus it's usually easier to decorate.

Square: The square wedding cake is, usually, used by brides that want to break away from the traditional round cakes; but at the same time, they still have the look of a basic wedding cake. The square cake can be more expensive because it may require more labor. Oftentimes, the baker has to cut the sides of the cake to make them look sharper and neater.

Heart: For those eternal romantics, this is the cake shape for you. Again it may be a bit more labor intensive depending on how it is to be frosted and decorated. It's also important to keep in mind that the amount served from this shape may differ from that of other shapes.

Mad Hatter: This is for the couples that really want to have a more whimsical & fun feel to their wedding cakes. These cakes are usually uneven & slanted shaped. This is for the bold couples that are not afraid to be different. Instead of the traditional wedding décor, these cakes are usually decorated in bold colors and patterns.

Hexagon: This is a cake with six sides. This is another shape that is growing in popularity because it is a deviation from the traditional round wedding cake. Again, the price of this cake is more expensive than that of a round cake because of the time it will take the baker to cut and frost these cakes, but the finished product can be absolutely breathtaking.

The Icing

You basically have two different types of icing - butter cream and fondant.

Although there are a variety of recipes for making butter cream icing, it is usually made with butter, sugar, milk, and vanilla. It has a thick but creamy texture that is easy to cut through. For a bride on a budget, butter cream icing is a great way to go because it is usually cheaper than fondant. It can also be used as a filling for your cake as well. A downside to butter cream is that it can melt in hot settings, so if you are having an outdoor soiree, butter cream icing may not be your best option.

Fondant is made from sugar, corn syrup, and gelatin. It is very elastic in texture. With fondant, you can literally roll it out with a rolling pin. Because of its strength and elasticity, many bakers use it for unique architectural designs. It can be shaped and molded into many different designs. Fondant is usually more expensive because it is more labor intensive.

Your Dream Wedding Cake

One of the things that you may have been thinking about since you got that rock on your finger is what your wedding cake will look like. If you are anything like me, you have already flipped through the wedding and bridal magazines and even looked at the pictures on the wedding websites in order to get an idea of what you want.

I think a great way to figure out what you want in your cake is to think about your personality and what you like. Do you like for things to be grand and theatrical? If so, you may want a tall cake with lots of decoration. Are you planning a small wedding reception with a few friends and family and think that a huge cake for 200 is ridiculous? Maybe you want something simple in stature and design. Your personality should be key in deciding what you want. When thinking about my wedding cake, I just thought about my style when it came to decorating and how I dress. I don't like for my house to look cluttered. I want everything neat and in its place. When choosing clothes, I tend to stay away from crazy patterns; I like a well-put-together classic, yet modern look. So knowing that I liked things to look sleek sophisticated, and clean, an intricate design for my wedding cake isn't something that I am interested in. I decided that my dream cake would have three tiers with white frosting and the cake decoration will follow suit.

Another good way to figure out what kind of cake you want is to think about the theme of your wedding. Think about whatever motifs you will sprinkle throughout the wedding, the cake should reflect this as well because it will be a focal point in the reception. If you are having an urban sophistication theme, should you really get the grand cake with the tons of flowers flowing from it? Maybe not, however, a cake of this magnitude may be great for a garden theme. So once you pick your wedding theme, your cake will take its shape (no pun intended).

Money Saving Tips

As you may have noticed, certain small details can really raise the price of your wedding cake. One of the most important things to keep in mind, when choosing a cake, is the amount of people that you plan to serve. Part of your price depends on the number of guests that you will have. This is one reason why cutting the guest list can always bring down budget costs. This is especially true if you are paying for a cake that has pricing that is based on the slice. For instance, if you have a cake that is $1.50 per slice and you are inviting 300 people, your cake without any décor will be $450. So one way to keep costs down is to keep the guest list as small as possible.

Another way to keep costs down when it comes to your dream cake is labor. The more intricate your cake decoration details are the more your costs will increase. If you want a 4-tiered cake with a lace-like pattern, understand that someone must do that pattern which can take hours to recreate. Certain patterns, piping, or detailed frosting designs can take a lot of time and work. Remember, this labor increases your price. So, if you want to keep cost down, make the decorations simple.

