ptanyer Posted 7 Mar 2009 , 5:34am

I am doing a wedding cake that has to be delivered at 1:00 p.m. tomorrow. 4 tiers covered in ivory fondant, gumpaste bow and gumpaste roses on top, with the streamers of the bow cascading down the side of the cake. Side to be stenciled with royal icing in a fleur de lis pattern. Simple, huh?

That's what I thought. Here's what went wrong...

1. Used Satin Ice and the fondant kept developing elephant skin before I every could get it picked up to lay over the cake. Tried PS, CS, and crisco. Not working. Tried 4 different times.

2. Mixed Wilton with the Satin Ice, 50/50 and finally got it to work without tearing.

3. Covered all 4 tiers and set them aside. They are looking okay.

4. Cut the dowels and started stacking. Everything seeming to be okay. All stacked and final dowel down the center for stability.

5. Fondant is starting to sag or developing air holes...oh, no...

6. Started stenciling and the first one almost done and then the stencil slipped and now the stencil is smeared. Tried to scrape it off and can't get it off. Tried to wipe the side of the cake with a damp paper towel, now that area is really messed up.

I don't know what I am going to do. I have been working on this cake since 1:00 p.m. this afternoon and am so upset...I just don't know how to fix this one.

Anyone want to buy some used cake decorating equipment? I think that this will be the end for me. I'll never get over this disaster. This wedding cake was really important to me and a lot of people I work with on a daily basis are going to see it and I am going to be so humiliated, not to mention how the Bride is going to react when the cake isn't what it should be. Guess she is going to get a big refund. icon_cry.gificon_cry.gif

65 replies
Ruth0209 Posted 7 Mar 2009 , 5:41am

I'm so sorry! Take a deep breath and step away from it for 10 minutes to collect your thoughts. Can you cut out the smeared section somehow and camo the seam with the decoration you're doing on it? It might not look any worse than the smear.

Plan for the smeared side to be in the back.

Don't start thinking about quitting and refunds. No time to panic now. You still need to deliver a cake tomorrow.

Hang in there, sister.

melysa Posted 7 Mar 2009 , 5:46am

i wouldnt suggest cutting out a portion and seaming, it is likely to sag, and produce another problem.

i agree, take a break.

put the cakes in the fridge, sounds like they needed to settle first before covering, too late for that, so you need to do what you can at this point and refridgerate them so they can firm up. satin ice will be fine refrigerated.

i also agree, make the smudge the back IF it is not horrendous. if wiping with the cloth caused it to be really bad, i'd remove the fondant from that tier, chill and recover it.

nannie Posted 7 Mar 2009 , 5:49am

Oh I feel so bad for you.

I went and reviewed a DVD from sugarshack and she says to remove a smudge of luster dust, lightly wipe it with everclear on a paper towel.

I don't know if this will work for your problem but if you get desparate you might give it a try.


good luck

cupcakeco Posted 7 Mar 2009 , 5:51am

How big is the area with the smudge? I know you said that there was to be ribbons cascading down the side, so any chance that the ribbons could cover it up?

I just took a look at your pictures, and you do great work. I know the feeling where you're at the eleventh hour and starting to lose it... just do as other posters have said and take 10-20 minutes for a break. Fix yourself some coffee or tea and just take a breather.

Sometimes we compound the situations by making them out to be worse than they are (or at least I know I do!). It sounds to me as though the cake is turning out fine...just for the smudge. Hang in there and don't give up!


Good luck icon_smile.gif

pinkbox Posted 7 Mar 2009 , 5:52am

IM with Ruth0209... take a step away... go get a drink... walk outside and breathe.

Try getting the smeared part off with some crisoce/shortening on a paper towel. (let it dry a bit first and see what you can get off with a toothpick... if its Royal it will come off easier... if buttercream... let it crust then take it off)

It looks like a disaster now with bubbles and etc... but once it is stacked and decorated.. it wont look so bad.

If you are haviong cascading ribbons make sure you have royal icing to set them in place.

I say the same thing after each wedding cake I do (selling off my supplies and calling it quits!!)... but it gets better each time tooo... I learn so much

Good luck... maybe sleeping a few hours might clear your head.

nannie Posted 7 Mar 2009 , 5:52am

or

can one of the streamers be strategicly placed to cove it up

or an additional bow?

melysa Posted 7 Mar 2009 , 5:58am

the alcohol works great to remove dust, paint or icing, afterwards letting it evaporate and dusting lightly w/ cornstarch on the spot. however since you've already used water, it may just compound the situation. but something to remember for next time. you can also use a paintbrush (craft brush). the idea to cover that spot with the bow streamers is a good possibility. give it a try if the area isnt too large.

ptanyer Posted 7 Mar 2009 , 6:26am

I am taking a break for a few minutes to see what I can try to fix things.

The cakes were torted and filled and crumb coated last night. They look really good this morning, with the exception of one tier that I had to trim some bulge off like in the sugarshack videos ( I have 4 of them) and used every trick she showed. Things were going well until today when the fondant started messing up. Finally got them covered and let them rest and then stacked them just in the videos, complete with a dowel going all the way through all 4 tiers. That last dowel won't come out, I got it in there really good. So I can't take anything apart to recover it.

