My Crappy Cake (Vent And Troubleshooting)

Decorating By yellobutterfly Updated 6 Dec 2008 , 1:08am by trumpetmidget

yellobutterfly Posted 5 Dec 2008 , 2:20pm
post #1 of 21

Ok, so my husband's work asked him if I'd donate a cake to their christmas party (he's a police officer). He said I would, and told them it'd be chocolate or white cake w/buttercream. They wanted half and half, so I said fiine. THey wanted to see pictures of christmas cakes I had done, but since very few of my cakes are for christmas, I chose a few easy cakes from here and e-mailed them as choices (noting that these were not my cakes, but basically a jumping off/starting point). THey chose this cake:

Which I thought would not be a problem, but then had issues with the bow. I haven't made this type of bow before, but read up on and the bow tutorial here, again didn't think I'd have a problem. I think my problem is that I am cheap, lol. Since it is a free cake, and I'm a stay at home mother of 4, my goal is to produce a beautiful cake that is realatively easy and yet looks and tastes great.

Sooooooooooooo, I made the mmf for the bow, and added wilton gumtex to it instead of using a fondant/gumpaste combo. I started 3 days early, first day just colored it, added the gumtex. Second day rolled it out, shaped the bow loops, left to dry. Day three made royal icing, glued bow together with it...ran into trouble. As I was "gluing" the second row of loops ontop of the first, they literally began to break and crack. They were still soft...dry, but soft. They never reached that brittle phase that gumpast would. So, I had to improvise. I chunked it. I used what little mmf/gumtex I still had, and made loops for a simple bow (and called hubby at work to let him know, he understood the bow would be different and reminded me that he had told me to buy the wilton fondant to use, I just wanted to save $$).

Then left that to dry while I baked, leveled, iced cake. Applied the green fondant ribbon. Had to cut fresh red fondant ribbon. When applying the snowflake stamp I realiazed my cake was too short to fit an entire snowflake on the sides (my cake was one layer, just baked to overfill pan then leveled). So, I thought it would look cute if instead of doing the snowflakes as the original, if I just stamped the imprint and left it allover the cake, to look like an elegant wrapping paper.

Long story short, I was up until 2 am, my husband looks at the cake this morning and informs me that it's crappy, why didn't I insert the loops of bow into the center instead of just laying the center on top? (because I didn't think I could do it w/out them breaking - remember this is soft mmf/gumtex we're talking about). So I'm crying and just needed to vent. Here's a pic of the crappy cake, it's not a great angle but he took it under protest and in the box. You can see some royal icing (white) peeking out from a bow loop, but I wasn't able to fix that b /c he had to go to work. His closing remarks were " I'll never volunteer you for a dadgum cake again!" ugh...sorry to vent, i was just shocked because he's usually so supportive of me, even when something doesn't turn out as planned...

20 replies
yellobutterfly Posted 5 Dec 2008 , 2:23pm
post #2 of 21

ugh - when I try to attach it says "request entity too large..." so i don't know how to show you my pic

shanasweets Posted 5 Dec 2008 , 2:34pm
post #3 of 21

first here is a website to resize your photo

second it is a free cake, they can get over themselves.

third : I never have luck with big loopy bow without making a week in advance. Also I buy wilton fondant at walmart or use a coupon and get at hobby lobby or micheals. at hobby lobby you can print one from there website almost every week. Just don't have alot of luck with homemade fondant and bows. I use wilton for anything people aren't eating. Also I have had the best luck with bows and using a dow to drape over. I usually let it hang for a day then move it a little on the dow so it doesn't stick after 2 or 3 days, then I remove and lay on its side on a cooking sheet. Then at least a day before going on cake I will put together with royal iciing, but have to use fiberfill or papertowels to position and let this stand until going on cake.

hope this helps

ThreeDGirlie Posted 5 Dec 2008 , 2:34pm
post #4 of 21

Post it in your pics.

MissRobin Posted 5 Dec 2008 , 2:38pm
post #5 of 21

I think your cake looks nice, The bow looks good, Those bows CAN be a PITA! sometimes! Keep up the good work!

sfaith Posted 5 Dec 2008 , 2:40pm
post #6 of 21

Sometimes we (and close family and friends) are hard on ourselves because we know what we are capable of. But sometimes stuff happens and we have a diaster cake. Everyone has had at least one cake where it seems like nothing goes right and it usually happens on an important cake not just the practice one you're having after dinner that night.

yellobutterfly Posted 5 Dec 2008 , 3:01pm
post #7 of 21

missrobin - that pic isn't mine, it's actually the inspiration for mine, I'm still trying to resize mine so I can upload it (sorry for the confusion)

ThreeDGirlie It's processing to upload to my photos, but taking forever - not sure if it will work

sltoklahoma - thanks for the link! I knew there was a site for that, just didn't remember what/where it was! I'll check it out. thanks for the bow advice, I'm doing another present cake for brothernlaw's wedding shower, and I don't want to screw it up!

sfaith - thanks, that's how I feel...but I know I'm always hard on myself when other (non-cake) people think my work is gorgeous, I see only the flaws...

