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Cake decorating experts - how far in advance can I marzipan / sugarpaste a fruit cake?

(17 Posts)
Aniyan Thu 19-Mar-09 11:03:28

I'm making a wedding cake - well, lots and lots of little fruit cakes, individually marzipanned, covered in roll-out sugar paste, and then decorated - probably with powder colour stencil designs.

I'm buying little ready-made cakes with a long shelf-life. The wedding's at the beginning of June and I want to pace myself, so, please give me the benefit of your wisdom and let me know:

How far in advance I can marzipan the cakes

How far in advance I can cover them in sugar paste (I know I need to leave some time between marzipan and sugar paste)

The best way to store them (I'm guessing cardboard boxes so they can 'breathe'?)

Many many thanks in advance smile

lucysmam Thu 19-Mar-09 11:13:16

I'd be interested in knowing that too for future reference.

When I did Xmas cakes last year, I marzipanned them 3 weeks before Xmas, re-wrapped in tin foil & then iced a week before. But don't know if this is correct or not

fruitbeard Thu 19-Mar-09 12:15:21

I made a Christmas cake back in early October, marzipanned it and then forgot about it throughout November blush and only ended up covering it in royal icing the week before Christmas. I did however feed it a lot of Grand Marnier when I remembered it, which helped keep it moist!

The person I was making it for said it was perfectly edible (I confessed and offered to scrape it all off and redo it!) and he didn't notice any difference, so I guess you could marzipan them some time in advance.

I'd kept it in an airtight tin wrapped in greaseproof paper.

Sugar paste can go very hard when exposed to the air, so personally I'd say a week or so at most - but I'm not an expert so I'm sure someone else will be along in a mo to tell you different!

Aniyan Thu 19-Mar-09 12:33:23

Thanks Fruitbeard - it's the last-minute sugar-pasting I'm thinking about (64 mini cakes to do shock)- I'd like to do it as far in advance as possible but still have tasty cake!

fruitbeard Thu 19-Mar-09 12:47:00

OMG! You're brave! I'm making my FIL's cake on a similar basis (lots of mini cakes) but they only want 30, thank goodness!

Good luck

geraldinetheluckygoat Thu 19-Mar-09 14:48:28

I think you could do this weeks in advance, if it is fruit cake as there is nothing in the icing that could go off, and the sugar acts as a preservative....but im not definite......i decorate normal cakes up to a week in advance

I marzipanned DD christening cake 3 weeks ago allowed it to dry for 2 weeks then iced it last Friday for this Saturday. I can't see why you can't ice them and leave them for longer - Sorry I'm no use really.

Aniyan Thu 19-Mar-09 22:06:09

Thanks for all your comments everyone - I rang up a cake decorating shop this afternoon and asked them, and apparently I can marzipan them 2-3 weeks ahead if I want to, and put the sugar paste icing on up to 10 days in advance.

Less time than I'd like, but at least they didn't say it all had to be done the day before which was a relief smile

Now I just have to make about a zillion teeny timy sugar butterflies to stick on the cakes when they're iced....

Aniyan Thu 19-Mar-09 22:06:41

tiny butterflies!

geraldinetheluckygoat Thu 19-Mar-09 22:11:19

ohhh good luck, there are some nice butterfly cutters about, which would make it quicker?

Aniyan Fri 20-Mar-09 09:57:57

Yes, I'm planning on buying a couple of different sized cutters and setting up a production line!

I'm getting a bit nervous about it now - it's starting to dawn on me what an undertaking this might be...

fruitbeard Fri 20-Mar-09 09:59:50

Aniyan, are you making the butterfly cakes from Peggy Porschen's Romantic Cake book?

That's the one I'm doing for FIL!

MsSparkle Fri 20-Mar-09 10:11:20

You can marzipan the cake now, just make sure you store it in an air tight tin or box. You don't need to leave time between the marzipan and sugar paste, you can do them both one after the other.

Make sure the marzipan doesn't get wet in anyway, obviously jam is ok, because it will go mouldy and you don't want to cut the cake open to find mouldy marzipan!smile

Aniyan Fri 20-Mar-09 11:15:59

fruitbeard - no, it's not that one - it's a combination of pictures I've seen online and a pic I saw of sugar butterflies in a cake decorating magazine.

Thanks for your advice MsSparkle - I think I'm going to get the marzipan on as soon as I can and store them carefully, as you say, then have as much time as possible nearer the deadline to get the icing done.

I'll be using boiled jam to stick the marzipan on too, as I've heard that using jam straight from the jar can also make mould - which would be my worst nightmare smile

ComeOVeneer Fri 20-Mar-09 11:24:57

Aniyan, PME do a fab set of buttterfly cutters that aare embossed and plungers so very quick to use. Also patchwork cutters do a set with loads of different sizes

PME

patchwork

Aniyan Fri 20-Mar-09 17:34:01

Thanks ComeOVeneer grin - the patchwork ones look great - will probably order these.

Shaddy1956 Thu 01-Jan-15 10:17:21

I have an issue with marzipan that someone may be able to help with. I put marzipan on a fruit cake and used a thin coat of boiled and sieved apricot jam and then added fondant after leaving the marzipan to dry for a few days. What has happened is that the marzipan has gone gooey. I have also tried just coating the fruit cake with a sugar and water mix and the same thing happens - does anyone have any suggestions as to why this would happen?

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