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I'm making a police station cake for DS, please can you give me some pointers?

(37 Posts)
CobOnTheCorn Sun 14-Jul-13 11:32:18

I am an amateur baker and cake decorator, I only make stuff for my dc so I know some basics but would appreciate some tips from you more exerienced people.

I have lurked on some of the sugarcraft chats a while ago and seen some of the marvellous creations you have made.

So this is what I'm going to attempt but without the helicopter.

So, first the cake itself - it needs to be quite large, can anyone share a foolproof recipe for a vanilla sponge that won't crumb too much. Mine often dry out so this time I'm going to make 2 or 3 think cakes and layer them.

I'll sandwich them together with a bit of jam and buttercream then coat completely with buttercream.

I haven't made a two-tiered cake before but I have some rods. How may should I use and how far above the bottom layer should they poke out?

I think I'll cut the black shapes for the roof first and stick those on, then wrap the white paste around. For the brick imprints I'm thinkking of using a rule for the horizontal lines and maybe a mdeling tool for the vertical lines or perhaps the back of a plastic knife.

Hopefully a few more rectangles for doors etc and it'll be sort of recogniseable when I add Lego police and their vehicles.

What have I missed? Will I need a vat of buttercream, what is best to stick the doors on with - vodka?.

Thanks if you made it this far!

Any tips gratefuly received!

Blatherskite Sun 14-Jul-13 17:26:18

I think in this weather, the best thing to remember is to chill the cake between stages.

I used a Hummingbird Bakery vanilla sponge recipe for most of my cakes but you might be better with a maderia cake if you're making it tall as it's a bit more robust and won't squash under it's own weight. Layer up, dowel (3 should do it), crumb coat and then chill the lot before adding the fondant.

I'd definitely make the roof in advance and let it dry a bit before putting it on to keep it flat.

We need a stealthsquiggle and a DoctorsWife - hang on...

stealthsquiggle Sun 14-Jul-13 18:09:21

Definitely allow time for chilling (you, but most importantly cake) between layers. Icing behaves very strangely in this weather (well, strange to me as the bulk of my baking is done in autumn/winter).

I would probably use Nigella's buttermilk birthday cake, or look for an American pound cake which is pretty dense. Do you by any chance have one of those silverware multisize square tins? If so, it would be perfect for that cake - 2/3 for ground floor, 1/3 for top floor. You will definitely need lots of buttercream - get it as smooth as humanly possible before putting fondant on (chill and then smooth with knife dipped in hot water) as fondant will not hide lumps and bumps at all. Stick doors on with sugar glue (mash some spare bits of fondant with hot water).

stealthsquiggle Sun 14-Jul-13 18:10:12

Oh, and cut dowels level with the top of the fondant, and you will need a thin board between layers.

Blatherskite Sun 14-Jul-13 18:13:36

The bat-call worked then wink

Tinkerisdead Sun 14-Jul-13 18:56:26

I cant add anythingto that other than, i wouldnt be wrapping icing around a cake it never goes as easily as you think. Me, i'd ice the whole cake white THEN stick the roof onto that, like stealth says make a kind of slip mashing sugarpaste with water. You can use the back of a knife to emboss the brickwork or you can buy embossing boards that you can press onto the icing.

If you make all the windows/doors in advance and let them dry they'll be far straighter, neater than the cake you've linked to plus you'll save time by doing the detail in advance. The other key to that cake is making sure you do an iced board as the carpark etc, do it in advance so that its nice and hard to take the cake weight.

CobOnTheCorn Sun 14-Jul-13 20:21:16

My goodness you people are wonderful!

Thanks Blatherskite for your reply and for calling reinforcements!

Happy to make the roof in advance and can manage the fondant and water glue.

I'll check out the cake recipes you mention too.

Arf at me chilling Stealth - do you know me?

I don't have a multisquare tin but I do have a large rectangle one that I can chop a third off for the top layer.

I don't have a thin board either - can I improvise or am I doomed?

Ok DoctorsWife, I'll cover the cakes first then put the roof on top and hope that the edges are nice and neat.

I bought a black board so that I wouldn't have to cover it, the other cheat I'm considering is using real Lego windows and doors instead of icing.

I don't normally cut this many corners but I'm really short for time this year and need to keep my stress levels down.

Thanks for all your help.