KHalstead Posted 5 Dec 2008 , 3:01pm
post #8 of 21

wheres the cake?? I wanna see!!!

LittleMom Posted 5 Dec 2008 , 3:06pm
post #9 of 21

I've seen this before - it's classic male chest thumping. "me have wife bake good" - he wants the wife with the best cake.

- Not saying all men do this, of course, please don't take offense -

Here's a story to cheer you up.

My sister was married about 3 months when her husband finally told her that the wives of his co-workers send cookies and cakes in and he's the only one who doesn't. So she's on the hook to bake cookies but doesn't know poop about baking.

First misunderstanding - you don't pack flour when you measure it.

Second misunderstanding - there is an enormous difference between vegetable oil and olive oil when you're dealing with chocolate chip cookies.

So now, much like my sister, you'll never be on the hook for baking for your husband's co-workers again! Have some cake to celebrate, and if he dares to ask again after insulting your cake, you can tell him to go learn to swim.

yellobutterfly Posted 5 Dec 2008 , 3:08pm
post #10 of 21
Originally Posted by KHalstead

wheres the cake?? I wanna see!!!

lol - trust me you don't...but I'm trying to upload it. Anyone know how many pixels 2MB is?

yellobutterfly Posted 5 Dec 2008 , 3:22pm
post #11 of 21

yay!! the link to resize worked! it's in my photos in all it's sad little glory, but I'll try to attach here as well:

yellobutterfly Posted 5 Dec 2008 , 3:23pm
post #12 of 21
Originally Posted by LittleMom

I've seen this before - it's classic male chest thumping. "me have wife bake good" - he wants the wife with the best cake.

- Not saying all men do this, of course, please don't take offense -

lol, you made my day - thanks for the laughs and great story!

ngfcake Posted 5 Dec 2008 , 3:27pm
post #13 of 21

It seems to me that your husband is proud of you and wanted to show your skills to his co-workers. He also had imagined a very specific cake. As the cake was not exactly as he expected he was dissapointed. On the other hand, he volunteered and YOU made the cake, so it was your time and your money (as it seems from your post) and I think, therefore you have the right to choose the flavours and the design. He does not have to be rude to you because you worked hard on this cake and you were doing it as a favour to him. He could also have offered some help seeing you up at 2 am.

This has happened to me before. My husband wanted a cake for his friends (a very simple sachertorte) and he saw me decorating it. As one line in the icing wasn't perfectly straight he thought the whole cake was worthless. Now I don't let him watching me decorating and he thinks my cakes are perfect! As I don't sell my cakes, I always tell people I want to surprise them with my design (sometimes I discuss very general things, such as colour or kind of flowers), and that way they don't have a picture in their mind and they all love the cakes. I know you can't do that if you are selling your cakes, but as this is not the case, you have every right to decide how your cake is going to look.

Don't worry about what happened. BTW, I don't use marshmallow fondant with gumtex. I use Michelle Foster's fondant with CMC and it works great.

Your cake looks great, it's just different from the original photo, that's all.

shanasweets Posted 5 Dec 2008 , 3:34pm
post #14 of 21

Well I think I like the impression in the icing. I actually have been on the look out for stamps for doing that exact thing.

And I know I have seen it said many times here, if people are getting free cake, cake designer gets to pick design.

People at work love my cake and think they are great, I have not shown them the photos from the tulsa cake show, that way they continue to think my cakes are great.

yellobutterfly Posted 5 Dec 2008 , 3:43pm
post #15 of 21

and that's generally my rule of thumb - if it's a free cake, they get what I give them (lol). I usually ask generic questions like theme/colors, etc - but the design is up to me - if he didn't have a picture in his head, I'm sure he would've thought it was great, as he usually does and i'm usually the one dissin' it. well, in my hurt and the heat of the moment (and sleeplessness) i told him it was a cute cake and he was being a jerk...was that bad tapedshut.gif ?

