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.


Food Network Lets Them Eat Cake

The Food Network is an American cable network that airs series and specials about one of our most beloved subjects - food. The Network is viewed in 80 million households and by half a million people per day. It's seen in the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Korea, Thailand, Singapore, the Philippines, Monaco, Andorra, France, and the French-speaking territories in the Caribbean and Polynesia. Canadians now have their own version, Food Network Canada.

Every Sunday night, the Food Network Challenge (which has reached franchise status and offers cash prizes big enough to remodel your kitchen) hosts the largest and most memorable food competitions around the world.

Here's a sampling of the competitions for the world's best cakes:

Wedding Cake Challenge - Teams vie for the bragging rights (and $10 grand) for creating the world's most spectacular wedding cake.

Spatulas and pastry tubes are augmented by high tech weapons such as Homaro Cantu's Class IV laser that sears edibles at 2,800 degrees Fahrenheit and ink-jet printer that prints photographs on soy-based edible paper.

Disney Dream Desserts - Student pastry chefs create four desserts and a three-foot tall chocolate and sugar centerpiece as they compete at the Happiest Place on Earth for a $14,000 scholarship and an internship in the Disney kitchens.

Mystery Birthday Cake - Five top-notch cake designers are challenged by a client from hell whose identity and criteria for the birthday cake will not be revealed until minutes before the six-hour competition begins. (Colette Peters took home the $10,000 first prize in 2005.)

Birthday Cake Competition - An edible, rotating Ferris wheel is one of the memorable cakes created in this competition where six of the nation's top cake designers unleash their imaginations and test their skills as they compete to create the world's most outrageous birthday cake (and a $10,000 first place prize).

Cookies, Fire and Ice (pastry and ice sculpture), Wedding Cake Classic and Ultimate Wedding Cakes are just a few more of the dozens of pastry and cake competitions hosted by the Food Network Challenge.

Other challenges bring together top-notch barbecue chefs, pizza makers, and more in a quest for the world's best culinary creations.

Celebrity chef hosts include famous restaurateurs Emeril and Wolfgang Puck.

Many of the Food Network's personalities have become quite famous, such as home cooking diva Rachael Ray (the star of the Network and host of 30-Minute Meals, sort of an antithesis to Martha Stewart). And, then there's Duff Goldman.

Shaping cakes with drill saws and blow torches, Goldman is known as the "Bad Boy" of the Food Network.

He hosts the network's latest creation (as of January 16, 2007), Ace of Cakes. And as one of the most sought after cake decorators in the nation, he blows away cake decorator stereotypes.

A former graffiti artist, Duff holds degrees in philosophy and physics, plays bass in an indie band, and studied pastries at the Culinary Institute of America before going on to the prestigious position of executive pastry chef at the Vail Cascade Hotel and Resort in Colorado. He now owns and operates Charm City Cakes in Baltimore.

His cake creations are as diverse as his talents and include a Harry Potter quidditch arena, a piece of rare black Wedgwood china made for Hillary Clinton in 2002, and many family dog tribute cakes.

Clients have paid $175 for a simple square to $20,000 for a massive, mechanized cake with edible moving parts.

Many of the Food Network personalities have interesting and surprising career stories.

Sugar Rush host, Warren Brown, left a career in law to open Cakelove, his specialty cake and pastry business in Washington D.C. (You may have seen him on Oprah or in Time magazine.)

Sugar Rush follows Brown as he visits restaurants, pastry shops and bakeries around the country, and then returns to his kitchen to cook a recipe he's learned.

Warren's own most popular cake is a three-layer buttercream with fresh strawberries, and his cupcakes are the all-around best sellers at Cakelove.

Every Sunday night, the Food Network Challenge (which has reached franchise status and offers cash prizes big enough to remodel your kitchen) hosts the largest and most memorable food competitions around the world. And they post the recipes on their Website!

Here's a sampling of the competitions for the world's best cakes:

Wedding Cake Challenge - Teams vie for the bragging rights (and $10 grand) for creating the world's most spectacular wedding cake. Spatulas and pastry tubes are augmented by high tech weapons such as Homaro Cantu's Class IV laser that sears edibles at 2,800 degrees Fahrenheit and ink-jet printer that prints photographs on soy-based edible paper.

Disney Dream Desserts - Student pastry chefs create four desserts and a three-foot tall chocolate and sugar centerpiece as they compete at the Happiest Place on Earth for a $14,000 scholarship and an internship in the Disney kitchens.

Mystery Birthday Cake - Five top-notch cake designers are challenged by a client from hell whose identity and criteria for the birthday cake will not be revealed until minutes before the six-hour competition begins. (Colette Peters took home the $10,000 first prize in 2005.)

Birthday Cake Competition - An edible, rotating Ferris wheel is one of the memorable cakes created in this competition where six of the nation's top cake designers unleash their imaginations and test their skills as they compete to create the world's most outrageous birthday cake (and a $10,000 first place prize).

Cookies, Fire and Ice (pastry and ice sculpture), Wedding Cake Classic and Ultimate Wedding Cakes are just a few more of the dozens of pastry and cake competitions hosted by the Food Network Challenge. Other challenges bring together top-notch barbecue chefs, pizza makers, and more in a quest for the world's best culinary creations.