Fresh flowers on the cake always bring cost downs. As brides, we are completely intrigued by the gum paste flowers that are edible and beautiful. I mean, they look like the real thing and they mimic every detail of the real flowers. Because they do, these beautiful details cost. If you decide to decorate using fresh flowers instead, your décor can still be as breathtaking without the exorbitant prices.

Ribbons are a simple way to bring your wedding colors into your wedding cake design. This way you can decorate your cake without raising the price. Because my tastes are quite simple, I love the idea of putting a thick beautiful ribbon around the cake and pinning it with pearl pins. This is a very simple way to decorate and the pearl gives a look of sophistication to the cake as well. Again, using ribbons instead of icing as a decoration choice can make for a beautiful wedding cake without the large price.

Go to the grocery store. Every visit to the grocery store is like a visit to your cake baker. As I begin shopping at my local grocer, I always see beautiful wedding cakes staring at me. These are cakes that are designed by the grocery stores in-house staff. The quality of the cakes on display is a true testament of the level of talent these bakers have. Who at your wedding will actually say, "This is a terrible cake because it came from the grocery store"? People in the wedding industry, along with many other socialites, will make you feel that a grocery store wedding cake is a cheap cake that will taste bad and is bad for your guests. Don't listen to them. Every cake that I have had from a grocery store has been delicious, and many of the guests, at weddings that I have planned, have said that the cakes were delicious (and they had no ideas that it came from their local grocery store). Many grocery stores will work to match your colors as well as your decoration needs. They are even willing to set up cake tastings with you, and some even have faux layers to offer!

Have a fake cake. Many brides are doing it to get the drama of a beautiful wedding cake without the price. They will have a faux cake, and in the back is a sheet cake cut up for the guests. This is a brilliant idea for brides on a budget. Bakers can do faux cakes because many of their store displays are fake cakes. This is not something that a baker may offer, but you can always ask. If you want, you can have it where only part of the cake can be fake. This way you can still have the cake cutting experience.

Stay simple with flavors. My mom wants chocolate. I love carrot. He likes red velvet. His mom has to have almond. Getting a cake with a variety of flavors sounds grand, but more than one flavor can make the cost rise. The most inexpensive flavor is probably, the simple white or yellow cake. Some bakers will increase the price depending on what flavor you choose or if you choose more than one flavor, so this is a good thing to keep in mind. Again, you must ask yourself, will your guest really have a bad night because the cake was simply yellow? I have never been to a wedding where I was just sorely disappointed because of the flavor of the cake. I am usually taken by the wedding cake's appearance anyway.

It's very important to keep in mind that, simple shapes equal less money. Wedding cakes are works of art, and more and more bakers see themselves as artists pushing the limits and making wonderful edible masterpieces. So, if you want a cake shape that is hard to ice or decorate, you will have to come out of pocket to pay for it. Round cakes are the cheapest and the easiest to decorate. Whereas, frosting a heart shape cake may take more time and care, and most importantly money!

Time To Meet Your Baker

Before you meet with the baker, you need to have a sure idea of what you want in a wedding cake. If you don't, going to the baker or any other wedding vendor, for that matter, can make your budget grow in a matter of minutes. As an example, think about buying a house. You don't usually go house hunting unless you have a good idea of what your buying budget is. You have to know "how much house you can afford". The same thing applies to planning your wedding and meeting with your baker. Make sure you have a firm idea of what your budget is and what it can get you before making any visits, because the first thing you will see before you even meet the baker are the beautiful wedding cake displays, which can carry you into another world.

Make sure to shop around. I do think it is appropriate to visit with at least 3 bakers. You want to be able to shop around for the best deals that you can find. So, don't be so eager to book the first person that you talk to. Meet with them. Check out their websites. Do some research. Ask for references. I was planning on meeting and booking with one particular wedding baker because their prices were perfect. When conducting research for my clients I always check with the Better Business Bureau. And in this case I found out there were 2 negative complaints related to this vendor concerning their product and delivery. Research - Research - Research!

Make it clear with the baker what your budget is upfront. That way you all know what you are working with. You can sit and taste all the cakes that you want only to find out that they are way above your price. Knowing what the budget is up front helps you and the baker to find something within your price range and it saves everybody time.

