3 tiered cakes?

by Tanya Machtaler
(Calgary, Canada)

This is what I want to do, but I am not sure how to tackle it. HELP!

This is what I want to do, but I am not sure how to tackle it. HELP!

What is the process of putting together 3 tiered cakes?

I am wanting to make a 3 tier 50th wedding anniversary cake. The bottom layer being 12' and 2 layers high(carrot) The middle 10' 2 layers and for the top I am wanting to make a cowboy hat out of a 8' 2 or 3 layers high (not sure)

I want the cowboy hat to look realistic. I was thinking of using a real cowboy hat, laying it upside down put some wax paper over the brim of the hat and laying the fondant over it and letting it harden.

My questions about this is, should I use fondant or gum paste or a mixture of both? How thick should I do the brim so that is doesn't crack? Or is there a better way of doing this?

I have watched your videos on youtube and I know to use straws to support each tier. The question I have about this is I am traveling 8 hours with it. Ahhh!!! How do I do this?

What's the best way to get it where its supposed to be with out pieces falling off? (Like the belt buckle or the or the brim of the hat cracking and breaking)

I am wondering if I should freeze before putting the fondant on. Is this a good idea or is it just going to cause moisture under the fondant and make for a gross cake?

I think that is all the questions I have right now. If I have some more I will email you. I need all the help I can get. Thanks so much



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Feb 05, 2010
Great Questions Tanya!
by: Lorelie

Hi Tanya

You chose a fun yet challenging 50th wedding anniversary cake.

This will be a long post. Here goes...

First I would like to suggest that if you are doing a 12' bottom tier that you do an 8" middle tier. The top should end up being about 6". You will end up with a more proportionate looking cake with more stability for travel.

For the top:use real cake. I don't think the fondant will mold around a real hat. You will need to start out with an 8" cake and sculpt it down to approximately 6". The brim is a separate piece. Roll out the fondant cut it to the desired shape and curl the edges up and prop it against something until it dries.

Carrot cake is a great choice for fondant cake decorating because it is firm and lends itself well to cutting, shaping and en robing.

Freezing the cakes: I have found that carrot cakes can be frozen for months ahead and still remain fresh, as long as they are wrapped well.

Here is the process that I normally use.

Lets say I have a Saturday wedding.

  • Monday-I take stock of all ingredients, cake boards etc. that I will need for the cake.

  • Tuesday-Bake the cakes, wrap and freeze.

  • Wednesday-Make fillings, fill, re-wrap put them back into the freezer.

  • Thursday-Make buttercream, crumb coat the cakes, cover and put into the refrigerator. They will slowly unfreeze in the coat of buttercream so no moisture gets in.

  • Friday-Final coat of buttercream goes on and cakes are decorated. I stack the cakes or prepare the individual cakes on the pillared plates to be delivered and put together at the venue. *Put them back in the fridge until delivery time.

*if you are covering the cake in fondant than you will not put the cake back into the fridge. Hopefully you have a cool place to store it but not too cold because what will happen is the fondant starts to sweat the minute you take it out of the fridge and you will end up with a gooey mess. The colors will run from the fondant if you are using dark colors. (which you are)

So have the cake all finished the night before and keep it in a dry cool spot.

Optional-You may cover the cake lightly with plastic as long as it is dry just to keep it safe from dust and dirt.

You will need to put a wooden dowel rod from top to bottom. Directly through the center. I get them at the craft store and whittle one end until sharp and stick it right through.

Feb 05, 2010
Part 2 of The Answer To Your Questions
by: Lorelie

Delivery: I almost always stack the cakes and deliver them. When picking up a cake and moving it around, the strength of the base is important, otherwise your may get a sag and cause the a crack or the fondant to look droopy.

The cake in the photo is on, what looks to be, a Wilton foam base. If you have a heavy cake, as yours will be, you will need a solid foundation for it. You can either hot glue two of the Wilton Wedding boards together and decorate the sides with ribbon, or have your local lumber yard cut you a 16 " wooden circle. You can cover it with special cake foil.

Maybe you have a great big solid plate to put it on, that would be great.

I don't know what kind of vehicle you have so I will give you a couple of ideas.

If you can fit a large box into your vehicle and have a flat surface to put it on, than get a box that is 16 " or 17 " square and high enough to encase the whole cake. The base should just fit snugly in the box, if not use a drop of hot glue under the base. I'm lucky because my husband works in a shipping dept and has easy access to these boxes.

I cut one whole side of the box so it opens like a flap. Slide it in and then tape the flap back up.

Lets say you don't have a box. You can use a slightly damp towel to place under the base to hold it in place, or a cushioned foam that the cake can sink down into. If you have a fellow traveler have them keep an eye on it for you.

And lastly: To answer your question about pieces falling off. As you are constructing the cake, use a very small amount of water to stick the pieces on. I have never had pieces fall off. Once they are stuck they don't come off easily as long as the fondant is kept dry.

I hope this helps and I would love to see a photo . Or a you tube video would be awesome.

Thanks Tanya! Good luck and feel free to contact me again regarding your 50th wedding anniversary cake challenge.

Feb 21, 2010
Here is the finished cake by Tanya!
by: Lorelie

Oct 28, 2010
I found the best cake supports!
by: Lorelie

Hi Tanya,
I hope all is well and you are still decorating . I found these really awesome cake supports and wanted to let you know about them. I started using this system recently and LOVE LOVE LOVE it!

Take a look at the new by Cake Stackers and be amazed!

Mysee my youtube video review this page with a written review and a link to their site.

I am very excited about them. I was able to relax a lot more and not worry so much when traveling.


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