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Wine bottle shaped cake...

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Does any one have any ideas or suggestions? A Client wants a simple chocolate birthday cake(chocolate sponge layered with ganache) in the shape of a wine bottle for 90 people. She is okay with us doing a 'back up slab cake' to feed the throngs but wants a good sized cake for presentation. She also wants a label on the bottle with "vintage and year" and "happy birthday so and so". We have a week to come up with a plan and make the cake as the order is for next weekend. We've discussed a few ideas(myself and my partner in crime) ie., fondant or ganache, how to put it together in pieces.....etc., but as of yet no AHA! THAT'S IT! moments. So, if anyone's juices are running, or if you've made a similar cake in the past and have a few-if not many-words of wisdom to pass on I'd really appreciate it! Thanks!


BTW we don't have to worry about delivery of the cake...just packaging.

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how about a very large cut out....posterboard size.....cut out the shape of a wine bottle the size u want or need the cake to be...bake your cake or cakes and use the board as your cutting guide for the bottle...if you have to use more than one cake you can set the end to end...lay out the posterboard and that will also give you an idea of how to put it together as well (if more than one cake is needed).....a fairly simple idea...as for the label decoarting the cake bottle..im guessing that if you take a look at a real wine bottle you can momic tthe idea onto your cake when u decorate it...as for packaging... a full sheet cake box might be big enough...if not....perhaps someone else here may have another idea

Edited by ladyyoung98 (log)

a recipe is merely a suggestion

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Ok.....I'm assuming that when you say, "wine bottle shaped" you mean a completely three dimensional wine bottle standing upright....rather than, say, a flat cake laying down cut into the shape of a wine bottle.

How I'd do it: (and I've done it, by the way)

Simply stack round cakes with your ganache to form the body of the bottle. About every four layers or so, stick straws (or other supports of your choice) into the cakes and place a cardboard circle (which is the same diameter of the cakes) on top. Stack four more layers, more cardboard, etc, until it's about as tall as you want it. At this point, you can either start putting smaller diameter layers of cakes on (to start simulating the narrowing of the neck), or just carve it out from your original diameter cakes. For the narrow neck I carve out styrofoam (and it has to be the right kind of styrofoam-it's the kind of styrofoam that makes a huge snowy mess when you cut it-that's my best description). I place the carved out styrofoam neck (secured with skewers) on top of a cardboard on top of the cakes. I sculpt the whole thing to flow into the neck so there's a smooth uninterrupted look to the shape of the whole thing.

Then you pipe buttercream over the whole thing, smooth it out as much as you can with your spatula, and refrigerate til set very firm.

Now, once you take it out of the fridge, you can do one of two things:

A) put a final coat of wine-bottle green buttercream on it, smooth it out with your spatula and re-refrigerate, once firm, pull it out of the fridge, and with gloved or very very clean hands, smooth out your buttercream. I find this is the best way to smooth out buttercream with no knife marks.

B) smooth out your crumb coat with your hands, and then apply fondant or marzipan or modeling chocolate as your final finish. This is harder, and you have to do it in pieces, and have a lot of patience smoothing out your seams with hot water and a knife (how I do it).

The details......the fun part. A cork would be easy.....made out of marzipan, fondant, gumpaste or modeling chocolate. The labels made out of one of those same things. I like to roll out modeling chocolate (thinly) and hand paint the label with powdered food color mixed with lemon extract. Once dry, apply it to your bottle. Extra fun effect, use gold luster dust mixed with lemon extract for a lot of the lettering and trim on the labels.

If ya wanna go the extra mile....you could model a corkscrew lying at the base of the bottle out of chocolate or whatever.

Hope this helps and gets you started.

Cheers! And pass the wine!


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Hmmm, sponge cake??? For a sculpture??? Hmmm, is this a standing upright bottle or a laying down bottle??? Sponge cake???

Wull, I haven't totally perfected the math, but something like six eight inch cakes each one 4 inches tall - put in real good support like any other tier cake. Then for the neck, use crumpled aluminum foil or foam. The neck would be like ahh eight inches tall - this is off my husband's merlot bottle.

One of those Chianti bottles in the basket would be a bit easier.

So you're building a 6-tier cake. You could taper the top some like 4-8" cakes then a 7" then a 6" then the neck. Y'know trim it to sculpt the bottle shape. But you want like 25 inches of cake and 8 inches of neck.

If you're a 'it's gotta all be edible' type - use rice krispie treats packed around a pretzel rod or packed around the main dowel.

Ummm, y'know what I would do??? Build a base out of foam or a stack of cardboard circles hot glued onto a masonite board on the bottom. Then sink a half inch dowel permanently into the center of that - like hot glue it down into a hole dug in the base - so all I had to do is slide my cakes down on it - and cut dowel support for each tier. Of course each cake would be on a cardboard circle too. So you'll be icing over the edges of those cardboard circles. So they need to be cut just short of the cake size and have a hole in the middle so they will slide down the main dowel support.