So, after I posted the first request for help, my computer up and rebooted - guess it was ready to quit too! So I went and made some fondant strips and covered the cake board like sugarshack shows in her video. That is on and trimed and I even managed to fill in the seam where the two ends meet with icing like she also shows in her video.

You know I was really feeling good about things earlier tonight when we finally got the fondant to work - I was using all of her tips and even got some stretch marks on the edge of one of the tiers to disappear. Then I started to see bubbles...and that's when things started going south again.

You want to know something really funny? Not as in haha funny but when something strange happens but for the good? My son lost his job 6 months ago and he is married with 5 kids, 1 grandson and another grandchild on the way (and he will only be 30 this May). Anyway, he asked me the other day if he could come work with me and learn to decorate cakes. I was surprised, but also really appreciative, as who can't use another set of hands, specially when it come to kneeding fondant and gumpaste? He made my cake board for me and covered it with contact paper and it looks awesome. So we got to spend the afternoon and early evening doing something together. I was really enjoying myself, even with the fondant problems.

The stencil is what really pushed me over the edge. I'm going to go back to the cake and try to get the stencil to fit over what is left and see if I can get it to go again. thanks for all the encouragement and tips. Lets see what I can salvage. Wish me luck...

Trevie Posted 7 Mar 2009 , 6:32am

Vodka or Everclear works great for smudges, as long as it's not black....Use Q-tips or a paintbrush and everytime you take a swipe, wipe the brush off, dip in alcohol, and keep going until it goes away. It will work. Sagging? I wait til it sags and cut the excess off around the bottom then Crisco the wrinkles and wait...It'll be thin in that area but I think it will look better. Take a break, step back, it'll come to you on how to fix it. Can you post a pic? It might help us to help you....I'm not an expert by any means, just trying to help with the same problems I've had before..

Trevie

sugarshack Posted 7 Mar 2009 , 6:48am

i have no idea if this work but,

one time i splashed full strength red americolr onto white fondnat. tried to get it off with everclear but could not get it all off and left a stain. i left it alone for a while and then later decided i would try to paint over it with white gel color. well when i painted the white gel color over it, it just made a wet pink paint mess. i hurriedly wiped that off and much to my amazement, everything came off clean like new!

Trevie Posted 7 Mar 2009 , 6:53am
Quote:
Originally Posted by sugarshack

i have no idea if this work but,

one time i splashed full strength red americolr onto white fondnat. tried to get it off with everclear but could not get it all off and left a stain. i left it alone for a while and then later decided i would try to paint over it with white gel color. well when i painted the white gel color over it, it just made a wet pink paint mess. i hurriedly wiped that off and much to my amazement, everything came off clean like new!




No way!! I was just going to suggest diluting the white-white Wilton color stuff with alcohol and seeing if that would atleast fade it enough. Cool trick! Gonna have to try!!

ptanyer Posted 7 Mar 2009 , 7:21am

Here are two photos of what I have so far. The stencil on the bottom tier dried and I put the stencil back over it and reapplied more royal icing. The next tier was the problem one and I was able to get most of the royal icing off. I can still see the residue, but the camera won't pickup on it. I went onto the 2nd tier and did 1/2 of the stencil, and when it dries I will go do the other side.

BTW Sharon, I knew that I should have purchased the cutters on your web site. If I survive this fiasco with any money left, they will be the first thing I order on Sunday...oh my, sounds like I plan to stay in this crazy business doesn't it??? icon_smile.gif

[/img]
LL
LL

gerripje Posted 7 Mar 2009 , 7:26am

Well, at least it isn't super strong colors. I can't tell a whole lot on the picture, and aren't wedding receptions kinda dark?? I am usually so chicken of fondant.....I had a cake that I practically ended up covering all the fondant in RI decorations just to hide all the mistakes I was making!
Good luck and maybe after it dries longer, it will disappear.

calivettie Posted 7 Mar 2009 , 7:51am

wow! your cake looks awesome! I can't see any mistakes at all!

Trevie Posted 7 Mar 2009 , 8:04am
Quote:
Originally Posted by ptanyer

Here are two photos of what I have so far. The stencil on the bottom tier dried and I put the stencil back over it and reapplied more royal icing. The next tier was the problem one and I was able to get most of the royal icing off. I can still see the residue, but the camera won't pickup on it. I went onto the 2nd tier and did 1/2 of the stencil, and when it dries I will go do the other side.

BTW Sharon, I knew that I should have purchased the cutters on your web site. If I survive this fiasco with any money left, they will be the first thing I order on Sunday...oh my, sounds like I plan to stay in this crazy business doesn't it??? icon_smile.gif

[/img]




Your piping is beautiful! As for the stenciling marks, royal icing is water soluble, if you have the patience you can get that off, otherwise, put your border on and no one will know the difference. Great Cake!! You're doing a great job! And it's like, what, 3am there? You go girl!!!!