Honestly I think it's a cute cake, I just am not happy with the bow, but when you're in a pinch for time, you do what you can, ya know? (he's lucky he didn't just get a cake with ribbon on it, lol).

thanks for the kind words and perspective everyone icon_smile.gif

Carolynlovescake Posted 5 Dec 2008 , 3:43pm
post #16 of 21
Originally Posted by yellobutterfly

yay!! the link to resize worked! it's in my photos in all it's sad little glory, but I'll try to attach here as well:

Other than the white RI (jut for future refrence... color the RI to match the color of your bow as closely as you can. I learned that the hard way.... don't ask) showing there is only one noticable difference.

You did a "ribbon " type bow instead of the multi loop style from the first cake. It does make it a little plainer but no less stunning. You did a great job.

Here's a story I'll share with you... a friend tells me she wants a cake at the last minute (literally at 6pm for the next morning at work) and asks for chocolate fondant with corneli lace work.

I tell her that all I had was chocolate cake mixes and a wasn't going to the store for supplies since it was a freebie and she could have chocolate cake with buttercream. So she says "chocolate, with chocolate frosting and just do squiggly lines all over it."

I did what she asked, and when she got it she said "it looks like little poo lines all over it." (I had warned her) she refused to take the cake. So knowing her boss like I do I called her up with my friend in front of me "hey Kelly's here, hates her free cake and admittedly it does look like my 6 year old went crazy with the frosting bag. Do you still want it for your party." Her reply "she ordered it last night on the way home from work didn't she and yes we'll take it."

Oddly enough the cake is still talked about when I go to see them "that was a great cake from the summer picnic last year." and when I go there and they see the cake lady and mention it I ask what it was decorated like... not a person remembers. They just remember it was great.

Put that cake pic in your portfolio and be proud of it. You never know someone might be looking for exactly that look and style.

Here's a picture of my flop cake. I don't have it in my portfolio for obvious reasons but mine is relatively complete now and thankfully didn't need to add this one. LOL

uabcjgrad2006 Posted 5 Dec 2008 , 3:43pm
post #17 of 21
Originally Posted by LittleMom

Second misunderstanding - there is an enormous difference between vegetable oil and olive oil when you're dealing with chocolate chip cookies.

HA HA HA HA HA---That is FUNNY---ha ha !!! icon_smile.gif

Hey just chalk it up to experience, what did you learn from it, now go from there... no biggie my friend icon_smile.gif

kbak37 Posted 5 Dec 2008 , 3:58pm
post #18 of 21

I had a similar experience this week with my first topsy turvy cake..for my dd 17th b-day. They were gorgeous until I stacked and then it turned into a big pile of...( know)! We do beat our selves up more than we should. As far as DH he wont volunteer you anymore, so look at the bright side!

KHalstead Posted 5 Dec 2008 , 4:30pm
post #19 of 21

I'm confused, that cake looks awesome!

I love the two tones on the ribbon........did you lay a smaller red ribbon on top of a green one?? I understand you didn't make a big loopy bow, but I mean seriously........I was expecting a cake wreck and this is far from that! You should be proud of this cake! I mean, yes it looks different from the original but I guarantee you if you had just written out suggestions (instead of sending pics) and mentioned gift box cake with edible bow.......there's no way anyone could be disappointed!!! Including your hubby. I don't see anything wrong with the cake. Besides, I would have your hubby stand there and smile and if someone says "oh that's a little different than the pic" have him say "well yeah, I mean if you just wanted her to COPY someone else's cake that would have been a wife does custom designed ORIGINAL cakes!" LOL

KatieKake Posted 5 Dec 2008 , 5:00pm
post #20 of 21

gotta tell you, after your DH's remarks, he would have had the cake, but he would have been wearing it. One thing I have learned in 53 years of married life, don't volunteer your husband or kids, and don't let them volunteer you. On the other hand, your husband is proud of what you do, and this cake just didn't match the picture he had in his mind. The cake was very nice, and I bet no one complained when they saw the cake, at work.

trumpetmidget Posted 6 Dec 2008 , 1:08am
post #21 of 21

If my husband had said that, I would have thrown the cake in the trash can and made him go in with nothing. But, I have anger management issues with morons. icon_smile.gif Hehehe.
I will try to make you feel better. First off, give your husband the evil eye and make him watch the kids tonight (if you have kids). Second - here is a picture of a cake I made this summer. It was for my husbands godsons birthday 5.5 hours away. Needless to say, it didn't make the trip. LOL. So, tell your husband at least he had a decent, finished, complete cake to take to work. Keep your chin up. Men just don't understand us sometimes (or anytime, really).

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