What Can I Do Next Time So This Doesn't Happen

Decorating By jenniferchristman78 Updated 6 May 2009 , 6:07pm by Ruth0209

jenniferchristman78 Posted 5 May 2009 , 8:46pm
post #1 of 18

My aunt and I did our first wedding cake this weekend. When she left with the cake in the morning, there was slight bulging, but not really noticable. By time she got it to the reception 45 minutes away, there was a definite bulge on the bottom layer in the cake. icon_cry.gif The bottom layer must have weighed 20 pounds. It was a stacked 3 inch cake with strawberry mousse filling. The cake had around 20 dowels in it, so it did have support. Any ideas on what we did wrong? I am doing my sister's wedding cake in October and I want to make sure this does not happen again.

17 replies
Kiddiekakes Posted 5 May 2009 , 9:18pm
post #2 of 18

Sounds like it could have been one of 2 things...Too much filling and not assembling the cake a day or so before instead of the day of.By assembling the cake in stages(over the course of 2-3 days)...letting the cake become very cold from refridgeration and allowing the tiers to settle meaning the weight to scrunch down the filling as much as it will go.I always do my cakes 2-3 days before to allow settling.Then I crumbcoat and again refridgerate over night and then final coat the next day.By this time you can see if the filling is too much and if bulging occurs you can scrape the excess icing off and final coat.I never ice,stack and decorate a tiered cake in one day.Just too soft! Hope this helps!

__Jamie__ Posted 5 May 2009 , 9:43pm
post #3 of 18

All those dowels may have displaced some of the filling and helped it to squish out...sheesh...20 dowels??? How big was this bottom layer?

__Jamie__ Posted 5 May 2009 , 9:45pm
post #4 of 18

When I do a 10, 8, 6" stacked cake, I use maybe 6 tea straws in the bottom level...a 12" round, probably about 8....

jenniferchristman78 Posted 5 May 2009 , 9:45pm
post #5 of 18

How can you post pics to the original post. We assembled the cakes the day prior, but did not refridgerate. We kind of thought that this may have been one reason for the bulging. Also, on a 3 tier, should you put a long dowel through the center of all the cakes?

__Jamie__ Posted 5 May 2009 , 9:52pm
post #6 of 18

You can reply to this topic itself, and add an attachment, don't a quick reply, actually click "post reply" and the option is there.

__Jamie__ Posted 5 May 2009 , 9:55pm
post #7 of 18

I didn't use a dowel on the last one I did, but I'm really careful with my stacking and transporting, but I do one some...it depends.

jenniferchristman78 Posted 6 May 2009 , 2:56pm
post #8 of 18

Okay so maybe we went a little overboard on doweling. The cake was a 14,10, and 6. The bottom layer must have weighed aroud 20 lbs, so we were afraid of it collapsing under the weight of the other cakes. Good news, is it didn't collapse, bad news is it bulged. We are new at this, so I guess practice makes perfect?

-K8memphis Posted 6 May 2009 , 3:01pm
post #9 of 18

You didn't have to keep the strawberry mousse filling chilled?
Did you have a buttercream dam around the filling?

Ruth0209 Posted 6 May 2009 , 3:13pm
post #10 of 18

The important thing to understand about stacking cakes is that the bottom layer should not have the weight of the upper layers on it. That's what the dowels are for. The weight rests on the dowels so they don't squish the lower layers. If your dowels are not tall enough, the weight WILL squish on the bottom and cause bulging.

If your dowels are placed correctly, you don't need to use 20. That displaces a lot of cake and causes lots of fractures in the cake that decreases its stability instead of improving it.

pattigunter Posted 6 May 2009 , 3:21pm
post #11 of 18

Building a damn around the edge of the layer with thickened buttercream before adding your filling and stacking helps keep the filling where its supposed to be. Works every time for me.

jenniferchristman78 Posted 6 May 2009 , 4:01pm
post #12 of 18

I did put a dam of buttercream around. As far as refridgeration....it wouldn't fit in the fridge...so I just kept the house cold. Luckily, it was rainy weather so temps were pretty cool. I am pretty sure that the 20 plus dowels probably had a great deal to do with it!!! icon_redface.gif Just so you all know, it was not my idea to put the 20 plus dowels in!

Ruth0209 Posted 6 May 2009 , 4:48pm
post #13 of 18

For big cakes, the big round Wilton's plastic dowels that are hollow make me feel a little more secure. They do displace some cake, but they seem more secure because they have more surface area for the next layer to rest on. SPS is probably your most secure bet. I just hate the hassle of the equipment deposit and trying to get it all back after the event. I like the disposable ones.

jenniferchristman78 Posted 6 May 2009 , 4:54pm
post #14 of 18

What is sps?

-K8memphis Posted 6 May 2009 , 5:06pm
post #15 of 18

Jennifer, when you plan your sister's cake take into account what will and will not fit in the frige and don't use refrigerated fillings if you can't keep them under 40 degrees.

icon_biggrin.gif

Sps is single plate system--it's a nice method to use to support your cakes. There's a sticky about it somewhere.

crazycakes2007 Posted 6 May 2009 , 5:19pm
post #16 of 18

I can't imagine making a cake without a refrigerator... like a seamstress depends on an iron. No way you could take out a shelf, put the 14" cake on a smaller base? I usually use a coupler without a tip to put a thick ring of buttercream as a dam, but I ran into trouble on my last cake too... any suggestions for getting a bigger ring of buttercream gals?

Ruth0209 Posted 6 May 2009 , 6:02pm
post #17 of 18

The SPS info is a sticky on the How Do I? forum.

Ruth0209 Posted 6 May 2009 , 6:07pm
post #18 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by crazycakes2007

I can't imagine making a cake without a refrigerator... like a seamstress depends on an iron. No way you could take out a shelf, put the 14" cake on a smaller base? I usually use a coupler without a tip to put a thick ring of buttercream as a dam, but I ran into trouble on my last cake too... any suggestions for getting a bigger ring of buttercream gals?




Wow, it seems like a coupler would be so high that it'd be a pretty deep layer of filling. Do you kind of squash it down and flatten it on top before you fill and add the next layer? I do torte so I can put more, but thinner layers of filling.

I use a #12 tip, and sometimes I put an additional ring of stiffened icing inside the first ring of it if the filling is runny.

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