Why Did This Happen?

Decorating By sadie098 Updated 24 May 2009 , 4:40am by tonedna

sadie098 Posted 18 May 2009 , 4:01pm
post #1 of 37

I made a 3 tier wedding cake. Everything went beautifully, the baking the decorating, the delivery, everything. I got a call from the Mother of the Bride today and was told that the reception location couldn't serve the bottom tier because the vanilla cake had formed a gel like substance and was not etible. It was a 14" round cake and I also got a 6" out of that same batter. No problem with the six inch. It was a fondant covered cake and I didn't torte the 14" because I wouldn"t have been able to move the sections without breaking it. Anybody know what could have caused this? I baked it with the cone, at 330 degrees for 1 hr 20 mins. It was cooked all the way so I don't uderstand. PLEASE HELP ME!!!!!

36 replies
Kiddiekakes Posted 18 May 2009 , 4:36pm
post #2 of 37

It sounds to me like the moisture from the white cake may have caused a bit of gel under the fondant.I know sometimes I find under my white cakes they get really gooey after they have sat and cooled and then refridgerated..almost syrupy....Maybe that is what they were talking about.I can't see it being anything life threatening..not enough to have not served the cake...Did you use any syrups on the cake before covering in fondant?

sadie098 Posted 18 May 2009 , 5:03pm
post #3 of 37

I didn"t use any syrups. Just buttercream covered with mmf. When I spoke to the MOB again she said it was like almond paste and rubbery. Thank goodness she wasn't mad. She does cakes herself and reassured me that she has her own disaster stories but didn't want this to happen to me again with someone who may not be so understanding. I'm beginning to think that because this was done in a 3" pan that could have been the issue. But it's embarrasing. Also, my fondant was colored a pretty orchid color and when the air got to it, it turned powder blue. Any suggestions there? Is there a color stabilizer I can use so this doesn't happen again? I don't have these color issues with dark colored fondant. AARRRGGGGGHHH.

Kiddiekakes Posted 18 May 2009 , 5:12pm
post #4 of 37

It sounds like the fondant got mushy underneath and began to break down.Once fondant gets wet cake leaks juices it will make a almond paste gel.As for lilac colored fondant...there isn't much you can do from keeping it from turning a pale grey/blue...That seems to be the only color that many of use decoraters have complained about the colors changing.I have fondant that I wrap up in foil to seal the light and after a few days it turns that yucky grey/blue.I did however find that if you use Regal purple from Americolor instead of the violet the color holds longer and better...and the regal purple gives you a nicer shade or lavender than the violet.Violet you have to add alot of pink.

ivgotahalo Posted 18 May 2009 , 5:21pm
post #5 of 37

I'd like to add to this question if you don' t mind sadie.... I had pretty much the same thing happen to me this weekend. I made a Book cake for a friend who graduated college. When I cut the cake the bottom fondant turned to a gooie gel just like sadie. It also happens when I put a teired cake together. The lower teirs all get gooie.... Any more suggestions?

Kiddiekakes Posted 18 May 2009 , 5:25pm
post #6 of 37

ivgotahalo,

Is this happening specifically when you use a white cake? I ask this because the only time my cakes seem gooey is when they are a white cake,rainbow,cherry chip..anything white based.The chocolate do not seem to do this.

sadie098 Posted 18 May 2009 , 5:34pm
post #7 of 37

Kiddie... This happened between the two layers, there wasn't any fondant there. Could the fact that it got too moist from the fondant sealing in the moisture? This has shaken me to the core. I am refunding $100. But that can't help my reputation. Does that seem to be enough? I charged $650 for the cake. I will have to try the coloring you suggested, but I am glad to hear that I'm not the only person the color fade has happened to. Do you think if I froze my cakes I would have better luck with the larger sizes? BTW, I sooo appreciate all your input.

Kiddiekakes Posted 18 May 2009 , 5:40pm
post #8 of 37

I think freezing would be worse because of the condensation a cake gives off when it is thawing...It sounds like the cakes were very moist which does cause some moisture inside.How about the weather where you are located...this can play a factor as well!Did you refridgerate the cake after it was done?Fondant can get sticky in certain climates if refridgerated.

sadie098 Posted 18 May 2009 , 5:48pm
post #9 of 37

Ivgotahalo.....Do you torte your cakes?