Ask questions. Don't be quiet while the baker makes arrangements for you. Make sure all that you want can be accommodated. That is the only way you will get what you want. Here are some questions you can ask the baker.

o How are your wedding cakes priced?

o Can you customize a wedding cake or do you just work with certain styles?

o What are your different cake flavors and fillings?

o What type of icing do you use? Fondant? Butter cream?

o Are there any extra fees that are not included with the base price?

o Does the price listed include the top tier?

o How far in advanced will my cake be made?

o Who will be the actual one baking my cake?

o Do you have a cake-cutting fee?

o How do you deliver the cake?

Get everything in writing. When talking to the baker, make sure that everything is in the contract. If you want the delivery to be at a certain time and the baker agrees, make sure it is in the contract. This can also include who is actually baking and decorating your wedding cake. Make sure it includes all pricing and what should happen if you cancel. All details should be in the contract. This way there will be no confusion about anything on your big day, which helps cut out unnecessary stress. It also helps to go over the contract a few days to a week before the wedding with the baker to make sure that everything you want will be handled. Happy Cake Hunting!

All About Kids Birthday Cakes

Do you know what is so special for a child's birthday celebration? It is the birthday cake. They love the moment of cutting the birthday cake. There can be so many gifts for the child, but the center of attraction is the birthday cake. Therefore, it is worth putting a lot of time and money in planning the birthday cake.

More than the taste, we need to concentrate in shape, color, and size of the birthday cake. It is always better if we could design the birthday cake in cartoon characters that are familiar to the children. If the birthday cake is made in the birthday child's favorite color, they will obliviously love it.

The birthday cake idea

If the birthday cake has a theme or idea the attraction for it, is immense. Here are few suggestions. There are Pirates and Princesses, a classic birthday cake themes for boys and girls. They can be Cinderella Castle Cake, ice Cream Castle Cake, Pirate Cake, Pirate Ship Cake, Princess Cake, Splendid Castle Cake, and Treasure Chest Cake

Sports- this birthday cake idea is for kids who love sports. They are Bowling Ball Cake, Bowling Lane Cake, Football Cake, and Skateboard Cake. Wings and Wheels-this birthday cake idea will really move your child. They are Train Cake, Dump Truck Cake, Fire Engine Cake, Outback Jeep Cake, Racetrack Cake, School Bus Cake, and Space Cake

Birthday cake designs

The birthday cake design can be anything. If the birthday cake design is different, meaningful, the kids, children and adults will appreciate it. Listed below are a few design ideas for your next birthday cake.

They are Apron Cake, Artist's Palette Cake, Boom Box Cake, Checkers Cake, Chinese Checkers Cake, Groovy T-shirt Cake, Pizza Cake, Private Eye Cake, Remote Control Cake, Smiley Face Cake, and Teeny Tiny Cake Tub Cake Upside-Down Cake, Volcano Cake Birth day cake decorating ideas

Once the birthday cake is made or purchased, it should be decorated well. The decoration is generally done to the top and sides of the cake. It is always better to decorate the birthday cake using the favorite color of the birthday boy or girl. The table in which the birthday cake is placed also should be decorated suitably.

Birthday cake recipe

An excellent birthday cake recipe is a 4-layer chocolate cake with whipped cream filling between the layers. The ingredients are -1 package Devils Food cake mix, 4 small cans or cups, Ready-to-Serve Chocolate Pudding, 1 egg, ½ - 1 cup Chocolate Chips WHIPPED CREAM FILLING INGREDIENTS 2 cups, Whipping Cream, ¼ cup Powdered Confectioner's Sugar, 1 - 2 Teaspoons Vanilla

We can frost the entire cake with Chocolate Whipped Cream Frosting, and sprinkle the sides with chocolate sprinkles. The recipe Chocolate Whipped Cream consists of Frosting-1 ½ cups, Heavy Whipping Cream1 ¼ cups, Powdered Sugar- 1/3-cup, Baking Cocoa-1/2 teaspoon, and Vanilla.

Children's birthday cakes

Children's birthday cakes must have a good design, shape, and size. If the cake has any theme or idea, the children will love it. If the design resembles a familiar character to the children like noddy, it will be an added attraction. The suggested children birthday cake models are Pureed Strawberries and Fresh Cream, Vanilla Sponge in Nemo, Teddy Bear, Power Puff Girls, Tweety, Winnie the Pooh, Flower Basket, Bob the Builder, Simpson's, Thomas The Train, Barbie, Star cakes.

