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birthday cake novice questions

(9 Posts)
Pinebarrens Sun 02-Jun-13 03:58:36

im planning on baking a cake for DDs birthday next weekend & have a couple of questions if anyone can help?

1. party is on Saturday so i was going to bake on Thursday & decorate on Friday. does this seem ok ie will cake still be fresh enough?

1. should i bake sponge or madeira? it will be covered with fondant icing. its just an 8 inch round.

2. how do i store the cake before & after decorating?

3. can i just jam the cake before icing or do i have to buttercream/marzipan it? ideally i would like to just use apricot jam.

As you can tell i really am a novice! I've made a few sponges before but always on the day & they've been pretty good.

I am planning on doing a trial bake of cake today.


SavoyCabbage Sun 02-Jun-13 04:06:25

If its going to be eaten by mainly children, then they won't eat the cake itself in my experience. They will just lick the icing off.

What kind of icing do you want to use?

friendlymum67 Sun 02-Jun-13 05:06:39

Hi - to answer your questions

1. Yes absolutely
2. Madeira is denser and easier to decorate than sponge - it depends on how elaborate your decoration will be!
3. Wrap in silver foil before decorating and after decorating a cardboard cake box ideal otherwise a Tupperware style one
4. I have only used buttercream before using using fondant but sure I've read somewhere jam can be used.

Good luck - sure it will be lovely!

Pinebarrens Sun 02-Jun-13 10:05:41

Brilliant thanks friendly

Not elaborate at all! So maybe a sponge would be ok?

I was worried a plastic box might make the icing 'sweat' a bit?

friendlymum67 Sun 02-Jun-13 17:33:42

I would think sponge would be ok as its small and not elaborate! smile

You're right about a plastic box possibly making the cake 'sweat' a bit, but if you haven't got anything else, it will be fine. I wouldn't use the lid - just use clingfilm or foil to lightly cover the top of the box. Fondant covered cakes keep quite well!

bacon Sun 02-Jun-13 17:40:20

There seems to be a lot of obsession on MN for cakes to be Maderia. Maderia is suitable for carved cakes but a simple party cake can be anything really. Coconut, rich chocolate, vanilla, orange endless really but not a Victoria as this can be hard to cut - eg

A cake will be sealed once its iced so you could easily make it earlier (I find baking cakes and freezing works for me).

If its a sponge then no marzipan, best stick to buttercream then sugarpaste.

Google all the techniques - loads on you-tube.

Startail Sun 02-Jun-13 18:05:46

butter cream, seedless rasberry or apricot jam all stick fondant to sponge.

If using white fondant with bright coloured shapes stuck or piped on it, leave white to dry as long as possible then add shapes with the tiniest drop of water (gin or vodca is even better because excess evaporates). Then the colours don't bleed even in a plastic box.

If you want to put fondant shapes, letters or figures on to a butter cream coated cake it's best to let them dry sat on a plate and put them on at the very last minute as they take up moisture from the butter cream.

Good luck and have fun, DCs appreciate anything colourful, especially if you let them have an input into the design. They don't care if it's perfect.

DCs also tend to like sweets, you can go a long way with smarties, chocolate buttons and interesting pick and mix and no skill at all.

Startail Sun 02-Jun-13 18:08:38

Oh and ready coloured fondant is your friend. Especially if you want black or red.

I had red food colouring stains on my table for years.

Pinebarrens Sun 02-Jun-13 21:30:15

Great thanks for the advice all.

Fingers crossed the cake doesn't turn out too wonky!

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