Saturday, 19 July 2008

BIRTHDAY CASTLE CAKE: PART 4...THIS BLOWS MY MIND! ALL DONE!


ta-daa! i did it! i finished bebe's 5th birthday castle cake!

now give me a glass of wine...


this is a long post full of pics...here's a collage if you're pressed for time...

remember these little flowers i made a few days ago? all 330 of 'em? well, i'm so glad i made extra!i'd say i had about 40 or so extra little flowers left at the end. i'm bringing them along with extra buttercream for any emergency fix-ups i might need to perform on site.

and these sparkly iced conical roofs? yes indeedy, they came handy in completing this project.

the main roof was a cinch to attach...just plop it on the 10-inch cake!

this was my least-favourite part of making this cake: attaching the plastic dowels to the column bases, allowing it to set, and then shoving the whole thing down into the beautifully smooth surface of the cake layers. stupid dowels
There was a moment today when I kind of just stood there, catatonic; eyes glazed over.

My lower jaw dropped...piping bag still in hand.

My hands were stained an unearthly teal blue and my black apron was covered in confectioners' sugar. I couldn't stop staring at this monster I had created. Never in my life had I created a cake so huge. I thought back to this morning when I was reading and re-reading the instructions in my 2008 Wilton magazine, trying to decipher exactly what I had to do and foresee where I would meet up with catastrophe. I had come too far to let some stupid dowel-incident wreck the whole cake. Stomach, being the structural engineer that he is, warned me not to forego the plastic dowels. In fact, he poo-pooed the straw idea from Beranbaum (too bad!) and said that they might buckle under the weight. Mind you, it's his job to err on the side of caution.
So, I went with the huge dowels. Can someone tell me if there's a better way to stabilize the castle columns and also provide support for the top tiers? 'cause these stupid dowels not only puckered out my cake sides but they also took up good cake real estate!

and many thanks go to the wilton turntable you see below the cake. it was a lifesaver! the cake was super-duper heavy, but the turntable spun for me smooth-as-silk!

you can kind of see there's a little "post" on the top column. it's a wooden toothpick that i glued on with white chocolate. it's holding the little flag that says "happy 5th birthday..."


here you can see there are a few pre-made disney figures in royal icing. you can figure out the theme, right?
i also piped some buttercream "sea plants" and "coral" along the bottom of the cake for that underwater feel. don't you feel like you're in the ocean? ha ha!
The problem with the dowel support system is that it requires you to shove this 3/4 inch hollow plastic tube into a cake. What happens is it displaces some cake, forcing the sides of the cake to buckle...out! I had to hold my hand against the side of the iced cake to ensure that it didn't crack open. I was a tad concerned. here you can better see some of the coloured spray i employed. what a cool toy!
Fortunately, I had sprayed the whole teal blue cake with a series of colours: blue, green and violet to add some interest and dimension. As well, I realized I'd be decorated the heck out of it so I hoped to cover up some of the bulges from the hidden dowels. I used white chocolate candy melts to "glue" the castle columns to the cake base and to attach the conical roofs to the column tops. you have to shove the little plastic door into the cake side before decorating with flowers. at one point, i was thinking there was way too much plastic than there needed to be...
by now, you've figured out the theme: it's Ariel's Castle! under water! and people, i was too lazy to sprinkle brown sugar on the cake base to make it look like the bottom of the ocean. i also wanted to add little crabs and other sea life but heck, i just want this over with now!
This was truly a labour of love. That moment I had in the morning was interesting. I had a smidgen of doubt and wanted to just not do this anymore. Fortunately, this passed and I kicked myself into high gear. The tasks were actually very easy to complete and I didn't have any problems. It was just a lot of work...
Now, I'm crossing my fingers that this'll all get transported to the site in one piece.

yikes! mustn't forget the "Ariel" candle!

Thank you so much Sally, from PinkBytes, for bestowing this "Hard Working Food Blogger" Award to me! I'm very grateful to the many people who visit me and to the cool bloggers who take the time out to leave comments. I read all of the comments and I like how it connects us all from around the world! I will be passing this award along when I'm back from my post-castle-cake vacation!

88 comments:

Manggy said...

oh. my. god.
That's it-- I'm having a boy. No girls in my future family!!! Ha ha ha. I'm kidding. We have our own set of hardships.

Faneffingtastic job. Wow. That looks heavy, though, I would not risk using just straws. Not that I have ever had to make a tiered cake..

_ts of [eatingclub] vancouver said...

HOLY -!%$-!$#@!-!$#@!!!!!!

Yes, huge is wuite the understatement.

(P.S. Wow!)

natalie said...

