Wedding cake help

I'm making a two-tier stacked cake for a wedding next weekend. It's going to be tres leches (I've already come to terms with the nightmares about it not being sturdy enough)--I'll be brushing on the soaking milks rather than pouring, so it won't be as wet, and plan to dowel the hell out of it. I figure a six inch cake on top of a nine inch won't be that heavy. My question mainly concerns how long it can feasibly sit out for display. I'm planning on freezing the layers before frosting and assembling, and then there will be an hour drive to the venue. If it goes in the fridge when it gets there, how long before serving do you think they can set it out? Thank you!

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sdebrango
sdebrango October 17, 2014

It really depends, are you using a stabilized whipped cream icing or buttercream? Will the room be cool where the cake is displayed? I have had whipped cream icing sit for an hour in a coolish room and stay together nicely. If you are using buttercream icing and the room is coolish it can sit even longer. I went to an outdoor wedding and cake literally melted and slid onto the ground. I think that the temperature and type of icing are key factors.

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christina
christina October 17, 2014

Ah, sorry. The icing will be buttercream and the filling whipped ganache. I doubt the room will be very warm. My concern is the milk used to soak the cake. Maybe I'm overthinking!

sdebrango
sdebrango October 17, 2014

I think that would be fine, are you using canned milk like sweetened condensed mixed with cream or milk?

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spiffypaws
spiffypaws October 17, 2014

I have a lot of experience w/ wedding cakes and structuring them properly, but I have never attempted this w/ tres leches. I strongly suggest that if time permits (and frankly, I would make the time), that you make a small 2 tier cake and test it. My concern is that when it completely thaws and starts to warm up, you might start to see the cake crack and wobble; in my bakery we never stack tres leches bec ours is very traditional (very wet); you say that you're going to soak it less, but without actually seeing the cake, I'd have to advise you take the time to test a small sample.

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Meaghan F
Meaghan F October 18, 2014

Agree - I used to work at a wedding venue and have seen the repercussions of untested homemade cakes. I suggest also finding out if there will be pin lighting or any other kind of spotlight shining directly on the cake while it sits out, as that can sometimes significantly increase the temp around the cake even in a cool room.

Most cakes are ceremonially cut then wheeled into the kitchen for serving... Have you and the happy couple considered frosting a styrofoam base with a cake on the second tier for cutting, and a sheet cake or something kept in reserve in the kitchen for actually serving people? I've seen this many times (usually for couples who want but can't necessarily afford a large multi-tiered cake) and guests never know the difference.

christina
christina October 19, 2014

Yes, I have been toying with the idea of doing that with the base, although I don't know where to buy it! I live on Long Island and it seems no one has them. Thanks all for the advice.

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christina
christina October 20, 2014

Just wanted to say thanks again for all your advice. I found some styrofoam rounds so I am going to make a dummy bottom layer. Wish me luck!

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Meaghan F
Meaghan F October 21, 2014

Good luck!! Would love a post-wedding update here to know how things turned out.

spiffypaws
spiffypaws October 23, 2014

Good luck, and I hope you post an update because I am intrigued.

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Sam1148
Sam1148 October 23, 2014

Sometimes on this site.. I read things I probably will never use but find fascinating and interesting.

This is one of those threads. The concept of a "Dummy" cake tier is great.

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christina
christina October 24, 2014

I'll definitely post an update with pics. Keeping my fingers crossed! The "dummy" is saran-wrapped and ready to roll.

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christina
christina October 27, 2014

Hi, all, as promised, here is my cake update: success! I ended up making a three layer 8 in round for display/serving atop a ten in round dummy cake covered in buttercream, and then a three layer 8 in square just for serving. I doweled both of them just to be safe. The top layer even survived a very tense moment driving on some cobblestones in Brooklyn. Thanks all for your advice!

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sdebrango
sdebrango October 27, 2014

The cake is wonderful, congratulations. Were you in Dumbo or Brooklyn Heights. Those cobblestone streets are bumpy. A testament to your good work!

christina
christina October 27, 2014

Thanks, Suzanne! Dumbo--cobblestones may be pretty but they are no friend to driving with cake.

Meaghan F
Meaghan F October 28, 2014

Awesome, Christina!! Thanks for taking the time to update.

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