Food Network, founded in 1993 and more popular than ever, boasts record-setting ratings in primetime and a top food Website. Celebrity chef hosts include famous restaurateurs Emeril and Wolfgang Puck. Many of the Food Network's personalities have become quite famous, such as home cooking diva Rachael Ray (the star of the Network and host of 30-Minute Meals, sort of an antithesis to Martha Stewart). And, then there's Duff Goldman.

Shaping cakes with drill saws and blow torches, Goldman is known as the "Bad Boy" of the Food Network. He hosts the network's latest creation (as of January 16, 2007), Ace of Cakes. And as one of the most sought after cake decorators in the nation, he blows away cake decorator stereotypes.

A former graffiti artist, Duff holds degrees in philosophy and physics, plays bass in an indie band, and studied pastries at the Culinary Institute of America before going on to the prestigious position of executive pastry chef at the Vail Cascade Hotel and Resort in Colorado. He now owns and operates Charm City Cakes in Baltimore,

His cake creations are as diverse as his talents and include a Harry Potter quidditch arena, a piece of rare black Wedgwood china made for Hillary Clinton in 2002, and many family dog tribute cakes. Clients have paid $175 for a simple square to $20,000 for a massive, mechanized cake with edible moving parts.

Many of the Food Network personalities have interesting and surprising career stories. Sugar Rush host, Warren Brown, left a career in law to open Cakelove, his specialty cake and pastry business in Washington D.C. (You may have seen him on Oprah or in Time magazine.)

Sugar Rush follows Brown as he visits restaurants, pastry shops and bakeries around the country, and then returns to his kitchen to cook a recipe he's learned.

Warren's own most popular cake is a three-layer buttercream with fresh strawberries, and his cupcakes are the all-around best sellers at Cakelove.

To check the viewing times for these and many more shows, visit the Food Network online at www.foodnetwork.com.

Extreme Wedding Cake Makeover Ideas

Are you tired of seeing the traditional three tier wedding cake with simple white frosting and the little bride and groom wedding cake topper. We all know the iconic wedding cake look and feel. If you are after a very formal or classic wedding then this is the exact cake you want. However, today many couples are opting for alternative wedding themes and a more relaxed feeling overall. With popular wedding themes like fairy tales, Dragonflies and other fun and light or even whimsical themes a traditional wedding cake no longer fits correctly in its place. It is nor time to take that old wedding cake out of the closet it and give it a whole new look. America seems to be in love with the idea of a makeover from the hit TV shows like Extreme Body Makeover, Extreme Home Makeover and the ever popular Pimp My Ride America seems to be in a love with makeovers. Well, wedding cakes are no different and today's couples are going for more unusual, light and fun ideas for wedding cakes. So why not try some of these custom wedding cake ideas.

Creative and Custom Wedding Cake Toppers

There are a ton of different wedding cake toppers on the market today and you are no longer stuck with what your local bakery has. You can now easily shop online and find retailers selling a wide variety of wedding cake toppers. You can have anything from the traditional bride and groom to the whacky and wild. If you are willing to pay a little extra you can get a custom wedding cake topper sculpted out of special non toxic clay like material and created in the likeness of you and your husband. If you are really into a sport or want to show something unique about the two of you as a couple then a custom wedding cake topper is the way to go. The artists can easily make a couple doing just about anything. So if you are avid rock climbers then you can have a bride and groom fashioned in your likeness that are on the top of Yosemite Half Dome, or whatever sport or activity you like.

If you don't want to be that adventurous then you might want to go for a custom initials wedding cake topper. These are beautiful wedding cake toppers created from your initials and then decorated with small crystals. Whatever you choose there is a wedding cake topper either already made or that can be custom made to fit your wedding theme.

Themed Wedding Cakes

If you just go to your local bakery or even a small wedding cake shop you are likely to just find the standard wedding cake offerings or the traditional cake. However, if you really want to do a wedding cake makeover ask if they can do themed wedding cakes. There are a wide variety of options for a custom wedding cake and some of the ways that you can customize are listed below.


If you are not sure about all of this and want to stick somewhat to tradtion then why not go for the traditional cake but add some flare to it through the decorations and frosting. Most wedding cake bakers can add a wide variety of different ornaments and decorations to the wedding cake to really make it stand out. Sure you can go with the traditional shaped cakes like the three tiered circle or even a tiered square cake but that does not mean you can't go a little crazy and get some interesting decorations put on it with unique frosting ideas. Try to pick up on the theme of the wedding as much as possible.

Sculpted Cakes

Now this is where a custom wedding cake baker really can show off their talents and the types of projects they often love to do. A baker who can do a sculpted cake might take a little work to find however once you find one you are only limited by your ideas. Do you want a big castle wedding cake? They can easily do this to make a fairy tale wedding cake. If you want a beach themed wedding cake why not get a picnic basket or a beautiful sand castle wedding cake. If you are contemplating getting a sculpted cake you can really have any three dimensional design that you can think of. Why not try a hamburger and fries for a fun and light hearted beach wedding cake. The sky is the limited once you get a sculpted cake.

Mini Cakes and Cup Cakes

Again if you don't quite feel ready to make the commitment to such a grand cake like above and want to keep a little bit on the traditional side yet with a flair of fun why not try a mini wedding cake or even cupcakes. These are fun because they are small individual serving sized cakes that your guests will love. If you are planning on having a small wedding it can be a lot of fun to create personalized mini wedding cakes for the guests.

