What Was To Be My Best Cake Ever, So Disappointing.

Decorating By patty7276 Updated 1 Mar 2009 , 4:25am by step0nmi

patty7276 Posted 28 Feb 2009 , 1:23pm
post #1 of 13

Am feeling rather disappointed this a.m. I am somewhere between doing cakes as a hobby and thinking of doing them as a business. Was asked to do a bridal shower cake and I wanted to make a good impression, to be my best cake ever. It was a three tiered fondant covered cake . I decorated the board with a royal icing stencil, made gumpaste bows ahead of time. All of that looked great. Problems started with the cake itself. Used DH butter recipe and the "extended recipe" from this site that adds egg, flour, sugar and yoghurt. Three of the six cakes stuck to the pan and I had to rebake them (of course had to make a run to the store first). I filled and stacked the cakes with buttercream(the recipe with real butter and powdered sugar) and covered with fondant. For supports I used the wilton cookie sticks and a center dowel rod. The cake looked beautiful right after I assembled it. But then it started to "sink" and lean. It has held together but from the side it looks like the leaning tower! I am very disappointed and embarrassed. Am not sure which of my steps caused this failure. Have any of you had this problem and can you advise me?

thanks

12 replies
-K8memphis Posted 28 Feb 2009 , 2:50pm
post #2 of 13

Cookie sticks? Those little skinny white ones? How many did you use? For a three tier cake I would have used something a little more substantial. And if you're not accustomed to stacking, let me recommend Leah's famous single plate system, aka sps.

There's another thread around here recently where a seasoned decorator covers doweling in detail.

And an idea about the sticking cake is -- consider parchment lining your pans.

Everybody blows it one time or another. It does ding the ego. But it also makes us more careful going fprward. So let yourself get over this, you'll be fine. It's an occupational hazard, we've all laid a rotten egg or two. Ok, some of us have laid nests full of booboos--lol

(((hug)))

patty7276 Posted 28 Feb 2009 , 3:04pm
post #3 of 13

thank you, k8. i needed that hug! and i will check out that single plate system and info on doweling. will try to focus on learning from this one and improving. icon_smile.gif

patty

-K8memphis Posted 28 Feb 2009 , 3:08pm
post #4 of 13

http://forum.cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopict-619801.html

Check out ClassicCakes' posts in this ^^^ thread.

thumbs_up.gif

rockysmommy Posted 28 Feb 2009 , 3:26pm
post #5 of 13

Awwww...sorry that happened to you. I have been through it myself...Good luck.

Cakeonista Posted 28 Feb 2009 , 3:28pm
post #6 of 13

Im sorry you are dissappointed but Im sure your cake looks great. Your cakes always do. Wheen i tier cakes i have always used wilton's dowels, they are thick and strong and I have never had a problem. I use 4 in each tier and 1 right down the center. Maybe the cake rcipe was too soft? Maybe you nded a sturdier cake? Anyway trial and error, dont be upset. I also am looking forward to trying the sps method, sounds like it would hold up through anything.

MBHazel Posted 28 Feb 2009 , 3:29pm
post #7 of 13

Wonderful response K8.

Patty, was this the first time you tried those recipes? If so, I try to make it a rule that I test recipes on my family first. Different cakes handle differently. But I agree with K8 sounds like a support issue.

Hope your day turns wonderful!!!!

patty7276 Posted 28 Feb 2009 , 4:02pm
post #8 of 13

you know, the odd thing is i have used that recipe many times. but for some reason it felt "softer" than usual. i think that's why the cakes kept sticking when removed from the pan. i'm convinced i need to search for a new, firmer recipe. i used to use a good "scratch" recipe but my familykept telling me that mixes tasted better because they were lighter. so that's when i went to the "doctored" mix, trying to make it a little more dense. i think my cookie stick dowels were a bad idea. i started with the wilton wooden ones, but when i cut them they splintered and i couldn't get a clean cut so i tried those sticks. they were almost the same thickness but i'm sure not as strong. won't try those again! still have to deliver this cake--wish me luck!!

-K8memphis Posted 28 Feb 2009 , 4:48pm
post #9 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by patty7276

you know, the odd thing is i have used that recipe many times. but for some reason it felt "softer" than usual. i think that's why the cakes kept sticking when removed from the pan. i'm convinced i need to search for a new, firmer recipe. i used to use a good "scratch" recipe but my familykept telling me that mixes tasted better because they were lighter. so that's when i went to the "doctored" mix, trying to make it a little more dense. i think my cookie stick dowels were a bad idea. i started with the wilton wooden ones, but when i cut them they splintered and i couldn't get a clean cut so i tried those sticks. they were almost the same thickness but i'm sure not as strong. won't try those again! still have to deliver this cake--wish me luck!!




I chill my cakes for delivery.

peg818 Posted 28 Feb 2009 , 9:40pm
post #10 of 13

I also, chill my cakes for delivery. Makes for a very sturdy cake.

To cut the wooden dowels, invest in a pair of pvc ratchet cutters, you can find them in any hardware store. Just make sure to hide them from your husband. I get a nice clean cut from these, and the ratchet action gives me a chance to get the blade close then i double check my dowel to make sure i'm even. I also, slip my wooden dowels into drinking straws so that the wood isn't in contact with my cake.

MBHazel Posted 28 Feb 2009 , 11:50pm
post #11 of 13

OH, Peg818 what a great idea with putting the dowel in a straw!

I don't know if anyone has mentioned this or not. But it is critical that your cake be level. You can buy a little plastic level for about $1.00 at the dollar store. I keep one with my cake supplies. Also the dowels for each tier should be cut to the same height. 6 or 8 dowels all different lengths can still allow for a shift in weight.

Hazel

patty7276 Posted 1 Mar 2009 , 4:14am
post #12 of 13

you guys are sooo helpful--wish i had consulted you before i did the cake! haha. have learned a lot from you all. the good news is i delivered the cake and it made it without collapsing. was also lucky in that when i got there the cake table was up against a wall so that the cake was only viewed "straight on". all of the leaning was to the back and you actually couldn't tell from a front view. so they were happy and i was greatly relieved! thanks again.

step0nmi Posted 1 Mar 2009 , 4:25am
post #13 of 13

I'm happy to hear that your cake made it! icon_smile.gif

I think the thing with those sticks is they are for candy only because there is no moisture in candy. Those sticks are just a bunch of paper wrapped tightly so it wouldn't have been adequate support for long.

I've actually used regular straws (no bendy) and I've heard of people using those bubble tea straws. I have never had a problem with the straws.

I'm sorry about your recipes also. I find that the DH mixes are already a little too moist and don't hold up well. and I have never seen a recipe with yogurt? *scratches head* maybe that was a little too much? dunno...but for an extended recipe I use Pillsbury and a box of pudding (same flavor) and an extra egg. Makes it really moist and yummy but still sturdy.

Good luck with those recipes! Keep tryin!

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