WOW!!! GORGEOUS!!! your daughter is so lucky to have her mama go through all this hard work!!! the cake is simply amazing!!!

Cara said...

Amazing! You've got some serious skills! This looks way better than lots of the cakes you could get from a bakery. Best of luck with the transport, and I"m sure you've made a little girl's birthday a day to remember!

CollyWolly said...

OMW you amaze me - I am speechless at this absolutely stunning creation of yours. Well done!! And Happy 5th Birthday to Bebe. You have really earned a glass of wine or 3 and a couple days with your feet up Id say :)

Lore said...

I'm SPEECHLESS! This would make anyone happy, not to mention a five year old :D.
I'm amazed by the depth of details. Hats off to you!!!

cakebrain said...

Mark,
I can adapt this castle kit for boys. Make a square cake with a drawbridge...add fondant horses, soldiers and dragons...
Yup. It was f-ing heavy. I used a board underneath the styrofoam base to transport it and then put a rubber mat under it in the car trunk!
ts, natalie, cara, colleen & lore:
thanks for the kind words! all went well and the kiddies went ooh and aah and took one bite of the cake and took off to play! (i knew they wouldn't eat much of it). my feet are now up and we're going out for a well-deserved meal!

Schnuppschnuess said...

Hope you enjoyed your night out - I enjoyed sitting in your kitchen and watching you creating this amazing cake. Don't hesitate to use the drinking straws - it works!

Indigo said...

Sfdgfjnjkd. Could I be more in awe of this cake? This is all my childhood dreams rolled into one. This is all my CURRENT dreams rolled into one. Please adopt me.

cakewardrobe said...

Beautiful work!!! What a WOW factor!! My fave disney movie was always the Little Mermaid!

Clumbsy Cookie said...

Oh wow! Double wow in fact! This cake looks amazing!!!!!!!! Well done, such hard work payed off! I bet nobody could talk about anything else at the party!

Dee said...

*awed silence*

Miss Bliss said...

WOW. Simply amazing. And now I NEVER want to own a bakery that specializes in kids cakes!!!

I'm so impressed and I love your blog!

cakebrain said...

schnuppschnuess,
thanks for the tip about the drinking straws...you apparently know what you're talking about: your cake turned out so beautifully! I noticed all the flavoured layers on the bottom tier. I hope one day I'll be able to make a cake that yummy looking!
Indigo,
Yes, I'll adopt you. I need an older sibling to play with and babysit my two little ones so I can bake more!
Cakewardrobe, I know you can make one too...
Clumbsy cookie, Dee & Miss Bliss,
thank you for keeping me company along the way. I appreciated the support and it helped me keep going as I didn't want to disappoint just my girl, but also the few nice people out there in the blogging world that have taken their time out to cheer me on to completion!

Kevin said...

That castle cake looks amazing!!

Anonymous said...

Holy cow, that is beyond beautiful. I just googled "castle cake fondant" to get ideas for my own little princess's cake, and this amazing blog came up. You are so talented, and it's nice to get the comments of someone going through the process. I had already decided against getting the Wilton castle kit because of all the plastic, and now I'm convinced it's the right call (even though you got a gorgeous cake out of it). I think I'll use the old-fashioned ice cream cone towers and make my doors and windows from white chocolate. There is no way I'm making 330 fondant flowers, but hopefully my three-year-old will never know the difference! :) Thanks for the inspiration and ideas.

Y said...

That is simply amazing! I love the detail. How could anyone ever cut into such a beautiful cake!?!

Mochachocolata Rita said...

oh my gosh! the ultimate cake castle!

cakebrain said...

y,
i couldn't wait to rip into the cake and almost forgot to take a picture with the kids behind it! I had to ram the columns back in because another mom told me I forgot to take pics!
m. rita,
it was fun tearing it apart!

Linda F said...

Just gorgeous, you are so clever!:)I have a 3 year old who would love this for her next birthday!

SteamyKitchen said...

OMG! The detail! you are super duper talented.

Katy said...

AMAZING!!!! I can't even fathom it. You are so talented!!!

cakebrain said...

Jaden & Katy,
Aw shucks! thanks for the compliment, but I'm afraid talent had only a little to do with it! I'm great at following instructions for one thing, and I would say it was mostly perseverance and hand-eye coordination...haha.

Becky Hsu said...

Fantastic cake! I'm an attempting my first "decorated" cake in a couple of days for my daughter's birthday (castle cake too). I was wondering what you used to attached the fondant flowers to the cake. Is it decorator icing? Is the cake covered in decorator icing?

Jeanine said...

Wow!! That is an astounding cake! You have done a fantastic job! wow!

cakebrain said...