Bundt Cakes to the Rescue

While sitting at the bowling alley, a voice came over the intercom saying, "Tonight we are hosting a raffle on a yummy yellow sheet cake for $1.00 a ticket. The proceeds will go to our youth bowling association." A yellow sheet cake, I thought? How often are you asked to bake a cake for a school auction, cake walks, parties or get-togethers? Bundt cakes makes excellent cakes for these events. They are pretty cakes, make for a great presentation and could bring in more money than a yellow sheet cake. Another benefit of bundt cakes is that they are easy to transport to your event. Below are some of my favorite bundt cake recipes:


1 (18.25-ounce) box yellow cake mix

1 (3-ounce) package instant banana pudding mix

4 large eggs

1 cup water

1/4 cup vegetable oil

3/4 cup mashed banana

2 cups powdered sugar

2 tablespoons milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup walnuts, finely chopped

Preheat oven to 350*F (175*C). Grease and flour bundt pan and set aside.

In large bowl combine cake mix, pudding mix, eggs, water, vegetable oil and banana. Beat with electric mixer for 2 minutes. Pour into prepared bundt pan.

Bake for 50 to 55 minutes or until cake tests done. Cool cake on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Remove cake and continue to cool on rack.

To Make Glaze: Beat together powdered sugar, milk and vanilla in a bowl until smooth and of a drizzling consistency. When cake is cooled, drizzle icing over cake. Sprinkle chopped nuts over icing, if desired.


3 tablespoons vegetable shortening

2 1/2 cups finely chopped walnuts

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup whole wheat flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

3/4 cup softened butter

1 1/3 cups granulated sugar

3 large eggs

1 cup sour cream or plain nonfat yogurt

1 ripe banana, mashed 2 tablespoons orange liqueur (triple sec)

Orange Sugar Glaze:

1 cup powdered sugar, shifted

2 tablespoons orange juice

Thoroughly grease a 10 to 12-cup microwave-safe bundt pan with shortening; sprinkle with 1/2 cup of the chopped walnuts to coat evenly. Sift flours, baking powder and baking soda.

Cream butter and sugar until fluffy; beat in eggs, one at a time. Stir sour cream or yogurt, banana and liqueur into egg mixture. Fold flour mixture into banana-egg batter; stir in remaining walnuts.

Spoon into prepared pan and place on top of microwave-proof bowl in microwave, bringing cake up to center of oven. Cook on medium 10 minutes, then on high 5 to 7 minutes until cake tests done, turning twice. Let cake stand 15 minutes. Turn out onto serving plate. Let cool.

Mix sifted powdered sugar and orange juice until smooth. Pour glaze evenly over cake and serve.


Filling Ingredients:

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened

1 large egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Cake Ingredients:

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

1 cup water

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa

1/2 cup butter, softened

3 large eggs

1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Glaze Ingredients:

2 ounces white chocolate

2 teaspoons vegetable shortening

1/4 cup semi-sweet real chocolate chips

Heat oven to 350°̊F. Combine all filling ingredients in small mixer bowl. Beat at low speed, scraping bowl often, until smooth; set aside. Combine all cake ingredients in large mixer bowl. Beat at low speed, scraping bowl often, until all ingredients are moistened. Beat at high speed, scraping bowl often, until smooth. Pour 3 cups batter into greased and floured 12-cup bundt pan. Spoon filling over batter without touching sides of pan; cover with remaining batter.

Bake for 50 to 60 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan 30 minutes. Remove from pan; cool completely.

Melt white chocolate and 1 teaspoon shortening in 1-quart saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly, until melted (1 to 2 minutes). Drizzle over cooled cake. Let stand until firm. Repeat with remaining shortening and chocolate chips. Store refrigerated.


A delightfully surprising "tunnel" of cream cheese and chocolate chips makes this cake a sure winner with your family and friends!

2 cups granulated sugar

1 cup vegetable oil

2 large eggs, beaten lightly

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 teaspoon baking soda

2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup buttermilk


1/4 cup granulated sugar

1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese - softened

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 large egg

1 cup (6-ounces) miniature semisweet chocolate chips


1 cup powdered sugar

3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa

2 tablespoons butter, melted

2 to 3 tablespoons Hot water

Preheat oven to 350*F (175*C). Generously grease a 10-inch bundt or tube pan. Set aside.
For the cake: Combine sugar, oil and eggs in a large mixing bowl. Beat for one minute until smooth.

