Ask Me Anything – Post 9

Ask me anything is a series of posts where I answer any questions you may have about me. Cake decorating related or not 🙂 

Sorry for my lack of updates everyone. I’ve been sick and it’s just thrown my whole list of things to do all out of whack! This week I am also getting ready for my big trip overseas, so I am super excited and will be posting all about it in the next few weeks.

I am getting ready to make my first double barrel cake and was looking for any and all pointers I can find. Your tips will be very helpful. I just wanted to ask if you have any advice on how to smooth the fondant seam when you use the wrapping method. You mention that you have to work quickly, but what exactly do you do? 

The fondant seam can (if you are lucky) be smoothed over with the warmth of your hands. Simply use your palm to rub and buff over the join 🙂 Regardless, if you are going to cover it with the wrap method, you should design to hide the seam.

What size of the cake board for the top cake on double barrel cake? Is it 1 inch smaller or the same size? 

This is up to personal preference. Personally, my cakes are usually 2inches apart in size. So if the bottom of the double barrel is 8inches then the top would be 6inches.

Update: It has come to my attention (from one of my Facebook followers) that the original poster of this question might have meant to ask what size is the in between board of the double barrel cake itself… if this is the case, then the answer is 1inch smaller so that the board does not show through the ganache and icing 🙂

Do you refrigerate your fondant cakes, if no why? What if the filling is perishable? 

I don’t refrigerate my fondant cakes because they sweat when it comes of the refrigerator. I have heard that if you have a modified fridge (temperature controlled and moisture removed) you can place the fondant cakes in the fridge. But I don’t have one, so I can’t comment on how good that is. So with that said, I also do not use any perishable fillings like fresh fruit. Please note that this is how I do it, there are plenty of other decorators who do use perishable fillings and also seem to refrigerate their cakes without any issues.

Do you use any box to cover up your cakes when transporting them?

I have a short box/ tray the cake is placed in and but they are not covered fully. If it’s raining, I put a large (clean) bin bag over the cake when taking it out of the car and into the venue.

If you’d like to ask a question feel free to email me ( or send me a message through Facebook. 

19 thoughts on “Ask Me Anything – Post 9

  1. Hi Sharon,

    When trying to achieve a sharp edged cake, is it ever possible with a buttercream underlay or would you go ganache every time? thanks x

    1. Hi Kelly, it is possible with buttercream but it definitely helps if the cake is cooled in the fridge first so that the buttercream is firm, and you should cover it when it’s still cold. There’s also a higher risk of the buttercream moving as it warms up, so I prefer ganache. But it’s definitely not required!

  2. Thank you for the double barrel advice. I am not yet confident enough to use the wrap method :-(. I have been successful with covering taller cakes, (not quite double barrel height), using carma massa tincino fondant. But it is very expensive!

    1. Hi Laura, it depends a lot on how big you want to make it. The general shape would be a centre pole then a styrofoam base for the pointiest part of the cone. Depending on size above that you can add a cardboard cake board and some cake for the top of the cone and the ice cream.

  3. Hi Sharon, when doing a double layered cake with jam and butter cream filling, how do you manage to disguise the join no matter how Smooth I get it you can always see it. I’m not confident enough to use the ganache as I don’t know enough about it. How much you on average you need per cake, how long foes it last when ganache then iced with fondant eek! Thank you for reading

    1. Hi Diane, I’m not sure what you mean about the join. If you’re talking about a bulge between the layers it means you need a firmer wall that will set before filling and covering so that the surface is smooth before adding fondant. You will need to practice to use ganache but there is a calculator on my site to get you started with the mixes. You can find it at

  4. Hi Sharon. How far in advance do you start a cake? Some designs look so difficult, they look like they take days to do.

    1. Hi Kylie,

      Decorations like toppers and flowers can be made a long time in advance, even a week or two if you know you’ll be busy later. For the cake itself if it’s a dummy you can start earlier but for edible cakes it’s best to start only a few days before at most. If the room is cool enough it should keep until the day but if your local weather is hot you have to be more careful.

  5. Hi Sharon! What do you do to keep your layered cakes steady as you transport them? I’m a little bit worried that they would fall down while travelling. By the way, the sizes of the cakes I’ll be using are 6″, 9″ & 12″, 3.5″ high each. Thaaaanks!!

    1. Hi Joan, for three tier cakes or larger two tier cakes definitely use a centre pole to steady the cake. Some details are in my book or there are guide online such as Paul Bradford’s free videos 🙂 Another option is to transport the tiers separately and assemble on site. Good luck!

  6. Hi sharon, im about to make a single 6 or 8 layered cake. Its going to be my 1st ever big cake. .. I know what to do mostly from watching videos online. .. heres my question though. ..
    I am going to cover the whole cake with chocolate buttercream or fudge frosting. .I want to add certain small elements using sugarpaste like flowers and letters… do I make these items a couple of days earlier ? Should I keep it to dry off before I fix it? Can I add these elements on the cake and refrigerate it or must it be last minute? Im traveling with the cake for about 2 hrs before it reaches the destination. ..
    Sorry if my questions are naive… 🙂

    1. Hi, sorry if this is too late but we have been travelling so not much time to reply. If you made the cake already I hope it went well, otherwise good luck 🙂

      For the decorations like flowers it is definitely best to make them early so you have time to try again and you are not rushing later. The flowers should dry hard so they are easier to handle and attach to the cake. If you are in a hot place then you should definitely keep them in a cool and air conditioned room so they don’t wilt. Refrigerating the whole cake can sometimes work but other times it causes trouble, because when you take the cold cake out the moisture in the air will condense and melt the fondant a bit. I’ve heard that keeping the whole cake in a bag then transporting it like this can help (that way not much moisture will condense on it), but I have never tried. It is usually safer to just keep it in a cold, air conditioned room. Then when putting it in the car, also use the air conditioner (even in winter – the cake is more important than we are!).

  7. Hi Sharon, I’ve been following hour cake posts for sometime now, and I must say thy are beautiful. I’m still a newbie to the cake decorating world. Hoping to get where you are. My question is for square fondnt cakes, do you start working on the corners first or the sides of the cake? Whichever one you do, how do you go about getting such sharp edges. Wrap method? Thanks much.

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