Becky,
I just bought a Wilton Romantic Castle Cake Kit at Michaels with a 40% discount and I followed the instructions. The kit calls for royal icing for the columns and buttercream for the actual cake...which makes it way more edible! I attached the fondant flowers with the buttercream. Good luck with your cake! advice: start early on things like flowers if you can...it sure saves time!
Jeanine,
thanks a bunch! I'm happy that my daughter's wish for this cake came true.

~Madeline~ said...

Oh my goodness, that is amazing! What a beautiful piece of artwork. Please, PLEASE tell me no one is going to eat this! Forget a glass of wine, get yourself a box!

Sally said...

O.M.G. A glass of wine? Is that all you want? Think you deserve a a holiday at a vineyard for a week! Amazing stuff, well done.

Zen Chef said...

Are you kidding me?? You made this!?.. Wow!! i was not expecting anything as detailed as this. A big BRAVO to you. I bow to you O' Pastry Goddess. :-)

Enjoy the party and the spotlight now. You deserve it!

Sally said...

Thank you for taking time out from your glass of wine, and visiting me.LOL. Now come back and see me and collect your award please. xxx

Anamika:The Sugarcrafter said...

i loved to read your posts..you have got a nice blog.

Christie @ fig & cherry said...

You are amazing. I'm totally in awe.

JillyB said...

What a fantastic work of art! Beautiful!

Kate / Kajal said...

woa ... ! wait a min ... did u make all that yourself ! now thats true art ! Absolutely speechless. Great work !

shortstopmommy said...

First off kudos for the amazing job on the Ariel cake. I will be attempting the same cake (different colors - an all Princess theme) and was advised by a pro not to decorate the turrets with the royal icing as she says they will be too heavy. I have to transport it to a gymnastics facility, so your input regarding moving it, icing it etc would help (ps - did you ice the main cake with buttercream???)

cakebrain said...

shortstopmommy,
Hey, what a coincidence! I transported my entire cake with turrets and all to a gymnastics facility too! (Phoenix Gymnastics in Vancouver) I placed the entire cake on top of a rubber mat on top of my large hard white plastic Wilton cupcake carrier bottom. It was easier to carry and it didn't slide around in the back of my car. Just drive slowly. I also brought extra buttercream. Didn't really need it though.
Do what you are comfortable with. I iced the turrets with royal icing and had no problems. They weren't heavy at all in the application I used them. However, they would be too top heavy if you didn't follow instructions and didn't do the candy-melts/hidden dowel thing. I highly advise using the Wilton hollow plastic dowels as they are very large in diameter and will offer plenty of support for heavy cakes laden with tons of buttercream and royal icing. I iced both cake tiers entirely in buttercream. The royal icing was used just for covering the turrets and decorating the fondant flowers. I followed the Wilton instructions to the letter and was happy with the result.

shortstopmommy said...

Thanks for the help! I will (depending on my success, of course) pass on a pic once it's done. Our gymnastics place is in Cloverdale, and so are we, so hopefully a smooth trip from kitchen to gym....

Lore said...

Hi Cakebrain!

I am planning on making a post on what I consider to be the most original July food photos. I will be posting the 10 photos on Culinarty (my blog) with a link back to the authors. This is actually the third edition of "10 Original Food Photos". I really like the first photo of the castle and I would very much like to include it in my post. Would that be ok with you? Please let me know.
Thanks!

Ashley said...

All I can say is WOW!!! I admire your hard work and determination that it took to undertake such an outstanding cake.. if I had my own award you would most definitely be getting it! Amazing work! Awesome detail.. you must have the luckiest 5 year old in the world.. I'm sure that will be a birthday she will never forget.

cakebrain said...

Lore,
Thank you. I'm flattered! Yes, you can link to my post and use the photo in your post.

Ashley,
aw shucks! thanks! Yeah, now I'm wondering what in the world I can do for her 6th birthday...

Kelsie said...

WOOOOW! What a gorgeous cake! I made one of those castle cakes for my little sister's birthday... Just be glad that you didn't forgo the dowels!! Also, this cake has so much MORE detail that the cake that I made had. But they are both blue :)

Anyway, you have a great blog, and I love all of your gorgeous pics!

thewench said...

Wow. What more can I saw. That is one outstanding cake. She must have been thrilled... Amazing!

lyndsay said...

oh my gosh. you are a SUPERSTAR MOM!!!! incredible work! i love how you documented it all. thanks for sharing!

shortstopmommy said...

