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3 Tier Cake?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Hi all, I'm new here, and my name is Kelly. I'm 19 years old and I'm looking into going into Culinary Arts. I'm going to be making a graduation cake, and I'm in need of some advice. What I'd like to do is make a round, 3 tier cake, with the top tier being a graduation cap. I've never done this before, son I have a couple questions...
25-30 people
1. How thick should I make my layers?

2. Which is best for cutting and otherwise? Using a 3 tier stand, or just stacking the cakes on top of each other?
post #2 of 11
Even a fairly small 3 tier cake will serve far more than 25 to 30 people, unless of course the serving size is huge:D. If there are truly only 25 to 30 people and you truly must have a 3 tiered cake I would suggest that 1 or 2 of the tiers be dummy cakes.

Typically each tier will be between 3.5" and 4.0" thick.
post #3 of 11
Though I am FAR from being qualified as a "baker", in my limited experience you shoud definitely consider "posts and platforms" to avoid crushing the lower layers.

Perhaps I've done it wrong in the past, but I've NEVER had success stacking layers without some form of support, not for an ordinary "layer cake" but for anything that resembles an "artistic display".
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
post #4 of 11
If you have not had practice doing this I would not do it at this time. Stick to a single 1/2 sheet with a graduation cap on top. I feel your looking for a big problem. GOOD LUCK:chef:
post #5 of 11
Definitely agree with this advice as well as with Pete's comments.

If that is absolutely not an option, you can find the nuts and bolts information for constructing tiered cakes in the Wilton yearbooks. There are also stores that sell the Wilton course books, in which case you would be looking for the course 3 book. An improperly contructed tiered cake will collapse or topple.
post #6 of 11
LoveBaking -

if you want to make a three tier cake, make it. phoofey on this "you don't know enough to pull it off" stuff. follow that advice and you'll be eating the same thing for the rest of your life because you don't dare make anything else.

using tier support is a smart approach - being a culstu you should have access to knowledge resources on how to do that - but you can certainly get some help from the bakers here.

okay, two layers + the cap - what's the mortarboard plan?
tassel could be sugar, gum stuff, or even the real thing.

I used to make all kinds of shaped cakes for my kids birthdays.
now.... they did not always turn out quite to my imagined design vision, but who cares - celebrate!
post #7 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the advice. As for the board, I'm not sure what I was going to do. I was thinking of using fondant over a piece of cardboard... Or even just frost it as well. Also thinking graham crackers? :lips:
post #8 of 11
I'd go for
(1) cast sugar sheet
(2) waxed board covered thinly with icing.

my guess is crackers will not hold their strength over (my envisioned) "distance from support"

I'd look to the bottom two layers to provide all the cake for the crowd. the grady cap is just "extra"

so for 30 people, 15 - one inch thick slices cut in half = 30 pcs - something on the order of 10 x 15 for the bottom layers; that's 150 sq inches, in a round form same height - 16" round pans - odd size tho. might be easier to do square/rectangular base layers - you can "piece" them together to any size required. icing hides a multitude of sins and things . . . .
post #9 of 11
I thought fondant as well. For the tassel - use a real tassel. This sounds like a fun project. Maybe bake a practice cake first to see how the layers hold up.
post #10 of 11

Go for it and let your imagination and gravity be your only limitation. I started decorating cakes for fun only about a year ago from home and now I have already done about a dozen weddings and lots of other special occassion cakes.

I have made a few graduation cakes and so here are some tips. For the amount of servings you need you really only need one cake however if you are going for height to impress a two tier should be okay. Keep in mind that square cakes are always easier to cut and serve.

For the top tier cut the upper outside at an angle to resemble the shape of the cap so it is less like a cylinder. For the cap top use a cardboard cake board and cut it to size. Cover the cardboard with the color fondant that you are making the cap. You can seal the edges with a little water, vanilla flavoring or even vodka (the alcohol in the vanilla and vodka evaporate faster than the water and leaves your product less mushy).

On top of the cap add a little fondant button and then I used fondant and rolled out really thin strings and looped one piece around the top of the strings to simulate a knot and then fastened the tassles to the top of the cap by the button. Simply place a couple dowels ont he top tier and set the cap on.

I prefer stacked cakes over pillars and you just need to remember to have a cake board under each tier and place either wooden dowels or plastic cake straws into the bottom tier to support the top tier. Otherwise the top tier will smash into the bottom tier.

To serve, simply remove the cap, the top tier and the dowels. Practice makes perfect and sometimes things still can go wrong, but you won't succeed if you don't try.

Good luck!
post #11 of 11
Good Idea for this weekend. Thank you.
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