Whatever you choose always keep in mind that there are options out there to customize, tweak, alter and change just about every factor of your wedding cake. Let you mind wander and have fun a bit and go for something a little different. Always make sure to plan ahead and leave enough time for the baker to do the extra job well. Otherwise you are all set to go with a fun and unique wedding cake that is a definite extreme makeover from the traditional three or five tiered wedding cake.

Jello Cake Recipe - Classic Jello Poke Cake Recipe

When you think of a Jello cake recipe, there's only one cake that is so popular that it immediately pops into your head: the classic Jello poke cake. This cake is famous for being extremely flexible in its use of gelatin flavors. When it's sliced into, you'll see the colorful stripes inside. Whatever flavor you use it's sure to be a hit.

1 package white or yellow cake mix (for two layers)

1 small package flavored gelatin, any flavor

4 eggs

1/3 cup oil

1 cup water (for the cake mix)

1 (12 oz.) container Cool Whip

1 cup water (for gelatin)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Prepare cake, according to package directions, using eggs, oil and water. Bake cake in a 13x9-inch pan for 40 to 45 minutes. Let cake cool in pan for at least 15 minutes.

Poke holes across the entire surface of cake with a fork.

Dissolve the gelatin in 1 cup of boiling water. Pour the warm gelatin slowly over the surface of the cake (gelatin will soak into the cake). Place cake in the refrigerator and chill for about 4 hours.

Spread whipped topping on top of cake before serving. Refrigerate leftover cake.

=> Jello Cake Recipe: Jello Lemon Cooler Cake

This is a great cake to make for picnics and when company comes to visit. It's got a nice sweet and tangy tartness to it that will tingle your tastebuds.

1 package lemon cake mix

1 cup hot water

2 (3oz.) packages lemon flavored gelatin

1 cup milk

1 (3.4 oz.) package lemon pudding mix

1 (8 oz.) container Cool Whip, thawed


Prepare cake mix according to package directions and bake in a 9x13-inch pan. Let cake cool, then poke holes across the entire cake surface using a fork.

Dissolve the lemon gelatin in 1 cup of hot water. Pour warm gelatin over the entire cake. Place cake in the refrigerator and let it cool.

In a large bowl, mix together the milk, lemon pudding mix and the remaining package of lemon gelatin; stir until all ingredients are thoroughly dissolved. Fold in the whipped topping and spread over top of cake. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

=> Jello Cake Recipe: Strawberry Jello Cake Recipe

This strawberry Jello cake is something special. The perfect Jello dessert recipe for warm afternoons and those special occasions when you want to make a dessert they'll be talking about for days.

1 package white cake mix

1 (3 oz.) package strawberry gelatin

3 tablespoons flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup oil

1/2 cup water

4 eggs

1 (10 oz.) package frozen strawberries


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, sift the cake mix, flour, gelatin mix and salt together. Stir in the oil and water. Beat well. Add in the eggs, one at a time; mix well.

In a medium, bowl mash up the entire bag of strawberries. Stir half of the strawberries (5 oz.) into the cake batter. Pour cake into 2-layer cake pans and bake for 30 minutes. Let cake cool and spread strawberry icing on top.

Strawberry Icing

1 stick butter

1 box confectioners' sugar, sifted


Cream the butter. Gradually add in the sugar and the remaining mashed strawberries. Mix until icing is a smooth, creamy texture.

=> Jello Cake Recipe: Jello Pudding Cake Recipe

Just like the poke cake, this Jello pudding cake is flexible when it comes to flavor. Choose the flavor that you want and enjoy a moist, rich-tasting cake that will not last for very long, because it's so scrumptious.

1 package white or yellow cake mix

1 (12 oz.) can fruit flavored soda (any flavor)

1 small box gelatin (same flavor as soda)

1 cup warm water

1 small box vanilla pudding

1 container Cool Whip


Prepare cake according to package directions. Bake cake in a 13x9-inch pan. Let cake cool. Poke holes into cake surface with a fork. Pour flavored soda over cake.

Dissolve gelatin into 1 cup warm water. Pour gelatin over the entire cake.

Prepare pudding according to package directions. Spread pudding over top of cake.

Spread whipped topping over top of entire cake. Refrigerate cake until ready to serve.

9 Tips For Buying Your Dream Wedding Cake!

Some Tips When Buying Wedding Cakes

When you want to knock their socks off; when you want them to stand up and cheer; when nothing but the best will do because it is your wedding day; that is when you serve a spectacular wedding cake.

Do not let the vision of confetti, the crash of cymbals, or the fanfare of trumpets deter you from attempting to come up with such remarkable wedding cakes.

Generally, wedding cakes are is the conventional cake being dished up to the guests at the breakfast after the wedding. It is characterized as a huge cake, different from the usual cakes we have on ordinary occasions. In most cases, wedding cakes are layered or multi-layered and are heftily decorated with icing, beads, and other embellishments that would reflect the grandiose of the event. On the top is a small image of a bride and groom.

Wedding cakes can go from the simplest to the most complex decorations; each has its own artistic distinctions depending on the creative juices of the baker. They should conform to the main purpose of the cake, that whatever embellishments it possess, it can still be edible and can be eaten.

Because the wedding cake is such an important part in the wedding celebration, here are some tips you need to know in case you will be buying a wedding cake in the future.

