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What's the best cake for a bridal shower?

I am hosting a bridal shower for a friend, and I intend for the centerpiece to be a multi-layered, rolled fondant-frosted vision. Disregarding the fact that I've never made rolled fondant, I spent a fortune on all the Wilton accessories.

Now that I found glucose and glycerine, I have to find the best cake for the job. I'll practice with small cakes (5, 7 and 9 inchers). The final cake will be a bit larger.

What's the best cake to use for a layered, fondant-frosted cake?

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  1. I am no expert, but I know that to me fondant tastes terrible. Well, it doesn't really taste like anything, it just is weird in your mouth, I don't like it. So, I'd go with a strong flavored cake like a lemon cake. If you want the easy way, get a box of Moist Deluxe Lemon cake mix and add a box of lemon pudding to the mix. It's pretty strong and will hold up. The cake is moist and tastes pretty good. Put something flavorful between the layers like a lemon curd or lemon filling or a homemade lemon buttercream.

    1 Reply
    1. re: GenieinTX

      Good tip on the strong flavored cake. I've heard that a couple of times about fondant, so I found an old recipe for cream fondant, and I'm adding flavor to it. I also plan on adding lots of flavor in the buttercream icing both between layers and under the fondant.

    2. I would ask what the bride's favorite cake flavor is.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Megiac

        Definitely. And, also go by how many days in advance you need to make the cake. If it's a couple of days (so you have time to add the fondant), make a cake that tastes better a couple of days after baked. I've made an orange pound cake wedding cake that tasted great a couple of days later.

      2. I would also as the bride what she likes... but if she has no preference I find red velvet cake to be really fabulous when you first cut it.

        1. Return as much as you can except a disposable bag and a large round tip. Ditch the awful fondant...it tastes like glue and cardboard mixed together. Make a showstopping cupcake tower with a decadant buttercream or french buttercream icing. Big swirls of icing decorated with the miniatures of the brides bouquet fresh flowers...a few tea lights in the centers of "staged" cupcakes. Not only is it amazing and each one is a masterpiece, but if guests/wedding party are too full to also eat cake, they can take a cupcake home for later. My last 5 events were a smashing hit! (You can also fill cupcakes...just cut a "cone" out of the center, fill, cut the tip of cake off the cone and replace the lid. Frost and done!) Lemon with raspberry filling...yeowza! Check out cupcakeblog.com!

          8 Replies
          1. re: chelleyd01

            I love the cupcake tower idea.

            I agree that fondant is basically inedible. I took a class that involved rolling and decorating with fondant (which was totally fun since there's so much you can do with it and it looks so cool) and the chef/baker said that many people simply take the fondant off the cake before eating it.

            I believe she also said you could serve the cake by taking the fondant layer off first. So people get a chance to look at the decorated cake and ooh and ahh, and then you strip the fondant off before cutting. Seems kind of silly but may make sense. One idea anyway.

            1. re: chelleyd01

              The epicurious.com "cupcake tower" recipes are great...i made them recently for a friend's wedding ....orange cardamom mini cakes with vanilla frosting, and cinnamon scented devils food with almond frosting.......individual pannetone molds are a bit hard to find though.........and mini cakes can be a bigger pain in the butt to fill and such...but it is very pretty.....and doesn't look anything like the standard "cupcake" tower. ( I refuse to call them cupcakes, as the paper molds set me back 79 cents per...and are bigger )

              1. re: chelleyd01

                I never thought of cupcakes as something to use at such a grown-up event. What flavors did you serve?

                1. re: TokyoLane

                  I did a variety over the last 5 events...the last bridal shower I did I also did the cake for the wedding and did the same flavors in "minis" and had the hall do 2 cascading towers of minis next to the cake. Not one left.

                  Lemon with raspberry filling/lemon OR raspberry buttercream
                  Dark chocolate with cinnamon and cayenne pepper/white chocolate cream cheese frosting
                  Red velvet with cream cheese frosting
                  Peanut butter and jelly (brides request)
                  Very vanilla with vanilla buttercream
                  Chocolate with salted caramel frosting (by far the most popular)
                  oreo with vanilla buttercream and chocolate covered oreo halves as garnish

                  I do most wedding/baby shower towers in regular cupcake pans. You can get cutesy liners at Michaels or Hobby Lobby or a local cake supply store. Also, another really nice touch is to get some fresh flowers that match the brides/wedding colors and snip and sneak in amongst the cupcakes on the tower. Chocolate covered strawberries are also a HUGE hit.

                  FONDANT STINKS! Good luck!

