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Layering large cakes

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
Hello,

I have a question about layering large cakes. Whenever I am adding each layer on a cake over 16 inches I am always nervous that the cake may crack. I also have the fear that if it is set on slightly off center that when straightened it might pull the frosting dam and result in filling leaking.

Thankfully, no horror stories. I just get nervous everytime and didn't know if anyone had any useful tips or ideas.

Thanks in advance!
post #2 of 16
I always freeze layers, especially large ones. It makes it much easier to move around a bit when I'm assembling.
post #3 of 16
Put the new layer on a cake circle. Position the circle with the new layer on it directly over the layer that is waiting for it. Edge the cake off the circle just a bit on the side of the cake farthest from you and line up the edge with the other layer. Keep the angle of the cake circle pretty small, but make sure you don't have the circle all in your icing dam. With one hand, steady the cake on the circle, keeping it from moving, and with the other, pull the cake circle away slowly as you set the cake down on the waiting layer.

I love the tip about freezing, too. How much easier does that make things?! I always brush my layers with a syrup. I'd probably use a bit more on a layer that has been frozen, just to combat drying out.
Jenni
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Jenni
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We're all home cooks when we're cooking at home.
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post #4 of 16
Thread Starter 
Thank you for both of the suggestions.

I have frozen a few of my cakes but some just don't freeze well. It does make things much easy to handle, especially for crumb control. :)

The other suggestion is great too. I do use the cake circle to slide it off and it does seem to do the trick. As long as the bottom layer has chilled long enough to make the icing dam firm then it doesn't slide to much. What type of simple syrup do you use for your frozen cakes? That would defintely help keep the cake moist. Is it just a simple sugar syrup?

I like to make a think layer of filling, especially for 2 layer cakes. However, I am always worried about the filling bubbling the sides if it is too warm out. You have to find that perfect balance. It seems torting the cake is easier in that aspect so you have thinner layers on filling throughout the cake. Now I am rambling. :crazy:

Any other tips or tricks would be great. I love hearing other ideas to try out. Thanks again for the help!
post #5 of 16
I generally use a 1:1 simple syrup flavored with any kind of liqueur that will complement the cake I'm making. If you're going to use syrup, it's important to put your layer where you want it before you put the syrup on. The cakes become pretty fragile once you brush them with syrup. Depending on the size of the layer, I'll use anywhere from 1/4 cup to maybe close to 1 cup of syrup per layer. I find that putting the syrup in a clean new spray bottle helps with even distribution and keeps you from knocking up any crumbs with a brush.

I think that you already do this because you mentioned a dam in your first post, but just to be sure: pipe a thick rope (1/3" or so) of your icing/frosting that you'll be using to cover the cake in a circle about 1/4" in from the edge of the layer to be filled. Spread your filling inside the dam, making sure the level is not as high as the icing dam. When you put your next layer on, the dam will "squish" right to the edge, making frosting easier and keeping you from worrying about the filling breaking out.

Take care!
Jenni
Pastry Chef Online
Pastry Methods and Techniques
We're all home cooks when we're cooking at home.
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Jenni
Pastry Chef Online
Pastry Methods and Techniques
We're all home cooks when we're cooking at home.
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post #6 of 16
I always use a simple syrup with liquer as well, and I put this on before I freeze my cakes. Here's what I do to freeze them. I torte the layers, using cake boards to separate them. Brush or squirt (using a plastic squirt bottle and the smallest tip you can find) the syrup on, flip the cake, do the same on the reverse side. Put each layer in the freezer for a few hours until frozen, then remove and wrap with plastic wrap tightly. I don't add any more syrup on my frozen layers just because they are frozen, the act of freezing and thawing actually keeps a layer moist. Tightly wrapped layers can keep for weeks in the freezer. I've had excellent luck with even very delicate layers using this method.
post #7 of 16
Good one! I've never thought to use syrup on my layers before freezing. I'll definitely be using that one, Sadie1:lips:
Jenni
Pastry Chef Online
Pastry Methods and Techniques
We're all home cooks when we're cooking at home.
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Jenni
Pastry Chef Online
Pastry Methods and Techniques
We're all home cooks when we're cooking at home.
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post #8 of 16
Thread Starter 
That is a good idea. I would have added it after the freezer. I am making a large wedding cake for next week so I am going to try it out. I just get uncomfortable with the larger layers because I do not work with them as often. I guess practice makes perfect, or so I am told. :crazy:

I am worried on freezing a couple of the flavors that have fruit in them. If I freeze them, when defrosted they may become to soggy. Right?

Thanks again!
post #9 of 16
Could you clarify whether you mean fruit in a filling or fruit already baked into the cake? If it's already baked, you shouldn't have sogginess issues--I would wait to use syrup after it comes out of the freezer since the fruit will be retaining a bit of moisture anyway.
Jenni
Pastry Chef Online
Pastry Methods and Techniques
We're all home cooks when we're cooking at home.
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Jenni
Pastry Chef Online
Pastry Methods and Techniques
We're all home cooks when we're cooking at home.
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post #10 of 16
Thread Starter 
Sorry for not being more clear. For example, one cake is a carrot, coconut, pineapple cake. I don't think that would freeze well. It is a denser cake but I don't know how that would handle. For this next week, this is the only one that I am worried about freezing. However because it is a "heavier" cake the layering would be easier if it was frozen. More stable anyway. Any advice? Thanks for all your tips.
post #11 of 16
I would be willing to bet that it would freeze just fine--fruitcake freezes just fine (think of traditional British wedding cake). Anyone else out there who thinks differently, please chime in, but my money's on it being fine to freeze the carrot/pineapple/coconut cake (or you could just send it to me and I'll eat it:-)
Jenni
Pastry Chef Online
Pastry Methods and Techniques
We're all home cooks when we're cooking at home.
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Jenni
Pastry Chef Online
Pastry Methods and Techniques
We're all home cooks when we're cooking at home.
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post #12 of 16
Thread Starter 
Maybe I should try out a small one and see how it goes. You are probably right, it might work. Yep, it is one of my favorites...I'll try to save a piece! :lol:

Joking aside, it is a basic carrot recipe with crushed pineapple, coconut and I add cinnamon and nutmeg for a kick. Simple, but the flavors blend nicely.

Thanks again!!!
post #13 of 16
Happy to help; I think you're right--just to be safe, do a test run. Sounds like a winner of a cake:lips:
Jenni
Pastry Chef Online
Pastry Methods and Techniques
We're all home cooks when we're cooking at home.
Reply
Jenni
Pastry Chef Online
Pastry Methods and Techniques
We're all home cooks when we're cooking at home.
Reply
post #14 of 16
It will freeze fine because thats the same recipe I use minus the spices. No problem.
post #15 of 16
Thread Starter 
Thanks. That will help with the time restraints and also help with the ease of the larger layers.

Thanks!!!
post #16 of 16
great Tip sadie, let me try using syrup to avoid leakage:roll:.

thanks again for sharing the wornderful tip.
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