1. Check on the length of time required for you in ordering your wedding cake.

Time is such an important factor when making wedding plans. Of course, you would not want your wedding be hurriedly done or rushed. Because the wedding cake is a part of the wedding plan, it is important to devote an appropriate time in ordering wedding cakes.

It is best to ask your favorite bakeshop on the time frame that they usually give with regards to wedding cake so that you can make early orders if it will take such a long time to create your wedding cake. In this way, you will not be in a hurry coming up with a wedding cake to be served on your wedding day.

2. Verify the details of the cake and its cost.

A lot of couples are so fascinated with the luscious treats that go with their wedding cake. What they do not know is that each embellishment and every twists and turns embedded in the cake has a price.

Therefore, it would be better to clear it out with your baker how much will be the cost of every decoration are added features you wish to add on your wedding cake.

3. Tell your baker about the details of your wedding.

In today's modern world, weddings are not just done in the church. A lot of ideas had come up in terms of wedding venues. Therefore, if ever you have any plans of having your wedding by the beach or anywhere else where it is open, it would be better to inform your baker about this.

In most cases, icings are vulnerable to environmental hazards. So, if the baker knows that your wedding will be a garden wedding or a wedding by the beach, he could make such arrangements with your cake in order to endure the environmental conditions where it will be placed.

4. In a budget? Why not decorate your own wedding cake.

It is not so uncommon nowadays to find somebody decorating his or her own wedding cake. In fact, it is a feasible idea especially to those who have a very tight budget.

All you have to do is to order a plain wedding cake and buy the decorations from the retail stores.

5. Choose the right bakeshop

If you have an idea on where the best bakery is in your city, then head to that place immediately. You can ask suggestions from your friends or family members also. Get a reservation at once. Do not procrastinate. The availability of cake decorators might be restricted. Be sure to drop by the bakeshop to talk about the designs, flavors and other things you wanted to add to your cake. Be sure to give a detailed description of exactly what you want your cake to be. Give the vendor ample time to prepare, approximately six months ahead of your big day would do. You may need to pay a deposit fee for reservation.

6. The right taste

Aside from the look of the cake, keep in mind that cakes are made primarily for eating. They should taste good as well as they look good. The texture and flavor of the cake itself is important. When scouting for a bakeshop, don't hesitate to ask for cake samples of the flavors you want. If they do not allow this, jump to the next store.

7. Check on your budget

Wedding cakes ranges from $300 to $1000 or so. Cost primarily depends on the cake design you want. You have to pay for the cake decorator's fee on top of the cost of the cake itself. Know what your budget is ahead of time. Some shops may give you free delivery too. Most bakeshop has a standard number of servings for each cake type. Know how many guests would attend your wedding so you would know more or less how much money you would allocate for the cake.

8. Flowers as decorations

Flowers have been a traditional thing on weddings. You can well put them in cakes too. You can either choose from fresh flowers or artificial ones. Fresh flowers are beautiful addition to your cakes. But it is very important that you choose fresh flowers wisely. Be sure that they are free from chemicals. Just to be on the safe side, sugar flowers are safer. These are edible gum paste decorations that have wire or toothpicks on them.

9. Where to place the cake

Most cakes, especially on summer, might end up melted under the heat of the sun. They can also cause flowers and flavored curls to dry up. Not to mention the possibility of flies gathering on your priced cake. Just be sure, always have a back up site where you can store your cakes to preserve its look and taste. Never place your wedding cake near the dance floor or where there is a heavy flow of traffic. You might just see your cake fall down. That's not a good sight at all! Be sure to check the sturdiness of the table you would place your cake.

Buying wedding cakes can be fun and hassle-free. Remember that your wedding cakes needs to be presentable, most of the photo opts are done beside the cake. It's always nice to give out that bright smile beside you're well decorated cake that brings out your personal statement.

So, set aside some special decisive moment when it comes to your wedding cake because there would be no better way to glamorize your wedding than to have a perfectly made wedding cake.

Kid Birthday Cake Idea Collection - Cake Decorating Without Fear

Our kid birthday cake idea collection makes cake decorating fun and fearless. You don't have to be a pastry chef to create a professional quality cake for your child's birthday or other special event. Learn unique and easy cake decorating ideas to make spectacular homemade cakes.


The most important kid birthday cake idea is choosing a cake concept which fits with your party theme. You can start with a simple sheet cake topped with small toys or figures, or piece the cake itself to form a unique design.

For example, a Construction Party cake could be topped with tiny toy dumptrucks and bulldozers pushing a chocolate chip mountain. Or, the cake itself could be cut, pieced and frosted to look like a dump truck.

For a Train Party, set a miniature choo-choo train on licorice tracks atop your cake, or line up several brightly colored frosted loaf cakes to form train cars.

For a Luau party, a simple round or sheet cake can be festooned with a silk flower lei, or form a string of cupcakes in a circle and adorn each one with silk or frosting flowers. Connect with a licorice string to make a cupcake "lei".

Baking cakes in an oven-safe glass bowl or in a special 3D sports ball pan is great for making any kind of perfectly round ball cake, or the dress part of a Barbie doll cake. A wonder mold cake pan makes small single serving doll cakes and other cute creations!

Think of the design you'd like to make and what shapes you need to make it - round, sheet, loaf, cupcakes, or a combination.

Peruse cake decorating books for a kid birthday cake idea which fits your needs. Many books provide templates forcutting and piecing cakes to create any number of popular designs. You decide just how simple or challenging your cake will be.

