More Topsy-Turvy Cake Questions

Decorating By shannon100 Updated 15 Aug 2008 , 2:28pm by shannon100

shannon100 Posted 11 Aug 2008 , 9:05pm
post #1 of 7

Hi. I made the mistake of showing my niece a picture of a topsy-turvy cake and now she wants one for her birthday! I'm practicing this week to make sure I can do it (so I can prepare her if I can't make it.) I've never even done a tiered cake, so I hope I'm not biting off more than I can chew! (I've stacked cakes, but only a small layer on a larger base. I haven't uploaded my cakes here yet, but they are on http://photobucket.com/shannonscakes.)

I've been thinking through how I'm going to do this, and just wanted to make sure this sounds good. I have 8", 6", and 4" pans. Will this look good?

I think I just want to practice with the 6" and 4" to save a couple of cake mixes. Do you think that would work?

I just noticed that my 4" are not 2 inches tall, like the rest. They are 1 1/4'. So I'm thinking that maybe I need more than 3 layers? I'm following the directions from Sarsi that I downloaded, where I'm just cutting an angle on the 3rd layer of each tier. I read (on one of the many TT posts I read) that the top layer really needs a sharper angle so it looks crooked once it's stacked.

I was trying to add up how many cups of cake batter I'll need, so I can get the right amount of cake mixes. I got the 8 and 6 measurements from my wilton book. I was thinking 17-18 cups, (8"-3 layer x3 cups =9 cups; 6"= 3 layers x 2 cups=6 cups; 4=3 layers totals 2 cups (I poured water into the pans to get a better measurement for these small pans). I'm guessing I'll need 2-3 more layers to make the top tier tall enough with a good slant. So that would be 3-4 cake mixes, right?

I read one post that talked about cakes not being heavy enough (or too light) to do the TT cake. Will Betty Crocker mixes work alright for this?

I don't even know where to start planning how much buttercream I'm going to need! It's going to all be BC. She just wants blue and green dots, so I'm going to do the Viva smoothing technique and do dots. I'm never good at estimating BC. I usually make 3-4 Wilton-recipe batches for most of my cakes, and I always end up with extra.

How long can I freeze a cake without it tasting frozen? I'm making the cake for Aug 30, and my in-laws are coming in the same weekend, so the more I can do ahead of time, the better.

Thanks for helping me! Please let me know if my thinking is ok on this, or if there's anything else I should know!

ETA: I just read the thread about how long ahead of time can you bake, and people posted about freezing, but just for that week. I'm wondering, if my practice cake turns out well, with just undecorated white BC on it, could I wrap it and put it in the freezer for 2 weeks without it tasting frozen?

I really need to save money. My husband and I just moved back from overseas as missionaries, and money is tight. This cake is mostly a present for my niece (my sister is buying supplies, labor is free (and I'm in Texas, so I can't sell it anyway!)), so I don't have extra money to make a whole extra cake just to practice. Thanks!

6 replies
kakeladi Posted 11 Aug 2008 , 11:12pm
post #2 of 7

Forgetr measuring how many cups needed for each cakeicon_sad.gif What a mess it is to hav e to measure out cups of b atter!!
An 8"x2" round uses about 2/3rds of a mix; a 6"x2" round takes 1/3 to 1/2 of a mix. So you probably only need one mix for both pans; 2 if you want dbl layers.
For a topsey-turvey cake it's best to bake layer sizes like 5,6,7 for one and 3,4,5 for the other.
OR yhou can bake 2 or 3 layers of cake of each size and cut them down.
OR make 8,6,8 for the bottom tier; 4,5,4 for the top. This will give you more of an hourglass look.

...I read one post that talked about cakes not being heavy enough (or too light) to do the TT cake. Will Betty Crocker mixes work alright for this? ...
If you use my WASC recipe it will be the perfect consistency for this type of design.

