I've never made a whimsicle topsy turvy (mad hatter) cake before. I'd like to try it soon, but I've noticed that there are two different ways of doing it. The tutorial here says that it is an optical illusion and the cake is cut out so the top tiers actually are sitting flat but "look" crooked. (Is it hard to cover these cakes in fondant because of the hole." Then there was recently a post done with a tutorial link that showed the cake with dowels sticking out and the tiers actually did sit on crooked cakes. Now I'm confused and don't know which method to try. I hope everyone understands what I mean. If you've made one, which method did you use and did you like it? Thanks.
I made my TT crooked without the cutouts. I really did not like that idea and it was hard for me to work with. I the cakes at an angle and the same with the supporting dowels. I then stacked the cakes and inserted 3 dowels from top to bottom as I went and then one dowel down all the tiers. On the larger tier cakes or more than 3, I have a center pole in a base board that I stack the cakes onto. HTH
I followed this tutorial http://cakecentral.com/articles/6/how-to-make-a-topsy-turvy-whimsical-cake#more-6 but I used dowels and cardboard cake seperators.
Covering them was'nt that difficult, I actually took a knife and cut a small X in the center of each "hole" and that allowed just enough slack in the fondant to smooth it down.
It was pretty simple and I worried less with delivery because I knew the cakes were level although they did'nt look it.
Here's a pic of my 1st topsy turvy cake, it turned out pretty good.
Good Luck and hope that helps!
I have done the cut out method for a couple of real cakes and the wedge method for a dummy cake. I like the cut out (hole) method....it just seems more stable to me.
They actually make topsy turvy cake pans now to bake them in. They are a bit pricey & not in my budget, but seems it would be worth wild for someone who does a lot them. Looks like it saves tons of time. I can't get the link to work, but google "topsy turvy cake pans" and you'll see. Be careful, I have hear that one of the vendors has poor customer service.
Those pans are soooooooooo expensive and not really worth it. I had a hard time working with them. They bake a whole tier all at once causing them to bake uneven. Think about it, on side 2 inches - the other 4, does that make sense? Also they bake straight sides. I like to carve mine in a bit. I rented the pans once for a over the top fee and wish I hadn't. I went back to the old bake and carve method.
Oh, so glad you pointed that out! Whew! You just took one big ticket item off my "wish list"! Thanks, my dh would thank you too if he could!
I am glad that I had only rented the pans, I would have hated to pay for them and had thinkgs work out like they did. I would use the money for soooooooo many other things I just "NEED" to have. I almost feel like a teenager explaining to my mom why I "NEED" to have these $200 jeans. Yeah, I can live without it but do I have to?????
I have only done one topsy-turvy, so I am certainly not an expert, but I liked the cut-hole method. It seems a lot more stable to me. This video from janellscakes helped a ton:
One thing I learned is to cut the hole bigger than you think you need it. I traced my top tier onto the bottom and cut the hole that size, but by the time I added ganache and fondant to both tiers the hole was way too small.
Also, as I was looking at hundreds of pictures of topsy-turvy cakes to get ideas, I noticed that the ones that looked the best had taller tiers. A regular 4" tier looks really short when some of the bottom is hidden in a hole and some of the top has been cut off. (For reference, I used four 2" layers for each tier of my topsy-turvy, which you can see in my photos if you'd like.)
And most importantly, enjoy it! It really is a fun thing to try.
I've only made three topsy turvy cakes, but I like the hole method the best. The one that I stacked with crooked layers was laying over on its side when I woke up the next morning.
Cut out method gets my vote too. I made my first TT that way and had no problems with cutting, assembly or stability, and it was all buttercream with fondant accents that had to be transported completely assembled and ready for the party.
Do make the hole a "little" bit bigger around than the base of the cake going into it is. If the base of the cake going in the hole is a 6" then I would cut the hole a 6 1/2 to 6 3/4" diameter. You don't want too much empty space but you do want plenty to set the cake down in and not mess up your bc or fondant.
It's not hard, just watch that video of Janells and allow yourself plenty of time to work through any issues you may have cutting the holes etc......I cut and stacked mine the day before I decorated it for delivery. No pressure that way!