Sparkling sugar on wedding cake
Posted: 29 July 2011 04:15 AM   [ Ignore ]
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Hello!  This is my first post, but I am an avid fan of Rose’s Cake Bible and use it often (: 

The project I am working on right now is very close to heart - it is my wedding cake.  Talk about a challenge for the bride!  I plan to fill and frost it with white chocolate buttercream then freeze the un-assembled cake about a week ahead.  I would like to apply sparkling sugar to the outside frosting over the entire three layers.  Is this something I can do before I freeze the cake?

Just wondering if anyone has slowly thawed and brought a buttercream cake back to room temperature with sparkling sugar on it - what were your results?  Did the sugar dissolve if the cake sweat?  Would it be best to apply the sparkling sugar on the day of the wedding…..

Thank you!

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Posted: 29 July 2011 07:54 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Using sugar on the outside of a buttercream cake is something I’ve done a lot lately; one of our designs with this effect was in The Knot magazine and it’s been getting more and more requests!

You need to apply the sugar when the buttercream is still soft so it will stick.  If you have time to do a test run with applying the sugar and freezing it then thawing to see how it will behave, I’d try that. I would not freeze a sugar coated cake because it may melt in places and spoil the overall look.  Otherwise just freeze the cake without a crumb coat and finish crumb coating/final coating/apply sugar/stack the day before.  My experience with applying a second coat of buttercream to a crumb coat after the crumb coat was chilled for longer than a few hours is that the second coat likes to slide around a little.  Your mileage may vary so if you have time, test it out.

Another thing to consider is that you should apply the sugar to the sides of the cake, then stack it; then apply the sugar to the “ledge” space between the tiers. 

You want to use large grain sugar - sometimes called AA confectioners sugar which is very different from powdered sugar.  You might have to order it from King Arthur Flour or another specialty cake decorating or bakery supply.  Or see if a bakery will sell you some; although you probably won’t use more than a pound; it makes sense to have more just in case. 

Congratulations on your upcoming wedding!

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Posted: 29 July 2011 11:42 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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I’ll offer a humble bit of home-baker advice, in addition to Jeanne’s excellent professional take- not sure if the sugar is colored, but if so, the color may bleed into the frosting after being left at room temp for more than an hour or two. 

Good luck!

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Posted: 29 July 2011 12:33 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Thank you!  This is all so helpful!  I believe it has help me decide to not use sparkling sugar on this occasion.  I am curious about freezing cakes in general.  Is it okay for me to crumb coat, buttercream frost and freeze my wedding cake a few weeks ahead?  I am concerned about the cake not tasting fresh and moist.  I would thaw in the refrigerator over night and then pull out a few hours before serving for display on the wedding day.

I have been reviewing the suggested guidelines from the Cake Bible in regards to the storing methods for fillings, frosting and cakes.  Many recipes say the finished product can be frozen for months….....

Any comments about preparing a cake and freezing it ahead of time will be much appreciated!

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Posted: 29 July 2011 09:13 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Preparing a cake and buttercream and freezing ahead should be fine, as long as you wrap tightly in two layers of plastic and one layer of foil.  Get it into the freezer as soon as you can after baking.  The frosted cake will need to be chilled/frozen enough for the buttercream to be firm before wrapping so it won’t dent/ get marred. 

You could also consider syruping the cake according to the directions in the wedding cake section of the Cake Bible, to give you plenty of moistness.

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Posted: 29 July 2011 10:56 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Hi, Kiwi!

I freeze composed (and not-yet-composed) butter cakes all the time, and they are perfect after thawing.  In fact, I generally like them better than cakes I don’t freeze.  I have found that a two-layer 9” cake takes about 6 hours to come to room temp, so be sure to give pleanty of time. 

Congratulations on your wedding!  How wonderful to make your own cake!

—ak

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Posted: 31 July 2011 04:03 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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I did my daughter’s “Star Themed” wedding cake using custom-tinted pale blue sparkling sugar on the “ledges”, however the cake was covered in rolled fondant (it was late June and an outdoor reception). I also took the frozen cakes to the venue (the lake) and composed them and finished them there. I opted for the sugar as blue is such a difficult colour to incorporate. The embossed stars and the sparkling sugar formed a lovely backdrop for the white fresh flowers, and the custom-stencilled ribbon encircling the layers (their “life” scripture Phil.2:15) You can see pictures of it on my Flickr stream at http://www.flickr.com/photos/44733706@N02/page2/ I hav.e not had much experience with using sugar on buttercream, only Decorator’s Buttercream on cupcakes, and I have found that it does weep/bleed if left for long, or covered. But do consider using the sugar - it is very pretty, esp for Holiday season. Best of luck (and I do hope that you are not up til 3 a.m. the night before your wedding as I was - crazy fool as I am!)!

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Posted: 01 August 2011 08:57 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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KB, you have some beautiful cakes in your photostream!  Enjoyed seeing them.

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Posted: 01 August 2011 01:04 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Thanks so much for your encouraging words! I enjoy your posts so much - you have so much insight to offer and such a lot of experience for us to gain from! I really want to make your Almond Coffee Caramel Genoise Cake!

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Posted: 07 August 2011 09:05 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Now that you mention it, so do I!  One of my all-time favorite cakes smile

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