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asked September 4th 2017

Covering fruit cake …

… disaster!
I am making my daughter’s wedding cake – three tiers although I will display them on separate stands with fresh flowers/garlands linking the three. This is the first wedding cake I have made – all three layers are fruit but I will give some sponge cakes straight to the kitchen to add choice.

I could see from the outset that the sides of my cakes were not straight. My plan was/is to put them on a drum and then ice over the board to give extra height. I wish I had cut all the cakes so that they fitted exactly the next size drum down but I was in a rush. So … I now have the cakes marzipanned but the sides slope in a little (not massively). What shall I do? Will the fondant make it better or worse? I have no royal icing experience so can’t face doing that.

Should I take all the marzipan off and start again?

I’m also a little nervous that the cakes will look a bit plain just covered in fondant. Should I be adding any extra decoration do you think? I have fondant-covered three extra boards – each 2″ bigger than the cake with a view to putting the cakes on these and then doing moulded pearls around the join.

Any advice for this novice would be gratefully received.

Pen

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… disaster!
I am making my daughter’s wedding cake – three tiers although I will display them on separate stands with fresh flowers/garlands linking the three. This is the first wedding cake I have made – all three layers are fruit but I will give some sponge cakes straight to the kitchen to add choice.

I could see from the outset that the sides of my cakes were not straight. My plan was/is to put them on a drum and then ice over the board to give extra height. I wish I had cut all the cakes so that they fitted exactly the next size drum down but I was in a rush. So … I now have the cakes marzipanned but the sides slope in a little (not massively). What shall I do? Will the fondant make it better or worse? I have no royal icing experience so can’t face doing that.

Should I take all the marzipan off and start again?

I’m also a little nervous that the cakes will look a bit plain just covered in fondant. Should I be adding any extra decoration do you think? I have fondant-covered three extra boards – each 2″ bigger than the cake with a view to putting the cakes on these and then doing moulded pearls around the join.

Any advice for this novice would be gratefully received.

Pen

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Hi Pen

You don’t have to take the marzipan off. To make the cakes level, make a small flat wedge of marizpan and push it under the sloping side of the cake to raise up the slope. Use a spirit level until the cake has levelled off. You’ll have a gap at the bottom of the cake which can be filled up by rolling some marzipan into the void. Make the rolls to fit snugly and then use your smoother to smooth the paste flat against the cake so it is level. Take a peek here to see how to fit the marzipan under the gap. Don’t take any notice of the royal icing bit:

Marzipanning a Fruit cake for Royal icing

Once the cake is iced you can do the snail trail or a pearl border to finish off. The flower garlands sound lovely. Perhaps dust the cakes and boards with a little pearl lustre dust and finish off the boards with ribbon.
Please let me if this helps at all.

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Thank you – I don’t think I was entirely clear. It’s not that my cake is not level, it’s that the sides all slope in – ie, the top diameter is smaller than the bottom diameter!

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Are all the cakes the same and by how much approximately is the difference between the diameters? If it’s only by a very small amount you could have the smaller diameter at the top and have a few cascading flowers. If you were to have silk flowers instead of fresh the disguise would be easier. When is the wedding and do you have time to play about with ideas?
The only other thing which I can suggest is to gently shave away excess cake to make the top and bottom diameters the same. Unfortunately this can sometimes be a little tricky with fruit cake as it has a tendency to crumble. It can be done little by little with a serrated knife. It’s easier with sponge cake because the sides can always be built up with butter cream or ganache, however not much help here. If you think it is not particularly noticeable, go with it as is since they are not being stacked and the difference will not be quite as evident. I feel so helpless not being able to suggest something more.

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