Kiddie.... I don't refridge or freeze my cakes. And yes it was raining cats and dogs but not till after I delivered the cake. And you are so right about the white base cakes as apposed to the choc. My Choc. never has this problem. But the van. I always have to cut the top off to get rid of the sticky crudd before I can assemble it.

Kiddiekakes Posted 18 May 2009 , 5:58pm
post #10 of 37

Yes...me too!!! I have had to cut the tops off too because of the gumminess.I think it is a white cake problem...Maybe try another recipe.......Hmmm..Interesting...and I thought that is was me not cooling the cakes enough!

imakecakes Posted 18 May 2009 , 6:17pm
post #11 of 37

I get the gumminess, too. Only from the white cakes--I use WASC and only if I wrap them in saran wrap. If i leave them in the pans until I'm ready for them, uncovered, they are fine. WASC tastes sooo good that I don't want to change recipes tho'.

I also have had frustrations with both purple and dark pink fading and/or changing colors. I have narrowed it down to direct sunlight and/or age (Meaning leftover icing left in the clear pastry bags sitting on my work table waiting for another purple cake to come along) I'm open to hearing other theories as well.

I haven't covered enough cakes completely in fondant to speak on that problem, but I am absorbing everyone else's wisdom--thank you!

sadie098 Posted 18 May 2009 , 6:24pm
post #12 of 37

No Darlin, I think we're on to something here. I use the cake extender but only half the ingredients. I always worry that my cakes will be too dry otherwise. But I also use a little extra oil. From now on I will cut the extra oil and a couple tbls of sour cream out of my recipe for my Fr. Vanilla cakes and hope that does the trick. I also made a kitchen cake for this same wedding and didn't torte that but....I only covered the top with fondant and left the sides bare buttercream and I bet the moisure was able to escape. Cause they said that was wonderful. And guests were calling the and asking for my phone number right through the next day. Thank God my customer wasn't making a scene in regards to the bottom cake in front of the guests. Kiddie thank you so much for helping me. This was my very first post on here and I'm so grateful for bakers ike you who are willing to try to help troubleshoot for us newbies. xxoo

sadie098 Posted 18 May 2009 , 6:32pm
post #13 of 37

Imake, how do you get the cakes out of the pans once they've cooled? I couldn't do that anyway because I don't have enough pans to be able to make both top and bottom layers.

I wonder if the color was added too soon? I did it about 4 days ahead of time. I had 3 cakes going out this weekend and I'm only one person and have no one to help with prep. so perhaps that was the problem?? But, I had extra fondant and pulled that out to compare with the swatch I was given and it was the ext same color as the swatch, on one side but when I turned it over....POWDER BLUE. Makes me grit my teeth. Peopel pay good money for wedding cakes...they should get what they pay for.

artscallion Posted 18 May 2009 , 6:37pm
post #14 of 37

Red coloring fades VERY quickly. But blue does not. This is why purple will turn blue, even in indirect light. You can buy no-fade purple or no-fade red coloring in a large squirt bottle.

If you look at the purple hatbox cake in my pics, notice the difference in the color of the purple beads and the rest of the cake. I made the beads using Wilton colors. They started out the same color as the rest of the cake, which I used the non-fading color on. The pic was taken four days after the beads were made, three after the fondant was made. Quite a diff!


As to the gummy cake issue. Can't help as this has never happened to me. Can you give more specifics as to your recipe/filling/crumb coat, kind of fondant?

Kiddiekakes Posted 18 May 2009 , 6:39pm
post #15 of 37

You are so welcome!!! We all have to stick together and try and help!!!

Sasha_Sweetie Posted 18 May 2009 , 6:49pm
post #16 of 37

Are you using cornflour to roll out your icing? This can cause problems that sound like what you have experienced, but that is for cakes that have been left our a while. It affects cakes with moisture and you will start to get the fondant breaking down and forming a liquid that seeps out.
Did you put the smaller cakes in the fridge and leave the large one out?
It is the starch in the cornflour that ferments when in contact with moisture.

