Edited by Neekie - 3/25/10 at 1:50pm
Hi there a simple pound cake should do the trick but as mentioned before freeze the cake then when you are ready to carve it take it out an hour or two before depending on the size, try carving it when it has almost defrosted but not compleatly..
another trick is to put the cake in the refridgerator and chill it right down, you will get some crumbs it cant be helped but this is why you add a crumb coat before the final covering,,
and all those TV chefs/bakers that say they dont freeze their cakes are liars.....
I've used about every kind of cake there is out there to carve with, and the only ones I don't recommend are sponge cakes, angel food, and heavy dense cakes that crumble, like carrot cake. I've been able to carve nearly every other kind, and I only refrigerate the cakes, I don't freeze them. Freezing makes it a little TOO hard to carve. Of course you're going to get crumbs all over the place, that's a given. That's why you crumb coat the cake with buttercream after you've finished carving it. I have found that nearly every "butter cake" carves beautifully.
I have carved with boxed cake mixes and it worked just fine. The freezing does the trick for me. I stacked 4 layers from 2 9x13 cakes and carved a guitar shape. I froze for 3 hours prior to carving and it worked really really. The process was not crumb free, but I was able to clean up any crumbs on my board and I did a crumb coat before covering with homemade marshmallow fondant the next day. It was a big hit and it looked nice and clean. I too was thinking that pound cake would be best, but I have not tried that yet- I am fairly new to cake carving. I found a recipe on easy-cake-ideas.com for a pound cake that looks easy and fabulous in the picture- much like the Sara Lee frozen pound cake that I grew up eating for strawberry shortcake. I want to try it but the recipe is fo 9" round pans and I needed a 9x13 for my latest project. I was afraid it woundt hold its structure properly. Any thoughts or suggesions on that would be appreciated as well...