First Wedding Cake Collapsed, Please Help

Decorating By Smiller94 Updated 26 Jun 2008 , 10:09am by -K8memphis

Smiller94 Posted 26 Jun 2008 , 3:04am
post #1 of 18

Hi guys,

I finally did my first wedding cake this weekend. It was a 6, 8, 10, 12â pillar cake. The cake looked totally gorgeous. Problem though, I set up the cake and right in the middle of the wedding ceremony the caterer comes and tells me the cake is leaning. I freaked out and my brother and I take off running. We discovered the 12â was collapsing. We take the cake apart and remove the 12â and everything was fine afterwards.

This being my first wedding cake, first pillar cake I am not sure what I did wrong. Not even sure I did something wrong but if I did I would like to fix it before the next cake. I am so worried this will happen again. I was in tears when the cake was leaning. I had to travel 350 miles and it took me 42 hours to do the cake away from home. The cake was a lot of work for something to go wrong. The bride and groom totally loved the cake and the guest kept complimenting me on how this was the best cake they have ever tasted. So at least some things went right!
Could it have been a dowel rod support problem? When supporting the cake. I put 6 dowels in the 12â, 6 dowels in the 10â, 5 dowels in the 8â and 4 dowels in the 6â. I put the dowels in the same way I did my tier cakes. Was that my problem or did I not put enough dowel rods in the cake?

Please any help!!!!!!!!! Open to comments icon_smile.gif
LL
LL

17 replies
-K8memphis Posted 26 Jun 2008 , 3:14am
post #2 of 18

What kinda dowel? I would have used 6 of those 3/4" Wilton tube kinda dowel. If it was the standard 1/4" wooden dowel I would have used more than 6 in that bottom cake.

Leah needs to tell you about the sps.

Were all your dowel the same length?

Did you measure each cake individually?

And the same heighth as the cake to the top of the icing with not more or less than an 1/8th inch above or below the icing?

And where did you place them??

a.) Toward the edge of the plate above?
b.) Halfway between the edge and the midpoint of the cake?














correct answer b

-K8memphis Posted 26 Jun 2008 , 3:22am
post #3 of 18

Did the bottom tier slide over on the board too? It looks that way in the picture. It looks like more board sticking out in the back than in the front. And by the way I forgot to add that it's a gorgeous cake too.

-K8memphis Posted 26 Jun 2008 , 3:25am
post #4 of 18

Why did you dowel the 6"?

Smiller94 Posted 26 Jun 2008 , 3:27am
post #5 of 18

I used the Wilton wood dowels , the ones you can buy that come in the 12 in package. Hmm, wonder if that was my problem. Probably needed more than 6 for the 12". They were all the same size, I measured each one for each tier individually.

I would love to learn about SPS, i have read about them but with this cake I did not have enough time to order them online. I only had 2 weeks to get everything together for the cake. Short notice Freebie cake.

I placed the dowels hate to say this but like I would if I was stacking tier cakes. Probably another problem.

Learning lesson for me, I just wanted to cry but everyone was happy with the cake.

Smiller94 Posted 26 Jun 2008 , 3:32am
post #6 of 18

Bottom boards didnt slide, not that I noticed.

I dowel'd the 6" because I had no idea of the cake topper until I got the wedding. Wasnt sure how heavy it was so wanted to make sure I had dowels in there to hold the topper. Didn't realize it though, was that I had to go buy the topper at the last minute because the bride forget hers.

MillyCakes Posted 26 Jun 2008 , 3:33am
post #7 of 18

Your cake is beautiful! Learn and order the SPS system and your fears will go away! I love it and will never use another wooden/straw dowel again!!!! Good luck with your next cake!!!!

-K8memphis Posted 26 Jun 2008 , 3:36am
post #8 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smiller94



They were all the same size, I measured each one for each tier individually.

I placed the dowels hate to say this but like I would if I was stacking tier cakes. Probably another problem.




Now are you saying that you measured each dowel in eacth tier? By measure I mean stick the dowel in and mark it and pull it out and cut it. Not stick in every dowel and cut each one by it's own particular measure in the cake.

You measure one dowel and make all the dowel for that tier that same length. If the dowel are all different lengths, the cake can fall over. Most iced cakes are not the exact same heighth all over --they're a little bit different because it's hand made after all.

Maybe you didn't mean to say that but if that's what happened don't ever do that again.

