Topsy Turvy Gone Bad (Long)

Decorating By jdrew Updated 31 Aug 2009 , 2:30pm by jdrew

jdrew Posted 27 Aug 2009 , 3:50pm
post #1 of 44

Well, I've always wanted to do a topsy turvy. I bought the Sugarshack dvd on it. I spent money on all the supplies. Well, it was one of friend's birthday this week, so I thought I would surprise her with a topsy turvy cake at her party. I make her a cake every year and this year she wants key lime cake. Well, I follow the dvd except Sharon made 14, 10 & 6 inch cakes and I did 10, 8 & 6 inch cakes. There is only 20 people at the party and I did want so much leftover cake. Oh yeah, I used key lime cake for the 10", strawberry & vanilla marble for the 8" and WASC for the 6". I froze the cakes to make it easier to carve. Well, that didn't help, big chucks were coming off as I carved the sides. I used Sugarshack's buttercream as a crumbcoat and filling because my friend doesn't like chocolate. After I stacked the 8" on the 10", the 10" fondant started looking like the ankle of an elephant.... I just ended up trying to fix everything the best I could and had 3 seperate cakes. I was scared to put the 6" on the 8" after that. The cakes look ok, the fondant isn't perfect anymore.

I should have used a more firm cake, like pound cake.

Don't you think that were I went wrong?

I'm done doing cakes for a while.

43 replies
jdrew Posted 27 Aug 2009 , 4:37pm
post #2 of 44

Well, after reading another thread of wedding cake problem. I feel much better about my problem. Mine is a gift and nobody knows I'm doing it. It just going to look like she got three cakes...Well, tonight is the party. I'll see if she likes them.

Toptier Posted 27 Aug 2009 , 8:52pm
post #3 of 44

Hmm, yes I've had the same thing happen to me and yes, I think that for any carved cake you need to use a very firm cake like a pound cake or the Australian mud cake. The shape of a tapered topsy has even more weight at the top than at the bottom and with the added weight of fondant, well, even more settling can occur than with a standard cake. It is also possible that your dowels were cut slightly short, even one could do it...anyway don't give up, consider it a trial run. Also, try the ganache next time, it's much more stable than bc on topsies. Best wishes.

LaBellaFlor Posted 27 Aug 2009 , 8:53pm
post #4 of 44

I wish I could help, cause I'm not sure what went wrong. I've never seen Sugarshack's dvd. I do know this, I've done topsy turvy with different flavors (chocolate, red velvet, reg. cake, coconut, etc.) and have never used poundcake. I've had no problems. But I also do 6-7-8 on top of 8-9-10, etc., etc. Not 3-6's and then carved down. The graduated layers make it for easier carving and less needing to be carved off. Maybe thats it. I also use IMBC, which is considered very soft compared to a shortening based frosting.

jdrew Posted 27 Aug 2009 , 9:01pm
post #5 of 44

If I ever do it again I'll try the different pan sizes. I use doc. mix cake. Do you think they're too moist?

LaBellaFlor Posted 27 Aug 2009 , 9:06pm
post #6 of 44

I'm not familiar with doctored cake mix, so I don't know. I can say this, my coconut cake is the most tender and moist cake I have. I wouldn't carve it in to any other shape, but the topsy turvydoesn't have a lot of angles to it. My cakes are all tapered and covered in fondant.

jdrew Posted 27 Aug 2009 , 9:09pm
post #7 of 44

Would you share you coconut cake recipe? That's my boyfriend's favorite.

LaBellaFlor Posted 27 Aug 2009 , 9:10pm
post #8 of 44

I'll Pm it to you.

jdrew Posted 27 Aug 2009 , 9:11pm
post #9 of 44

Thank you, Thank you!! icon_biggrin.gif

Darth_Aerdna Posted 27 Aug 2009 , 9:19pm
post #10 of 44

I used a doctored cake mix for the Topsy turvey I did for my brother's wedding cake. I didn't have any problems with it being too maist or sinking.....

jdrew Posted 27 Aug 2009 , 9:24pm
post #11 of 44

I really don't know what I did wrong. Maybe I should have used a 12" instead of a 10" as the base. HAAAAA

I really want to know what I did wrong. I wished I had Sharon in the kitchen with me instead of on tv.

Cristi-Tutty Posted 27 Aug 2009 , 9:58pm
post #12 of 44

wow, I always have wanted to do this cake but now that I hear this I am afraid of doing it. But do not give up, like you said try with another type of cake maybe that what you will need to do.

LaBella Flor I will love to have that recipe too...I am coconut fun too... lol

icer101 Posted 27 Aug 2009 , 10:04pm
post #13 of 44

sugarshack is using a doctored cake mix. the recipe is in the package with the dvd.. she loves it ..it is firm.. and great for carving.. hth

Loucinda Posted 28 Aug 2009 , 1:20am
post #14 of 44

I have done 2 - they were both with dr'd mixes, and did fine. I didn't cover mine with fondant though, they were both done with buttercream.

LaBellaFlor Posted 28 Aug 2009 , 1:50am
post #15 of 44

The size of the cakes should not make a difference. It sounds like your problem was in the way you carved. If I'm reading this riight you have 3-6', 3-8', and 3-10' and tried to carved them down. Am I right? Just try doing graduated tiers like I said earlier. It gives a better carving guide and your more so trimming then actual carving. Does that make sense. Everyone should try a topsy turvy. They ARE NOT as hard to make as they seem. Do graduated tiers and get the attitude of "Heck yeah, no problem!" I gurantee, if you have that attitude, you can do a lot of cakes that you thought you couldn't. icon_smile.gif

CutiePieCakes-Ontario Posted 28 Aug 2009 , 3:22am
post #16 of 44

I haven't tried to make a topsy turvy cake, but if I ever do, I'll seriously consider buying the pans. They're already shaped, so no carving.

www.icingonlinestore.com

LaBellaFlor Posted 28 Aug 2009 , 3:45am
post #17 of 44

even with pans you still have to know how to support it properly.

