Brides Mom Said The Cake Was Crumbly And Feel Apart When Cut

Decorating By bec629 Updated 15 Sep 2015 , 6:28am by bubs1stbirthday

bec629 Posted 6 May 2007 , 10:12pm
post #1 of 28

I did a 4 tiered square cake this weekend . each layer was a different flavor with jelly filling i bought from local bakery i iced the cake with a white choc buttercream frsting. It was a very heavy cake. my layers were very moist,
were they too moist with the frosting and filling? What would make the slices fall apart when they cut them?

27 replies
indydebi Posted 6 May 2007 , 10:16pm
post #2 of 28

were they scratch or box? and is your customer used to one or the other? If you're used to a scratch cake, which I believe tends to be more dense than a mix cake, then a box cake could look "crumbly" to you. If you're used to a mix cake, then a scratch cake could seem "dry" to you.

Did she cut the too thin? (although that's probably rare!). Without seeing a pic of them, it's hard to guess what it could be.

bec629 Posted 6 May 2007 , 10:52pm
post #3 of 28

I used box cake mixes. the cake was crumbly she said. but it was very moist.

Amberslilzoo Posted 6 May 2007 , 11:54pm
post #4 of 28

I have found that if I even go slightly overexaggerated on my baking time that my cakes come out crumbly.

I don't really have any suggestions but hopefully someone can pick apart what happened!

leily Posted 7 May 2007 , 4:36am
post #5 of 28

My first question is what type of knife where they using and how where they cutting it.

I have have the best luck with a serrated bread knife, and a slight pulling back motion. Not a straight down all at once. Sorry it is hard for me to explain, but I have seen the same cake cut two different ways and one way it crumbled and the other was a nice perfect slice (two different people cutting it.)

indydebi Posted 7 May 2007 , 4:45am
post #6 of 28
Originally Posted by leily

My first question is what type of knife where they using and how where they cutting it.

I have have the best luck with a serrated bread knife, and a slight pulling back motion. Not a straight down all at once. Sorry it is hard for me to explain, but I have seen the same cake cut two different ways and one way it crumbled and the other was a nice perfect slice (two different people cutting it.)

I thought of this, too, after I'd already posted. The right knife and the technique DOES make a difference. When a bride buys my wedding cake pkg, which includes me staying to cut the cake, I have my own knife that I take with me .... I'm not chancing what kind they might have. I've seen people mutilate a cake (while my husband holds me down in the chair and repeats, "it's not your cake .... it's not your cake") because they were not cutting it my way, uh, I mean the right way. icon_rolleyes.gif

cabincake Posted 7 May 2007 , 3:22pm
post #7 of 28

Yes, it sounds like the knife, you cannot use those fancy serving sets. It has to be an actual knife.

KimAZ Posted 15 Jun 2007 , 6:15am
post #8 of 28

I am doing a big wedding cake and just finished baking the largest part which is a 14" square, yellow cake. The darn thing is SO crumbly!! I've never had this happen before and am really worried about how it will hold up, let alone how it will slice.

I baked it at 325 degrees with a flower nail inside the pan to help bake evenly and it still took a good 20 minutes longer than the baking time said.
I know larger cakes take longer but I wonder if the baking time somehow effected the cake and made it so darn crumbly.

It's super moist. almost too moist in fact. I just know it's going to be a huge mess when it's cut. I'm going to dowel that sucker to death beforeI put the top two tiers on but it's got me worried that the whole thing will crumble to pieces.

Any advice????

P.S. It is a Pillsbury box cake mix that I use on a regular basis.

k96080 Posted 18 Jun 2007 , 11:12pm
post #9 of 28

I did a three tier cake with different cake/fillings for each layer this weekend...and although the cake itself was delious, (it was for a family friend, and they asked me to cut it), it was a gooey mess. I think also it would have sliced better with a different knife...I used the set...also my fondant was so thick (another lesson learned), that they had a hard time cutting into it for their 'bites' (again, using the set). I got rave reviews...and it tasted awesome...but think someone someday would complain about a cake that didn't cute well. Not to mention the peices then don't end up the correct size. I 'believe' my mixes were DH. I did freeze the cakes, but thought I was supposed to thaw them with the plastic wrap still on...was that my big mistake?? Was wondering if I need to find a 'denser' recipe for wedding cakes also!! Thank for any comments!! It did look fabulous though!!

