I need ideas so my half-sheet wedding cake doesn’t say “cheap”!
Posted: 28 April 2008 11:14 PM   [ Ignore ]
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I’m baking the wedding cake for my sister’s wedding in September, in New York. For various logistical reasons, I want to avoid doing a tiered cake, and instead make a double or triple layer half-sheet cake. I plan to decorate it with pastillage and marzipan autumn leaves, grapes, acorns, apples and pears.

I’m worried that a sheet cake screams “cheap supermarket cake.” How can I make the cake look elegant? I am a competent decorator, and I am hoping that my deorating skills will bring it into the realm of the unusual and beautiful.  But additional touches would also be a good idea.

I was thinking of building an interesting cake stand for it, to give it some height, or perhaps making some kind of a cake topper, maybe in white chocolate. I was also thinking of cutting off the corners, so that it will be shaped more like an elongated octagon, and not be a sheet cake any longer.

If any of you brilliant cake experts have ideas for me, please share.

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Posted: 29 April 2008 02:33 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Have you checked out cakes on flickr.com to see what others have done? I have seen some beautiful and artistic sheet cakes posted on there. You just search under your theme and add the word cake and dozens of cakes will come up. A beautiful butterfly cake with fondant butterflies and flowers comes to mind. If you are a skilled decorator then you shouldn’t have any problems making it great. I would avoid the ubiquitous bunches of roses at each corner and the huge shell border in order to avoid comparisons with the local grocery store.

Half a sheet cake is pretty large. You could cut it into 2 rectangles and make a quick 2 tiered rectangle cake. I wouldn’t cut off the corners. I hate to waste cake! Just put something lovely on it and make it delicious and everyone will think you’re fabulous!

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Posted: 29 April 2008 04:18 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Christine, the Rose World Cake I’ve made last month was an “oval sheet” cake.  And I think it did not look cheap!

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Posted: 29 April 2008 07:37 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Elizabeth Faulkner of Citizen Cake in San Francisco has a style of cake that is made from a rectangular sheet cake - very modern, clean, architectural lines.  She glazes a sheet cake in chocolate, then uses more chocolate in geometric shapes to stick into the cake at various angles.  She also cuts more sheet cakes into triangles, glazees them, and puts them on the board at angles to the central cake.  It might work for your sister’s wedding, if this is a style she’d be happy with. Check out the website to see if there are any pictures (http://www.citizencake.com) or maybe some of these are in her book Demolition Desserts (which I have, but not here at home.  It’s at work!)

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Posted: 29 April 2008 08:42 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Jeanne, thanks for sharing, extraordinary cakes.  A nice pattiserie turned wedding cake.  He demolition cake just reminded me of something I did 20 years ago.  Starting from a chocolate chiffon cake, I arranged the slices into a different shape.  At that time, my favorite cakes were chiffon with whipped cream and fruits.

Also, photo of the first ever ‘cupcake’ tiered cake.  This was done for Xmas, as you can see each cupcake had the shape of a small tree.

Enjoy, and hope this old inspiration helps on your non-traditional wedding cake.  Do post pictures if you can.

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Posted: 01 May 2008 06:46 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Nothing says cheap more than a 1-2” tall layer sheet cake, artificially flavored mixes, or gritty, shortening based frostings.  If you use quality ingredients to make quality recipes, and increase the overall height of the cake, the “cheap” will disappear!

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Posted: 02 May 2008 12:46 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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I agree…giving the cake some height with extra layers will certainly make it look WAY less like a store bought cake.  Also, take a bit of extra time to make certain that the corners are very straight!  I don’t want to offer and decorating tips as it sounds like you have that covered!  I’ve seen the corners cut before, and this makes it look nice…especially if its multi-tiered.  Wendy Kromer did an all white cake in this manner that is featured in the new Martha Stewart Wedding Cakes book. 

Good luck!  we’re all rooting for you.

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