Honest Opinion On "topsy Turvy" Cakes

Decorating By cupycakesmurf Updated 18 Sep 2008 , 2:48pm by MacsMom

cupycakesmurf Posted 18 Sep 2008 , 12:06am
post #1 of 12

I'm new here and pretty new to cake decorating! Hi everyone! icon_smile.gif

I have to say, most of you ladies are VERY talented. Your cakes are gorgeous!

I'd been interested in doing a topsy turvy cake when I saw one on TV (I think it was on Ace of Cakes!), and then I started googling them. I have to say... you really really have to know what you're doing to make one look good, I believe! Some of the ones I've seen online look like a cake gone bad -- and in a bad kinda way! On the other hand, I have seen some really professional looking ones and you can totally tell the topsy-turvy is supposed to be happening when you look at it.

Now I'm scared to do one! How many of you have tried them and what are youR honest opinions on them now?


11 replies
FromScratch Posted 18 Sep 2008 , 12:22am
post #2 of 12

I have done a few.. I don't think that they are overly difficult so long as they are well supported and you use a nice sturdy cake.

I prefer the method where you cut away the top of the tier to make a notch for the tier above it. This allows your cakes to be level and still look crooked AND allows for proper support. icon_smile.gif

notjustcake Posted 18 Sep 2008 , 12:23am
post #3 of 12

I have mine turned out ok but if you don't try you'll never get it search the forums here, there are a lot of threads with instructions and tips if JanH is around she will probably post those herself

cutthecake Posted 18 Sep 2008 , 12:24am
post #4 of 12

There was a thread on our "Flopsy" Topsy Turvy Cakes just the other day. (Search for "Flopsy Topsy".) Some of us have had disastrous experiences, which only makes us more eager to succeed at it. I know I learned from my mistakes. Next time, I will make sure I have adequate support, especially in the bottom layer which holds all the weight.

tonedna Posted 18 Sep 2008 , 12:25am
post #5 of 12

I like mine with a center hole that is leveled too..it looks crooked but then is really going on a level surface..
Edna icon_biggrin.gif

MacsMom Posted 18 Sep 2008 , 12:45am
post #6 of 12

I just stack mine normally. I've had so many issues with that flippin' hole icon_mad.gif and none with regular stacking. I just hammer 2 dowels all the way through the cake into the cake board. The cake board being 3 foam core boards glued together. Each tier is also on foam core board.

I find they look best a little taller. My first one was too squatty-looking.

I also leave a 4" difference between the tiers. (A 6" cake sits on a 10" cake).

I do the upside-down carving method, centering the cakes as opposed to aligning one edge.

funsugar Posted 18 Sep 2008 , 1:55am
post #7 of 12

I agree with you Smurf! Finding good topsy turvy tutorials and pictures is pretty hard to find on the net..They go by many different names. Topsy turvy, slanted cakes, crooked cakes, whimsical cakes, etc....

Heres a link of a bunch of videos on how to make Topsy Turvys along with good pictures

there is also a bunch of links to a bunch of other tutorials on topsy turvy cakes.


read those and you will have a pretty good understanding of how to make one.

FromScratch Posted 18 Sep 2008 , 2:21am
post #8 of 12

I like a 2" difference because you are tapering the tier down. If I start with an 8" tier.. it will be 6" on the bottom. If that was on a 12" cake.. it would look odd IMO. icon_smile.gif

The two topsy's that are in my pics both have 2" difference.. one is 6-8-10 and the more recent one is a 6-8.

psurrette Posted 18 Sep 2008 , 2:21am
post #9 of 12

I have done 4 now and the first one I did I used the cut out the center hole method and did not like the outcome of the cake. However thank god it was done that way because they had the cake on a cart and it was going to be rolled around to each person to light a candle.
The last 3 I did I use the regular stacking method but just made sure the dowels are put in level. The more you do them the more confident you will get. I also angle my sides in 1 inch. Good luck!

Kitagrl Posted 18 Sep 2008 , 2:22am
post #10 of 12

I have been making mine too squatty but I got one of Lindy Smith's books and she said to actually, when you cut the top diagonal, to then add that cut part to the top of your cake, making it taller and more angled.

I think she just stacks hers normally though, but I think I might prefer the "notch" method myself. Some of those cakes seem awfully steeply sloped to hold sturdy, even if they are well dowelled.

FromScratch Posted 18 Sep 2008 , 2:30am
post #11 of 12

I personally feel that the notched method is more stable.. the forces of gravity are pulling on the tiers perpendicular to the layers.. distributing the weight evenly on the cake board and dowels below it. When you have it placed on the top of the tier below it the forced of gravity are going through the cake at an angle to the layers and to me.. that's just asking for trouble. Also.. the angle of the second tier is lessened due to the tier tilting and you have most of the weight of the cake pushing on the lower side of the tilted tier.

When you cut the notch you have level tiers.. they just look crooked. It takes some practice, but they are really sturdy and you can use the SPS or any other plate and pillar system for support if you wanted to too.

MacsMom Posted 18 Sep 2008 , 2:48pm
post #12 of 12
Originally Posted by jkalman

I like a 2" difference because you are tapering the tier down. If I start with an 8" tier.. it will be 6" on the bottom. If that was on a 12" cake.. it would look odd IMO. icon_smile.gif

The two topsy's that are in my pics both have 2" difference.. one is 6-8-10 and the more recent one is a 6-8.

Maybe I didn't explain it well enough (?) My topsy's usually have a bottom tier of an 8-9-10" cake and a top tier of a 6-7-8" cake.

I stand by the regular stacking method icon_wink.gif . Besides being so much easier, I don't have to stress out if I haven't made the hole large enough (I've had that wall split on me twice after the cake was decorated and assembled), or if I'm going to have to hide any gaps if I've made that hole too wide.

My pink DJ 3-tier topsy was a huge cake, and it traveled completely assembled with no problem! A dab of piping gel between the tiers and 2 dowels hammered through the entire cake into the foam core cake board.

When I read this in Lindy Smith's book, I smiled huge. Anything to make cake making a little bit easier thumbs_up.gif

Quote by @%username% on %date%