Topsy Turvy Problems - Help With Issues For Upcoming Wedding

Decorating By amy2197 Updated 28 Jun 2011 , 12:32am by josefina20

amy2197 Posted 2 Feb 2009 , 6:45pm
post #1 of 105

I am giving a wedding cake to my brother in law and his fiance for there upcoming wedding. The bride really likes the topsy turvy cake. I did one last year and I had several problems with the construction. I had several cracks on each layer. I have done many stacked cakes and never had this problem. I'm not sure what happend with this topsy turvy, but the wedding is over an hour away from my home so I will not have nearly as much time to fix any problems. Please help!

104 replies
amy2197 Posted 2 Feb 2009 , 6:53pm
post #2 of 105

any ideas guys?

MacsMom Posted 2 Feb 2009 , 6:58pm
post #3 of 105

Which method have you been using? The hole cut out of the center to create a flat spot? I have had so many issues trying to do that!

I just stack mine normally. The slant isn't so exaggerated that they are going to fall, but the weight of the upper tiers may contirbute to leaning, so I hammer 3 dowels all the way through the entire cake down into 4 sheets of a foam core board base.
LL

jillmakescakes Posted 2 Feb 2009 , 6:59pm
post #4 of 105

well, I guess the first thing we need to know is, which method are you using for the stacking? are you cutting the hole out so that the tier sits level, or are you stacking them at an angle?

amy2197 Posted 2 Feb 2009 , 7:08pm
post #5 of 105

I used the hole method..

amy2197 Posted 2 Feb 2009 , 7:20pm
post #6 of 105

All tiers were level, but the cracks generated from the side of holes and proceeded to go down sides of cake.

brincess_b Posted 3 Feb 2009 , 4:48pm
post #7 of 105

havent done topsey turvey yet (in a week or two i will though!) but as a vague guess, it might have been the fondant getting pulled, maybe the cakes werent in the hole properly?
xx

Toptier Posted 3 Feb 2009 , 11:20pm
post #8 of 105

Perhaps your supports were cut below the surface of the buttercream/fondant? This will definitely cause cracking. Cut them slightly higher than the surface...

MacsMom Posted 3 Feb 2009 , 11:25pm
post #9 of 105

Most likely it's because the hole wasn't cut large enough so the upper tiers applied pressure against the cake "dam", cracking the cake and splitting the fondant.

I will never make that hole again. Topsy cakes stay put just fine when stacked normally. Lindy Smith does it - I've even seen it done on a Food Network Challenge.

Sarsi Posted 4 Feb 2009 , 3:22pm
post #10 of 105

I agree with what Macs Mom said!! By the way, those are beautiful cakes!!!

MacsMom Posted 4 Feb 2009 , 3:30pm
post #11 of 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sarsi

I agree with what Macs Mom said!! By the way, those are beautiful cakes!!!




icon_redface.gif Thanks, but those aren't my cakes. I borrowed the pic from CakeJournal.com to show what I mean. Here's one of mine! lol.
LL

Sarsi Posted 4 Feb 2009 , 3:37pm
post #12 of 105

Oh, well that's beautiful as well!! icon_biggrin.gif

amy2197, I have a tutorial on how to stack topsy turveys here on CC, the same way as MacsMom is telling you about...here's the link:

http://forum.cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopict-587795.html

saberger Posted 4 Feb 2009 , 3:41pm
post #13 of 105

Ok, now ya'll have made me REAL nervous! I was going to attempt this cake from http://www.lisascreativecakes.com/ but I have never made one before!

Let's see if I can attach this picture....

saberger Posted 4 Feb 2009 , 3:42pm
post #14 of 105

having trouble here....
LL

sweetcakes Posted 4 Feb 2009 , 4:01pm
post #15 of 105

im not keen on making the hole either, it certainly weakens the sides.
So if you just stack normally, you must cut your supports still level with the top of the cake and just dowel through the center, is that right?

Sarsi Posted 4 Feb 2009 , 4:06pm
post #16 of 105

Correct-o-mondo!!! icon_biggrin.gif In plain english- yes! LOL

MacsMom Posted 4 Feb 2009 , 4:15pm
post #17 of 105

To add to sarsi's tutorial, I cut a slight wedge from the bottoms of my upper tiers so they don't look they are jutting out to the side.