For a no-fuss kid birthday cake idea, apply an edible cake art image to the top of a frosted cake. Many popular themes and copyrighted images such as Disney are available to provide a professional looking cake design.

Themed cake pans are another popular cake decorating option. They provide the shape and visual design to follow for an impressive finished cake. Popular TV and cartoons characters are well represented in cake pans, as well as teddy bears, butterflies, pirates, Tigger,Mickey Mouse, and lots more.


Homemade Frosting - Dig up that famous family recipe or check out one of the many online recipe sites and make your cake frosting from scratch. Be sure to plan ahead how much of each color will be needed for both basic foundation and decorative trim.

Canned and Tube Frostings - Easiest and quickest, prepared canned frostings are available in grocery stores in the baking aisle with the cake mixes. They generally come in white, chocolate, and a handful of other popular flavors. Keep a few ready-to-use tube frostings on hand in various basic colors to add the finishing touches.

Fondant Frosting - Gaining in popularity in this country in recent years, fondant frosting gives a beautiful smooth finish to your cake decorating creation. Fondant can be rolled out and draped over a cake, poured on as a glaze, or sculpted into shapes. It is easily tinted, and can be flavored as well. Ready-made fondant is available through party supply outlets. There are also many recipes online for homemade fondant.


Cookies, candies, and other materials can be used for special and impressive effects. Frosted sugar cones can serve as the fins on a space ship cake or the turrets on a castle cake. Make a surprise cake filling with jello.

A wide variety of plastic stand-ups or cake toppers are available in craft stores. Or, simply use a toy which fits in with the party theme as a cake topper and give it to the party child when the party is over. Action figures, small dolls, animals and cartoon characters all make good choices.

Add cool candy accents with M & M's, licorice pieces, licorice whips, animal crackers, oreo cookies, paper umbrellas, pretzel sticks, tootsie rolls, jimmies, gummies such as worms, bears, etc, gumdrops, mini marshmallows, colored coconut, jellybeans.


There are many novel choices for placing the finishing touches on your party cake. Dress it up in style with one or more of these unique special effects:

Spray Color Mist - is a fun addition to your baking repertoire. Frost your cake white, then spray on edible color from an aerosol can. Available in many colors, it can be used with stencils to make unique designs, as a highlight to whipped topping - even on your child's mashed potatoes!

Luster Dusts - are an edible food safe "dust" which can be used on any frosting recipe that dries hard and firm to the touch. Brush it on white frosting for a metallic-like glossy sheen or layer it for interesting color effects.

Cake Stampers - can be used along with brush-on color for fondant icing. Simply stamp shapes and designs into the finished fondant and tint with brush-on color.

Cake Stencils - Place stencil on iced cake and sprinkle edible glitter, confetti sprinkles, or use spray-on color mist.

Edible Color Markers - These unique markers are used just like an ink marker. Draw fun designs on cakes, cookies, fondant frosting, even cheese, fruit slices and bread. Decorating marker kits are available for children.

Edible sugar-shape decorations,
decorative candles, themed cake picks and rings,and edible glitter
are all fun tools in your cake baking arsenal.

Now you're armed with lots of great ideas for cake decorating success - without fear!

Go forth and create... and above all, have fun!

For more cake decorating information, check out our webpage: Kid Birthday Cake Idea Collection

Copyright 2005 Kids Party Paradise All Rights Reserved

Beach Wedding Cake Toppers & Beach Wedding Cakes

If you're destined for a beach wedding, you may be interested in beach wedding cakes.

Beach weddings are often destination weddings, a popular choice by many couples who are looking to wrap their honeymoon and wedding into one, or to have a smaller, intimate and inexpensive event. To boot, getting married near the shore is extraordinarily romantic, and can make your wedding experience and memories, that much more special.

If you're a bride-to-be, looking for a beach wedding cakes, what design should you be looking for? What design makes a cake so "by the shore"? Well, that depends on a lot of things. It depends on the couples' style, interests and hobbies. It depends on theme of the event, the time of year, the characteristics and layout of the location...just to name a few. To get ideas on which cake may be right for your beach wedding, we've rounded up lots of ideas that we've included below:

Sea Shell Cakes - You just can't go wrong with sea shells on a beach wedding cake. So what shells? Beaded periwinkle, Florida cone, and maculated ear moon, are some of the most beautiful sea shells for decoration. Small pieces of coral, is also another great choice. The sea shells can be real (wash them well!), or can be made from a variety of icing, molding paste or chocolate. Sea shells can be used subtly or as the main design of the cake. A cluster of shells, as the seashell cake topper is a must for this cake design.

Marine Wild Life Cakes - Incorporate enchanting sea creatures, such as anemones, turtles, tropical fish, sea lions, jellyfish, sea stars, dolphins, whales, or sea horses. We did a wedding in Monterey a few years ago, and the reception was at the Monterey Plaza Hotel - which is right next door to the Monterey Bay Aquarium. The entire wedding party visited the aquarium the day before the wedding, experienced a private tour and had a wonderful time. The aquarium was the perfect inspiration for the theme of the cake. The cake designer subtly incorporated some of the sea creatures from the aquarium into the dessert. The topper was a large pearly clam with jewels and pearls pouring out of it, cascading down the side of the cake. (not real pearls, but fondant balls covered with pearl dust!)