Add remaining cake ingredients and beat at medium speed for three minutes, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Set batter aside and prepare filling.

For filling: Cream the sugar with cream cheese at medium-high speed. Add the vanilla and egg and beat until smooth. Stir in the chocolate chips, mixing well.

Pour half of the cake batter into the prepared pan. Spoon the filling mixture evenly over the layer of batter, then carefully pour remaining batter over the filling.

Bake for 65 to 70 minutes or until cake tests done when lightly pressed in the center and cake springs back. Cool cake on a wire rack for 20 to 25 minutes before removing from pan. Cool completely before glazing.

For the glaze: Combine all ingredients to form a consistency thin enough to drizzle decoratively on the cooled cake.


1 (18.25-ounce) package yellow cake mix

1 (3.9-ounce) package instant lemon pudding

3/4 cup orange juice

1/2 cup vegetable oil

4 large eggs

1 teaspoon lemon extract

1/3 cup orange juice

2/3 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup butter

Preheat oven to 325*F (160* C). Grease one bundt pan and set aside. In large bowl beat together cake mix, pudding mix, 3/4 cup orange juice, oil, eggs, and lemon extract for 3 minutes. Pour batter into prepared Bundt pan. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, or until tested done. Cool for 15 minutes and remove from pan. In small saucepan combine 1/3 cup orange juice, sugar, and butter. Bring to boil, reduce heat and cook for two minutes. Drizzle hot icing over warm cake


1 (18.25-ounce) package spice cake mix

3/4 cup milk

1/4 cup butter or margarine, softened

3 large eggs

1/4 cup sweetened flaked coconut

1/4 cup chopped nuts


1/2 cup coconut

1/2 cup chopped nuts

1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon


1 cup powdered sugar

1 tablespoon margarine or butter, softened

2 to 3 tablespoons milk

Heat oven to 350*F (175*C). Grease and flour a 10-inch tube or 12-cup bundt; pan.
In large bowl, combine cake mix, 3/4 cup milk, 1/4 cup butter and eggs at low speed until moistened; beat 2 minutes at high speed. Stir in 1/4 cup coconut and 1/4 cup nuts. Pour half of batter (about 2 cups) into prepared pan. In small bowl, combine all filling ingredients; reserve 1/2 cup filling. Sprinkle remaining filling over batter in pan.

Cover with remaining batter; sprinkle with 1/2 cup reserved filling. Bake for 45 to 55 minutes or until wooden pick inserted near center comes out clean. Cool upright in pan 30 minutes on wire rack. Remove from pan. Cool completely. In small bowl, blend all glaze ingredients until smooth, adding enough milk for desired drizzling consistency. Drizzle over cake


1 (6-ounce) package or 1 cup Premier White Chocolate Morsels, or 3 premier white baking bars, broken into pieces

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup butter, softened

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

3 large eggs

3 tablespoons grated lemon peel (about 3 medium lemons)

1 1/3 cups buttermilk

1 cup powdered sugar

3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour 10-cup bundt pan. Melt morsels in medium, microwave-safe bowl on medium-high (70%) power for 1 minute; stir. Microwave at additional 10 to 20-second intervals, stirring until smooth; cool slightly.

Combine flour, baking powder and salt in small bowl. Beat butter, sugar and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until creamy. Beat in eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in lemon peel and melted morsels. Gradually beat in flour mixture alternately with buttermilk. Pour into prepared bundt pan. Bake for 50 to 55 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in cake comes out clean. Cool in pan on wire rack for 10 minutes.

Combine powdered sugar and lemon juice in small bowl. Make holes in cake with wooden pick; pour half of lemon glaze over cake. Let stand for 5 minutes. Invert onto plate. Make holes in top of cake; pour remaining glaze over cake. Cool completely before serving.

Stacked Wedding Cake Construction - Tiers for Fears

That day you've secretly feared since you started decorating cakes is quickly approaching. You've been asked to make a wedding cake - a five tiered, stacked wedding cake! And it's for your sister's wedding!