Blatherskite Sun 14-Jul-13 20:33:56

You could always attach a line of 2x4 lego blocks to a longer block and then use that as your embossing tool...?

Real windows and doors might actually look quite good. I've made a cake with real lego figures, trees and even a log cabin on before and it worked really well

nannycook Sun 14-Jul-13 20:43:46

I agree, you need a cake card as it adds stability for a tiered cake, and i go with everyone else you need to cover the cakes first, and board to dry, most of it is sticking things on the cake so shouldnt be to bad, i made two cakes this week in this weather and fondant behaves strangely in this weather. Good luck with it and let me know how you get on.

MERLYPUSS Sun 14-Jul-13 20:45:31

You need to make liquorice jail bars for a real effect.

CobOnTheCorn Mon 15-Jul-13 16:47:40

Ok, in the absence of a cake card/board I'm going to have to go Blue Peter and make something. Some cardboard covered in foil will have to do.

Thanks nannycook I've made the cake mixtures and I'll bake them tonight then they are ready to be covered and refrigerated before I start with the fondant.

Presumably I can't put the cake in the fridge once it has fondant on as it'll leech sugar/water.

I've got a freestanding electric fan that I'm going to use when it gets sweaty - the icing not me!

I've got a Lego prison door especially MERLYPUSS.

DS's birthday is on Friday so I'll finish on Thursday and post a photo if it isn't too crap.

elQuintoConyo Mon 15-Jul-13 17:04:51

Get a couple of Playmobil figures to bring it to life. We had a policewoman and burglar with loot, handcuffs, gun (maybe 'lose' that bit), swagbag on our wedding cake

stealthsquiggle Mon 15-Jul-13 19:41:48

Once it has fondant on it should be fine anywhere that is reasonably cool and dry (it's at times like these that I really wish we had a larder).

Blatherskite Mon 15-Jul-13 20:45:13

You can't put Playmobil figures on a Lego cake! shock

stealthsquiggle Mon 15-Jul-13 21:39:41

It's fusion, Blathers. Sent multi cultural society. Peace and goodwill. All that. --or you could just make it a playmobil police station--grin

Blatherskite Mon 15-Jul-13 21:49:21

Why bother when Lego policemen and robbers are so easy to find?

No need for the tall buggers to get involved grin

Tinkerisdead Mon 15-Jul-13 22:40:51

I heart playmobil

stealthsquiggle Mon 15-Jul-13 22:46:06

Looks like you are outnumbered, Blathers wink

Mynewmoniker Mon 15-Jul-13 22:47:59

Are you going hide a file inside it grin

Don't forget the police dogs jumping through the fire hoops!

CobOnTheCorn Tue 16-Jul-13 14:22:58

Ha ha to all the suggestions. Personally I love a bit of Playmobil but, as I keep reminding myself, this cake is for DS and he is having Lego. I've got some police officers, dogs and vehicles, some robbers, stolen jewels and handcuffs.

Well, I will have if Amazon come good and get the blighters here in time.

Cakes are now baked and wrapped in cling film. Buttercream is made and sitting in the fridge.

stealthsquiggle Tue 16-Jul-13 14:39:27

You could have edible jewels if you wanted.

CobOnTheCorn Thu 18-Jul-13 15:31:37

I wouldn't believe it if I hadn't seen them with my own eyes. It's probably a good job I don't have time to order them.

Right, I may have messed up. I've covered both cakes but separately so I need to put the top tier on and I don' know how to attach it so that it doesn't just fall off. It has only just occurred to me that perhaps I was supposed to assemble the tiers and then cover in sugar paste. So, how can I get out of this pickle?

Ice some kind of border to seal the two tiers together? Use the dowels to spear both levels to join them?


stealthsquiggle Thu 18-Jul-13 16:02:53

Gravity and a smear of buttercream should do the job, unless you are planning on taking it on a roller coaster wink

CobOnTheCorn Thu 18-Jul-13 16:23:37

Thanks stealth I'll send you a slice! I suppose I should take the board out then

I can imagine DS seeing it tomorrow and me yelling "don't touch it" in some neurotic fashion. Poor kid.

stealthsquiggle Thu 18-Jul-13 20:25:47

If it's not too late - leave the board in, if it is the same size as the cake, and put dowels (straws) in the bottom layer to support it.

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