sadie098 Posted 18 May 2009 , 7:44pm
post #17 of 37

I use DH Fr. Vanilla to start with and add 1/2 Cup flour and sugar, pinch of salt, 4 tbls sour cream and 3Tbls extra oil per box mix. I frosted with buttercream, no cream fillings just buttercream and covered with mm fondant. The cakes were baked the day ahead of assmbley and assembled on Friday, cake delivered on Sat afternoon. If you find the fly in my ointment please tell me!!!!

sadie098 Posted 18 May 2009 , 7:50pm
post #18 of 37

Sasha

I use corn starch to roll out my fondant. You think that caused the problem? I only know this method, is there another? My fondant didn't break down or seep anywhere. The van. cake itself got yucky. but the cake looked just fine. They only discovered the problem when they cut into it.

tonedna Posted 18 May 2009 , 8:00pm
post #19 of 37

Are you using buttercream between fondant and cake?
Edna

sadie098 Posted 18 May 2009 , 10:26pm
post #20 of 37

Yes Enda I am,

tonedna Posted 18 May 2009 , 11:14pm
post #21 of 37

I use cornstarch all the time and never had that problem. But I am thinking it has to do with moisture. What kind of fondant you used?
Edna icon_smile.gif

sadie098 Posted 19 May 2009 , 11:27am
post #22 of 37

Edna I use Marshmallow fondant I make

sadie098 Posted 19 May 2009 , 11:39am
post #23 of 37

My hubby is in construction and was trying to help me figuer this out. He compared it to building a house....if you wrap the house too tight and it can't breath, moisture will gather and could cause a mold problem and water pockets.
So with a really moist cake that is wrapped and sealed with the fondant, perhaps the excess moisture caused the cake to breakdown and since it couldn't escape it settled in the bottom of the cake and turned it back to a gel/paste state.
It sounded logical to me. And my cakes are extremely moist so.........
Do you seal the bottoms of your fondant around the board? I do this all the time and never had a problem other than the occassional bubble.

I have never encountered this problem before but perhaps this was my wake up call. Any sugestions as to how to tone down the moisture in my white based cakes would be greatly appreciated.

-K8memphis Posted 19 May 2009 , 11:51am
post #24 of 37

Here's my question, are you guys using the magic strips or the wet toweling around the pans when baking? I've done that for decades and stopped doing it because I detest those gummy cake tops that were mentioned upthread. Those strips add so much moisture into the cake.

Could that be a factor??

And one more, did you all use the same kind of fondant?

sadie098 Posted 19 May 2009 , 12:15pm
post #25 of 37

K8 No I never use the strips or towels I myself have been making cakes for 35 yrs but just started with the fondant about a yr ago.

The fondant was all the same and it was made 5 days ahead of the cake and colored 4 days ahead.

What recipe do you use for your cakes, if you dont mind me asking? This is really getting to me and making me doubt my skills even though I know in my heart that this is where I'm supposed to be and be doing. It's my passion.

-K8memphis Posted 19 May 2009 , 12:36pm
post #26 of 37

For tier cakes I use wasc--I use self rising flour in it. I use store bought fondant pettinice or satin ice. I don't do a lot of fondant covered tier cakes. Y'know, a few but mostly swiss meringue bc covered.

On the color issue--Did you box your cake for delivery? All the light, as I think as has been said, will pull the red/pink tones out of the icing. I once delivered a pink & blue flowered cake that became an ombre colored cake by the time I got it delivered. The flowers went white on one side heh heh heh heh heh. I've done everything wrong at least once. icon_biggrin.gif

I think you are very brave to post the issue you had, Cakebuddy. It always makes us a better baker.

Ace of Cakes had all those fondant figure's features (hair & arms & stuff) dropping off from the humidity when they went to Hawaii. Duff is so translucent to let it tall hang out huh.

Totally happens to the best of us. So you're in good company.

sadie098 Posted 19 May 2009 , 12:50pm
post #27 of 37

K8 I could just hug you...ya made me cry. Thank you for your support, I'm so much in need of that right now. I'm not in ny way a needy person but this has me in a tail spin.

I delivered the cake open as it was all assembled so yes, light definately played it's part in the fade.

Brave ? I don't think so.....perplexed and embarassed...for sure !!!

Do you torte your tiered cakes? I do but I didn't on my 14" (the one that pooped out) I'm wondering if the problem could have been aoided if I had?