As you go over designs with your sister by day, you dream about the cake at night. The cake in your dreams is taller than any cake you've even seen. As bride and groom pose for the cake cutting ceremony pictures, you look on as each tier slowly sinks into the one beneath it, and just as your sister and her new husband smile and begin to slice their first piece of cake, the force of gravity and the domino effect take hold and the cake implodes.

All four top tiers sink into the bottom tier, turning a once majestic beauty into a giant pile of fondant covered cake rubble! (And then you wake up, covered in sweat, only to realize that this dream could actually become reality.)

But wait! This nightmare does not have to become reality. And no, you won't have to add therapist bills to your cake budget to get through your big project. These sorts of nightmares are normal for first time wedding cake makers. Beyond a healthy amount of butterflies, you have absolutely nothing to fear if you follow these tips.

Stacked Wedding Cake Construction 101

Unlike wedding cakes with tiers that are separated by plates and pillars, the tiers on a stacked wedding cake appear to rest directly on top of one another. This is just an illusion since the cakes actually rest on a system of hidden pillars and plates. To stack a multi-tiered cake without plates and pillars is a very risky proposition with the weight of each cake.

Stacked cakes of more than 4 layers need some sort of support in the form of plates, spikes and/or dowels to keep the upper layers from sinking into the lower layers.

So whether your wedding cake will be stacked Victorian style (graduating round tiers) or à la chic with fondant covered gift-box style tiers, here are the basics:

To create a perfectly constructed tower rather than an experiment on the effects of gravity on cake and icing, you can either use a purchased set of cake plates and spikes, or you can build your own system using cardboard cake plates and dowels.

To build your own system, pick up some 1/4-3/8-inch round cake dowels (or other food safe wooden dowels) and a hammer (yes, even if you flunked high school Woodshop) and follow these tips:

1. Plan the dowels' placement by centering a cake plate the size of the next cake to be placed on top of the bottom cake, and then marking the spot by pressing down gently on the plate.

2. Within the boundaries of these markings, insert four evenly spaced dowels. Insert the first dowel straight down through to the bottom of the cake and mark the dowel even with the top of the cake. Pull out the dowel and, using wire cutters, cut off at the mark. Cut three more the same height. Then push the dowels straight down into the cake in the places you marked so that they form a square inside the circle. (Be sure the dowels are perfectly even with the top of the cake for the best support.)

3. Place your next smaller tier on a round cake board of the same size, and then place it on top of the bottom tier. The dowels will prevent the top tier from sinking into the bottom tier.

4. Measure the next set of dowels from the bottom of the bottom cake to the top of the top cake. Cut the dowel at an angle to taper the end and cut it so that it is just slightly shorter than the height of the two bottom cakes. Insert the dowels tapered end first straight down through the cake. When the dowel stops at the first cake board, give it a firm tap with the hammer to break through the board down to the bottom of the cake. To prevent the hammer from landing in the icing, place another small section of dowel end to end with the measured dowel to hammer it into position.

5. Finally, ice over the little blemish to hide the tip of the dowel, and your tower construction is finished! You can rest easy knowing that your wedding cake is stable enough to withstand the forces of gravity. No more nightmares!

These stress relieving tips are courtesy of "Cake Decorating Made Easy!" Volume 2, which is available at http://www.CakesMadeEasy.com.

Finally, here's one more tip:

Not all cakes have the buoyancy and mass needed to support the weight of multiple cake tiers stacked one on top of the other, even with the support of cake plates and dowels. So for the wedding cake of your dreams (not nightmares), use a tried and true wedding cake recipe such as a fruit cake, butter cake, dense carrot cake or any of the wedding cake recipes in "Cake Decorating Made Easy!"

Wedding Cake Trivia and Finding That Special Cake

Finding that special cake for your special day or your wedding sounds fun, right? Tasting all those yummy confectionery treats and yes, it can be done, but don't over due it all in one day or you will have destroyed your taste-buds and gotten sick of cake even before your big day. Plus, if you do too many taste testings all in one day, all the cakes taste will run into each other and you won't be able to tell which cake was your favorite. That is not unless you have taken extensive notes. Taste testing cakes should be done much like the tasting of good wine. You must rinse your palette between each flavor or you are not giving the new flavor its full due.

