My Topsy Was A Flopsy

Decorating By Trance Updated 16 Sep 2008 , 12:49pm by SweetResults

Trance Posted 15 Sep 2008 , 9:20am
post #1 of 20

Hello-
I did my 1st Topsy Turvey cake this weekend and unfortunatly I had some issues. The fondant started to crack especially on the bottom tier and the fondant also started to sag at the bottom. The instructions I had to make this cake was...freeze ,carve and cover because it was easier. I think the cake started to settle causing the problems. Any suggestions....I'm still sick about this!!

Thanks,
Trance

19 replies
lynda-bob Posted 15 Sep 2008 , 9:40am
post #2 of 20

So sorry. I've done a few of these, and with a couple of different methods. All of them turned out fine, but I've never frozen them. Actually, I never freeze any of my cakes. I'm no expert, but I would think that freezing has to change the cake once it's defrosted. I know I've heard that lots of experts do this but like I say, I'm no expert icon_redface.gif

Hopefully someone w/ more experience can give you a more definitive answer.

Don't give up, though. Make sure you try another one really soon thumbs_up.gif


Lynda

bettinashoe Posted 15 Sep 2008 , 9:53am
post #3 of 20

Humidity can reek havoc on fondant. My first (and only) topsy cake was great at the house but by the time I got it to the party it was faltering and sagging. It was fresh, not frozen and the problem, I believe, was the heat and humidity. Don't give up on it. Just wait until the weather is better. I'm planning another one next month.

loriemoms Posted 15 Sep 2008 , 12:36pm
post #4 of 20

Next time carve your cake and fill it, cover it with saran and let it sit out over night. The next day, you will notice your cake has settled and will need to be trimmed a little again. Trim it (you want your "naked" cake to be as smooth as can be, with no lines or bumbs) and then pop it back in the fridge to get it nice and cold for covering with fondant. Dont' roll the fondant too thick, and just cover it with a very light crumb coat. Also, make sure you have a very good support system..it should be supporting the cake, not the cake supporting the cake. If you don't use SPS, use a LOT of dowels. I also do not use the Damming method, I carve my cakes..i dont think damms hold up against the weight of fondant well.

Good luck!

btw, there is an excellent article in baker buyer about freezing cakes. There is a whole science to it and ALL the major bakeries do it now. It actually IMPROVES the flavor and texture of your cake if done properly.

cutthecake Posted 15 Sep 2008 , 12:58pm
post #5 of 20

My first--and only, so far--topsy turvy cake flopped, too!
I made it to welcome our younger daughter home from studying in Italy. It was very cute--three tall layers.
I left the completed cake on the counter, and we headed to the airport to pick her up.
On the way to the airport, our older daughter called me from home on my cell phone:"Mom, you know that cake you made?"
This wasn't sounding good. "Yeah?"
"Well, it kind of fell over."
What could I do? I laughed.
When we got home, I stacked it again real fast to take a picture, then I separated it onto three dishes, and we ate it!
Live and learn.

bethola Posted 15 Sep 2008 , 1:12pm
post #6 of 20

I'm sorry you had a problem. Hope it was a practice cake for you. Mine was....look in my pictures! LOL It was my first MMF attempt and I didn't roll it thin enough and THEN.....it sqooshed my cake! I haven't tried another. Not enough time. But, I will! It's my nature. I have to CONQUER something and then I can "let it go"!

I'm such a Control Freak! But, half the battle is knowing, right?

Beth in KY

cutthecake Posted 15 Sep 2008 , 1:31pm
post #7 of 20

I had a good laugh over my flopsy topsy. Good thing it was an "at home" cake. I, too, have to conquer things so I can move on to the next thing. I'm planning on making another topsy soon. If it flops, too, I'll keep trying until I get one to stand!

funsugar Posted 15 Sep 2008 , 1:43pm
post #8 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by loriemoms



btw, there is an excellent article in baker buyer about freezing cakes. There is a whole science to it and ALL the major bakeries do it now. It actually IMPROVES the flavor and texture of your cake if done properly.




do you have a link to this baker buyer article? or their website in general?

bethola Posted 15 Sep 2008 , 1:44pm
post #9 of 20

As a wise "man" once said:

"Do or Do Not....there is no try"

YODA

My cake mantra! LOL

Beth

cutthecake Posted 15 Sep 2008 , 1:48pm
post #10 of 20

I'll do it, I'll do it!!!!

bettinashoe Posted 15 Sep 2008 , 5:22pm
post #11 of 20

loriemoms, what do you mean by damming the cakes? Is that when you cut out the layer below to stack the upper layer into the lower one? If you don't do this, how do you get them to stabilize against each other?

