Can Anyone Advise, Or At Least Relate?

Decorating By threeforhim Updated 8 Aug 2009 , 1:56am by diane

threeforhim Posted 7 Aug 2009 , 6:57pm
post #1 of 10

I'm new to all this and frustrated to the point I think I should just quit making cakes! It seems when I'm doing a cake for no reason, just for practice or just to take somewhere as part of a pot luck, the cake is great. When someone asks me to make a cake for them (and they actually offer to pay me), it comes out a disaster! This happened w/2 of 3 graduation cakes I made back in May.

This is today's dilemma (long sorry):

Someone wanted a cake for their daughter's 3rd b-day. I log on and see lots of ideas (great inspiration everyone). I choose to do 1/2 a watermelon w/a cut slice on the board. Then I realize cutting away almost 1/2 of each round won't leave enough cake (20-30 people). So, I make it w/whole rounds, crumb coating each, filling between each layer then w/buttercream. The round end is baked in a bowl. I freeze it to get it firm. Pull it out to carve it, no problem, freeze it again. When I pull it out the last time to put buttercream on the crumb coat, it is moist. I've never had this happen before, maybe it wasn't in the freezer long enough? Anyway, I ice it anyway and stick it under a fan w/a-c on as well. I put the red on the front for the meat of the melon, hand paint the dark stripes, get the 2 slices iced and seeds on, it looks terrific! I was so excited, it was round like a melon, nicely shaped, nice coloring. Like I said I'm new at this and I'm excited it came out so well. I wait an hour just to make's crisping up nicely, at 11:30 I go to bed....then it happened. We get up the next morning, 6 a.m., I think all I have left to do is write the name on it and happy birthday, but the icing had slid off part of it, the round end had fallen down and all the icing was cracking, all over. Chunks had fallen off, too. No way to salvage anything except the 2 slices.

So, 6:30 a.m. I'm at the store buying everything to remake the cake that is due today! The 2nd version doesn't turn out nearly as well, it's not so round, but it's ok. It started falling apart but I stuck straws in it for support and hopefully that will be enough.

How do I keep a carved cake from falling/slipping or breaking apart when it has to be layered and/or stacked?

Thanks everyone for all your suggestions and help (already).

9 replies
LaBellaFlor Posted 7 Aug 2009 , 7:11pm
post #2 of 10

I'm not sure, but maybe it wasn't totally thawed before you covered it in frosting. I'm not sure how long you froze it. I put them in the fridge when they need to be carved, I've never put them in the freezer before. It sounds like a lot of condenssation happened.

Texas_Rose Posted 7 Aug 2009 , 7:12pm
post #3 of 10

What kind of cake recipe do you use? Maybe what you're using isn't dense enough to hold up well for carving.

Deb_ Posted 7 Aug 2009 , 7:17pm
post #4 of 10

First I'm sorry you're having troubles like this it can be so frustrating at times.

When you're carving/sculpting a cake the most important thing to remember is your cake needs to be a good firm cake recipe, i.e. pound cake type cake.

As far as the icing falling off the side of the cake in chunks...the ONLY time that has ever happened to me in more then 30 yrs of baking was about 1 month ago when I decided to crumb coat/ice a cold cake from the fridge.

As the cake came to room temp it started "sweating" the "moisture" is trying to escape and the icing won't allow it to, well eventually the moisture wins and the icing slides off the cake.

I know that many many members here say they ice frozen or cold cakes all the time and don't have this happen, but it happened to me and that was the only different thing I had done, so it had to be the cold cake.

Of course I live in the NE where it can get pretty humid, but my kitchen is air conditioned.

Better luck with the next one!

threeforhim Posted 7 Aug 2009 , 9:26pm
post #5 of 10

I used the WASC cake recipe. I thought is was a good cake for carving. There was moisture on the cake after crumb coating and freezing (when I brought it out of the freezer). I've never noticed this on my cakes before.

Molly2 Posted 7 Aug 2009 , 9:55pm
post #6 of 10

First of love love the WASC cake and use it often but when I know Im going to use a cake that will be carved completely I use a reg. pound cake to me those cakes are very firm and it just makes me feel more comfortable carving that type of cake just my 2 cents.
Good luck I hope it all works out for you


tbittner Posted 7 Aug 2009 , 10:08pm
post #7 of 10

I was looking at your description of the cake and noticed you had jello and chocolate chips, was that all in the cake batter? It may have been too moist to carve. It turned out really cute though!

threeforhim Posted 8 Aug 2009 , 12:14am
post #8 of 10

I put a box of dry jello mix in the batter and mixed it in. Then once the batter was in the pans I but in some chocolate chips.

Is there a sponge cake recipe here that is good to use for carving?

Deb_ Posted 8 Aug 2009 , 1:17am
post #9 of 10

No sponge cake is not dense enough for carving, it has a very "loose" crumb and wouldn't work.

You should try one of the pound cake recipes, they work great for carving.

diane Posted 8 Aug 2009 , 1:56am
post #10 of 10
Originally Posted by threeforhim

I used the WASC cake recipe. I thought is was a good cake for carving. There was moisture on the cake after crumb coating and freezing (when I brought it out of the freezer). I've never noticed this on my cakes before.

wasc is a great cake, but it's not for carving. i'd go with a pound cake recipe. icon_wink.gif

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