So I had my first cake disaster, and I was horribly bummed. I think I know what happened, but I would appreciate any advice. It was a baby shower cake (3 tiers) being delivered in the Kansas heat and humidity. I had it in the back of the SUV with the air blaring, but I think that the back end of the car was not cool enough. I should've started the car for at least 15 minutes before putting the cake in it. Basically, right before turning into the place when I turned I heard it crash. The bottom tier basically slid and collapsed. All of the dowels were still in place. I'm thinking it was because I used a strawberry fruit filling for the bottom and had 2 more stable tiers stacked on top of it. The filling had kind of liquified, so I'm assuming that's why the cake slid. It was chocolate cake on the bottom, which was pretty dense. The other 2 tiers were lemon with raspberry in the middle and strawberry with buttercream on top (1st tier). It was my first and last time using the strawberry filling. Any advice would be appreciated.
Oh, so sorry about your cake! It's only a matter of time until it happens to all of us. Could you have over-filled with the strawberry? I've noticed that when I over-fill, the cake is a lot less stable.
I cringed for you when I read your post. I had a similar problem with a loose strawberry pudding filling. When I tilted the turntable to pipe the basketweave, the top tier started sliding, pushing the weave off the other side.
Switch to SPS. Info is in the how to section. This isn't a commercial for them, but it is so much more stable. The hollow tubes lock into place. We work so hard on these cakes and then cheap out on the engineering end of things. The SPS system transfers the weight right to the base. You don't rely on the integrity of the cake as much. Also, if you did put a little extra in the bottom layer, the columns in the sps system would help to keep that stable as well.
A lot of people talk about dowelling. If you have experience with a type of cake, that you know isn't going to move, then SPS might be overkill. But so many of us will try a new filling or get a new request that we want to honor. For weddings and specialty cakes where it has to be right, build it into the pricing.
Sorry to hear that - hope the Mom to Be was understanding.
Sometimes we wish (or I WISH) I could make the entire cake just once - see my mistakes, tweek and then be ready when its time to deliver.
I think it was the heat that "liquified" the cake fillings - same thing happened to one of my cakes - I put TOO much Raspberry filling (90 degree day) and it was all good until they cut into it ** WHAT A MESS ** I was horrified - I happened to be a guest.. so I was there when the mess unfolded.