Surf Cakes - Crashing waves encircling the cake is the perfect trim for a cake with a surf theme. This style cake is most appropriate for couples who surf, or just love the waves. The surf can be puffy foaming waves, or just subtle hints of wave shaped frosting. Incorporating some blue into the cake can help it look more like the ocean. Airbrushing blue onto cake's frosting, gives a real nice blended, and realistic effect. Add in a surf boards or figurines surfing as your cake topper, and you're set.

Tropical Flower Cakes - Hibiscus, cymbidiums, tuberose, or any of your tropical favorites. They can be used as a flower cake topper, they can cascade down the side of the cake or tiers, or used sparingly throughout. Tropical flowers can also completely cover the cake, or be used just on the base. Wherever placed, they will dress up the most plain and dull cake - and make it instantly gorgeous looking, and smelling.

Sandcastle Cakes - Sandcastles on wedding cakes, are usually used as a toppers. But, we have seen entire cakes shaped like castles, or at least the top half of the cake shaped like a castle, with a few traditional wedding cake tiers below it. To get the sandy effect, the cake can be sprinkled with fine graham cracker crumbs or brown sugar.

Palms and Coconut Cakes - To remind you of your beautiful location, how about a subtle design of palm leaves circling the outside cake? A few coconuts as garnish? A cake topper oasis? How about a cracked open half of a coconut as a cake topper, with bride and groom figurines lounging in it, as if it were a hammock?

Buried Treasure Cake - You don't have to be in the Caribbean to pull this off. The topper could be a treasure chest with gold coins and jewels pouring out of it, cascading down the side of the cake. If you're in love with Pirates, make have figurine cake toppers of a bride and groom...one as Captain Jack Sparrow, and a fair maiden in her wedding dress, of course.

Bamboo and Tiki Cake - Coat the outside layers of the cake with confections made to look like bamboo. You can also incorporate Tiki masks. We once attended a luau wedding and the cake had miniature tiki torches sticking out of the top, and around the cake on the table. When the bride and groom cut the cake, tribal drums were playing in the background.

Ocean Activity Cake - Love to go snorkeling, fishing, diving, boogie boarding, or kayaking? How about bride and groom figurines fishing for wedding rings off of a pier? This would be easiest to incorporate into a cake topper, but don't forget figurines can be anywhere on the cake! Get creative! Any of your favorite ocean activities can be incorporated into your cake.

Sea Bird Cake - Sea birds in flight, in love, with their long necks forming a heart. Best as a cake topper, but can be incorporated throughout the cake tastefully if sea birds are your thing.

Lighthouse Cakes - Is your wedding near a really cool lighthouse? We've seen a lot of lighthouse cake toppers, but we also had a client who had her baker create an entire cake as a lighthouse. Another client had the two bottom layers of the cake as tiered rounds, and the top half of the cake was a lighthouse and its surrounding area, right down to the boating docks below it.

Sand Cakes - Not real sand! Many bakers use crushed crumbs, like graham crackers, or brown sugar. The base of the cake can be covered with "sand", or the top of each exposed layer...or the entire cake! Our favorite, is when a pile of "sand" is formed at the base of the cake and spread out on the table a couple inches around it. Something can then be written in the sand, i.e. "Charlie and Beth Forever", or "CV + BE, 9/12/08". You get the picture.

Nautical Cakes - Go Nautical! Anchors, ropes, buoys, wooden docks, life preserver rings, etc. These can be made from marzipan, subtly sprinkled around the cake, placed as the base, or used as a cake topper.

Beach Relaxation Cakes - Our absolute favorite beach wedding cake is 2 Adirondack chairs as the cake topper, with 2 pairs of flip flops beneath them. Figurines of the bride and groom sitting in the chairs is optional. A regular beach or lounge chair can also be used instead of the Adirondacks. One of our other favorites was a figurine bride and groom snoozing in a large hammock as the cake topper, with sand and miniature beer bottles beneath them.

Swimming Pool Cakes - Not with real water, we promise! Picture this: the top cake layer made to look like an endless swimming pool. This can be done by cutting the top square edge off of the cake (like a router would carve out the edge of a wooden table), to simulate an endless pool. Figurines of the bride and groom's heads could be sticking out of the top of the pool, with shades and sunhats on, holding cocktails of course!

Hawaiian Cakes - How about leis as a cake topper? Or a hula bride figurine enticing the groom on the top of the cake? The cake could be wrapped with a sarong, or beach umbrella, Hawaiian cocktails, pineapples, or anything else Hawaiian could be incorporated.

Beach Colored Cakes - Just want to use beach themed colors? Stick with white, tan, off-white, teal, and of course, blue. The use of blue can be subtle as the color of the frosting, or air brushed onto the outside of the cake for a blended or accented look.

Picture-Perfect Cake Topper Ideas

Even if you're new to cake decorating or an engaged couple on a budget, all you need are some basic cake decorating skills or a little time to shop online. You'll soon have a cake that has everyone wanting to take a picture!

The quickest way to gather ideas for creating a cake topper or to find the perfect one to purchase is to window shop the Internet. Search with phrases such as "funny wedding cake topper," "wedding anniversary cake topper," etc. If you're not sure where to start, here are a few examples:

· Hand-blown and spun glass cake toppers. Gold highlighted and sparkly or smooth and sleek, many of these are incredibly beautiful. A cake topper depicting a bride and groom ice-skating on top of a snowflake wedding cake is one of our favorites!

