Wedding Cake Layers Too Tall

by Diane
(Ojai, Ca)

I have just baked a two layer 6 inch experimental cake for the wedding cake I am to make at the end of this month. It is a good 5 - 6 inches high, how can a cake this tall be cut into small pieces?

Tall Cake

I did not use my side wraps to keep the cake from doming, which I will do when I make the "real" cake, but still, this is a really tall cake, I am going to make a 14, 10 & 6" stacked cake for 100 people. Help!!!

Italian Meringue Buttercream

Also, when I make the Italian meringue buttercream how long should I whip the sugar & egg white mixture before I start to add the butter, does it need to be completely cool to touch? It seemed when I made it yesterday, that I had a huge fluffy mixture, but as soon as I started to add the butter, it deflated.

Thanks for your continued assistance. Diane

Hi Diane, Welcome back. To answer your first question about the height of the cakes. The finished cakes with filling and frosting should be around 6 inches tall. Assuming you are making a two layer cake with filling, each layer is about 2 inches high, the filling about an inch. By the time the cakes are frosted and decorated they are at least 6 inches high.

You can measure each tier and try to get them all the same height. The two inch by one inch piece is a guide only. You might cut them slightly larger. The height is not included in those measurements. You can always trim down the cakes at various stages in the process.

To answer the question about the buttercream, the sugar and egg whites can be a little warm when you add the butter. Not too warm or it will turn into a liquidy mess. If that does happen though you can use an ice bath to bring it around to a firmer texture. When you add the butter it will deflate the whites a bit and it will look curdled for a while. as you continue mixing and adding the butter it will all come together and be a nice smooth creamy frosting.

Sometimes it does not mix properly due to the temperature not being correct, or over mixing etc. In which case you can will use it as a crumb coat or filling instead of a finishing coat.

Hope that helps Diane.

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Mar 08, 2012
Wedding cake layers too tall
by: Diane

Thanks Lorelie, this helps a lot. I will just let the caterer worry about cutting the cake, as long is this is the "acceptable" height, I am good with it. How far in advance do you advice the buttercream can be made and held in fridge?

Mar 08, 2012
by: Lorelie

Hi Diane, I much prefer to make the buttercream the day of or the day before and leave it out of the refrigerator covered in plastic wrap. The reason for this is that the buttercream will get hard in the fridge. You will then have to bring it to room temperature before re-whipping it. I prefer not to have to go through all of that.

But having said that you can make it weeks ahead and freeze it if you want to. Just make sure to give yourself extra time to thaw and bring to room temp. You can also microwave small amounts of it carefully and re-mix it with a hand held whip.

May 03, 2012
by: grace

Have you ever worked with ganache? I would like to use it as a two layer wedding cake frosting but am a little intimidated by it. Got any tips or fail proof recipes?

May 04, 2012
Chocolate Ganache Tips
by: Lorelie

Hi Grace,

Sure you can use chocolate ganache to fill and to frost a wedding cake. Here is the recipe that I use and a few tips.

Use cold cake layers when filling the cakes. First make a dam of buttercream around the edges of your bottom layer.Then fill with the ganache. This will cause the ganache and the buttercream frosting to set quickly and hold the cake layers together for you.

For frosting your cakes, first do a quick crumb coat with your soft ganache. For the final frosting, if you plan on using the chocolate frosting for the outside of the cake here are two ways to do it.

For a shiny finish, place your crumb coated cake on a rack. The rack should be placed over a large flat pan. You then pour the ganache over the cakes and let it drip over the sides as you smooth it with a spatula. This take practice to do well.

An easier way to cover your cakes is by letting the ganache cool enough as you stir it to a thicker frosting consistency. You would then use it as any other icing.

Hope that helps.

Sep 27, 2014
Confused about 3 inch cake pans
by: Ann Walton

If most wedding cake are double layers. At what time is the 3" pans good for baking a cake? Just ordered a set of wedding cake pans 3" deep. If I double 3" layers the cake will be too tall. Can I do a wedding cake using only singe layers?

Sep 27, 2014
pan height
by: Lorelie

Hi Ann,I have some pans that are 4 inch, but I still only fill the pans as if they were 2 inch. Pans should not be too full or the cakes will take too long to bake and may burn on the outside.

Fill your pans to about an inch high with batter and it should bake up to twice the height. If you do two layers like this and then fill and frost your finished cakes should end up at around 4-5 inches in height. How high the cake bakes up will also depend on the batter you are using, so you will have to experiment a little bit.

Hope that helps

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