Ask Kelley

Kelley regularly receives questions via email about how she created a particular cake or how to do a certain technique. We've collected many of those emails and present those questions and answers here. If you have questions you would like to ask Kelley, please send an email to info@crazybeautifulcakes.com.


Questions and Answers

Bridal Dress Cake Question

Q: Hi Kelley!

I stumbled upon your site today and your work is amazing! I recently started getting into doing cakes for family and friends as well. I use a marshmallow fondant for my cakes and was specifically wondering how you got the bridal dress tops and hangers on that cake to stay up? Some of my cakes (where I've wanted ears on a critter for instance) give me great angst when trying to get the fondant to defy gravity. Any tips?

Thanks!

Karen

A: Hi Karen,

Have you tried gumpaste for your ears?  Gumpaste is usually reserved for modelling flowers that won't be eaten (it is edible though), and it dries super hard.  I pick mine up at Michael's or Joann's with a discount coupon.  (Make sure you can still squeeze the gumpaste through the packaging to make sure it is still soft and pliable.  Several times the stores try to sell you the gumpaste that has already dried out and is rock hard!)  I made the bridal tops and hangers out of gumpaste.  Alternately, you can also make your own modelling paste out of fondant, but it doesn't dry as hard or as stiff as gumpaste.  You make it by mixing fondant with gum tragacanth.  Gum tragacanth is harder to find though, and I have to go to a specialty cake shop to buy it.  But it would work for decorations like ears.

Hope that helps!

Kelley

 

Paris Cake Question

Q: Hi Kelley!

I absolutely love your cakes, you are truly talented!  I have a question about your Paris cake.  I am attempting to create a cake similar in design for my daughters 7th birthday party.  Could you please tell me what size pan you used and how many layers you used for this cake?  Also, approximately what size were your letters?

Thank you so much!

Wendy

A: Thanks Wendy, for your kind words!

The Paris cake was a 8 inch round cake, three layers of cake (each a little over an inch tall) and two layers of filling.  I think the lettering was around 2 inches tall and 1 inch wide.  Hope this helps, let me know if there is anything else I can answer for you.  Hope your daughter has a great birthday--I have a 7 year old girl too!

Kelley  

How to Deal with Hot Hands and Decorating Bags

Q: Kelley,

I am curious what kind of decorating bag you use for piping buttercream. I find that my hands really create a lot of heat and sometimes (especially in summer) I have a difficult time with the buttercream wanting to melt before I get it piped out of the bag.

My mother always used heavier bags that were some sort of coated cloth, but now all Wilton seems to make are the vinyl or plastic "featherweight" bags. Do you have a source for getting better quality bags?

Allison Utech

A: Hi Allison,

I have that same problem. I find when I get down to the end of the bag where the buttercream has been up against my hands the longest, it is melted and runny. I just usually stick the bag in the fridge for a bit (depending on how much is left in the pastry bag--just minutes in the fridge will firm it back up). I never thought of upgrading my bags to something heavier, but your question has piqued my interest! So I found some professional quality bags on the internet that are cloth and even silicone:

Cotton Pastry Bags

Silicone Super-Flex Pastry Bags

I would think the cloth piping bags would still transfer heat from your hands to the buttercream after awhile, but the silicone maybe a great insulator against the heat from your hands. I haven't tried them personally, but I may have to order some now, just to see if it helps against this problem. Pastrychef.com is not my normal supplier, so I don't know how reputable they are, but I don't run into many problems ordering from the internet. I also have a great cake supplier in town that carries a great range of supplies, but I don't think they have these silicone bags yet.

I hope this helps some. Thanks for the question!

Kelley Stockton