Hi, in case this shows up twice, I apologize! I tried to posta comment to let you know that I used the fat slurpee straws from the corner store (Mac's I think) for the dowels and the cake turned out awesome, no buckling or tipping of the towers. That is totally the way to go. And thanks for your help, too! My daughter was amazed...almost as amazed as her friends and parents. :)

Cakebrain said...

shortstopmommy,
I'm so happy your cake turned out to be your little girl's dream come true! I'm glad to hear that the fat straws worked!...um, not that I'll be attempting this again any time soon!

Maria said...

That's a beautiful cake! Congratulations on a great success.
I've been making my son's and daughter's birthday cakes for the last four years and I know how stressful and tiring it is. The most elaborate, and consequently most stressful, cake I made though was for my cousin's daughter on her barnyard themed 2nd birthday. The payoff was great though ... the oohs and ahhs--especially from the birthday girl--were well worth the effort.

Hillary said...

I just came here from seeing your Winnie the Pooh cake and WOW...could you be more talented?! I don't think so!

Colleen said...

This cake is so beautiful! My daughter would LOVE it! Maybe next year....

Cakebrain said...

Colleen,
go for it! it's not hard; it's just time-consuming!:)

Shanda said...

Cake Brain, where did you buy the plastic dowels for the cake towers? The kit claims it has "everything you need to create a dream castle cake" but the dowels are not included & after seeing how you put them together I want to make sure I buy the right ones. I was imagining wood ones but now that I've opened the box & I've seen that the towers are not hallow, I realize the wood ones won't work. I hate how Wilton does that. They real you in just like a fish, but once you're caught they make you spend an additional $50+ to finish your project. But what do you do when your child purchased the kit for you to make their cake!?!?! Your cake turned out AMAZING btw! How did you get your frosting so perfect on the peaks & the roof? I am in awe!

Cakebrain said...

Shanda,
As usual, I never buy anything from Wilton unless it's on discount at least 40%. So, I waited for a flyer and used my 40% off coupon for the dowels. I bought them at Michaels, the craft store. I bought the plastic hollow ones because this cake looked hefty to me and I didn't want anything toppling over. However, other people have told me that wooden dowels work well too. The plastic ones are so big they displace a lot of cake and can cause buckling of the sides--even if you're careful. Some people even tell me you can use those McDonald's straw in place of dowels. I just didn't want to chance it so I bought the Wilton ones.
Well, at least the kit was purchased for you!:) I would say you don't really have to spend the extra money if you don't want to. It was my first time doing a tiered cake so I just wanted to make sure. Now that I've done it, I'm confident I can get away with wooden dowels. or even straw ones. perhaps. After taking the Wilton courses in cake decorating and practising a lot on previous cakes, I feel more confident with my piping abilities. If you don't like it, you can always scrape it off and start all over. BTW, on the peaks and the roof, you are using royal icing, so it's way easier to work with than buttercream as it sets up hard. I have a feeling you won't have a problem with that part.

Renu said...

I love this cake. I am planning to do an Ariel theme birthday for my daughter's 4th birthday. Could you tell me where you got the little flounder and sea shell cake decor?

Renu said...

hey awesome cake, where did you get the little flounder icing decoration? I can't seem to find them anywhere.

Cakebrain said...

Renu,
I purchased my flounder & sea shell cake decorations from Michaels, at 40% off with a coupon.

Renu said...

Hey,Thank you for the tip on where to get those decorations. I found them at Michaels. Do you also have a good recipe for a whipped icing for cakes. You know when you order a cake from the grocery store and they give you the option of traditional icing or whipped? Well I always like the whipped because it tastes less sweet. Also theirs doesn't melt when not refrigerated. I usually put Cool Whip but I noticed it melts within seconds. Any tips or recipes?

Cakebrain said...

Renu,
I'm not clear on what you mean by whipped icing. Is that a 7 minute icing you're referring to or a whipped cream icing? Both are entirely different. I imagine you want one made out of whipping cream. The kind you get on Asian cakes, right? They use commercial stabilizers to ensure the whipping cream doesn't weep. If you try to just use whipping cream at home, you'll be disappointed. You have to refrigerate it and it doesn't pipe well. If you like big swirls, it's good though. Nonetheless, this does need refrigeration as it is a dairy product. Asian whipped cream frosting isn't sweet at all. I use heavy whipping cream and confectioner's sugar. Sometimes I'll add bloomed gelatin to help stabilize it. Both techniques require refrigeration. I don't know of any real dairy whipped topping that doesn't need refrigeration.

Renu said...

I was talking about the kind you get at the asian bakeries. I like how it's not so sweet and you could keep it out and it doesn't melt in 5 minutes. Do you think if I play with heavy whipped cream, confectioners sugar and gelatin that I may get similar results?

Cakebrain said...

Renu,
It's worth a try...but it won't be like using commercial emulsifiers and such I'm sure. Tell me how it goes.

