Welcome to the Cake Decorators Q&A

asked March 7th 2018

70 Anniversary cake

Hi I have a 70th anniversary cake make and I was wondering:

1. I want to make the 70 standing on top of a building but not sure if the structure should be made the same way as Paul's 60th anniversary cake. The only difference is that mine is standing on a building.

2. I am not sure how to make it for 500 servings either. I need some help as to portion guides. I want the 70 to be edible to make up for portions.

3. The client wants vanilla cake since most persons prefer vanilla. I am wondering about ganaching the whole cake before putting on the fondant. I can only find 33.9% cocoa here in my country. Will that hold up? The good thing is that the event is in the evening, so no heat to worry about except for when making the cake.

4. If I use 14" square pans, do I layer each cake with ganache and what is the probability of it sliding down and falling apart.

5. How do I transport this thing?



Hi MaggieC

1: Making a structure similar to Paul's 60 would be extremely heavy and would require assembling with great care if it is to stand at the top.
It would be safer to make the buildings from stacked cake tiers and the 70 from either pastillage or modelling chocolate to use as the topper. It could be lit up with small LED lights to make it stand out.

2: The portions guide calculator can be found here:

Cake Calculators

3: Use 3:1 or even 4:1 ratio for your ganache. This is the same ratio for white chocolate when using in a hot climate.

4: Allow ganache cake to set in the refrigerator before icing. Cakes will only slide if the enviromental temperature is very high and the cake is left to stand out for several hours.

5: Transporting the cakes individually and stacking the tiers at the venue is an option to consider.

Hope some of these suggestions help. 🙂


Hi madeitwithlove
1. I have assembled a few advanced cakes so far so i am sort of ok with doing the structure. What i dont understand is whether to have the 4x4 support for the numbers in the middle with cake stacked around it for the building? does that make sense? i am worried about how the guests will think of it once they see the structure after the cake has been cut and eaten.

i have never made pastillage before and havent the foggiest how to get it done. will it hold up?

2. thanks.

3. 3 lbs chocolate to 1 lb heavy cream?

4. ok thanks.

5. i think because of the detailing involved that might not be an option in terms of time. i will keep it as a last resort just in case. thanks


Hi MaggieC

How big/small are the buildings going to be? I sort of visualised tall buildings with the 70 sitting on the top as a topper. I've obviously see it all wrong in my head.

Paul has various objects surrounding his stacked number. Could you do a similar theme except with buildings or is that how it will be?

Will the whole cake be cut in front of the guests? Will the main body of the cake not be cut in the kitchens for serving after the first initial slices?
Personally I don't think it would worry the guest how the internal structure will look once the cake is eaten out. They will probably marvel at your genius for having created it in the first place.

An easier option would be to create a wow factor small centre piece of the structure and make up several sheet cakes which can be cut up in the kitchen for serving guests. You'd only need to ice the cutting cakes, no decoration.

In the tutorial Paul used kitchen foil to mask the structure. I think to prevent any bits of foil entering into cake slices when cut, it would be safer to use cake board covering foil which is far more robust and better for presentation.

To see suppliers in your own country, just google it by name.

The ratios are already worked out in the ganache calculator. 3:1 is mostly used for chocolate containing low cocoa solids or in hot climatic conditions which prevent ganache forming a shell when used as cake cover. Another way would be to add a percentage of melted cocoa butter to the ganache to make it stronger.

Pastillage is similar to gumpaste except it is much stronger and once dry can be sand papered or filed to create form. Working quickly is essential as it dries fast and very hard. There are several recipes and tutorials online showing how to use it. It can also be purchased ready made. See some tutorials here:

I don't feel I am being of much help especially as ingredients and recipes may be different in your own country.


I visualized it in the same way Paul did the 60th anniversary cake but with 2 buildings stacked around it.
I like the idea of doing it smaller than I had visioned and have some sheet cakes for cutting. I didnt think of that.
The venue is outdoors so I will have to organize it properly. I will use the cake board covering foil technique.

How would I get cocoa butter that I can melt to add to the ganache? Is is sold separately?

I want the building to be 1x1x2 wxlxh plus the sheet cakes for cutting. Will that be enough for 500 persons? I have used the cake calculator but it only allows for 16" size pans. I find it all too confusing.

You have been a big massive help. I feel so much better with getting you feedback.



Hi Mag

I'm so sorry to have kept you waiting for an answer. I will work some figures out for you and post back tomorrow. It's very late at time of writing this and I want to get the amounts right for you. 🙂


Hi Mag

I've had a good think about this structure and have come to the conclusion that it would be better to stick to the same amount of cake as Paul has used in the tutorial. My thoughts of making a smaller structure would not relate the wow factor for such a large gathering of people.
Paul has used 3 x 10" square cakes and there was very little waste from carving. As an estimate guide, this amount of cake for 1" x 2" portions will give 50 portions per cake making it 150 portions for all three. This is how much the structure will yield as an estimate.

For additional 1" x 2" portions you will need the equivalent of 7 x 10" x 10" cakes. Together with the structure, this should be suffcient for 500 persons.
Please could you let me know the size sheet pans you use for futher calculations.

Cocoa butter can be purchased online. To see suppliers in your own country, google it by name. I use a product called Mycryo.
By adding 1% - 2% to approximately 2 kilo of chocolate, it helps to add stable crystals to what you are using.
I am sure you will be able to purchase most things online, it's an easy way of shopping for the correct products.

EDIT: Mag, I've just been told the mycryo will not work as it helps fluidity. I would try and purchase chocolate online with a higher % of cocoa solids. I'm sorry for any confusion caused. I've learned someting new today too. x


Thank you, Thank you, Thank you! I cannot thank you enough madeitwithlove for everything.

Thank you for the portions guide. I was so confused.

The sheet pans I use are 16x22. My oven only holds that size. I have pan extenders which helps.

My country only has Calibut and Radar chocolate between 33.5 and 33.9% cocoa. So I will definitely order it online. Any suggestions for a good brand with high % cocoa?



Hi Mag

Callebaut is the brand I use and they definitely make right up to 100% cocoa. For cake decorating a good % is 50 -60%. Other good brands are Belcolade, Valrhona, Montezuma. There are many more, if you google couverture you will see suppliers in your own country.

3 sheet cake pans 16 x 22 you will have 528 portions 1" x 2". If you use the sheet pans make a little extra to give you a safety cushion for the carving.

Good luck with your search for the couverture.


Thank you so much for all your help. Will let you know how it goes. The event is next month 28th. Will hopefully send you pictures after once all goes well.

Thanks again to you and to PBSS for this forum.



You are welcome Mag. I hope everything goes according to plan. xx

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