· Silver, gold or Swarovski crystal monograms (and numbers for birthdays and anniversaries)

· Sporty cake toppers can depict a bride and groom aboard a sailboat, riding horseback, roaring away in his and her race cars, and... well you get the picture.

· Humorous cake toppers include figures made in cartoonish likenesses of the betrothed and the popular resin figurines with bride and groom in formal wear acting out titles such as "The Tiff" and "Now I Have You."

· Vintage cake toppers can be quite lovely - and interesting! Check out the reviews of Penny Henderson's book, "Vintage Cake Toppers" at Amazon.com to get an idea of the possibilities.

· Character cake toppers are big hits with young children and brides and grooms. Mickey and Minnie at the altar, Winnie the Pooh and Friends on a child's honey pot, sculpted birthday cake are a couple of examples.

· Fresh fruit (grapes, kumquats, etc.) or sugar-crystallized fruit arranged in an extravagant display can make a pretty picture! (Use whole fruit so there's no danger of juice running into your icing).

· Castles - the sky's the limit here! Your castle cake topper can be the top of a sculpted castle cake or a glass, fairy castle. Castle cake toppers are often requested for wedding and birthday cakes, as well as special theme cakes such as renaissance.

· Here's a real attention grabber - a topsy-turvy cake with a cake topper that teeters over the edge. For example, a teapot with dormouse on a Mad Hatter cake or two figurines depicting mountain climbing bride and groom.

· Miniature toys. Here's another simple way to make an amazing cake topper. One idea is to place a rotating doll stand on top of a tiered or stacked birthday cake. Then add a cute toy train, such as Thomas, or a carousel with pretty white horses in pink halters, and your cake will be a big hit

· Polymer clay cake toppers can add a great deal of meaning, fun or both to a cake. You can find companies online that create them in realistic likenesses of the bride and groom sharing an activity (ballroom dancing, golfing, you name it!) You can also find generic but adorable ones, such as the hula bride and groom at in Rebecca Russell's "Round Head" collection at

· Flowers - place a bouquet of white lilies, beautifully molded with gum paste or a bouquet of real orchids on top of the cake and then add a few around the cake (using flower spikes), some pretty borders, and you'll have an amazingly beautiful cake.

Here's a tip for using flowers as a cake topper. Take into consideration the size of the cake. Tiny flowers can be used on a large cake, but if used on their own, they'll be lost. Conversely, large flowers like bird-of-paradise will dwarf a smaller cake. Also, as with any cake topper, consider the style and formality of the event. Daisies are more casual than roses, while stephanotis can swing either way.

Here are a few ideas for flower cake toppers:

· With a bouquet of flowers on top of the cake, arrange a few clusters of flowers here and there on the lower tiers as if a few blossoms have gracefully fallen from the bouquet.

· A gum paste plumeria or orchid lei encircling bride and groom figurines.

· Adorn your cake only with edible (non-poisonous) flowers, being sure that the flowers are also pesticide-free.

Many of these cake topper tips come from "Cake Decorating Made Easy!" Here's what one reader said about our Video Books:

"I highly recommend them to anyone who enjoys baking, decorating and the feeling of accomplishment when everyone crowds around your cakes for a closer look."

Joanne Robitaille, Windsor, Ontario, Canad

If you've enjoyed learning about the visual and symbolic effects of cake toppers, check out our article on Decorated Cakes!

And here's one more cake topper tip: Be sure that your cake topper is positioned well on the cake. Use an ornament base or a plate underneath a cake topper so it won't sink into the cake. Attach small decorations to the cake or plate with royal icing and/or flower spikes.

Cake Decorating Expert

For some, cake decorating is a hobby, and for others, it is a career. The amateurs are those who find it fun and gratifying to bake the cakes and then decorate them for their family and friends, saving money by doing it themselves. With expert training along with good decorating tips and ideas, anyone can master this art. With this art form you will be able to stretch your imagination. If you continue building your skills, you will experience the joy of making others happy with your expertise.

The art of decorating cakes takes place when a man or woman has turned the kitchen into an art studio. When a cake is decorated in an artistic design it is pleasing to both the creator and the recipient. Creating a cake does not have to be a stressful experience, you just need to get creative. Don't be afraid to try new ideas and techniques. For the amateur, it is the simple cake decorating tips, which are the best ways to help you get started. Decorating can be as simple as using a stencil and dusting confectioner's sugar or cocoa powder on the top of a cake.

Cakes can be iced with butter cream, royal fondant, or cooked icing. Adding to the icing cakes can be topped with flowers, spun sugar, or candy. Cakes can be created to look like a hot dog, pizza, or just about anything you have the imagination to create.

If you want to be an amateur cake decorator, you will need to learn the basics and pick up as many of the tips you can. There are many tips and ideas widely available. You may decide to continue making and decorating cakes as a pastime or you may decide to look into making a career out of decorating and baking cakes.

Whatever your desires or your goals when it comes to cake decorating, now that you are armed with this guide dedicated to cake decorating mastery, you will become a force to be reckoned with and win the envy and admiration and praise of those around you... all while having incredible fun as you go!


To begin decorating, you will need to ensure that you have all of the decorating tools needed.

Tips (otherwise called tubes) are an integral part of decorating cakes. Tips are simple metal cones, which you squeeze icing or a medium through to form different shapes and designs.