Cakebrain said...

Env.Printing,
thanks a bunch! I really don't mind if people tear into the cake. That's what it's for: eating!

Palidor said...

That is an incredibly awesome cake. It is mind-blowing how fantastic it looks. I've been asked to make a castle cake for a friend's daughter's birthday next month, although I won't be using the plastic castle spires. If my cake turns out even 1/4 as good as yours, I'll be jumping for joy!

Mea said...

This cake is aweseome! What did you use to color the cake? Ive seen the color sprays they have at the store but Im to skeptical to use them!

Cakebrain said...

Mea,
I bought all my decorating stuff at Michael's when they had 40% off coupons. The decorating spray worked really well but you have to use it judiciously...and from the appropriate distance of course. Practice if you want on some newspaper to see how much spray you get. I had no problems and just randomly sprayed in spots with both a lavender and a green spray.

Martha said...

Hi! I was wondering what you used to color the cake?

Cakebrain said...

Martha,
I used my 40% off coupon at Michaels that I saved up from friends and family and purchased Wilton's Color Mist Food Spray

Lori said...

So I am totally in awe of you. I have my daughters birthdays coming up and I just want to hide whatever cake I make.

Cakebrain said...

Lori,
No need to hide your cakes, because it's all about taste! Kids love frosting. You can't go wrong with butter and sugar! I'm flattered you're in awe, but I was just following instructions. I'm good at that. It was a marathon though, I must admit.
Hope your daughter's birthday goes without a hitch! I have learned (the hard way) that cupcakes are just as awe-inspiring and they're easier to boot!

Anonymous said...

Hi!

I have this kit and am about to start making my daughter's cake this week. I am concerned about the dowels and am not really sure how to use them. Can you tell me step by step what you did to get the dowels, towers, turrets in without issue?

Do you have1 or 2 cardboard circles in between the two 6" and two 10" layers? What would you do differently- use a glue gun?Finally, what things can I make ahead?

Thank you!
Elise

Cakebrain said...

Elise,
I just followed the instructions that came with the kit. I'm extremely fastidious when it comes to following instructions.
As I indicated in my pictures (follow my Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 and Part 4 posts in the sidebar). I started the flowers and securing of the dowels early in the week. The candy melts can be done way in advance. I would never be able to complete the whole cake in one day, as I work also.

You essentially bake two cakes. Then layer them and stack them. Cake A is smaller and is split and frosted and put on a cake circle. Cake B is larger (the bottom cake) and is also split, frosted and put on its own cake circle. Then the dowels, with the hardened candy melts (which acts like glue)are shoved into the Cake B after frosting. It wasn't a pretty sight. Mine buckled out the sides. Then it provides support for the little Cake B that rests on top of the dowels. The turrets etc were comparatively easy to place around the cake after that. Hide boo boos with lots of "leaves" and flowers.
Go through all four posts chronologically to see how I organized it! good luck!

Julie George said...

I so enjoyed reading this blog! When my daughter was 5, she wanted Ariel, fairies, and princesses. I bought the Ariel figure - easy. For the fairies, I got little ballerina figures and made tulle wings with satin roses. The princess was a bridesmaid topper that I embellished with lace cut outs, a gold thread crown, and a string of pearls. Then, of course, I had to make the cake for all of them to nestle on. I enjoyed every minute! Even the blank-eyed one when I finally finished, covered in sugar.....

Cakebrain said...

Julie George,
Ah, only a mommy understands the pains we go through for our little girls when they, with sparkling dreamy eyes, ask us for the most difficult cake in the world to make. And though our skills may be lacking or the components may have flaws, they don't notice it. Their smiles when the cake is lit with their candles while the song is sung, proves it was all worth it.
I'm sure your daughter had the "best cake ever" on her birthday!

Chiho said...

Hi, wow you did a wonderful job on that castle cake.
As for dowels?
I've made many tiered wedding cakes over the years and I use those Wilton candy sticks (made of rolled paper). Not little thin ones they have these thicker ones maybe for chocolate lollies, about 1/4 inch thick. (maybe less)

Any ways like straws they take up less real estate and I can mark them and them with a serrated knife.
To support all the tiers I would hammer in a wooden dowel in the center right into the cake board.
(FYI I usually sharpen the end of the dowel using an electric pencil sharpener and make sure that I've made a hole in each cake board before cakes are made on them. This is so that I can put the center dowel without wrecking everything.)

Hope this helps... if you haven't figured out an alternative method by now...

dimitra said...

hi ur cake is amazing im making my daughters tinkerbell cake and i was wondering what filling u used in ur cakes,did u ice the cakes before stacking them and did u use something between the tiers if so did u put something under that to stop the buttercream from coming off of the bottem cake. how did u store ur cake before u left home and how many days before did u ice ur cakes before eating it. sorry for all the questions but i really wana get this right thanks

Cakebrain said...

