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Nov 3, 2012 10:35 AM

Getting around a layer cake that's too tall...

I'm in the middle of making the Epicurious double chocolate layer cake.

It's supposed to be made in two 10" pans but since I only have one, I made three 9" layers and thought they'd be shorter layers. But, they're each about 1 1/2" tall. My plan had been to layer chocolate mousse in between and frost w/ the ganache frosting. If I continue as planned, this will be close to a 7" tall cake and only 9" wide. Is that too tall? I thought of just using 2 layers but I do need the whole cake (party of over 40. I have another cake and a couple dozen cupcakes). I only have one cake box to transport it. Any clever ideas?

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  1. Yeah, I think three layers would throw the proportion off -- although it'll still probably taste fantastic.

    If I were you, I would just with two layers and a smaller cake, esp. since you already have another cake and a couple dozen cupcakes.

    And, honestly, do you think people will take smaller slices from a 3-layer cake versus one that's 2-layers? So it's not like a 3-layer cake will necessarily serve more than a 2-layer one. And, true or not, I think most people tend to take smaller pieces if the cake overall is smaller -- and vice versa (e.g. larger pieces from a larger cake).

    Plus, in my experience, it's rare that desserts run out at a party.

    3 Replies
    1. re: ipsedixit

      Yeah, good point about servings two layers and three layers. Maybe I'll split two layers and have a four layer cake w/ cake/mousse in equal amounts. I can split the third cake and fill w/ ganache frosting. I need to find another cake holder but that shouldn't be that hard. Plus, this is the end of a 10+ course chinese banquet so people will be full by then.

      1. re: chowser

        If it's a Chinese banquets, I'll bet you dollars to donuts that you'll probably have an entire cake leftover!

        1. re: ipsedixit

          That wouldn't be a bad thing... I think there are enough dessert eaters that a lot of it will go and these cakes beat the fruit cocktail sponge cakes that they normally get.

    2. split the layers so you have 6 layers. make two 3-layer cakes.

      Find a big box to carry them in.

      6 Replies
      1. re: sunshine842

        +1 on splitting the layers, but I would split 2, for four layers, and reserve the 3rd layer for another use. 4 layers should give you good height.

        1. re: sunshine842

          +1 that was my exact thought. No one ever complained about too many cakes. And if you have a lot of people, I bet they go through both cakes anyway.

          1. re: sunshine842

            That's what I ended up doing. I used two of the layers and did chocolate mousse filling so it ended up being a 4 layer cake. The other I split in half and did a salted rum caramel frosting. I'll find a container.

            Thanks, eveyone--given how tall the cakes are, I can't imagine the tower it would have been if I had gone ahead w/ my original plan!

            1. re: chowser

              Glad it all worked out, but I have often seen very tall cakes, even Martha Stewart has done them. Generally, they involve splitting so there are 6 layers or more, with thinner layers of frosting/filling between them. They are sliced thinly and placed on their sides when plated.
              A tall cake engenders oohing and aahing when presented before being sliced.

              1. re: greygarious

                Tall cakes are very elegant. I think they need the width to support the height, if that makes sense. A cake that's almost as tall as it is wide looks awkward (having done it before).

                Thanks for everyone's help. It was a big success, only one cupcake remained. After a 10 course meal, the guests finished a lemon curd layer cake w/ mascarpone frosting, a triple layer chocolate mousse cake, a chocolate cake w/ salted rum caramel frosting and 11 vanilla cupcakes.

                1. re: chowser

                  Excellent. You can never have too much cake ;)

          2. You could use the use the extra cake layers to make cake truffles.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Dcfoodblog

              Yeah, that's my idea for the leftovers. Looking forward to them!