Topsy Turvy Cake Disaster

Decorating By barrosy Updated 2 Oct 2009 , 7:07pm by superwawa

barrosy Posted 22 Sep 2009 , 5:12am
post #1 of 14

can anyone please tell me what could have caused the botton layer cake to fall apart?
It was a chocolate pound cake, covered with a thin layer of buttercream and then the fondant.
The botton had 6 dowels to support the top layer.
Was delivered carefully and then when set up on the table start to falling apart, like is shown in the picture, and 1 hour later fall all over.
Can you offer any suggestion why this happened?
I would appreciate any suggestion and help.
thanks
LL

13 replies
madgeowens Posted 22 Sep 2009 , 5:32am
post #2 of 14

What did you use for support

madgeowens Posted 22 Sep 2009 , 6:34am
post #3 of 14

Maybe the bottom cake was cracked....and this caused the fondant to also crack...did you notice a crack when you were icing it?

Loucinda Posted 22 Sep 2009 , 12:58pm
post #4 of 14

I know what happened ......you did not cut the hole big enough for the top cake to set in. The pressure has to go somewhere, and it causes the cake to split. (ask me how I KNOW this?? icon_wink.gif ) It really doesn't have anything to do with your supports at all - next time just make sure to cut that hole big enough - it is even better a little too big than a little too small. You have to account for the angle of those tiers......sorry it fell apart. You will do fine the next time!

-K8memphis Posted 22 Sep 2009 , 1:26pm
post #5 of 14

Yeah the hole's not big enough--that's what causes that, what Loucinda said. It needs to bevel out too--the hole should be bigger on the top edge than the bottom edge too because the cake that sits in the hole is shaped that way.

Loucinda Posted 22 Sep 2009 , 5:52pm
post #6 of 14

Beveled - that is the word I was looking for!! Thanks K8! icon_smile.gif

jlynnw Posted 22 Sep 2009 , 6:08pm
post #7 of 14

The cake looks pretty from the picture. did you get one of the front of the cake? I am sorry it happened - that is a great cake and a lot of work.

LaBellaFlor Posted 22 Sep 2009 , 8:30pm
post #8 of 14

How unfortunate. It's such a pretty cake! Loucinda hit the nail on the head. I can't thing of any other reason that couold have caused that.

madgeowens Posted 23 Sep 2009 , 5:19am
post #9 of 14

Someone was on here a couple days ago, I forget who, but her cake cracked like that, and the only thing she could think of was the cake had a crack in it when she frosted it and she thought it weakened the cake causising it to crack...however I am not certain if it was wedding cake or topsy kind....

barrosy Posted 23 Sep 2009 , 5:31am
post #10 of 14

thank you to everybody that try to answer my dilemma;
I put the proper amount of dowels, and hole to set the top cake in was big enough, to disperse the weight and presure.
Could be this type of cakes have to refrigerate overnight?
What makes a cake to crack?
the cake wasn't cracked when the fondant was on.
i cut the cakes in halves to put the filling, does this weaken the structure of the cake?
Could it have anything to do with my cake recipe?
sorry for all the questions, but i just need to find the answer for future cakes.

ApplegumKitchen Posted 23 Sep 2009 , 7:33am
post #11 of 14

Thats why us Aussie girls use ganache (Yes the 2:1 ratio one)

Its acts like reinforcing cement in your carved cakes.

First we torte the mudcake into 3 layers and then we fill with 2 layers of ganache and let set.

Then we carve to shape and cover the whole cake with another layer of ganache and let it set for at least 12 hours! Then fondant, dowel etc.

We do not cut into the cake like some of the Americans do - the cake is put on a board and threaded over a central dowel. Extra skewers are inserted between each layer - all with varying heights and cut at the angle of the cake above.

I think the cutting into the cake creates weak spots which MAY contribute to the cracking. JMHO icon_biggrin.gif

Loucinda Posted 23 Sep 2009 , 12:41pm
post #12 of 14

You may THINK your hole was big enough, but I guarantee you it wasn't. The problem was the hole you cut. Your dowels, recipes, stacking etc. were mre than likely just fine. My first TT did exactly what you picture (only mine was buttercream, so I could SEE what the issue was) The next two I did, I made sure the hole was cut the proper size and angle and never had another problem with it.

I never refrigerate any cakes, so that shouldn't be an issue. I also do as the above poster - I stack the cakes how they are going to be and let them set for several hours first.

You can keep searching for another reason - but I don't think you will find one.

-K8memphis Posted 23 Sep 2009 , 1:55pm
post #13 of 14

When I did my first tt it was for family--so no pressure--I made my hole, I started setting the next tier--dude, it was messy huh--I did buttercream iced with slippery filling too--anyhow--I placed it off the mark to watch & check what I was doing and I saw clearly that my 'hole' was not adequate--because of course I cut the hole at a 90 degree angle, straight up & down--so as not to take too much top of the cake off--wrong wrong wrong--my tt's were heavily angled and there's no way to set it in there without more carving--beveling it out to matchy match the angle to the tier gonna sit there.

That is most often the case when tt's crack like your's seems to have cracked.

superwawa Posted 2 Oct 2009 , 7:07pm
post #14 of 14

My TT disaster (which is posted somewhere in the forum) had the same result. I have yet to try another one, but I agree that the size of the whole was a big factor.

Also, for me I feel I had some added culprits:
1. Not a dense enough cake
2. Used a plug instead of the flower nail trick, so my layer was already compromised before I even cut into it for the upper tier to sit on.
3. Used dowels that were not sharpened/secured into base (late night "duh" moment)

At least IMHO these are the factors I will correct on my next attempt.

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