Dimitra,
As you can see, this is "Part 4" of a four part series of posts. I took about a week to complete the whole cake. I made all the fondant flowers first of course and left the cake until the day before to ice and stack.
The filling was a buttercream. I would use something suitable to the climate you are living in. If it is hot and humid, I would use a buttercream that has shortening in it or use a stable buttercream like a Swiss Meringue Buttercream.
If you backtrack and look at Part 1-3 posts about the Castle cake...you can find these linkes on my sidebar...you'll see the process and what I used.
You must ice your cake individually before stacking. Just go about making separate cakes and then insert dowels to ensure things don't slide around. Then stack. No dowels means you may have a lopsided cake or one that might not make it through transport. Each cake tier could be resting on a cardboard round if you want; or you can go without but you might again have the squishing cake issue. I think it depends on how high you want to go. If it's just two tiers and it's a small cake, it doesn't matter as much to put a cardboard round on the top cake tier.
My cake kept quite well because I made it the day before serving. I just left it on the dining room table out of danger's way...and it wasn't too hot or humid so I was safe. It wasn't ever going to fit into my refrigerator. I think if you are concerned about not refrigerating a cake, you should use an all shortening icing. I wasn't concerned too much about mine though. Let's just say I stayed up really late the night before I had to serve the cake. I finished around 11pm and went to bed. The cake stayed on the table uncovered until I had to take it to the party in the morning...so it wasn't too bad for timing. It was very fresh and tasted great.
You have to plan ahead about transportation and ensure your vehicle can accommodate the full height of your cake. I had mine on a large stable hard plastic board with an anti-slip fabric under it (use that stuff that you put under area carpets). Build your cake on something sturdy like a large styrofoam cake circle and/or foil-covered board and you'll be much more confident about lifting it and moving it around. If you check out my Winnie the Pooh bday cake, you'll see an example of that.

Cakebrain said...

Dimitra,
As you can see, this is "Part 4" of a four part series of posts. I took about a week to complete the whole cake. I made all the fondant flowers first of course and left the cake until the day before to ice and stack.
The filling was a buttercream. I would use something suitable to the climate you are living in. If it is hot and humid, I would use a buttercream that has shortening in it or use a stable buttercream like a Swiss Meringue Buttercream.
If you backtrack and look at Part 1-3 posts about the Castle cake...you can find these linkes on my sidebar...you'll see the process and what I used.
You must ice your cake individually before stacking. Just go about making separate cakes and then insert dowels to ensure things don't slide around. Then stack. No dowels means you may have a lopsided cake or one that might not make it through transport. Each cake tier could be resting on a cardboard round if you want; or you can go without but you might again have the squishing cake issue. I think it depends on how high you want to go. If it's just two tiers and it's a small cake, it doesn't matter as much to put a cardboard round on the top cake tier.
My cake kept quite well because I made it the day before serving. I just left it on the dining room table out of danger's way...and it wasn't too hot or humid so I was safe. It wasn't ever going to fit into my refrigerator. I think if you are concerned about not refrigerating a cake, you should use an all shortening icing. I wasn't concerned too much about mine though. Let's just say I stayed up really late the night before I had to serve the cake. I finished around 11pm and went to bed. The cake stayed on the table uncovered until I had to take it to the party in the morning...so it wasn't too bad for timing. It was very fresh and tasted great.
You have to plan ahead about transportation and ensure your vehicle can accommodate the full height of your cake. I had mine on a large stable hard plastic board with an anti-slip fabric under it (use that stuff that you put under area carpets). Build your cake on something sturdy like a large styrofoam cake circle and/or foil-covered board and you'll be much more confident about lifting it and moving it around. If you check out my Winnie the Pooh bday cake, you'll see an example of that.

Cakebrain said...

