Urgent Help Needed Pleease-First Topsy Turvy Disaster

Decorating By manomi Updated 3 Oct 2009 , 8:54pm by manomi

manomi Posted 2 Oct 2009 , 5:38am
post #1 of 24

My best friend's son's birthday is tomorrow and I decided to make a topsy turvy cake for him. Up till now all my first times have been extremely successful so i thought this one be okay too. Apparently not. I made and 8 inch and 6 inch. cut it,made a hole in the 8 inch one. Crumb coated it. Everything was fine until i put the fondant on the bottom tier. The sides (around the hole) broke. There is no way to salvage it. I have now cut the top part of the bottom tier. Its still a little slanted but not as much as i wanted it to. What do u think caused it? Maybe i should have refrigerated the cake before putting the fondant? Also now i dont want to make the hole. I am just thinking of putting the top tier on top of it and pray it doesn't slide. What do u guys think...Pleaseeee help!

23 replies
manomi Posted 2 Oct 2009 , 5:53am
post #2 of 24

Any one? I am just sitting here and praying some one answers so I can go ahead and continue making the cake. icon_cry.gif

Briarview Posted 2 Oct 2009 , 6:07am
post #3 of 24

If you have just slanted the top of the bottom layer why dont you now slant the top of the top layer and place this on the top so the slant is going in a different direction and then place a dowel right through the cake and thin board of the top layer right through to the bottom of the bottom layer.. I would cover each layer separately before putting together. Also have something like royal icing to glue them together to give more support. Hope this makes sense. I have only done them with cutting the hole out like you did. Good Luck. Hopefully someone else will help you.

Melnick Posted 2 Oct 2009 , 6:10am
post #4 of 24

Hun, I have never made a topsy turvy cake but I don't want you feel like you've been ignored.

Is the hole in the middle of the tier? Is there are reason you put the hole in before you covered it in fondant? I guess I'm asking would it work just to push the dowel down into the cake once it is completely covered? I also imagine that ganache would make it more stable to work with but you probably don't have enough time to do that.

If you do just stack it on top of each other, could you just use a whole heap of bamboo skewers to hold them in place? I have done that but with smaller cakes (a 5" or a 4" on top - I'm not quite sure) and not topsy turvy.

Sorry I can't be of any help. Maybe someone else will have the answer for you!

Melnick Posted 2 Oct 2009 , 6:11am
post #5 of 24

Oh yay! Someone else posted while I was writing to you!

manomi Posted 2 Oct 2009 , 7:08am
post #6 of 24

Thanks for your responses. I have never put a dowel thru the entire cake. How does that work?Isn't there are hole at the top of the cake?
I am thinking i will just use royal icing and pray it does not side. There is not much of a slant in the bottom tier so hopefully it stays.
Briarview, why do you think my sides broke? Should i have frozen it first before putting the fondant? Also I think i should have had more difference between the sides of the tiers. like instead of 8 and 6 maybe i should have used 10 and 6?

Briarview Posted 2 Oct 2009 , 7:55am
post #7 of 24

When did the sides break? When you were covering it before you placed the top layer in? Yes think the sizes should have been more different. Are the tiers shaped in smaller on the bottom than the top. Like 6" on the bottom and 8" on the top of the top tier and then the hole should be the size of 6" round. This is probably why the edges broke because you would have only had an inch all round. I have a topsy turvey cake on my website. Red black and white and I did it the way you are doing it. Not a cake I like doing as I think there is a lot of waste. Let me know how you go. Also make sure you have dowels in the bottom tier to hold the top tier especially if you are not going to put a dowel right through.

manomi Posted 2 Oct 2009 , 8:04am
post #8 of 24

Yes, it broke when i was putting the fondant. Yeah the bottom tier was 8 inch with 7 inch at the bottom and the top tier was 6 inch so there was not more than 1 inch all around. Also the cake was at room temperature. Next time I think I will change the size so overall difference should be more than 2 or 3 inch all around.Also i will put the cake in the freezer for 5,10 mins before putting the fondant.
Thanks for ur helpicon_smile.gif Yeah i will put the dowels in the bottom tier and then secure with RI. I'll just go and check your gallery.

