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Old 06-23-2015, 03:23 PM   #21
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You are very brave to make your first time layer cake for a contest. Are you going to do a sampler first?
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Old 06-23-2015, 03:24 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by GotGarlic View Post
Thanks. I have an offset spatula that was part of the knife/tool kit I got when I went to culinary school. I also borrowed a set of cake decorating items from a friend that includes pastry bags, several tips and a couple of smaller spatulas. She's a chef; she also suggested I could make some inexpensive frosting with Crisco to practice with. I don't have a lazy Susan for rotating the cake, but I can pick one up at the dollar store. I do have a cake stand on a pedestal for practicing with.

If you have a turntable in your microwave - that makes a great substitute for a lazy susan.


There are some great youtube videos about how to ice cakes - spend some time viewing.
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Old 06-23-2015, 05:18 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by lyndalou View Post
You are very brave to make your first time layer cake for a contest. Are you going to do a sampler first?
Oh yes! I plan to make a couple, at least. If I'm accepted to compete, the judging date is in August, so I have time to practice and give some to friends for tasting and feedback.
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Old 06-23-2015, 05:19 PM   #24
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If you have a turntable in your microwave - that makes a great substitute for a lazy susan.


There are some great youtube videos about how to ice cakes - spend some time viewing.
Great idea! I also remembered today that I do have a lazy Susan I'm not using right now, so I'll use whichever one is larger.
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Old 06-23-2015, 10:15 PM   #25
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Silversage hit on a lot of great points and I enthusiastically agree with everything!

Here are some of my tips.

If the fat in the cake is butter, it will need to be served at room temperature for flavor and texture. A cake made with oil will stay much softer when chilled.

I never work with room temperature cake. If it's a butter based cake, I wrap and chill the layers before frosting them, this will make them nice and firm and stable. If it's an oil based cake, I'll freeze the layers. When cold or frozen, it is so much easier for me to trim or torte the cakes.

If I'm going to pipe icing on a cake whether making a border, or swirls, I get the icing to a nice piping thickness and remove what I need to pipe and then thin the frosting just enough to make it a bit softer, this will prevent tearing up the cake (cold or frozen cake helps too) when base icing.

I so agree with weighing out batter before placing in pans, even layers bake at the same rate and look so much nicer when cut. I use portion control (ice cream type) scoops to measure out filling or icing for the middle. Again, even layers of filling/frosting and cake looks impressive.

Make more frosting than you think you'll need. The cake won't look pretty if you have to skimp.

I don't use cake strips because I've gotten really good at freehand trimming of cake with a bread knife, but I suggest that you do, it'll prevent you having to trim.

If your cakes come out of the oven crusty around the edge, wrap them in plastic when they are slightly warm, this will soften them up nicely. I always make my cake layers at least a day before I plan on finishing the cake to get them chilled, frozen, or edges softened.

Use the cake boards that were suggested and if you have a rubber jar opener or some rubber grip shelf liner, you can use that to keep your cake from sliding around on the lazy susan.
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Old 06-24-2015, 12:03 AM   #26
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Thanks, bakechef! I appreciate your advice
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Old 06-24-2015, 07:33 PM   #27
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you are welcome!
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Old 06-25-2015, 12:43 AM   #28
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Wow bakechef. Great tips and advice. I will remember them because I am going to copy them and put them in my recipe file for cakes. Thanks.
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Old 08-15-2015, 04:39 PM   #29
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Well, here is my first attempt. It was going well till I tried to flip it over with a spatula (That's the bottom of the cake on the right.)

On the bright side, it's light and fluffy and tastes amazing - almost like a buttery angel food cake. Did I overmix it? I used America's Test Kitchen's butter cake recipe and homemade vanilla extract.

Tomorrow I will make a half recipe of the Mexican chocolate frosting and share some with my chef friend and her boyfriend to get some feedback.

I also decided to decorate the side with roasted, salted sunflower seeds (couldn't find pumpkin seeds) and the top with a swirl pattern in the frosting and shaved dark chocolate in the center. What do you think?
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Old 08-15-2015, 05:35 PM   #30
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GG, you need one of these: http://www.amazon.com/s/?ie=UTF8&key...l_4vwaha9wvb_b
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