Dimitra,
As you can see, this is "Part 4" of a four part series of posts. I took about a week to complete the whole cake. I made all the fondant flowers first of course and left the cake until the day before to ice and stack.
The filling was a buttercream. I would use something suitable to the climate you are living in. If it is hot and humid, I would use a buttercream that has shortening in it or use a stable buttercream like a Swiss Meringue Buttercream.
If you backtrack and look at Part 1-3 posts about the Castle cake...you can find these linkes on my sidebar...you'll see the process and what I used.
You must ice your cake individually before stacking. Just go about making separate cakes and then insert dowels to ensure things don't slide around. Then stack. No dowels means you may have a lopsided cake or one that might not make it through transport. Each cake tier could be resting on a cardboard round if you want; or you can go without but you might again have the squishing cake issue. I think it depends on how high you want to go. If it's just two tiers and it's a small cake, it doesn't matter as much to put a cardboard round on the top cake tier.
My cake kept quite well because I made it the day before serving. I just left it on the dining room table out of danger's way...and it wasn't too hot or humid so I was safe. It wasn't ever going to fit into my refrigerator. I think if you are concerned about not refrigerating a cake, you should use an all shortening icing. I wasn't concerned too much about mine though. Let's just say I stayed up really late the night before I had to serve the cake. I finished around 11pm and went to bed. The cake stayed on the table uncovered until I had to take it to the party in the morning...so it wasn't too bad for timing. It was very fresh and tasted great.
You have to plan ahead about transportation and ensure your vehicle can accommodate the full height of your cake. I had mine on a large stable hard plastic board with an anti-slip fabric under it (use that stuff that you put under area carpets). Build your cake on something sturdy like a large styrofoam cake circle and/or foil-covered board and you'll be much more confident about lifting it and moving it around. If you check out my Winnie the Pooh bday cake, you'll see an example of that.

Cakebrain said...

Dimitra,
As you can see, this is "Part 4" of a four part series of posts. I took about a week to complete the whole cake. I made all the fondant flowers first of course and left the cake until the day before to ice and stack.
The filling was a buttercream. I would use something suitable to the climate you are living in. If it is hot and humid, I would use a buttercream that has shortening in it or use a stable buttercream like a Swiss Meringue Buttercream.
If you backtrack and look at Part 1-3 posts about the Castle cake...you can find these linkes on my sidebar...you'll see the process and what I used.
You must ice your cake individually before stacking. Just go about making separate cakes and then insert dowels to ensure things don't slide around. Then stack. No dowels means you may have a lopsided cake or one that might not make it through transport. Each cake tier could be resting on a cardboard round if you want; or you can go without but you might again have the squishing cake issue. I think it depends on how high you want to go. If it's just two tiers and it's a small cake, it doesn't matter as much to put a cardboard round on the top cake tier.
My cake kept quite well because I made it the day before serving. I just left it on the dining room table out of danger's way...and it wasn't too hot or humid so I was safe. It wasn't ever going to fit into my refrigerator. I think if you are concerned about not refrigerating a cake, you should use an all shortening icing. I wasn't concerned too much about mine though. Let's just say I stayed up really late the night before I had to serve the cake. I finished around 11pm and went to bed. The cake stayed on the table uncovered until I had to take it to the party in the morning...so it wasn't too bad for timing. It was very fresh and tasted great.
You have to plan ahead about transportation and ensure your vehicle can accommodate the full height of your cake. I had mine on a large stable hard plastic board with an anti-slip fabric under it (use that stuff that you put under area carpets). Build your cake on something sturdy like a large styrofoam cake circle and/or foil-covered board and you'll be much more confident about lifting it and moving it around. If you check out my Winnie the Pooh bday cake, you'll see an example of that.

Cakebrain said...

Dimitra,
As you can see, this is "Part 4" of a four part series of posts. I took about a week to complete the whole cake. I made all the fondant flowers first of course and left the cake until the day before to ice and stack.
The filling was a buttercream. I would use something suitable to the climate you are living in. If it is hot and humid, I would use a buttercream that has shortening in it or use a stable buttercream like a Swiss Meringue Buttercream.
If you backtrack and look at Part 1-3 posts about the Castle cake...you can find these linkes on my sidebar...you'll see the process and what I used.
You must ice your cake individually before stacking. Just go about making separate cakes and then insert dowels to ensure things don't slide around. Then stack. No dowels means you may have a lopsided cake or one that might not make it through transport. Each cake tier could be resting on a cardboard round if you want; or you can go without but you might again have the squishing cake issue. I think it depends on how high you want to go. If it's just two tiers and it's a small cake, it doesn't matter as much to put a cardboard round on the top cake tier.
My cake kept quite well because I made it the day before serving. I just left it on the dining room table out of danger's way...and it wasn't too hot or humid so I was safe. It wasn't ever going to fit into my refrigerator. I think if you are concerned about not refrigerating a cake, you should use an all shortening icing. I wasn't concerned too much about mine though. Let's just say I stayed up really late the night before I had to serve the cake. I finished around 11pm and went to bed. The cake stayed on the table uncovered until I had to take it to the party in the morning...so it wasn't too bad for timing. It was very fresh and tasted great.
You have to plan ahead about transportation and ensure your vehicle can accommodate the full height of your cake. I had mine on a large stable hard plastic board with an anti-slip fabric under it (use that stuff that you put under area carpets). Build your cake on something sturdy like a large styrofoam cake circle and/or foil-covered board and you'll be much more confident about lifting it and moving it around. If you check out my Winnie the Pooh bday cake, you'll see an example of that.

dimitra said...

hi thanks for the advice i made a trial ten inch of ue cake but it only rose about an inch and half do u use two cake pans or one and slice in the middle and do u think if i use a silicone pan it will have an effect on how the cake cooks and one last thing could u tell me how many teaspoons of baking powder is needed for the the inch cake thanks again for ur help it is very much appreciated (",)

Cakebrain said...