...I don't even know where to start planning how much buttercream I'm going to need! ...
One batch of icing using 2# of sugar should be plenty.
........How long can I freeze a cake without it tasting frozen? .......
You can bake anytime. If the cake is wrapped well it will not taste fzn and be even moister than when it was baked. As soon as you take it out of the oven place on cooling rack for about 10 minutes; then turn it out onto the rack and cool another 10 minutes or so. Wrap in plastic wrap, then place in a fzr bag or other air-tight container to fz. The night before you want to work on it, remove from fzr & allow to thaw on counter. Unwrap just before filling & icing.
You can make your icing now also. It will keep well in the frig or fzr. Do the same w/icing as the cake, remove night before. Whip it up (a wire whip is fine or return to mixer bowl) just before using. Make y our colors now. They will take on a slightly darker color as they sit in the fzr/frigicon_smile.gif
........I'm wondering, if my practice cake turns out well, with just undecorated white BC on it, could I wrap it and put it in the freezer for 2 weeks without it tasting frozen? ......
Yes, yes!! There should be no problem doing thaticon_smile.gif Good thinkingicon_smile.gif

Sarsi Posted 12 Aug 2008 , 1:49pm
post #3 of 7

Glad to hear your using my instructions!! Just hope they work out for you! One thing I must say is that I don't think that my instructions will work if you're planning on covering the cake in buttercream. My method of stacking the cake is dependent on "glueing" the layers together with piping gel, and I don't believe this would work with buttercream. The instructions are for fondant covered cakes... You might want to go with the Topsy Turvy cake instructions in the articles section! That one would work great with buttercream!

Not trying to be discouraging, I just don't want your cake to fall over on you!!

I also think that you will need a more dense cake as kakeladi has mentioned. The WASC cake would be great for this (its a doctored cake mix) Or if you can't do that, add a package of pudding mix into your cake mixture. That will help thicken it up.....

HOPE IT GOES WELL FOR YOU!!! Feel free to ask any questions you might have!!

shannon100 Posted 14 Aug 2008 , 12:32am
post #4 of 7

Thanks for your advice. I think I'll do the safe thing and try the cut-out (but with straight sides) since I'm doing BC. I don't want to risk it falling. I was actually just asked yesterday to make a cake for a teacher lunch at my husband's school, so this one won't go to waste, or have to be frozen. It'll just be a donation.

As for the pudding, is generic instant pudding ok? I've never added pudding to my cakes, so I don't know how it will turn out. I couldn't remember the recipe for WASC, but I remembered something about pudding while I was at walmart, so I got the cheap instant stuff. Do I need to adjust the temp or anything?

Have you ever done a FBCT on the top tier? I was wanting to put the school seal on the top, and just put it in a 4 in circle, so the whole top will be FBCT.

I can't wait to get in the kitchen tomorrow! I haven't made a cake in about 1.5 months (because of moving), so this is going to be fun! icon_smile.gif
Thanks again!

shannon100 Posted 15 Aug 2008 , 1:03pm
post #5 of 7

I did it! I made my first TT cake! Thanks for yall's advice. I did it with 8,6, and 4" pans. Each tier was the same size. (I don't have many pan sizes. Just those and a few 9 inch pans.) I did the cut out method. It was harder than I thought it would be to cut out the circles, and I didn't do them evenly but it turned out ok. I guess it adds to the illusion that it's about to fall. icon_smile.gif

I added pudding to the cake mixes. I did 2 with just pudding mix added, and one with the enhanced mix recipe, to compare. There wasn't a huge different, but I think I'll do the enhanced recipe next time, as someone told me that it could fall with just pudding added.

I ended up having to make 4 batches of BC. (2 batches with 2# PS). I do have some extra, so maybe I could have gotten by with just 3, but it's hard for me to split the bags of PS evenly. (Last time I measured out 4 cups, it was more than half the bag, so I didn't want to try that again.)

I don't like my top tier at all. The edges aren't straight. I didn't realize when I bought them that the edges of the 4-in (x 1.25 in) flare out and aren't straight up. So I had to try to carve it down, and I didn't do it well. At least I know for next time what to do, though!

Sarsi Posted 15 Aug 2008 , 1:10pm
post #6 of 7

CONGRATS!!! I'm so happy it worked out for you!!! YAY!!! Aren't they fun????? Is it in your photos??

shannon100 Posted 15 Aug 2008 , 2:28pm
post #7 of 7

Yes, it's in my photos. It's also a link in the words "first TT cake" in my last post. I'd love feedback!

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