Bettina

loriemoms Posted 15 Sep 2008 , 5:33pm
post #12 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by funsugar

Quote:
Originally Posted by loriemoms



btw, there is an excellent article in baker buyer about freezing cakes. There is a whole science to it and ALL the major bakeries do it now. It actually IMPROVES the flavor and texture of your cake if done properly.



do you have a link to this baker buyer article? or their website in general?




Sure...try this

http://am.sosland.com/ActiveMagazine/getBook.asp?Path=BB/2008/08/01&BookCollection=BB_AM&ReaderStyle=Gray

loriemoms Posted 15 Sep 2008 , 5:36pm
post #13 of 20

PS It starts on page 38

What I Mean by damming is some people, like collette peters, has you build damms of icing and then put a cake on top of it for the "crooked" look. I personaly just dont think this is stable. I prefer to cut my cakes at the angle, and have the bottom of the cake be flat...

koralkat Posted 15 Sep 2008 , 5:40pm
post #14 of 20

My first TT cake was a flop also! It was not a pratice one so I jsut did another one last night just for pratice and well... better but still not great. I too will keep trying.
bettinashoe. I think what loriemoms meant by damming is putting a stiff buttercream dam on the edge of the cake to hold in the filling.
HTH

koralkat Posted 15 Sep 2008 , 5:42pm
post #15 of 20

Guess not!! LOL sorry

loriemoms Posted 15 Sep 2008 , 5:44pm
post #16 of 20

Also, if you are using a box mix straight from the box, I would love to hear if anyone has ever been able to do it. I doubt those fluffy cakes can hold up against being carved and positioned into each other as a tospy turvey is done. I would use a scratch or a mix that has been altered to be more like a pound cake..

chovest Posted 15 Sep 2008 , 6:09pm
post #17 of 20

My first topsy was also a flopsy. I followed the how-to article on this site, but I didn't have the plates and pillars so I just used dowels as I always had. Needless to say, it didn't hold long. I got the first picture taken and as I took a few more pics I noticed it was slanting more and more. I quickly took the top tier off to try to save it, and as I did the bottom tier collapsed. All I could do was laugh, it was already 2 a.m. (I reused the top tier and baked a new bottom tier the next day, and changed it to a basic 2 tier cake...it was a donation so I could adjust as needed.)

I was kind of panicky when my 12 yo daughter asked for a topsy-turvy for her birthday. After buying the proper supports (and making sure the notched out part was perfectly level) everything went smooth.

Here is the how-to I followed (exactly the second time...other than only 2 tiers.) http://www.cakecentral.com/article1-Instructions-For-Building-A-Whimsical-Tilted-Cake.html



Hopefully you'll find some humor in the experiences other CC's can share. All I can say is, don't be afraid to try again.

Forgot to mantion I usually use the WASC or similar doctored mixes, makes for a denser cake.
LL

Trance Posted 15 Sep 2008 , 6:48pm
post #18 of 20

Thank you everyone! I was never going to do one again, but after hearing everyone's words of wisdom the next free moment I have I'm going to get back up on that horse! It was for a customer so I was feeling horrible these past 2 days. The women who ordered it was not there at time of delivery, but her mother was (not a nice women to say the least) she made me feel 10 times worse then I already did. The front of the cake looked fine,just the back had a little issue. Anyway I got a e-mail back from the customer ...she said it was delicious and understood that things sometimes happen and her daughter loved it and thats all that mattered. WHEW!!!!! I was so upset I told the mother there was no charge for the cake ,but the customer must have not been that disappointed because she said she was mailing me a check anyway.
Sorry so long....just needed to vent to people who understand the stress ! My husband was very supportive,but can't understand why I'm still upset over it.
Thanks,
Kelly

bettinashoe Posted 15 Sep 2008 , 11:16pm
post #19 of 20

Don't you hate it when you respond and find someone posted before you making your response look totally lame? icon_biggrin.gif

I made my TT cake like lori, without damming it, but I just didn't know that's what I did. (I was "damming" it alright!) I will try again because the TT's are just the cutest cakes! My problems were mostly related to high humidity coupled with high heat. June in Oklahoma is "just perfect" weather especially for fondant. As soon as it cools down here I'll go for #2. I don't use mixes (I'm a scratch girl) so I know that's not the problem. But I am certain it had to do with operator error somewhere along the line.

We should never give up though. Just think of the price those cakes can bring once we master the technique!

SweetResults Posted 16 Sep 2008 , 12:49pm
post #20 of 20

I use mixes - sometimes with pudding and an extra egg, sometimes not. I think it really all boils down to the supports in the cake. I'm not a fan of the building up a dam to make the cake look crooked either. I carve them out.

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