Trevie Posted 7 Mar 2009 , 8:05am
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trevie

Quote:
Originally Posted by ptanyer

Here are two photos of what I have so far. The stencil on the bottom tier dried and I put the stencil back over it and reapplied more royal icing. The next tier was the problem one and I was able to get most of the royal icing off. I can still see the residue, but the camera won't pickup on it. I went onto the 2nd tier and did 1/2 of the stencil, and when it dries I will go do the other side.

BTW Sharon, I knew that I should have purchased the cutters on your web site. If I survive this fiasco with any money left, they will be the first thing I order on Sunday...oh my, sounds like I plan to stay in this crazy business doesn't it??? icon_smile.gif

[/img]



Your piping is beautiful! As for the stenciling marks, royal icing is water soluble, if you have the patience you can get that off, otherwise, put your border on and no one will know the difference. Great Cake!! You're doing a great job! And it's like, what, 3am there? You go girl!!!!


Or even let the royal dry and try to "flick" it off with a paletter knife, because the colors are so light....

ptanyer Posted 7 Mar 2009 , 8:29am

Thanks Trevie. Yep it's now 3:13 a.m I think I just caught my second wind, so I intend to keep at it until it's finished. Then take a nap before delivering the cake.

I think the tone on tone ivory will work in my favor. But that royal icing is stuck hard to the fondant. I would have to take sandpaper to get it off and that would totally destroy the fondant. So I put the stencil back over both and added another layer to make it look old (?). It looks rustic I think and might work icon_wink.gif

I am going to go roll out the fondant streamers for the bow and get that out of the way and get the bow and roses on the top and then see how things look.

Thanks for the support. Off to the kitchen...

(edited to remove photo - clicked on wrong icon)

Trevie Posted 7 Mar 2009 , 8:53am
Quote:
Originally Posted by ptanyer

Thanks Trevie. Yep it's now 3:13 a.m I think I just caught my second wind, so I intend to keep at it until it's finished. Then take a nap before delivering the cake.

I think the tone on tone ivory will work in my favor. But that royal icing is stuck hard to the fondant. I would have to take sandpaper to get it off and that would totally destroy the fondant. So I put the stencil back over both and added another layer to make it look old (?). It looks rustic I think and might work icon_wink.gif

I am going to go roll out the fondant streamers for the bow and get that out of the way and get the bow and roses on the top and then see how things look.

Thanks for the support. Off to the kitchen...

(edited to remove photo - clicked on wrong icon)




It's gonna be beautiful!!! You wait and see!!!! Get some rest and let us know how it goes!!!! Remember we always see things that the client doesn't.....

Bluehue Posted 7 Mar 2009 , 9:19am

Just wanted to say Beautiful cake and so sorry for all your arghhhhhhhhh and worrying.

Long ago i spilt purple (wilton liquid) by accident onto some whilt fondant - (i nearly passed out with firhgt) - icon_cry.gif
In the end i kept dabbing dabbing dabbing dabbing (you get the drift) with straight Milk.
Yep, eventually it all came out.
Milk and kitchen paper towell.

Again - the cake looks wonderfull.
thumbs_up.gif Bh.

jolly Posted 7 Mar 2009 , 9:29am

your cake looks awesome i know some day im going to have to use your expereince to help me out of a jam,thanks for sharing.

ptanyer Posted 7 Mar 2009 , 11:13am

To: Ruth0209,Melysa, Nannie, cupcakeco, pinkbox, Trevie, sugarshack, gerripje, calivettie, Bluehue, and jolly:

Thank you so much for hanging in here with me tonight. You really gave me what I needed to see this thing through. As of 5:57 a.m. (yep - been up all night and worked on this cake since 1:00 p.m. yesterday afternoon. Sometimes being inexperienced really does bog you down), the cake is done!!!!!!!!!!! icon_biggrin.gif

I am attaching a few photos so you can see the end results. If I can ever do anything for you, all you have to do is send me a message and I will be right there for you like you were for me.

After this uploads, I am going to bed for a short nap and then deliver the cake..

Good morning,
Pam
LL
LL

Bluehue Posted 7 Mar 2009 , 11:52am

ptanyer ....WELL DONE INDEED.
Oh you have done such a beautiful cake.
You poor thing - the things we do to perfect our cakes - doing alnighters icon_rolleyes.gificon_cry.gif

It looks gorgeous.

Bh icon_smile.gif

Omicake Posted 7 Mar 2009 , 11:58am

Glad to see how pretty is your cake. No one would have dreamed of the long anguishing hours spent on it. Certainly, all those CCers that stood by you at those wee hours deserve all the recognition you gave them.
I'm sure the bride will love her cake.

Caths_Cakes Posted 7 Mar 2009 , 11:58am

Congratulations, This cake is soooo beautiful and be the sounds of this post, all the mishaps were getting to you, But you fixed it and made it amazing! well done, i problies would have just lay down, cried and not got back up lmao!!

Bunsen Posted 7 Mar 2009 , 12:05pm

Hi Pam,

I just found this thread as I calm down from a stressful couple of days decorating (no disasters thankfully, just under pressure to get the cakes perfect) so I feel your pain!

Just wanted to say how beautiful your finished cake is, you would never know the stress it caused! Enjoy your well deserved sleep!

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