-K8memphis Posted 19 May 2009 , 1:32pm
post #28 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by sadie098

I made a 3 tier wedding cake.... couldn't serve the bottom tier because the vanilla cake had formed a gel like substance and was not etible. It was a 14" round cake and I also got a 6" out of that same batter. No problem with the six inch. It was a fondant covered cake and I didn't torte the 14" because I wouldn"t have been able to move the sections without breaking it. Anybody know what could have caused this? I baked it with the cone, at 330 degrees for 1 hr 20 mins. It was cooked all the way so I don't uderstand. PLEASE HELP ME!!!!!




Quote:
Originally Posted by sadie098

I didn"t use any syrups. Just buttercream covered with mmf....it was like almond paste and rubbery. ... I'm beginning to think that because this was done in a 3" pan that could have been the issue. ... AARRRGGGGGHHH.




Quote:
Originally Posted by sadie098

Kiddie... This happened between the two layers, there wasn't any fondant there. Could the fact that it got too moist from the fondant sealing in the moisture?...




Quote:
Originally Posted by sadie098

...Kiddie.... I don't refridge or freeze my cakes. And yes it was raining cats and dogs but not till after I delivered the cake. And you are so right about the white base cakes as apposed to the choc. My Choc. never has this problem. But the van. I always have to cut the top off to get rid of the sticky crudd before I can assemble it.




Quote:
Originally Posted by sadie098

... I use the cake extender but only half the ingredients. I always worry that my cakes will be too dry otherwise. But I also use a little extra oil. From now on I will cut the extra oil and a couple tbls of sour cream out of my recipe for my Fr. Vanilla cakes and hope that does the trick. I also made a kitchen cake for this same wedding and didn't torte that but....I only covered the top with fondant and left the sides bare buttercream and I bet the moisure was able to escape. Cause they said that was wonderful. ...




Quote:
Originally Posted by sadie098

I use DH Fr. Vanilla to start with and add 1/2 Cup flour and sugar, pinch of salt, 4 tbls sour cream and 3Tbls extra oil per box mix. I frosted with buttercream, no cream fillings just buttercream and covered with mm fondant. The cakes were baked the day ahead of assmbley and assembled on Friday, cake delivered on Sat afternoon.





Quote:
Originally Posted by sadie098

Sasha

I use corn starch to roll out my fondant. You think that caused the problem? I only know this method, is there another? My fondant didn't break down or seep anywhere. The van. cake itself got yucky. but the cake looked just fine. They only discovered the problem when they cut into it.





Quote:
Originally Posted by sadie098

Edna I use Marshmallow fondant I make





Quote:
Originally Posted by sadie098

K8 No I never use the strips or towels I myself have been making cakes for 35 yrs but just started with the fondant about a yr ago.

The fondant was all the same and it was made 5 days ahead of the cake and colored 4 days ahead.




I put that all together so I could see what all you said about the cake. And I think Kiddie got it. The goo that forms on the top of some of our cakes kept on gooing.

Yes I torte and I use simple syrup splashes too.

My suggestion is to try & repeat the problem on purpose for an experiment. Try & do everything the exact same --but we'd want to have the weather the same too. Hmm I just wonder if you can make it happen again.

But all that to say--for one thing sour cream moistens cake--then-- I'd recommend using the full blown wasc formula--I think it helps balance it better. Using half and picking and choosing which ingredients you prefer isn't working, it's making an inbalance. Extra oil and less sour cream is a no go.

I firmly recommend that you use it as written and I think that will clear up this problem. It does not dry out the cake where it's bad and dry. Because in light of what happened you especially want to dry out your formula because you have it too much off kilter moist so I'd recommend using the full blown formula as written.

Take two aspirin, three chocolate cookies and call me in the morning. icon_lol.gif

(((big hug))))

sadie098 Posted 19 May 2009 , 1:39pm
post #29 of 37

THANK YOU SOOOO MUCH! Everyone who has jumped in to help...thank you as well.
I will take the full blown WASC suggestion and go from there and when the opportunity arises I hope to recreate the issue and get to the very bottom of th problem.

Kisses and hugs to you all.

tonedna Posted 19 May 2009 , 4:16pm
post #30 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by sadie098

Edna I use Marshmallow fondant I make




I am wondering if the problem lies in the marshmallow. Maybe you should try doing one with Satin Ice.
Edna

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