AmyCakes2 Posted 18 Jun 2007 , 11:21pm
post #10 of 28

I also use Pillsbury. One thing that may "throw" people off is when the cake is "fresh", it will tend to "crumble/fall apart". Doesn't mean anything's wrong with it. At times, I've put the cake(s) in the freezer just to get them to "set".
I agree, too, with the knife part. Just wanted to throw my two cents in!

eieio1234 Posted 18 Jun 2007 , 11:30pm
post #11 of 28

A couple weeks ago I baked 3 mini cakes (only about 4" big, I always bake them together since they're so small) and two were fine and one crumbled! It made NO sense! I called Dunkin Hines and asked why that would happen and she said oven temp too high or baked too long. I told her the other two were FINE and she still said it was too hot or too long... then told me to never bake 3 at once again!! I told her I do it all the time, and they're tiny and then she started questioning if they were REALLY that small and I decided the phone call was done! But maybe one was in the hotter section of the oven or something....

k96080 Posted 18 Jun 2007 , 11:34pm
post #12 of 28

So any suggestions on thawing?? With or without wrap?? I THOUGHT I had read on here somewhere to leave the wrap on...but maybe I was mistaken. Any thoughts on that part?? I agree with freezing set it...I used a fresh one on top tier, and I could tell a big difference. Has anyone else had trouble with the Bride/Groom haveing a hard time cutting into the fondant?? I am sure it was mostly because of the improper knife...but was kind of embarressing for me for a minute!!

AmyCakes2 Posted 19 Jun 2007 , 12:49am
post #13 of 28

Wrap it in at least a couple layers of plastic wrap. When thawing, let it thaw until it comes to room temp. The "condensation" will disappear.
As for fondant - I use marshmallow fondant to cover the cakes, and Wilton's pre-made for any decorations (like bows). Marshmallow fondant tends to stay softer, at least for me! icon_smile.gif
Hopefully some others with more fondant experience will be able to help you out with that portion!

eieio1234 - I'd be talking to DH's customer service again - sounds like that lady had an attitude?!

eieio1234 Posted 19 Jun 2007 , 2:12am
post #14 of 28

She was just so sure she was right, and wasn't listening to me! We kept going in circles. She kept saying that they were in too long or the temp was too high, so I'd say but then why would 2 be fine and one crumbly?? So she'd tell me not to crowd them in the oven... I'd say they're not crowded, they're small, there's plenty of air circulation, I do it all the time. SHe'd say she never heard of such small cakes, are they really that small? I'd say yes, she'd say it was oven temp. And around and around we went!! It was tedious as all heck!!

Juneclever Posted 19 Jun 2007 , 11:50pm
post #15 of 28

I just did a large wedding cake this past weekend. I baked the cake on Monday and froze it. Although I used DH, I use a recipe from the Cake Doctor book. I add 1 cup of milk (instead of water) and 1 stick of butter (instead of oil). I bake at 350. I wrapped the cakes after they were completely cool in wax paper and then in plastic wrap. I traveled 4 1/2 hrs with these cakes on Thurs evening and put them in a refrigerator when I got to my mother's house. We decorated the cake on Friday evening ( I left the cakes out to get room temp--leaving them wrapped). The cake was really good. I am happy to say that I have learnt alot from everyone on Cake Central, even though I have been doing cakes for a long time, I have become more careful with my mixing time etc.

isurus9 Posted 13 Sep 2015 , 12:07pm
post #16 of 28

OH HUNNIES i feel your pain!  I have had this happen to my wedding cakes on two occasions using the same recipes I always use and have had no problems with other people in the past.  The two times it happened I knew it was the people who cut the cakes not using the proper knife and techniques.  A long thin sharp non-serrated knife (like a fish knife i think they call it), hot hot water to dip the knife in AND for heaven sakes wipe off your knife with each cut with a clean damp cloth or paper towel :)

Cakes are generally moist and crumbly and that's a good thing!!! It's NOT YOUR FAULT.  YOU ARE NOT THE PROBLEM :)

I have made it a rule that I now charge to stay and cut the cake or have someone who knows what they are doing do it and they sign a commitment agreement if I don't stay to cut it that they have listened to my instructions and/or have someone who knows what they are doing.

I had to comp 2 wedding cakes because of people destroying them on me all my blood sweat and tears down the drain and I"m out a pile of money.

The problem is the people cutting the cakes unless you are not an experienced cake bakerare trying a new recipe or don't have prior experience building stacked cakes.  So don't fret and either stay and cut the cake yourself or give them instructions on how to cut a wedding cake properly.  People that don't know how to properly cut wedding cakes need to put the knife DOWN!!!