There's no difference between placing dowel for stacked or for plated pillared cakes. It's just to keep them from caving in.

leah_s Posted 26 Jun 2008 , 3:40am
post #9 of 18

Global Sugar Art can get you SPS in a matter of days. Two weeks ordering time is no problem. Heck even Oasis ships that fast. It certainly would have held up your cake. Those really tall pillar do not add stability, though. Even with SPS I don't like to use the 9 inch pillars. When there is more air space than cake I get really, really nervous.

And if you need the SPS directions, PM me with your email. Don't forget the email.

pinklesley1 Posted 26 Jun 2008 , 3:41am
post #10 of 18

i couldnt even tell it was leaning... it looks gorgeous...

brilandken Posted 26 Jun 2008 , 3:44am
post #11 of 18

Your cake is beautiful! What is the SPS system? I have my first wedding cake in Aug.

mjnj Posted 26 Jun 2008 , 3:44am
post #12 of 18

What is SPS?

TheCakeShak Posted 26 Jun 2008 , 3:46am
post #13 of 18

icon_eek.gif WOW! That cake looked gorgeous!!! Love the color theme too..

I'm so sorry to hear that your cake started to fall apart,, hey... it happens to us sooner or later...... Just have to dust off your shoes from the icing, learn and move forward...

Question,, could possibly it have been toooo warm where the reception was? Icing has a mind of its own in warm weather....

But lovely cake....

leah_s Posted 26 Jun 2008 , 3:57am
post #14 of 18

SPS = Single Plate Separator.

As always PM me WITH YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS and I'll send instructions.

cakeconfections Posted 26 Jun 2008 , 4:15am
post #15 of 18

I would have def used more dowels in the 12". It looks like the cake was almost buckling from the close up. If all of your dowels were not the same size it could cause that to happen. Also with only 6 dowels being used, the placment of the dowels may had something to do with the cake issue.

Smiller94 Posted 26 Jun 2008 , 4:16am
post #16 of 18

Leah, I PM'd you my email! Looking forward to the instructions. SPS system is the next thing I am buying. Nothing is worse than driving 350 miles to do a cake, staying up for 2 days straight and the cake collapsing and leaning.

Quote:
Quote:

Now are you saying that you measured each dowel in eacth tier? By measure I mean stick the dowel in and mark it and pull it out and cut it. Not stick in every dowel and cut each one by it's own particular measure in the cake.

You measure one dowel and make all the dowel for that tier that same length. If the dowel are all different lengths, the cake can fall over. Most iced cakes are not the exact same heighth all over --they're a little bit different because it's hand made after all.




I measured each dowel separately, my mistake. icon_sad.gif What do you do when you measure one dowel for the cake, cut them and then some of the dowels come out higher than the others when you set them in the cake? Do you just leave them and ice over them?

cakeconfections Posted 26 Jun 2008 , 4:20am
post #17 of 18

You should look at your cake and find the highest spot and use that spot to measure your dowel. the cut that one and use that as a guide to cut the rest. What that does is give you a level platform for the next cake to sit onl.

-K8memphis Posted 26 Jun 2008 , 10:09am
post #18 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smiller94

What do you do when you measure one dowel for the cake, cut them and then some of the dowels come out higher than the others when you set them in the cake? Do you just leave them and ice over them?




Oh oh oh-- well assuming the dowel are cut exactly the same length, you can add some more icing but your cake shouldn't be off by more than 1/8 of an inch or less. You can let them stick up a bit. No worries if they are all the same length--some will seem to stick up higher but they have to be the same length. Trim them all even to the first one you marked.

THE DOWEL HAVE TO BE LEVEL AND EVEN TO EACH OTHER NOT TO THE TOP OF THE CAKE

The purpose of the dowel is to hold up the weight of the cake so they have to be exactly the same length or the cake will be held up unevenly and lean or fall. No if you ice over them, the icing will not make up the difference.

All the dowel have to be the exact same length measured on a per tier basis.

Push a dowel in the tallest, thickest part of the cake. Make sure the dowel goes in straight up and down. Mark it with a pen where you wanna cut it which is where the dowel is level with the icing. Pull and twist it up & out wipe it off. Cut it. Use that to measure and cut however many more you need for that tier. Make sure they are all the same length.

On the counter line them all up next to each other like pencils in a case. Take your spatula and scoot the dowel back and forth on the cut ends to see if any of them are too long or too short. Trim them. But keep an eye on your first dowel and never trim that one! That is your guide. Insert them straight up and down.

Measure the next tier and repeat.

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