I carve mine inward by stacking, for instance, an 8"9"10" cake with the 10" on bottom (it's easier to carve "upside down"). I center them as opposed to aligning them with one side together, as per #3 in this tutorial
http://cakecentral.com/article1-Instructions-For-Building-A-Whimsical-Tilted-Cake.html

When I've done them with one edge aligned, they wanted to lean over and fall. So carve them CENTERED. icon_wink.gif And forget that hole... icon_razz.gif

MacsMom Posted 4 Feb 2009 , 4:19pm
post #18 of 105

Here is a 4-tier cake by Lindy Smith who omits the hole:
"A 'Wonky' cake can be as many tiers as you wish, shown below are examples of two, three and four tier versions, but there is nothing stopping you having more!! Each tier is covered separately allowing you to have as many flavours as there are tiers." - L.S.
LL

MacsMom Posted 4 Feb 2009 , 4:23pm
post #19 of 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by sweetcakes

im not keen on making the hole either, it certainly weakens the sides.
So if you just stack normally, you must cut your supports still level with the top of the cake and just dowel through the center, is that right?




Yep. I use 2 or more (depending on the size of the cake) foam core boards glued together as my base so that I can hammer that center dowel all the way down into the board, which keeps it in place.

I actually suggest using at least two center dowels if it is a larger cake for delivery. I use 3 dowels for 3-4 tier cakes or for cakes that the customer is going to pick up.

Sarsi Posted 4 Feb 2009 , 5:08pm
post #20 of 105

NICE!! I need to make one of these and carve it likeyours MacsMom!! SO FUN!!!

amy2197 Posted 4 Feb 2009 , 5:21pm
post #21 of 105

Thanks for all the tips guys. I definetly don't like carving the hole out anymore. I am sure that is what weakened my sides and caused the cracks!

newmansmom2004 Posted 4 Feb 2009 , 5:32pm
post #22 of 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacsMom



icon_redface.gif Thanks, but those aren't my cakes. I borrowed the pic from CakeJournal.com to show what I mean. Here's one of mine! lol.





This is a fabulous cake! You did a great job on it and the colors are wonderful!

leah_s Posted 4 Feb 2009 , 5:42pm
post #23 of 105

I haven't made many of the mad matters, but I've always carved the hole out and usd my regular SPS. Since the bottom of each cake is actually sitting flat, I get a lot of stability. I think the problem with cracking is trying to put cakes together that are too similar in diameter, so that the hole is too close to one edge. For example, I wouldn't stack anything less than a 3" diameter difference (6/9/12) and ideally a 4" difference (6/10/14). But like I said this is not a design I do often.

MacsMom Posted 4 Feb 2009 , 5:58pm
post #24 of 105

I agree about the difference in diameter, too.

My last topsy ("Braydens") had a 4" diff--top of bottom tier was 10" and bottom of upper tier was 6"--but with the border it looks too stocky to me. From now on I'm doing a 5" difference icon_wink.gif

cakecakelady Posted 18 Feb 2009 , 5:43pm
post #25 of 105

So is it the hole weakening the sides? Or, is it the carved sides and the dowels coming so close to the sides. I just gave a try with a tier because I pplan to do this cake in less than two weeks. I found my sides to crack as well...

When you say you do it with a 5" difference now, what sized cakes are you using, for say, a three tiered cake?

Sarsi Posted 18 Feb 2009 , 5:46pm
post #26 of 105

I havnet had problem with cracking sides when I did the carving method... it could be because of having too small of a difference in the diameters as others have talked about... But I did one that only had 2" difference and didn't have a problem! ( the red/white/black 35 anniversary in my photos)

cakecakelady Posted 18 Feb 2009 , 6:08pm
post #27 of 105

Hi Sarsi,
I am having such issues maneuvering around this site...I am not seeing your anniversary cake. Is it covered in fondant or buttercream? Did you use the hole method? What kind of cake batter are you using? Cake mix or something heavier like Earlene's cake mix recipes? When you make a tier with say a 9" top, do you construct the tier with three 9" cakes? Or a 7-8-9? Sorry to ask so many questions, but it gives me a better visual.
Thanks for your help!

Sarsi Posted 18 Feb 2009 , 6:16pm
post #28 of 105

Hi cakecakelady,

I used 3 9" cakes.... I bake from scratch, so my cakes are probably more dense than a box mix. That might be where the difference is. I've done all my topsy turveys in fondant...

Here are the ones I've cut the hole for:

http://cakecentral.com/modules.php?name=gallery&file=displayimage&pid=1222376

http://cakecentral.com/modules.php?name=gallery&file=displayimage&pid=1200916 <- not a proud moment LOL

And here's the ones I did with just stacking on top of each other:

http://cakecentral.com/modules.php?name=gallery&file=displayimage&pid=1211048

http://cakecentral.com/modules.php?name=gallery&file=displayimage&pid=1202779

cakecakelady Posted 18 Feb 2009 , 6:37pm
post #29 of 105

So Sarsi,
Do you carved the sides of your cakes inward at all? Or just the slope the tops?
Thanks!
PS- You do lovely work icon_smile.gif

Sarsi Posted 18 Feb 2009 , 6:40pm
post #30 of 105

Hey thanks, cakecakelady!! No, I haven't carved the sides at all. Just slope the tops!! icon_smile.gif

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