CutiePieCakes-Ontario Posted 28 Aug 2009 , 3:58am
post #18 of 44

True, but cutting out the carving would be a big step, for me anyway.

LaBellaFlor Posted 28 Aug 2009 , 4:08am
post #19 of 44

Don't get me wrong. I do like those pans. They just don't make a lot of sense to me. Tthey are out my price range. I also like my topsy turvies to be tapered and those pans aren't tapered. If I bought them, they would just be saving me the trouble of cutting the slant, which is the easy part. I would still end up having to taper them. And how do they work for filling?

SharonK1973 Posted 28 Aug 2009 , 4:31am
post #20 of 44

I think your sizes definitely make a differences. There should always be at least a 3" difference in tiers. I've made a few, and notice that the bigger the difference in pan sizes they better and easier they are to make. The ganache makes a big difference to! Actually a huge difference!

LaBellaFlor Posted 28 Aug 2009 , 4:39am
post #21 of 44

Your right, cause my 6" bottom sits on top of a 10" top. 8"-7"-6" sit on top of 10"-9"-8"

kaseyrconnect Posted 28 Aug 2009 , 4:43am
post #22 of 44

What is this ganache that has been mentioned? Is this something that the cakes are filled with?

matthewkyrankelly Posted 28 Aug 2009 , 5:10am
post #23 of 44

Ganache - classic recipe of chocolate (8 oz semi or bitter, depending) melted in heavy cream (3/4 cup) that has been heated to just before boiling. Pour cream over broken up chocolate and let sit for five minutes. Stir until it is entirely mixed.

This can be poured over a cake and let to cool to a fudgy consisitency. Or it can be cooled and then whipped into a frosting.

If you have never made it, you will wonder why there are jarred fudge sauces in the market. It is also vanilla ice creams best friend.

Normita Posted 28 Aug 2009 , 5:11am
post #24 of 44

There is a recipe on this site that is intended for carving. It is durable cake recipe. I know sugarshack uses this recipe. I tried it out for my TT and it was ok...I did have problems but it was because I did not have enough support and I cut my dowels too short!! But had no problems with the actual cake recipe. Here are the recipes...but I used BC and had no problems!!

http://cakecentral.com/cake_recipe-1972-Durable-Cake-for-3D-and-Wedding-Cakes.html

http://cakecentral.com/cake_recipe-6093-Durable-Cake-for-3D-in-Chocolate.html

jdrew Posted 28 Aug 2009 , 3:22pm
post #25 of 44

Thank goodness for dim lighting in restaurants. Everybody went crazy over the cakes. I was just standing here going "ready". The birthday girl LOVED it. There was people from other tables walking over to see them better and talking about how great they looked. I was just wondering if they just had bad eyes. I didn't take a picture of it because I wasn't crazy about them. I didn't think my fondant looked good at all. I'm going to see if I can get a picture from somebody that was there to post it....I can't believe only yesterday I was so mad about those cakes.

tiggy2 Posted 28 Aug 2009 , 4:12pm
post #26 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by matthewkyrankelly

Ganache - classic recipe of chocolate (8 oz semi or bitter, depending) melted in heavy cream (3/4 cup) that has been heated to just before boiling. Pour cream over broken up chocolate and let sit for five minutes. Stir until it is entirely mixed.

This can be poured over a cake and let to cool to a fudgy consisitency. Or it can be cooled and then whipped into a frosting.

If you have never made it, you will wonder why there are jarred fudge sauces in the market. It is also vanilla ice creams best friend.


The ganache sugarshack uses under her fondant isn't "poured on". It's a 2-1 ration for chocolate, 3-1 ration for white chocolate and is spread on like BC.

matthewkyrankelly Posted 28 Aug 2009 , 4:37pm
post #27 of 44

Yes, under fondant it is thicker and stickier, but just as delicious!

2SchnauzerLady Posted 28 Aug 2009 , 4:54pm
post #28 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by SharonK1973

I think your sizes definitely make a differences. There should always be at least a 3" difference in tiers. I've made a few, and notice that the bigger the difference in pan sizes they better and easier they are to make. The ganache makes a big difference to! Actually a huge difference!




I read another thread quite a while ago and they recommended a 4" difference between tier sizes. I'm going to be doing my first in October and I plan to have a nice size difference. It's good to know that 3" works also.

jdrew Posted 28 Aug 2009 , 5:31pm
post #29 of 44

To me the top wasn't the hardest, it was carving the sizes. I think I carved a little too much on that 10". When I went to place the carved 8" on top, there wasn't much left around the edges. Maybe 1/2" if that.

KHalstead Posted 28 Aug 2009 , 5:57pm
post #30 of 44

the easiest way to carve these cakes IMO is to bake the 3 different sizes for each tier, freeze/refrigerate the cakes, then for a 6,7,8 top tier....put a 6" cake round on top and a 8" cake round under the bottom and get a really long bread knife and use the cake boards as a guide to carve the cake off.........you'll have a perfectlly tapered cake in less than a minute flat!! Then carve the top and flip fop what you carve for a nice slant on top.

Quote by @%username% on %date%

%body%