Dimitra,
I used two cake pans. Then I split the cake layers in two. I had four thin layers all together. The layers are not that thick at all. The cake is not a sponge cake and requires to be solid enough to hold the structure of the cake. These layers should be strong enough for the structure. You will fill between cake layers with a stable buttercream. The layers come out looking quite nice...about 1cm thick cake layers alternating with the buttercream. I don't use silicone pans for these and don't recommend them because the oven temperatures/timing will be off. You can try it but you have to keep an eye on the cakes and test to see for doneness.
As for baking powder measurements, I advise that you weigh the baking powder on a scale. I didn't measure out the baking powder with a teaspoon measure, but if you notice, the 6-inch cake calls for 16g (almost 4 tsp of baking powder) so if the 10 inch one calls for 37g, if you just do some math, it's over 9 teaspoons (9 and 1/8 tsp) of baking powder. However, if you have a digital scale, I would just recommend weighing it for accuracy instead. good luck!

Angie said...

What a gorgeous cake! It's so perfect! I did this one too... TWICE! The first year the area got flooded with torrential downpours and we weren't able to have that party! :( But the next year we did. That cake is a lot of work, but the payoff and the oohs and ahhs from from everyone when it's done feel so good! I never used dowels. I just shoved the towers down into the cake And it worked just fine! lol But I didn't transport it either.
Anyway...here are pics of mine if you're interested.
http://angie-happilyhome.blogspot.com/2010/05/wilton-castle-cake-tutorial.html

domesticgodess123. said...

Hi first i would like to say what a wonderful cake you have made, you are very talented and i love the way you blog because you make it very easy to follow and you describe everyhting in detail which is great. I too have blogged about my experience with the wilton castle set and have linked my readers to your site because your blog played a tremendeous part in my cake. If you want to see pictures of my final cake and read about the obstacles I faced you can check it out at http://domesticgodess123.wordpress.com/

Jennifer said...

I make these castle cakes on a regular basis, always different, but one aspect remains the same.. THE DOWEL!!! I always use wooden dowel rods. I used the medium sized ones, about half the size of a pencil. I hot glue them to the bottom the the colums that go in the cake and the sides of the ones that are one the board. They are much smaller, so they do not pucker the sides of your cake, and they don't waste as much of the cake. I hope this helps, this cake is AMAZING!!!

Tina said...

Wow! Jaw officially dropped! I was Searching for inspiration for my Princess's first birthday castle cake!I am amazed and totally inspired! Like everyone else has said your blog is fab with the pictures, tips and thoughts! Very well done! I hope mine turns out just as good. Although like you im gonna leave the Ariel theme until she's abit older but a mgical princess castle it will be all the same :) x

Anita said...

Wooooow, you must have all the patience in the world. Look at the details on the cake and the 2 million little flowers you made. Fantastic job. I am first time on your blog and I love it. Thanks for sharing. Fantastic job.

Anonymous said...

I am amazed at what you have done and am trying to do something similar for my little girl but is seems that step 2 is linked to Step 4 so was wondering if you could re-post step 2 PLEASE!!!!!

Cakebrain said...

Anon Mom,
On my right sidebar you can actually search my blog easily for posts with key words
Part 2 is
http://cakeonthebrain.blogspot.com/2008/07/birthday-castle-cake-part-2royal-icing.html

Connie the Cookie Monster said...

OH. MY. GOSH.

LINDA ! THIS CAKE IS BEAUTIFUL!!!

i have to make an ariel themed birthday cake in two weeks, im not looking forward to it! LOL

did you use fondant or icing for this cake?

Cakebrain said...

Connie,
thx! I don't think you have to go overboard like I did. After all, I did buy that kit (huge white plastic turrets and all).
I used buttercream for the icing for the cake--Wilton recipe-- so that the colours would be true. I also used fondant but just for the tiny flower decorations. I followed everything exactly as per instructions on the kit. The cake was scratch and so was the icing. It was yummy but a LOT of cake to eat for the number of kiddies in the party. Won't do that again! Good luck with your Ariel cake!

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