Help Quick! What Is Going On With My Cake???

Decorating By shannonlovebug Updated 25 Mar 2009 , 7:59am by CakeDiosa

shannonlovebug Posted 22 Mar 2009 , 6:23am
post #1 of 17

Okay it's a fondant covered WASC cake with mousse filling. Two tiers and they are HEAVY...5.5 inches tall each. I put dowells in the bottom one to support the top one but the whole thing wobbles. Is that okay? I put the center dowel through both layers too. I don't think it's going to survive the car ride tomorrow! I think the top tier might also be sinking into the bottom because my fondant is sort of bunching up around the bottom of the bottom tier. I've got the whole thing completely decorated so I can't take it apart...I don't have time for that anyway. And I'm SOOOO tired and stressed!

So what can I do to keep it from getting worse? I can live with it the way it is now as long as it stays in one piece. I just don't want it getting worse!! I think it may be leaning slightly too but that might just be me seeing things.

Please help me icon_cry.gif

16 replies
shelly-101 Posted 22 Mar 2009 , 6:34am
post #2 of 17

Not sure about the wobbliness but maybe the cake looks like its sinking because the cakes might have settled a little. I hope everything turns out ok for you, good luck. sorry i wasn't much help.


GI Posted 22 Mar 2009 , 7:18am
post #3 of 17

What kind of fondant? MMF or other? Can you put your fondant in the fridge? Put your cake in the fridge and let it firm up before you take it in your car. Mousse will firm up hard. Some kinds of fondants will get gummy if wrapped in plastic wrap, so don't wrap it up. Better to have a rock-hard cake/fondant when you leave in the car, then a collapsed cake!

The cake shouldn't be wobbly. The top tier shouldn't push on the bottom one if it is indepedent of it. I bet you cut your dowels too short, which caused your top tier to push down on the bottom tier. What kind of dowels did you use? Was your bottom tier level? Did you eye-ball it or did you use a leveler with a bubble? Can you take the top tier off and put new dowels in, put on your top tier, and then put a new edge around it? Better to have more dowels, too. do you have enough dowels? Your center dowel should be shoved all the way thru the bottom tier and stuck in the bottom plate.

How long of a car ride? Start earlier, drive slow! Sorry I can't be more help!! Take plenty of extra emergency icing repair kits with you!

Good luck! icon_smile.gif

JanH Posted 22 Mar 2009 , 7:19am
post #4 of 17
Originally Posted by shannonlovebug

Two tiers and they are HEAVY...5.5 inches tall each. I put dowells in the bottom one to support the top one but the whole thing wobbles.

What kind of cakeboard or support did you use between the layers. Sounds like it wasn't strong enough, or the dowels weren't cut evenly and the cake is slightly tilted. (It's also possible that you used too much filling.)

Here's a thread that might be helpful.

Everything you need to know to bake, decorate and assemble tiered/stacked/layer cakes:

Above has links with illustrated common cake support systems. There's also a pastry filling usage chart (which can gave you some help in determining if you used too much mousse filling). Also a photo tutorial for cutting dowels evenly... And so much more!


GI Posted 22 Mar 2009 , 7:23am
post #5 of 17

JanH I've been looking high & lo for that post you did...couldn't find it, now I got it! See, staying up till the wee hours in the morning sure helped me! icon_biggrin.gif

ClassyMommy Posted 22 Mar 2009 , 7:35am
post #6 of 17

I can't give you any advice, but I just wanted to send some love to the lovebug! Let us know how it goes!

shannonlovebug Posted 22 Mar 2009 , 3:12pm
post #7 of 17

I put it in the fridge overnight and it's much firmer now. I think maybe my dowels were a tad bit too short and it settled. I wish I could take the top tier off and put more dowels in but I know I'd screw it up even more and I don't have that kind of time anyway (I'm new at this, obviously, and slooooowww). I think I did use too much filling too. I also used WASC cake for the first time ever. Didn't realize it was so heavy and dense, I'm used to cake mix with a box of pudding thrown in (i.e. lighter). Hopefully it's done settling and will survive the car ride!

Thankfully this is not a paid cake, it's for a friend's baby shower. Still, I wanted it to be perfect!

Thanks for everyones help!! Ugh, why is something that supposed to be so much fun, so stressfull???

sweetcakes Posted 22 Mar 2009 , 4:22pm
post #8 of 17

do let us know how it survives and what you assess is the problem when it gets served, guessing you'll be there then.
if the cake settled then your dowels would stick up higher, but we'll see what you find. sorry this happened but it is a great way to learn, just dont give up.

sugarshack Posted 22 Mar 2009 , 7:40pm
post #9 of 17

fondant cakes:

very firm cake recipe
SUPER stiff dam then filling
let cake settle
trim sides straight
flash freeze to harden icing
apply fondant
cut dowels level with top of cake or a TAD above


it takes a little practice for sure!