Melnick Posted 2 Oct 2009 , 9:18am
post #9 of 24

I was thinking you were doing a cake more like this http://www.flickr.com/photos/deliciously_decadent/sets/72157616259103302/ . I just assumed that a madhatter and topsy turvy cake were essentially the same thing but I think that I might be a bit wrong after reading what you guys have written.

With regards to putting the cake in the freezer I have read in a lot of threads that you need to have the cake at room temp to cover it or you can get condensation under the fondant as the cake comes back up to room temp. I don't know if you've tried using ganache but that seems to make the cake more stable when you use it under fondant instead of buttercream.

manomi Posted 2 Oct 2009 , 10:32am
post #10 of 24

I think its more or less the same thing. The only thing is instead of pushing the cake thru the dowel, I was trying to make a hole in the bottom tier and then put the top tier in that hole.
Yeah I sometimes use ganache under the fondant. But what do u think is the best way to get smooth fondant? Should i pour it when its liquid or should i use whipped ganache?
Thanks for your time icon_smile.gif

Melnick Posted 2 Oct 2009 , 12:25pm
post #11 of 24

I don't pour it (or whip it). My sister has studied the Planet Cake book - the legends of smooth fondant with sharp edges - and we use the ganache once it is cooled to room temp - it becomes the consistency of buttercream and you apply it like buttercream (just no need to whip it). Then you let it set - harden (you can put it in the fridge) then when it is set, you use a scraper and spatula to smooth it and get the finish you are after and then you leave it to come back to room temp before applying the fondant. It sounds easy but we are still working on getting the right finish ... we've been messing around with cakes for about 7 months so definately still learning! But it is too hot over here in Aus to use buttercream under the cakes and the one time I tried it, it was so messy and hard to smooth the fondant and the cake kept squishing under any pressure I applied so we only use ganache now.

Does the hole thing usually work for fondant? I had the impression that it was mostly used with buttercream? I assume it would generally make for a nicer finish though?

manomi Posted 2 Oct 2009 , 6:47pm
post #12 of 24

Apparently the hole thing does work for fondant. It didn't work for me though icon_sad.gif since the edges of the bottom tier broke with the weight of the fondant. But i think i chose the wrong pan sizes. There should have been more of a difference between the sizes.

LaBellaFlor Posted 2 Oct 2009 , 7:11pm
post #13 of 24

I don't understand any of the descirptions on here, but let me tell you how I do a topsy-turvy/mad hatter/whimsical whatever you call it cake. For example 2-tiers:
Top tier- 1 layer of each 4-5-6
Bottom tier- 1 layer of each 6-7-8
I slant the the layer that is going on top, in this case the 6" & 8'. I fill them and stack upside down so, the smallest layer is on top. Let them cool in the fridge and then taper the sides with a bread knife. Flip them right side up , crumb coat, and cut the hole in the bottom tier so the 4" will sit in hole. Make it a little bigger then the cake pan (thats what I use as a guide), cause when you put fondant over it, it'll make the hole smaller.Crunb coat the whole as well, cool, cover in buttter cream again (I use IMBC), cool in fridge some more, cover in fondant. Put supports in the bottom tier in the hole for the top tier. Place top tier on top. I've done several of them, never had a problem. I think when you have graduate layers, it makes it much easier to taper the sides.

-K8memphis Posted 2 Oct 2009 , 7:46pm
post #14 of 24

Yes I too am not real clear on the exact issues But if I was gonna fondant a tt I would use a chilled cake that is not fresh baked and cut the hole out after I applied the fondant. Probably after I let it set up really well too.

That's what I would do.