Once you know your menu and how many guests are attending, if it is not just a dessert reception, you will want to have a cake that compliments your meal rather than acting against its in taste. Nothing can ruin a great reception quicker than having a strange taste from the dessert after a fabulous meal. You want your guests to leave thinking that not only did they get the best meal, (but where did you find that great cake maker?) (also known as a baker), as well. Also, you don't want to add all that sugar to your system in one day for another reason, your hips. You'll still want to be able to get into your dress or suit after all of those tastings.

I suggest you take a pad and writing utensil, so you can take notes. Sometimes that is unnecessary because you'll run into or taste a cake you absolutely hate, but I'd even make note of that, in case someone you know has recommended that baker or that particular flavor. You will want to remember why you didn't choose the cake or baker and have a definitive reason for not going with it or the baker. I know it all sounds strange even impossible. It is true that our tastes change suddenly even from childhood to a couple of years and definitely after 10 - 15 years, in terms of what we like or don't like. Take notes, it will save the day and your taste memory.

There will be descriptions of taste flavorings that sound so delectable that when you taste it, you still may not believe how horrible it tastes, or even vice versa. Try all that you can until you find your favorite. Take water or seltzer to clear your palette after each tasting, so that your next taste of a different flavor will not have the lingering taste of the previous confection. Finding your favorite will be almost instantaneous sometimes and other times it is a long expedition into the cake world of taste and textures of cake and frosting.

When you find the one, that you believe you want. Wait a day or two and go back and taste it again. If you have your meal planned out already and it is something that you can marginally duplicate, do that, eat it and then go to the baker and try the cake again. Or if you liked it on the spot, see if you can take a slice or two home to try it again, with "the" meal or something similar, so you can see if it will work. If it doesn't work, you are on your search again, unless you want to change something in your meal. Or just have a dessert reception.

Just like there are wedding dress trends there are also wedding cake trends. When I got married, I knew that I wanted my cake to be on three different pedestals arranged askew, not in a row or on top of each other, I was bucking the 2005 wedding cake trend. Back then most of the cakes looked like round hats stacked on top of each other, complete with the bow. Color was just starting to get adventurous, back then. Also I knew after tasting several cakes randomly, that I wanted double chocolate/carob and my friend's specialty butterscotch rum in the middle. I also, love fondant, so I knew that I wanted that as my frosting. Although I didn't buck traditional altogether since my cakes were white with purple ribbon at the bottom of each layer with flowers to compliment my dress. Because of my allergy to milk, I knew that the top had to be a white cake and hopefully something that would keep for a year, or so I thought.

For the year 2011/2012, when I say wedding cake trends, I am not talking about the color. I think most wedding couples will go with either the color shadings of their theme color or maybe this year go with the colors from the United Kingdom's Royal wedding colors: Silver and blue. Traditionally until the 19th century all wedding cakes were white, even the decoration on it. White, to denote purity, much like the dress. No, when I say trends I am talking about the design and or set up of the cake once it is on the table. Of late, there have been a lot of boxes, some askew, others in rigidly shaped edged box shapes and traditional cakes, but seemingly all stacked somehow one on top of the other. Held together presumably with straws or poles and a prayer, especially when transporting from bakery to venue.

Fruit cakes, fillings are out, even though the United Kingdom's Royal wedding went with a traditional fruit cake, which most Americans shun religiously at Christmas, so would NEVER be included or thought perfect for a wedding cake to be shared with your new relatives, friends, or even your spouse. Prior to the tradition in the United Kingdom of sweet or fruity cakes, in Medieval times the cake was usually made of a plain unsweetened bread. Actually probably a truer metaphor for what the bride was getting into than anything since. The bread was usually eaten first by the groom, who then broke it over the bride's head showing his dominance over her (presumably throughout the rest of their married life.) I can see why that is not practiced anymore.

The added sweetness, fruits, minced cakes are from the "Bride's Pie" which became the norm in 19th century England. Sometimes that pie was even made from mutton, especially if the family was not of the elite or royal lineage, with wealth to have the sweet meats. By the late 19th century, the bride's pie was out and single tiered plum cakes were the norm or trend of the day. It was not until much later when guest lists expanded that cake or wedding cake, earlier called the "Bride's Cake", that layering started to become trendy. Initially the layers were just mock-ups, much like the mock or fake cakes of today in which it was all either hardened sugar or hardened frosting on the top layers. As you know the use of the fake cake is for pictures now and the first cut. Nowadays the fake cake after the first cut and pictures is taken to the kitchen or back room while the cuttings for the guests are taken from a sheet cake of the same frosting design. This is both for convenience and to keep the cost of the wedding cake down to a minimum.