                2. re: chelleyd01

                  It sounds like you're getting a lot of comments of ditching the fondant because it doesn't taste good. Yes, fondant is pretty much sugar playdoh, but it's so visually lovely and elegant to look at when done properly. I also think it's a lovely gesture that you're attempting this for your friends bridal shower.

                  Well, I have an alternative idea for you, you could make it with rolled marzipan instead. Because from your post you've already bought a whole load of equipment yes?

                  A local bakery in my area offers a great "princess cake" that they cover with green tinted marzipan and it gives it the same "smooth" fondant look but with almond marzipan instead. The drawback, it's pricier than fondant.

                  If you are going to go the fondant route, I've had good success with a block of Wilton's readymade fondant that I lightly tinted with paste food coloring. I kneaded very well so as to not have any streaks & to make pliable enough that it draped easily. You'd probably need a couple of blocks for the tiered cake you're attempting.

                  Cake flavor? I vote for a nice bright lemon flavor, accompanied with a raspberry filling, all covered with a very good buttercream.......then the fondant or marzipan.

                  Good luck! And please please post followup photos!

                  1. re: rilkeanheart

                    I really appreciate this! Yes, I love the elegance fondant lends to the cake. I think I'll try the marzipan - the bride likes it. She deserves to have a princess cake. Can I decorate the marzipan with fondant flowers and such?

                      1. re: TokyoLane

                        Ooops, posted wrong. Here are some photos I found online.

                         
                         
                         
                  2. I've done fondant for the looks but what I find is that it isn't really for eating - so most folks will just eat the "insides" leaving the fondant on their plate. Since you are doing multi layers - why not do multi flavors. I almost always do when making wedding cakes - the brides are always surprised by the idea but love it that they can serve different flavors. I think the lemon is good idea as would be chocolate or carrot. You could also do a dense yellow- more to a pound cake

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: AlaskaChick

                      Seems like general concensus is to drop the entire fondant idea. Perhaps fondant for decoration on a fantastic buttercream would please more people. I'm so stuck on the decorating part of the fondant that I'll likely make one anyway for looks, and serve great tasting individual cakes for eating.

                      1. re: TokyoLane

                        I agree fondant is yucky!
                        I always do cupcakes for showers because people love them...I do Vanilla and strawberry.

                        http://johnbscigarblog.blogspot.com/

                        1. re: TokyoLane

                          Regardless of the whole taste issue with fondant, (on which I am in complete agreement with all who said it isn't very pleasant on the palate), I wouldn't go to the trouble of making the fondant when it is easy to buy. It is my understanding that very few places/bakeries actually make their own fondant, perhaps because it isn't very tasty so why go to the trouble of making something gross when you can buy it? I wonder, though, if it is annoying and expensive to make, hence why people would rather buy it...I've never researched a recipe so I'm not really sure. Anyway, I 2nd all who said ask what the bride likes. Also, make sure that your schedule allows for whatever kind of cake you plan to make, as a fresher but less creative cake is probably better than a complex and stale cake. Oh, and freezing un-iced cake layers, in my opinion anyway, almost always makes them easier to decorate...and it buys you some extra prep time too! Good luck!

                      2. I agree about buying the fondant (rather than making it) if you want to go that route. One thing you could do is make a decoration for the top or sides with fondant. For example, at Sweet Celebrations (used to be Maid of Scandinavia) they have lots and lots of molds that can be used with fondant for swags that could be put on the side over a buttercream, or floral molds that could be used for a decoration on top. Maybe a light pink buttercream with a white fondant floral design or something.

                        Their web site only has a few of the many many molds they have, so order a catalog if you want to see those (if you have time). They have gazillions of them. Every kind of flower and other designs. I had my eye on some of them and just couldn't decide between them. Maybe other places have good molds for this purpose as well.

                        If you like the cupcake idea, there are little metal stands that look like a pyramid or tree for serving. Kind of dramatic. I have also seen something like that improvised with boxes.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: karykat

                          Thanks. I'll look at the website for the molds. I really want a stunning cake (I would go for an over-the-top look, but the bride likely prefers simple and tasty).

                        2. Not a fondant fan, reminds me too much of mochi which I also detest. A bridal shower? If it's all women you can't go wrong with a simple chocolate cake. Garnish with dipped strawberries and you'll be the guest of honor.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: Oh Robin

                            Good point about the chocolate and strawberries. I made a chocolate cake for a shower once and did a basketweave on the sides with chocolate buttercream. I topped it with chocolate dipped strawberries and it was a hit.

                          2. I recently made a bachelorette cake for a friend pre-wedding....too racy to post a pic here...no one got a taste...after the bride danced around with it for a while towards the end of the night...it ended up on the floor being eaten by the dog....hehe.