So sorry this is happening.

manomi Posted 2 Oct 2009 , 8:15pm
post #15 of 24

Thanks for ur responses. I have used and 8 -8-7 for bottom tierand 6-6-5 for top tier. I made a hole of 6 inches (for the 5 inch and a little extra for fondant) so overall it was a6 inch hole in the 8 inch one. Not much of a space on the sides. And my cake was at room temperature when i put fondant.So the sides (around the hole)broke with the weight of the fondant. Next time I will use different size of pans and i think i should chill the cake before fondant. Also i love the idea of making the hole after it has been covered with the fondant. K8memphis,have u tried making it like this? does it work fine?cuz normally in the tutorials,they make the hole first then cover with fondant.
Thanks for ur help!

tiggy2 Posted 2 Oct 2009 , 8:34pm
post #16 of 24

Before you do another one I highly recommend getting sugarshack's "Totally Topsy Turvy" DVD. She makes the whole process a lot easier. Her web site is www.sugaredproductions.com

-K8memphis Posted 2 Oct 2009 , 8:37pm
post #17 of 24

I've only done buttercream tt's. If I did one in fondant I think I would cut the hole after fondanting. I mean especially since we're looking at yours breaking.

Hmm. I don't know--I know my cake would have to be cold to frozen though. If I had my cake pretty cold it should work with the hole cut out already huh.

I don't know, I'd diddle with it first. Fondant is so heavy and cake is so soft--I've also used just regular cake too--not pound cake or anything. And slippery fillings too.

Somebody smart will chime in here--but I think I might cut the hole, put the slice back in there, cover with fondant and then chisel out the pre-cut slice. I'd try it that way anyhow. Can't be too safe huh.

I've covered sculpted cakes but that ledge on the tt is all important to success--I'd totally baby it to an extreme.

manomi Posted 2 Oct 2009 , 9:59pm
post #18 of 24

Okay,so if i cut the hole after putting in the fondant, after the cut,wouln't the bare sides show?like i know the top tier would fit in there but even if there is a little difference in size, it would show,right? i think i just have to try and see.
About the sugarshack dvds,i'd love to buy them.but they r soo expensive. Is there a way i can buy pre-watched dvds?

-K8memphis Posted 2 Oct 2009 , 10:03pm
post #19 of 24

I would cut an x in the fondant and extricate the innerds--maybe lay the pre-cut slice on a parchment so I could find it easy.

Then cut & trim and fold the fondant around the ledge. The tier above it snucks up against it anyhow--but there'd be enough fondant to cover it securely anyhow.

manomi Posted 2 Oct 2009 , 11:35pm
post #20 of 24

Okay, thanks...i'll try that next time...But i m really scared to do a topsy turvy now.. Will post pics of this one tonight and will let u know how it turns out icon_smile.gif Thanks for all ur help icon_smile.gif

sadsmile Posted 3 Oct 2009 , 1:39am
post #21 of 24

I think it was a size issue. The sides were too thin and made a delicate ring around the hole and it couldn't stand up to the pressure and weight of the fondant. I think a stronger type of cake is needed and it needs to rest and firm up.

Have you seen this?

Hers only has the appearance of a hole that is actually half a hole and the rim around it is quite thick.

I think sugarshacks DVD is an awesome suggestion.

manomi Posted 3 Oct 2009 , 6:28am
post #22 of 24

Okay so here is the final out come:
As you can see,its somewhere between a whimsical and straight. But i think i learned a lot during the process. Hopefully next time would be better.
Thank you all for u for your support.

sugarshack Posted 3 Oct 2009 , 6:33am
post #23 of 24

I agree that your "ledge" was to narrow. I do 3-4 inch tier difference on TT for stability and cut the hole after the fondant; more stable that way too.

HTH a little!

manomi Posted 3 Oct 2009 , 8:54pm
post #24 of 24

Thanks Sharon. I'll keep that in mind next time i try a topsy turvy cake.

Quote by @%username% on %date%