I took my first whimsical cake class on May 1, 2010. I could not decide on a design and got my ideas from pinkcakebox.com . My teacher was Porsha at Hobby Lobby in Arlington.
Lisa from our cake club also helped and taught us how to do the "mad hatter" cut on a cake. We did not attempt this today though!
First, make sure you use pound cake, if you use a regular cake it will crumble and fall apart. We baked two layers of twelve inches, nine inches, and six inches. You crumb coat one layer of each size. With the other layer you cut it at an angle (the 12 inch is the hardest). Crumb coat this layer now. Then take the layer you cut off and put the two big ends together. This will form a slope. Do all three sizes this way, always making sure the big ends match up, fill in with any extra pieces that have been cut off, if necessary. Crumb coat all layers.
Next, get your eight or nine inch separator plate and center it onto the twelve inch cake and make a circle with your spatula. At the high end cut into the cake around your circle. Starting at the lowest end, cut the circle out keeping the height level with lower end. (see picture below to understand.) This is where your cake will sit. With a sewing gauge, measure for the dowel rods. We used the white plastic hidden dowel rods from Wilton and used a PVC cutter($10 from Lowe's)to cut them to the correct length. Stick these onto the feet of your separator plate and insert into the circle on your cake. Make sure the plates are level, because this is where your cake will sit. Repeat with the nine inch cake also. Do not cut the six inch, since this will be the top.
The layers are ready to decorate. Roll out your fondant bigger than the layer. For a 12 inch cake that is four inches high, roll out a circle at least 16 inches round. Place the fondant on your layer and start smoothing it into your "crevice" and smooth out the wrinkles on the side. Smooth with a fondant smoother to get the fondant perfectly smooth. Do not roll out your fondant too thin, or it will tear. Depending on the design of your cake, you may need to start decorating now. For instance, if you are doing stripes or curly Q's, you would put those on now so they go under each layer. For my design I did not do this. When you are ready cut out a circle in the fondant(I forgot to take a picture of this)about half an inch smaller than your plate. Save this fondant for future use. Wipe any grease off the plate. Put double sided carpet tape doubled up on the cake plate. To achieve the topsy-turvy effect take your nine inch with the big end on your left and the big end on your right(At about 10:00 o-clock and two o-clock I think)push the nine inch right up to the "ridge" on the 12 inch. (See picture below for an idea) Repeat this step for the six inch, but I can't remember the clock position for this one, maybe nine o-clock? Now add your decorations!
For my decorations, I tried to stay in the yellows and greens, except for my flowers and birds. I used a flower texturizer to add texture to my butterflies. Since my husband wanted to take cake to work, and I wanted some for church, I took the cake to church, then when I served it, I stuck a spatula under the inch and pulled it out to save for my husband. After I got it home it took about 15 minutes to fix it for my husband.
Be sure to look under Girl Cakes for more views of my cake!
Have a lot of fun making your cake, I did!