If you get to choose your icing, I would use regular crusting buttercream because then you can just pat it smooth.

Print your label on a computer printer - attach to fondant - or draw it on fondant with those cool edible markers they have now.

Try to talk 'em into something a little more substantial than sponge cake!!

It'd be a lot easier laying down - sponge cake no problem-o.

You have to package it but not deliver?? You mean you need to box it?? Why??

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From my experience, using sponge cake isn't that much harder to use for this task than any other cake....as long as you use your cardboard circles every few layers or so. It's a bit harder

to carve because it seems a bit "rubberier", but it's still suitable. The advantage to sponge is that it's lighter, so the issues of "weight" aren't as bad.

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:laugh: ...i guess i forgot to clarify....i was talking about a cake that is lying down...not standing up....hence the suggestion of a full sheet cake box for packaging...though i have to say i do like the other ideas as well

a recipe is merely a suggestion

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Our big super grocery store bakery does photo cakes--you might see if you have a local store that does this, and take a picture of the label you design to them to print onto wafer paper with their printer (edible ink) or, there are places on the web that will make custom wafer paper photos, too. If they do the printing directly onto their cakes with an airbrush system, you could ask if they can do it onto a piece of fondant you bring to them.

Good luck!

It's not the destination, but the journey!

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I've done the same sort of thing as Annie's talking about (mine was for a Scotch bottle, not a wine bottle). Covered with fondant, which was a bitch.

You say you don't have to deliver. Is the customer picking it up? Odd shapes like this are a pain to transport. When you do a normal tiered cake it's heavier on the bottom than the top, and things just naturally want to stay in place. When all the cakes are the same size, the center of gravity is higher, and it'll want to tip. To ensure they get it there in one piece, you may want to make sure the board is fairly large (big footprint gives more stability). And if you really want to make sure things stay put, attach a vertical support to the board (long dowel with a screw coming up through the board into the dowel), wrap it with contact paper and build your bottle around it. If the dowel is the right length, it can serve as the foundation for your bottle's neck as well. You'll need holes in your cardboards and cake layers, and just slide them onto the dowel to keep things aligned even during rough transport.

B. Keith Ryder

BCakes by BKeith

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After I sent my post, I realized I forgot to address the importance of having a support

up through the middle.

Thankfully bkeith jumped right in with that! Thanks dude! :rolleyes:

I would definitely prepare a round plywood or particle board for the base, drill a hole and stick a good sized dowel in it. Then use the same diameter dowel to punch a hole in each of your cakes before you slide 'em on.

As Keith says, placing fondant on a shape like that is a bitch. It stretches on you, and you can't do it in large pieces, which leaves you to trying to make the seams invisible, which is also a bitch.

I definitely would use modeling chocolate for a final finish (if I didn't choose buttercream). It doesn't stretch on you, and melding the seams together is much easier.

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Ummm, y'know what I would do??? Build a base out of foam or a stack of cardboard circles hot glued onto a masonite board on the bottom. Then sink a half inch dowel permanently into the center of that - like hot glue it down into a hole dug in the base - so all I had to do is slide my cakes down on it - and cut dowel support for each tier. Of course each cake would be on a cardboard circle too. So you'll be icing over the edges of those cardboard circles. So they need to be cut just short of the cake size and have a hole in the middle so they will slide down the main dowel support.

I had ya' both covered :biggrin:

Edited by K8memphis (log)

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Thanky'll for your suggestions and advice! The customer has opted for a horizontal cake: chocolate sponge with chocolate ganache between the layers and then glazed. We are going to do the label out of fondant rolled thin and do the writing probably in royal icing(fine lines)and highlight/outline the label with gold lustre dust(don't think my boss would go for the cost of the lasered label). Not sure yet what to do about the foil around the neck/mouth of the bottle.... Our boss doesn't want us to take too much time putting the cake together and decorating, nor does she want it to look "homemade". So we decided to keep it simple, to the point yet effective. Someday, in another place and time, I 'd love to do a cake such as the ones you described ...with all the details and fine touches... They sound amazing!!!! If anyone has a photo or two to share, I'd love to see them! Thanks again, I appreciate help!


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Thanks Chef Peon for the great tip! Unfortunately, edible Gold leaf has been banned/made illegal in Canada by the powers who be. Ridiculous? Yes!! But true...and very sad.

I think we are going just pipe an outline in chocolate where the foil would be. My partner built the cake today and masked it in ganache. I think it's still going to look good...may be not as detailed and realistic as it could...but I think it will please the customer...and my boss!

Thanks again,


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