Now, the trend tends to be for a deeper cakes, and we are back to stacked in the traditional straight stair-step up. The only break from tradition is the deepness and the dimensions of the layers are a little bigger to accommodate more guests. Nowadays, the cake no longer has to be the traditional round layered cake, but can be a veritable extravaganza of shapes and sizes, but are usually still stacked one on top of the other. The wedding cake as we know is the center of the wedding reception, much like the Bride has evolved to be the center of the entire event. It is said that the dress and the cake should be chosen with equal care. In the beginning of the dessert for the wedding it was called Bride 'something', whether it was pie, cake, or non edibles like the bridesmaids, and bridegroom, all to denote the day of marriage was to be centered on the bride. It was and is her day.

In terms of the decor of the cake for 2011 there seems to be a trend of elaborate decorations for the cake. Such as mimicking the bride's dress (lace or flowers) or some elaborate part of the theme of the wedding. I have seen beautiful crisp white cakes with what look to be butter cream frosting dipped or sprayed Vanilla wafers that wrap around each layer of the cake. The sugar flowers are still big, along with butterflies, and now etchings or drawings of trees and entire forests on the cake. The colors of the traditional cake is usually white to denote the purity of the bride and the whole ceremony. Now this year and next, that trend has been tossed out the window to replicate the brides' wedding colors, or the couple favorite colors. Much like the theme of the Groom's Cake. The Groom's Cake was first introduced in early American wedding ceremonies. It was traditional for the groom's cake to be chocolate and maybe decorated with the groom's hobbies displayed in sugar decorations on the cake. Now though through contemporary times the Groom's cake is not used much other than in the southern states of America.

Okay, by now, you know, I do research on trivial/little known traditions, so let me tell you why, supposedly we are to keep the top of the cake for a year and then eat it with your spouse on your one year anniversary. You know I had to know. One, because it seems so random. Two, our cake did not make it through the first six months (My husband had never heard of that tradition and thought that I'd forgotten that we had cake in the freezer. Ate, some of it and then called to remind me that we had cake. Do I hear a collective intake of shocked breath?) The tradition comes from the 19th century [There were a lot of things pertaining to cakes happening during that century. I wonder if Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom loved cake. Yum.] Anyway, during the 19th century, it was usual and expected that the bride and groom would invariably have a child 9 months or so after their marriage, so the top layer of the cake was saved to have at the Christening. This was before refrigeration, so where were they keeping it? For nine months and was it still any good? Boggles the mind doesn't it? Maybe they were filled with liquor to keep or fermented or fermenting fruit?
Here's the last one I came across, but I am sure there are many others, do you know how the tiered cake became the tiered cake? No? It seems guests of a wedding would bring sweet buns to the wedding feast, pile them as high as possible and the request, probably demand the new married couple to kiss over the top of the sweet buns. A French men came along in England and said enough with the piled sweet buns, let me just make a cake that has tiers.

Actually I have heard and read in the last year that bakers do not subscribe to the idea of holding onto the cake for a year, since unless it is a whiskey or rum soaked cake it will be the worse for wear after a year, even in the freezer. Much like my husband said, that it was getting dry sitting in the freezer. The reason our particular cake was getting dry, had nothing to do with the ability of my baker, it was the ingredients I had requested. I was trying to give up wheat at the time and requested the top layer to be made from rice flour. Well, if you know anything about baking or even rice, you know that rice is one of those foods that absorbs the liquids around it, much like mushrooms, or potatoes do. Even though she used mayonnaise to add moisture to this cake, even after just five short months the rice flour had completely sapped up all the moisture in the cake itself and was already dry, as my dear husband told me as he was eating it.

That's another thing if you have special diets, which I did at the time, make sure that whomever your baker is, that she or he is on your side as to what you want. Do not go to someone who does not respect what you want. You are paying for the cake. They may say they are an artist and they have always done it a certain way, but you are paying and as an artist, they should be flexible. Artistic ability is a show of compliance and flexibility to make something beautiful out of almost anything... or even difficult situations.