Here is the master himself showing you (and I've also showed this to clients) how to properly cut and serve a wedding cake...and my gosh watch how beautiful his layers are it will make you swoon :)

:) Happy caking!

-K8memphis Posted 13 Sep 2015 , 12:46pm
post #17 of 28

great video -- cleanly serving cake is definitely a whole 'nuther skill set -- lots to learn from him!

what I liked was how properly he had his dowel and removed them before slicing -- 6 dowel in a 7" cake and they were about halfway in from the perimeter-- some people are afraid to use enough and they place them on the outside perimeter -- then wonder why they have cave ins --

anyhow great post on an old thread but the subject bears repeating regularly--

best to you isurus9

*Last edited by -K8memphis on 13 Sep 2015 , 12:47pm
bubs1stbirthday Posted 14 Sep 2015 , 12:27am
post #18 of 28

I wonder if it may have been the knife too. Haha whenever I talke a cake to be served at someone else's house I always take my own knife too, might offend people but I don't care when it stops something that you put hours of work into from being destroyed with a blunt knife. My 'cake cutting knife' is actually a thin flat bladed knife that is super sharp.

I entered a cake competition once and went up to the pavillion to check on my cake only to find that the 'judge'! had used a blunt knife and the cake looked so bad that I just had to walk away and cool down for a little bit.I actually took the cake home at the end of the day and recut it then took sent both a photo of the judges cuts and my own in along with a formal complaint lol. You can see below the difference. 1st picture of what the judge did (even the icing is ruined :-( ) 2nd picture is the cut done with my knife with the 1st piece sitting off to the left of the picture. 

MBalaska Posted 14 Sep 2015 , 2:24am
post #19 of 28

box mixes and commercial mixes have vegetable gums in them, that helps keeps the crumbs minimized.

annakat444 Posted 14 Sep 2015 , 3:24am
post #20 of 28

I've found that if I use a cake mix without doctoring it, it is VERY crumbly (not necessarily a bad thing - it gives a nice, light  and fluffy texture) but it can be difficult to cut (and cupcakes are a disaster!) However I've noticed doctored mixes (like the WASC recipe found on this site) that have sour cream added tend to be a bit more dense and don't crumble as much. Just my observation.

Snowflakebunny23 Posted 14 Sep 2015 , 11:06am
post #21 of 28

I don't get the problem with crumbly cake personally but maybe that's just me.  My chocolate fudge cake cuts beautifully but my victoria sponge cake certainly isn't the neatest thing on the planet.  It's a very light and airy sponge so is not going to have the structure of a dense chocolate fudge.  Given the choice between a cake which tasted good and one which looked good while you demolished it, I'd prefer the one which tasted good any day!

General question to all as well...what temperature do you eat your cake at???  Bon Isreal said in his video that his cake will still be cold in the middle which makes it easier to cut.  Not to undermine the master, but I can't imagine eating cold cake?

indydebi Posted 14 Sep 2015 , 11:52am
post #22 of 28

Bub1stbirthday .... I saved your photo to show my high school cooking class when we do our next knife lesson!

snowflakebunny .... eating cold cake is disgusting to me.  It tastes stiff and stale.  Plus refrigerating a cake accelerates the "going stale" process.

-K8memphis Posted 14 Sep 2015 , 1:29pm
post #23 of 28

scream_cat.png bubs1stb -- where do they get these judges anyway -- sorry that happened -- it's a beautiful serving when done right

bubs1stbirthday Posted 14 Sep 2015 , 10:20pm
post #24 of 28

Haha no problems Indydebi. Tell me about it K8 - this year I will be attaching those pictures to my cake with my favorite cake knife so the judge can use that instead of a butter knife lol. Thankyou.

-K8memphis Posted 14 Sep 2015 , 10:25pm
post #25 of 28

fingers crossed for yah

indydebi Posted 14 Sep 2015 , 10:59pm
post #26 of 28

bubs1st ..... for the first time, I was a cake judge at our state fair.  They had a pretty good knife, but this conversation makes me want to take my own knife next year!

bubs1stbirthday Posted 15 Sep 2015 , 5:42am
post #27 of 28

Indydebi (sorry for some reason the writing keeps reverting to huge bold writing no what I do) the officials there told me that the judges generally bring their own knives so I am sure that it wont be unusual if you take your own, that way you know that you wont be the judge on the recieving end of the entrants ire lol.

bubs1stbirthday Posted 15 Sep 2015 , 6:28am
post #28 of 28

Indydebi when I complained they told me that the judges generally bring their own knives so I am sure that you wont look out of place if you take your own :-)

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