The size and shape of the opening on a decorating tube determines the type of decorations the tip will produce. There are 7 basic decorating tip groups: round, star, leaf, drop flower, rose, basket-weave and specialized.

A new decorator should have at least one or two tips from the first five tip groups. Then, as you become more proficient in your decorating you will want to expand your collection with tips from other groups.

Today, we will walk you through the process of trimming and splitting a cake into layers, icing it, and then finishing it with a few simple decorating techniques.

Don't worry; you won't need a pastry bag or tips, just a little patience. We recommend that you equip yourself with a few tools that can make all the difference in the finished appearance of the cake and minimize your frustration:

- a long serrated knife for trimming and cutting
- a 10-inch flexible icing spatula
- cardboard rounds, and, ideally, a rotating cake stand.

For an alternative to the rotating cake stand, improvise by setting a dinner plate upside down on top of an upside- down cake pan. The cake won't spin freely, as it does on a rotating cake stand, but this arrangement does elevate the cake and gives you an edge to grip and spin.


A cake can be cut into layers, or cakes baked separately can be layered together.

Either way, level cakes are much easier to ice than mounded ones that must be supplemented with an overabundance of icing. Use a long serrated knife to level an uneven cake and/or to cut it into layers. When the cake has cooled completely, set it on a cardboard round that is cut about 1⁄8 inch larger than the cake.

Place the cake close to the edge of the counter for more clearance when cutting.

First, determine the cake's lowest point. Steady the cake by gently pressing an outstretched hand on its surface. Holding the knife parallel to the work surface and using a steady sawing motion, begin cutting at the same level as the cake's lowest point, slicing off the mound. Remove the trimmed area.

If you are cutting the cake into layers, measure the height of the cake (that has been levelled, if necessary) and cut a small incision into the side with a paring knife to mark the desired thickness of your layers. Repeat every 3 or 4 inches around the circumference of the cake.

With a serrated knife held parallel to the work surface, cut superficially into the cake. Then, with an outstretched palm gently pressed on the surface, slowly spin the cake away from you while pulling the knife toward you. The goal is to connect the incisions and score the cake, not slice it, to create a clearly defined midpoint. Following the midpoint-marking, cut deeper and deeper in the same manner.

Gradually move the knife closer to the cake's center with each rotation. When the knife progresses past the cake's center, the cut is complete. Carefully slide the knife out then remove the cake from the cardboard round.


When filling and icing a cake with a butter-cream frosting, the challenge is to prevent crumbs from catching in the icing.

To help frosting spread more smoothly, get rid of loose crumbs with a pastry brush.

Cold icing is difficult to spread and pulls on the surface of the cake, so if you've made the icing ahead and chilled it, give it ample time to warm and soften. Also, placing the cake's sturdy bottom crust face-up on the top layer minimizes crumbs and provides distinct, clean edges that are easy to ice. Spreading a thin coating of frosting on the sides helps seal in any crumbs, allowing for a smoother overall look.

Finally, applying a base coat, or "crumb coat," of icing seals in loose crumbs so that they do not mar the cake's appearance.

To anchor the cake, spread a dab of frosting in the center of a cardboard round cut slightly larger than the cake. Center the upper layer of a split cake crust-side up or one cake of separately baked layers bottom-side up on the cardboard round.

Spread a dab of frosting on the center of the cake stand, then set the cardboard round with the cake on the stand.

Place a large blob in the center of the cake and spread it to the edges with an icing spatula. Imagine that you are pushing the filling into place rather than scraping it on as if it were peanut butter on a slice of toast.

Don't worry if crumbs are visible in the icing; since the filling will be sandwiched between layers, these crumbs will not be noticeable.

To level the icing and remove any excess, hold the spatula at a 45 degree angle to the cake and, if using a rotating cake stand, turn the cake.

If you're not using a rotating stand, hold the spatula at the same angle, and, starting at the edge farthest away from you, gently drag the spatula toward you. It will take a few sweeps to level the icing.

Using a second cardboard round, slide the top cake layer crust-side up on top of the frosted bottom layer, making sure that the layers are aligned.

Press the cake firmly into place.

A thin base coat of icing helps seal in crumbs. To coat the top, place a blob of icing in the center of the cake and spread it out to the edges, letting any excess hang over the edge. Don't worry if it is imperfect.

Scoop up a large dab of icing on the spatula's tip: Holding the spatula perpendicular to the cake spread the icing on the side of the cake with short side-to-side strokes.

Repeat until the entire side is covered with a thin coating.

Refrigerate the cake until the icing sets, about 10 minutes.

Apply a final thick coat of icing to the top and the sides, following the steps above, making sure that the coat is even and smooth.

When icing the sides, apply a coat thick enough to cover and conceal the cardboard round. Dipping the spatula into hot water will help create a smooth coat.

As you ice the top and sides, a ridge will form along the edge where they meet.

After you've finished icing, hold the spatula at an angle, and, with a very light hand, starting at the farthest edge of the cake, smooth the ridge toward the center. Rotate the cake and repeat until the ridge no longer exists.


With a perfectly coated cake, you've got a base on which to apply some finishing touches to give the cake a polished look. You can just add simple ingredients like flaked coconut or almonds, or chocolate shards, or sprinkles or what have you, and this can look truly lovely and simple... BUT if you really want to take your cake decorating and all those finishing touches and flourishes to the next level, then you really need to dedicate yourself to a good decorating guide or road map.