GI Posted 23 Mar 2009 , 2:21am
post #10 of 17

(sugarshack, seeing your post reminds me I'm out of wedding bouquet. I'll be making a call to you soon. icon_biggrin.gif )...

newmansmom2004 Posted 23 Mar 2009 , 2:34am
post #11 of 17
Originally Posted by sugarshack

fondant cakes:

very firm cake recipe
SUPER stiff dam then filling
let cake settle
trim sides straight
flash freeze to harden icing
apply fondant
cut dowels level with top of cake or a TAD above


it takes a little practice for sure!

I've been doing fondant cakes for about 2 years and after having watched Sugarshack's Flawless Fondant video this weekend I have an entirely NEW appreciation for giving the cake time to settle! Thankfully I've never had a cake settle and cause problems (maybe because they get eaten so quickly after being made), but in the future I'll definitely take out some insurance by allowing enough time for settling before I start the fondant.

shannonlovebug Posted 23 Mar 2009 , 2:48am
post #12 of 17

Well the cake made it in one piece and was a huge success! The guests seriously could not see the flaws until I pointed them out. I even had a couple people ask if they could place orders (NO WAY, LOL)!

When we cut into it I couldn't see any obvious causes of the sinking so I am assuming that my dowels were too short.

Thanks Sharon for that list, I will follow it to the letter next time. Here's what I did and did not do according to that...

very firm cake recipe...yes
super stiff dam...yes
let cake settle...not nearly long enough (and I knew better, so why did I forget?)
trim sides straight...yes
crumbcoat...I only put a crumb coat on the top layer...completely iced bottom layer without doing crumbcoat first (duh!)
flash freeze to harden icing...I just refridgerated it, next time I'll freeze!
apply fondant...yes but my kitchen was pretty warm and I think that had something to do with the sort of puddling that happened near the bottom
cut dowells a tad above...I cut them just a tad too short

It was definitely a learning experience, I learned that I do NOT want to do this as a business...too much stress and I don't really enjoy the process all that much. I just like the end result (well when it turns out that is)

Anyways, thanks for all your help everyone, I really appreciate it. Here are a couple pics. Please give me your honest opinions and critique

sugarshack Posted 23 Mar 2009 , 2:51am
post #13 of 17

It's gorgeous!

Me thinks you too hard on yourself.... but I do not doubt your frustrations. Believe me, Ihave been there and back again.

You have talent; don;t give up!

newmansmom2004 Posted 23 Mar 2009 , 1:40pm
post #14 of 17

You did a wonderful job! If you hadn't mentioned the problems I wouldn't even know there were any - you can't see anything off-kilter in the photos.

I can see how the customer would be VERY pleased!

cylstrial Posted 24 Mar 2009 , 1:28am
post #15 of 17

I love your cake! That is just adorable!!

pattycakes55d Posted 25 Mar 2009 , 7:45am
post #16 of 17

Your cake looks fabulous. Don't give up. I am new to cake decorating and am learning thru experience myself. I think once I get the whole process down pat, I will enjoy it more.

A question: I don't know what everyone means by a "stiff" dam. I am using the same BC to cover the cake. How do I make it stiff?

I also thought I had to put the dowels in before I put fondant on the cake, not after ...but I guess it makes sense since the fondant will make the dowels shorter. I am also having problems with dowels and I think what I did above and the fact that I only put in 4 dowels near the centre of the cake instead of about half an inch in, made my cake bulge at the side..

Another question: I put the dam 1/2 inch or so in. After I put all the cakes on, there is still that 1/2 inch of the cake not filled. Am I then supposed to take the BC and fill it in while I am crumbcoating, or....

Oh geez, one more...sorry: When I crumbcoat, the cake shows thru the crumboating in some areas and when I put my fondant on, you can see it. I've tried to put extra BC on, but it doesn't seem to stick. What am I doing wrong.

Thanks for any help anyone can give me, and so sorry for the book.

So many things to learn.... trying to remember everything.

CakeDiosa Posted 25 Mar 2009 , 7:59am
post #17 of 17

IS FABULOUS!!! And we aren't just the people who know and love you telling you this we're the objective go-to team for honest information!

My failures cause me to feel like I'm not cut out for cake decorating too and then you have a good one and then a GREAT one and you can't wait for the next one. So is the nature of the beast, right?

Don't stop....everything you learn is taking you one step closer to be the decorator you want to be.

And count your blessings sugarshack popped in and gave you some tips...
I'm a big fan of hers! I bought her DVDs and can't stress enough how invaluable the information, tips, demonstrations - everything in them are! My cakes have improved 100% in the time it took to watch them. It is by far the best money you'll ever spend on your cake education and if you have follow up question she's a quick responder.

No, I'm not being paid by her - really! It's just that every issue you had and the questions asked by the post above mine are all covered in her series somewhere.

Your cake is fabulous! Just you wait until the next one... then you'll be in love with it all again!


Quote by @%username% on %date%